I know that many of you, like me, want to really know the differences between the behavior and speed of different types of boats but unfortunately you will not find that on a magazine and in this case nothing like real experience and that's what happened yesterday when I had the opportunity to sail with a brand new Hanse 415 at the same course as my Comet 41s.
Note that this is not about the Hanse 415 versus the Comet 41s but much more about two different types of boats, the differences would not be very different if instead of a Hanse it was a Beneteau or a Jeanneau and, instead a Comet, a First 40, a Salona 41, a X40 or a J120.
It is not also about light wind performance or upwind performance where the differences between the two types of boats would be huge but about sailing with wind on the beam or downwind with 16/18K wind and about not sailing the performance boat with a crew and a Spinnaker (where it would be much faster) but sailing the performance boat under canvassed, with only a genoa versus a fast main market boat sailing with full sails.
They advertise the Hanse, with its self taking jib as a very easy boat to sail (and it is) and on the other hand people would think a performance boat a more dificult boat to sail and it is, if the boat is sailing exploiting its full speed ability, like racing, but what would you say if I say to you that the Comet 41s only with a Genoa is has fast as a Hanse 415 with full sails? Faster when the wind hit 17 or 18K.
Do you think that an under powered boat with only a genoa, far from the limit, is more dificult to sail than a full powered boat with full sails near the limit where it needs to reef the main (not a furler main)?
This experience could only happen because my wife had yesterday a small surgery and asked me to sail only with the genoa for the boat to be more comfortable since I have the autopilot working badly and she could not make any effort. Normally even with a short crew or solo with a working autopilot I would be sailing in these conditions with full genoa and a main on the second reef, with a huge safety margin (the boat would be good for 25k winds with just a bit furled genoa). On those conditions I would be sailing with that wind between 8.6 and 9.6k and no way a main market cruiser could take that pace with only 16 to 18k wind.