Sunday, February 25, 2018

GREAT SAILING MOVIES 2017/2018


I follow here some races and post the movies but many others  provided great sailing movies and it is a shame not to post them here too. So here they are, from last year and this year, for mine and your enjoyment ☺:



A note about the next one: not a great sailing movie but a funny one about the Barcolana the sailing race with more participants. Not a great race but certainly a BIG race LOL.


Friday, February 23, 2018

L30: RACING AND CRUISING ON THE FAST LANE


I had already heard about the L30, that was advertised mostly as a relatively inexpensive fast and trailerable one class racer, designed over a concept from Luka Rodion (Ukraine dinghy champion), so when I visited the boat in Dusseldorf I was expecting a race boat and was pleasantly surprised with a very interesting cruising interior.

The boat site puts almost all emphasis on racing and it is a pity since it kind of gives a misleading impression of the boat that can perfectly be used as dual boat, a cruiser racer that will certainly  perform well on IRC and ORC racing and as a  one design racer.

The stability is not as big as it could have been due to the need of having an easily transportable boat. The beam is therefore limited to 2.54m for road transport on a trailer and in what that regards they propose a very good trailer as well as an easy lowering mast system, a lifting keel (0.58/1.80m) and retractable rudders.

Even with a beam limitation the stability is good due to  the considerable 39% B/D using a 1.80m keel with a lead torpedo. The stability is enough to certify the boat as class A and that, in a boat with that weight and size, says a lot about it.

The boat design (by Adrej Justin) is quite pleasant to the eye and only when looked from behind it shows a bit more volume, that is very well disguised in all other views, but it is on the interior layout that I find this boat really clever.

The lifting keel box is used as an internal division separating the head from the galley and it works surprisingly well. The head is a good sized one and the galley has what is needed for coastal cruising and, even if narrow, it works very well, providing back support to the cook.
The dinette and social area include the forward cabin, that is semi-open, larger than usual on this size of boats and has space for lateral seats and for a removable table that in order to allow space for legs, is fixed laterally, on the keel box.

There is a reasonable aft cabin (with ventilation) and a good open storage space accessed by the head. On the outside besides a small anchor and chain locker there are two big storage spaces on the floor one of them would be occupied by lithium batteries and an electric engine with a 16nm autonomy.

This solution is less adequate for cruising than an outboard, it is heavier, has less autonomy  and it is much more expensive. I don’t like it on this type of boat. It makes sense on a luxury daysailer but not on a boat that can be used for cruising and that wants to offer high quality sailing performance at low cost.

I also don’t like the two wheels (carbon) that are not necessary on this size of boat and can be substituted with advantage with a tiller at a much smaller cost, as well as the two rudders that are unnecessary with this beam, also increasing costs. Neither do I like the absence of settees on the cockpit.

It does not make sense to have a good cruising interior, a cockpit with a shower and all, if you don’t have at least two small seats on the forward part of the cockpit. Seating on the side of the boat is good for racing but does not offer any shelter from wind or water projections.

Those small settees would also increase the interior volume on the cabin as well as the interior height. But I do love the big retractile carbon bowsprit, the carbon mast  as well as the good sailing hardware.

It is built by Oceantec, a Slovenian firm with a good experience building IRC and ORC racers. It looks very well built using exclusively vinylester resins and vacuum infusion on a cored hull (PVC). That allows for a very light (1820kg) and no doubt a very fast boat with a LWL almost the length of the hull (9.20 to 9.25m), a good stability and a huge sail area for such a small displacement: 52.5 sqm upwind and 112.8 sqm downind.

The LC30 will be a great boat for racing and one that has a good potential for coastal cruising, especially if seats are added to the cockpit (that will be easy) with the big advantage of being trailerable and having a mast that can be easily lowered.


For a high performance and high quality built boat the price is not high, 70 000 euro at the factory without taxes….and it is really a beautiful boat and one that will give a lot of pleasure to sail.


Monday, February 19, 2018

ANCIENT GREATEST SAILORS


In a recent interview, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was asked who the best sailor ever was. He did quote several: Captain Cook, Chichester, Francis Drake, Peter Blake, Franck Cammas saying also that it was quite an impossible question to answer. I agree with him but since he mentioned Captain Cook, I recalled some older ones.

In the middle ages there were several great or legendary sailors. The Vikings Eiríkr inn Rauda and Hrafna-Flóki Vilgerðarson or Sindbad came to my mind, but these are relatively recent comers, I meant really old sailors not the ones that lived 1000 years ago but the ones that really started it, 3000 years ago or more, the first great sailors whose fame and deeds remained in the collective memory.

Jason is the oldest one whose memory reached us and not only him but all the crew, the 49 Argonauts, with special reference to the boat builder, Argos, that gave the boat’s name. Legend says that the boat was built in Simi, a Greek Island near what is today the Turkish coast, famous on the Antiquity for their boats and naval boatbuilding.

The boat was sailed to Northern Greece, near the Volos Gulf, from where Jason left to explore the Black Sea, in search of the mythical Golden Fleece. It may not seem much today but certainly it was a huge feat 3500 year ago, a feat that allowed trade routes to be open and later led to the Greek colonization of the Black sea.

Odysseus (or Ulysses) is the next one on the list of legendary great sailors. He was the king of Ithaca and 3200 years ago fought on the Trojan War but his greatest adventure started after it, when he was trying to return home to Ithaca that is on the Ionian Greece coast, a long voyage from Troy, even today, around the Peloponnese.

That voyage took him 10 years and would be transformed on a vast exploration of the Western Mediterranean sea. The ones that sail on the Aegean know how treacherous those waters can be, even with meteorological information and we could only imagine how it would be without that and proper charts or lighthouses, 3200 ago.

The Meltemi led them way to the South and the rest is legend. We will never know if they continued exploring foreign lands for the sake of adventure or if they were trying all the time to find the way to Ithaca on unexplored waters. When Homer tells the story, more than 400 years have gone by, the legend was never written before but passed orally from generation to generation and many mythological fantastic stories were added to it.

Most reconstitutions place the western point of the voyage on the coast of South of France even if some opt for the Catalonia coast (Spain). Anyway all maps give a very misleading idea showing long stretches of offshore passages that would only happen at that time or for sheer necessity.

Minoan ship
These were coastal sailors and coastal boats that whenever possible sailed at shore sight and looked for shelter for the night whenever possible. Remember they were sailing uncharted waters with no lights and had no idea of what lay ahead. The 10 years voyage (if it really took that long) is explained by the need to pass the winters ashore since those boats were not suited for winter sailing. Even in Roman times, 1300 years later, they did not sail in winter.

But the first great sailors of ancient time were not the Greek but the Minoan that, long before the biblical deluge, had established trade routes all over the Eastern med. Unlike the Greek sailors they didn’t become known in our time since their civilization finished abruptly.

Greek Bireme
The volcanic explosion that, 3600 years ago, ripped apart Thera (Santorini) and caused the deluge, destroyed all their ships and inflected them a fatal blow, that led to Greek supremacy. Thera was one of their most prosperous colonies and probably the Atlantis whose destruction Plato talks about.

Now with the Minoans gone the Greeks found another unexpected competitor on the trade routes, exploration and colonization of new lands: the Phoenicians. While Greeks dominated the North Mediterranean, the South was dominated by Phoenicians (today Lebanon, Syria and Palestine) whose contribute to the modern world is vastly forgotten.

2800 years ago those two civilizations started to expand, first exploring than colonizing all the Western Mediterranean. While the Greeks had a bigger expansion to the East, colonizing the Black sea, the Caspian sea and the Anatolia, the Phoenicians went more to the west, colonizing not only the South coast of the Med but also the South of Spain and were the first to cross the Gibraltar straight to the Atlantic and some believe, the first to have crossed it.

They colonized the South of Portugal and the West Atlantic coast, established a trading route to the British Islands, a prime one due to the abundance of tin that had a high value on the ancient world. The word Britain, the name the Romans gave to the Island derives from the Phoenician name “Baratanac” that means “Land of Tin”. The original inhabitants used to call it Albion, a name that became disused.

Phoenicians and Carthage (one of its colonies) outlived the Greeks as an independent state and fought for the control of the Mediterranean with the Romans. After a long war, where they were almost at the point of defeating the Romans, they were finally beaten and Carthage and its culture were obliterated.

The Greeks had been defeated long before but because they never put a threatening menace to Rome its culture ended up to infiltrate and to enrich Roman culture becoming the basis of western culture.

The only references to the Phoenicians Atlantic sailing exploits comes therefore not from sources of their destroyed culture but from Greek and Roman sources. Through them we know that they were the first to use the Polar star for navigation (that was called the Phoenician star), we know of some of their greatest navigation exploits and about some of their greatest sailors.

That’s how we know that 2600 years ago Necho II, an Egyptian Pharaoh, had hired Phoenician sailors and ships to sail around Africa, starting from the Red Sea. There are some that believe they circumnavigated Africa!!!

Hanno and Himilco are the two great Phoenician sailors that became known to us. Both, around 2500 years ago, crossed the Gibraltar strait and went exploring, one to the South other to the North.

Hanno was an admiral and at the head of a fleet of 60 ships sailed as South as the Gabon (Guinea Gulf) colonizing the coast and establishing trade posts. That was not only an amazing feat of navigation but an amazing feat of logistics. The sources talk about 30 000 men and women and even if it seems vastly exaggerated to me, it can give an idea of the dimension of this colonizing expedition.

Above Phoenician warship, below merchant boat
Himilco went to the North on an epic journey that some believe reached what would be thousands of year’s later Viking lands. They were looking for amber and tin and probably also establishing trading posts. It is confirmed that he reached Albion (Britain) and Ierne (Ireland) that he sailed to Brittany (North of France) and some believe to Helgoland (Denmark) were he found the Eridanus, that would become the legendary amber river.

Some believe that Phoenicians were the first to reach America, based on the inscriptions of a stone found in Brazil and in fact, as they were colonizing the coast of Africa, it is possible that a storm would have pushed them there. But in my opinion that is just a possibility.

However that is a well established fact that in the XVIII century a pot with Phoenician coins was found on the island of Corvo (Azores) and that when the Portuguese arrived there in 1450 they found a statue of a man on a horse pointing to America with an inscription in an unknown language at the bottom. That is quite odd but well documented. Also some of the Islands of Azores appeared already on previous maps, so they had already been discovered by someone.

Roman Warship with the Corvus
One thing is for sure Phoenicians were among the best sailors of the ancient world, if not the best. In what regards warfare and naval battles the Greeks and later the Romans are the real winners, but that’s not the subject of this post and the superiority of the Romans had to do with a strange but effective invention they called “Corvus” (Raven) a kind of a huge platform with a big spike that landed on the adversary’s boat and allowed an easy boarding so they could fight as if they were on land.

A last word about the Phoenicians: some tend to make everything a political subject and rapidly there were people talking about an Israeli or Jewish discovery of America. It is not by any means certain that the Phoenicians have reached America, it is only a possibility but what is certain is that Phoenicians have culturally nothing to do with Israel or Hebrews. The Phoenician are identified with the Biblical Canaanites that Hebrews considered enemies.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

NEW HALBERG RASSY 57 VERSUS AMEL 55


A design comparison since while the Amel has been on the water already for some years, the Halberg Rassy 57 is being built. Even so, looking at the design data, much can be said regarding the similarities and differences between the two boats, if we know how to interpret them.

Looking at the new Halberg-Rassy we can say that they changed for good, leaving definitively old outdated designs and proposing contemporary state of the art designs for bluewater sailing.

The first ones to be congratulated for this are the boat designer and the director of the company, both sons of the ones that preceded them and that are the main responsible for this change on Halberg Rassy character, once very conservative sailboats, now modern ones.

And of course, the clients deserve congratulations too because if they had stuck to the outdated designs it would be impossible for Halberg-Rassy to have maintained this direction that started with the 372, already 8 years ago.

Some brands, like Amel, embraced contemporary design without maintaining the good things those old designs had, namely a very good seaworthiness with great safety stability and a great AVS but that was not the case with Halberg Rassy. In what regards that the differences between the Amel 55 and the new Halberg Rassy 57 are simply huge.

Both boats have similar bulbed keels, the Halberg Rassy has more draft as standard, 2.43 to 2.20m (and more draft potentiates ballast) having the Rassy 35% B/D and the Amel 55 27% B/D. If we chose to have a Rassy with only 2.20m draft (like the Amel 55) then the B/D would be considerably higher than 35% to compensate the RM.

In what regards B/D there is a huge difference that  is proportional to the difference on reserve stability, AVS and inverted stability between the two boats.

But we know that such difference, even if very important to boat seaworthiness, does not translate necessarily in a big advantage in what regards sailing. Today, with beamy hulls, only on stronger conditions that extra B/D would make a difference and the excess of weight, due to more ballast, can have a negative effect on light wind or downwind performance.

And in fact the HR 57 (a bigger boat too) is heavier, 28T to 21.8 but that difference in weight is proportionally much less than the difference between the ballast of the two boats (9.9T to 5.9T). Besides ballast and ballast CG the other big factors for stability are beam, hull shape and weight.

Being the HR heavier, having much more ballast, with a lower ballast CG, having a hull shape that increases hull form stability and being considerably beamier (5.11 to 4.14m) the overall stability of the Halberg Rassy is much bigger. If we add that to the much better reserve stability, bigger AVS, smaller inverted stability and ability to sail better on strong conditions we will have a more seaworthy boat and a much better bluewater boat.

Regarding speed on light conditions does the much bigger ballast and superior displacement mean that the lighter and narrower Amel 55 will be faster on those conditions? Beam, on light wind conditions, has some negative consequences even if not as much as weight and in what regards both counts the Amel has less so it would only need a bit less SA/D to match the Halberg Rassy performance, assuming a similar D/L.

But if the differences regarding SA/D are not very big (HR has 20.1, Amel has 19.8) the differences regarding D/L are very considerable, being the HR a lighter boat (165.6 to 185.5) if we consider as we should the LWL.

Since the entries on the HR don’t seem less finer than the ones on the Amel (even if the boat is beamier) I would say that the performance in light wind with the standard sails should be very similar  but using a code 0 the HR would be faster, since it can carry much more sail area (much more stability). 

In fact these boats compared with their older sisters sail remarkably well in light wind. The HR announces 8.75 knots in a 90 degree true wind angle with 10 knots true wind and that is a good sail performance. On medium and strong conditions the Halberg Rassy will be faster or much faster and also easier to sail fast downwind on autopilot due to more beam and transom’s shape.

Both  are good looking boats with different sail layouts and different interiors both with a very good build quality, with several interior layout options. Lots of storage with space for everything, from the washing machine to the AC and generator. The tankage is good, all the systems are designed for push button sailing making these boats easy to sail for a duo crew or even solo and both have a big engine that will give them a motor-sailor capacity.

If the sailing program is coastal sailing with offshore passages, transats or circumnavigations on low latitudes and on the right season choosing between one or the other is a question of taste. But if someone wishes to have a boat that if things go wrong can have an outstanding behavior and performance, if the program includes sailing on high latitudes or out of the season, the obvious choice is the Halberg Rassy 57.

The funny thing here is that the Amel is the one that has the fame of being a great bluewater boat (due to past models) while in fact, if we look at the contemporary models, it is the Halberg Rassy that is by far a better boat in what concerns bluewater sailing on adverse conditions.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

TRANSAT: SOLO FASTER THAN A DUO CREW?


On top, Bepox 900
Another look at the Transaquadra, particularly at the first leg that was raced last year in July, but first an explanation about why there is such a big interval between the two legs (7 months).

This is an amateur Transat on relatively small boats so the organization looks for the best sea and weather conditions to sail it, but there is a problem, the time for best conditions from Madeira to Martinique is not the same as from Brittany to Madeira.

If the entire race was done on a single leg the best time would be November but making the Golf of Biscay in November, on light 30ft boats with amateur small crews and solo sailors, is taking a lot of risks, so they opted for a smart solution: first leg in July, when the conditions from Brittany to Madeira are optimal and second leg from Madeira to Martinique in February, when the conditions are good for the crossing.



In the meantime the boats pass the winter on the hard, in Madeira, where they have found a nice spot to leave them, under the airport runways that are partially suspended. A less bright solution was found to allow the owners that have the boats on the med to participate on this race: there are two different starting points, one from Lorient (Brittany) other from Barcelona (Catalonia).

Above JPK 1080, below Sunfast 3600
This means that there are two different classifications on the same race and that just does not make sense.

It would make much more sense to separate the race in two different races, a coastal one with two different classifications, from Barcelona to Lisboa or Lagos, from Lorient to Lisboa or Lagos and from there an offshore race, a Transat with a single classification divided in two legs, one to Madeira and other one from Madeira to Martinique.

So, in what regards the first leg to Madeira we have two different classifications, one from the race that starts in Barcelona and another one that starts in Lorient. Traditionally the reputation of Brittany sailors only has as parallel the one of New Zealander sailors and the tradition rings true on this race with the boats coming from Brittany being faster than the ones from Barcelona. This edition was not an exception.



But what was really incredible this edition was that on the first leg two solo sailors beat all duo sailors!!! Hard to understand how that was possible and that has nothing to do with the boats because there are similar boats racing with duo teams. It has all to do with an incredible performance from those two sailors, one racing a JPK 1080 other racing a Bepox 999.

Above, Sunfast 3200, below JPK 1010
No, neither of them is a professional racer, far from that, the fastest, just for a bit more than 3 hours, was Alexander Ozon. He is a computer technician and director of a small company; of course he is also a great amateur sailor with good results and wins on French IRC races, but not even an ex-professional sail racer.

Relatively young for this race where all have to be over 40 years of age (early 40’s) he is racing a 15 year old design and that for this race is quite an old boat. Old but obviously very advanced for its time and still very competitive, a Bepox 999, a David Reard design, built in Plywood epoxy, a sort of lighter RM with a much lighter and simpler interior. Average speed on the 1st leg 8.0kt, not bad for a 33ft boat LOL.

The other one with an incredible solo performance was Jean-Pierre Kelbert, a very well known boat builder, in fact the owner of the brand that has more boats racing on this Transat, the JPK and I find truly spectacular that, with 54 years of age, he is able to out race all of them, duo sailed or solo. Obviously this guy knows everything, not only building boats but also about racing them!!!



He is sailing one of his boats, a JPK 1080, a very fast sailboat that has already won everything there was to be won, from this race to the Middle Sea Race, the Fastnet (in its division) and the Sydney Hobart (in its division). Jean-Pierre has competed in all those races, most of the time as crew on client’s boats. They invite him to race with them (we can understand why LOL).There are several identical boats competing on this race, duo sailed.
Above A35, below J11S
These two have diminished the performance of all others. After them and with duo crews, there arrived another JPK 1080, a SunFast 3600, a JPK 1080, a Sunfast 3600, a JPK 1010 a JPK 1080, a A35, a JPK 1010 an A35 a JPK 10.80, a J11s, an A35, a Sunfast 3200, a JPK 1010 (3rd Solo), a JPK 1080 , a Sunfast 3600 (4th solo).

All these boats were fast and the last of these made an average speed of 7.6kt. Jean-Pierre Kelbert is not the only famous member of the nautical community here, more incredibly we will find racing, just for the fun of it, Patrick Roseo, well in his 60’s, far from the last and at the middle of the classification. He is racing a Pogo 30, a boat that has an interior designed by him.

He was one of the first designers specialized on boat interiors and one that designed many production boats' interiors. Another one that is not only a designer but a very good sailor and knows very well what he is doing when he designs boat interiors, not only nice, but practical and adapted to the sea.



Just a word regarding the 2nd leg, just to say that Ozon continues sailing solo is Bepox in an incredible way and left already everybody behind. Nobody, duo or not seems able to keep up with his pace. Surprisingly (or not) that follows behind is another solo sailor, Jean-Pierre Klebert on his JPK 1080.

Bepox 990
Very near to JPK follow the 3 first from duo crewed, a JPK 1080, a racing Figaro II and a J11s. A word about the J11s that is just a J111 adapted to short crew sailing. One of the two is Aymeric Belloir not much over 40 years of age, an ex professional that 4 years ago won the Mini Transat (series).

This give a measure of the performance of Ozon and Kleber: it is not the others that are slow or their boats particularly fast, it is them that are making an incredible race!!!

http://transquadra.geovoile.com/2017/tracker/

Sunday, February 11, 2018

THE TRANSQUADRA IS ON…..AND HOT!!!


Yesterday 88 boats, solo or duo sailed, restarted this Transat, now from Madeira to Martinique. This is one of the most famous racing Transats and one that on what regards number of boats only has as rival the Mini Transat and none comes even close if we consider production boats.

 But it cannot be a more different race: the Mini Transat is for many sailors the starting point for a professional sail career with already many young professionals. All the boats are racers from a box rule class. This one is an IRC race; all professional racers are excluded as well as all young sailors trying to become professionals. 
This is a race for amateurs and old timers since for racing they have to be more than 40 years old. And it is not a “normal” IRC race because all the boats have to be inside a narrow gap in what regards handicap: no less than 0.949, no more than 1.051 and in what regards size no less that 8.50m, not more than 12.50m, all category A sailboats.

This short gap on boat speeds allows that most of the time the boat that has line honors is also the boat that wins the race and if not, it is among the first. 

Some of you that don’t know the race history would be thinking that a bigger boat with a bigger LWL and the same handicap would have an advantage….and you would be wrong since never a “big boat” won this Transat and that’s why most opt for small fast performance cruisers or cruiser racers. Most of them have already one or more posts about, on this blog.

The bigger boats racing are a First 40.7 and a Wauquiez Opium 39, fast performance cruisers that are competing with smaller boats among them many JPK (9.60, 10.10, 10.80, 38FC), Sunfast 3200 and 3600, Pogo 30, Ofcet 32, J11S, Bepox 990, Bongo 9.60, A31, A35, Mistral 950 and Dufour 36P.


Many strange brands, I am sure, for the non French or for the ones that are not following this blog, but all (with the exception of the First) very recent boats, all interesting performance cruisers and cruiser-racers still in production, some new on the market like the Ofcet 32 or the J11S. 

That is another thing that differentiates this race and these sailors from sailors from other parts of the world: they want to win but they want to win arriving first, not sailing some old slow boat with a good handicap and wining, arriving last.

After this post I will make another  about the 1st leg of this race, that took place in the summer, while I was sailing, but for now just have fun following the race on the tracker.
Great sailing conditions, a bit on the strong side, with some boats doing double figure speeds. 

One of the few things I don’t like in this race is that for knowing what brand of boat is the one you are looking at on the tracker you will have to look at the inscription list here: http://www.transquadra.com/concurrents.php. A very annoying thing that I hope they will rectify for the next edition. Here is the tracker: http://transquadra.geovoile.com/2017/tracker/

(photos from François Van Malleghem)

Friday, February 9, 2018

OFCET 32SC, A SURPRISINGLY GOOD PERFORMANCE CRUISER



When I first saw pictures of the Ofcet 32 I thought to myself: another small fast cruiser racer with a basic cruising interior; nice, modern but nothing really new. I was wrong, at least in what regards the new SC version. This boat has a beautiful quality interior with a very smart layout and a very unusual natural lighting allowing for a great all around view to the outside, including forward.

Everything on the boat is well thought and nicely done. I am not usually so positive regarding the boats I review but I confess that this one surprised me very positively. I was expecting a nice boat but not such a practical good taste cruising interior.

Ofcet started some years ago building mini racers and good fast ones, since they won the Mini Transat in 2015 (1st and 2nd on the production class). This boat benefits from the savoir faire in what regards building strong and light sailing boats.

They use vacuum infusion, vinylester resins and cored hulls and decks. From the keel structure to the shrouds and chainplates supports all is impressive, well made, strong and at the same time light, allowing for a displacement of 3200kg.

 They have two versions, a cruiser racer with a simpler interior and the SC, that stands for Sport Cruiser. It is about the last one I am talking about.

The boat has a relatively high freeboard on the middle and forward sections, very well disguised by an inverted bow, a chine at the top and the shape of the hull “window”. The freeboard allows it to have a surprising 1.85m headroom on the cabin.

It has a good forward cabin (for the size) and a king size back cabin with a view. Marc Lombard, the designer, used an unusual trick to manage that: the cabin stairs are better than usual and that creates space for the small.engine. All the technical stuff is not central, behind the engine, but more to the starboard side resulting in a big cabin and a smaller storage space on the other side, with access through the head.

And talking about storage, besides that interior space, that is big, it has, on the outside, a dedicated space for a liferaft plus some more storage under the cockpit accessible by two small hatches.

The hull length is 9.80m while the LOA is 11.00 meters due to a big fixed integrated bow sprit that serves also as anchor stand. The anchor locker has a very reasonable size partially due to the rounded shape of the bow and it is easy accessible, incorporating a winch.

The cruiser racer has a lead foiled non bulbed keel (to better IRC rating), the cruising version has a torpedo cast iron keel with 1.95m draft. It has a very nice hull with 3.36m beam all of it brought back and hard chines all the way.

Those hard chines increase the stiffness and the power at relatively small angles of heel contributing for an easier boat control, especially downwind, as well as the two rudder set up that ends on a tiller.

A moderately beamy hull with a big stern with hard chines plus the big 40.6% B/D  gives it a great stability and allows for a big mast (15.4m air draft) and a huge sail area: 61sqm upwind and 134 sqm downwind.

The sail hardware is of good quality and it has a huge traveler near the stern at easy reach of the tiller man that has on the other side the two primary winches. Two more winches are over the cabin in reach of a solo skipper if he uses a tiller extension.

The only thing I don’t like is the lack of a small opening over the stove and in the head (maybe they can make two small ones on each side of the lateral plexiglas). The head has one but it is way back on the storage compartment and will not be practical to use. 

Also, while the 3D sailing system is great for sail control I don’t think it will work well with a furled jib. For that there is nothing like a traveler and the Ofcet has not one for the front sails.

The bow, upside down
The standard version price is around 122 000 euro and a decently equipped boat will cost about 158 000 euro, at the factory without VAT. We all know that quality does not come cheap, that a boat with a high B/D ratio is more expensive as well as it is more expensive a light and strong boat. If we consider all this it is a reasonable price for what is offered.

Kind of boat that puts a smile on your face, if you like fast boats and comfortable nice cruising interiors. Size is not all and you may well have more fun and pleasure while cruising with this boat than with a Bavaria 37 that is what you would get for the money if you chose instead a main market mass produced boat.

The Bavaria LOA is just a bit bigger (11.30 to 11.00) it carries just a bit more sail upwind (64 to 61 sqm) but it weights more than the double (7000 to 3200kg). That will give you an idea about the difference in what regards performances. Of course the Bavaria will have a much bigger interior but the Ofcet 32SC will be big enough for a couple with two kids, offering good comfort and and that is quite surprising on a 32ft fast boat.