Friday, October 5, 2018

OCEANTEC 50: WHAT A LOOKER!


There is a small but growing market for really fast long range cruising boats based on solo racers, boats able to go fast with a duo crew, or even solo if one is a very good sailor with solo race experience.

Pogo and JPK, the two main builders of that type of boat, have a waiting list of about 2 years so it is natural that other builders appear on the market proposing similar products and that’s the case with Oceantec, a Slovenian shipyard with experience building racing boats, namely 40 class racers.

The Oceantec 50, designed by Humphreys, has a more modern design than the Pogo 50 (that has already some years) with an inverted bow e slightly less beam (5.09 to 5.16m) being the hulls very similar as well as the B/D and the displacement, about 9T.

That means that the Oceantec 50 has to have an interior not very different from the Pogo 50, a very light one, even if functional and comfortable. The interior layout is more interesting than the one of the Pogo allowing for a dinghy garage where a 2.40m dinghy can be stored inflated but the Pogo layout is designed around the space needed for a swing keel and if that option is taken on the Oceantec 50 this layout will not be possible.

And the point is that a boat with a draft of 3.25m (Oceantec 50) is far from being the best choice to cruise, not being able to get a place in many small ports and not being able to get a good protection in many anchorages. In that respect the Pogo is incomparably better offering a swing keel that goes from 1.5m to 3.5m.

Pogo 50
The Oceantec 50 will not be suited for handicap racing (bad handicap) and not very interesting for cruising due to excessive draft. Of course they can redesign the keel with a 2.5m draft but in that case the difference in needed ballast (to have the same RM) will be 1T (or more) making the boat substantially heavier than a Pogo and even so not comparable in what regards anchoring and port advantages (the Pogo has 1.5m draft).

It seems to me that they should redesign that interior making it suitable for a swing keel option or a lifting keel, much more adapted for the use intended for the boat and also change that interior to one that could be modified to accept one of the keel configurations mentioned above. Producing a boat with two completely different interiors, depending on the keel choice is expensive and does not make sense.

Another point to review is the tankage. They don’t mention water tankage capacity and that’s a bad sign, but if we take as reference the diesel tank (120 liter) it will be clearly insufficient for long range cruising. The Pogo 50, with a similar 55hp engine, has more than the double and it offers a water tankage of 560L.


Also, the winches positions, in what regards solo sailing, are suitable for two tillers not for the two wheel set-up that is showed on the drawings. Something wrong there, if two wheels are used then the winch setup should be changed.

The price seems good, depending on the quality of the interiors. At 630 000 euro (without VAT) it is just a bit more expensive than a Pogo 50 (10% more) being built the same way and with the same materials (Vinylester infused SAN foam core sandwich, Carbon and E-glass reinforcements) but we have to consider that the price of the Pogo includes already a swing keel (with all ballast on the keel) and that if such a keel is offered on the Oceantec the price would be higher, probably 20 000 euros more, at least.

Pogo 50
The Oceantec 50 comes with water ballast (2 tanks with 950 liters) not the Pogo but the truth is that all fast cruising boats I have seen coming on the market with water ballast, sooner or later, opt for not offering it anymore. The Cigale, one of the first, is a good example.

I guess that they only make sense while crossing oceans with a steady wind and only with at least medium to strong winds. Too much complication, with a significant loss of interior space for a slightly better performance. Without the water ballast system the price of the Oceantec 50 will certainly come down a bit.

 Below a Pogo 50, a similar type of boat, doing a very fast ARC having as crew the owner, the designer, the boat builder...and two class40 solo racers.



The Oceantec 50 is a gorgeous boat but needs some modifications to be a successful offer on the market that intends to captivate, the one of the very fast long range voyage boats with the hull based on solo racers.
https://www.racing-yachts.com/app/web/upload/pdfs/330.pdf
http://www.pogostructures.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/UK-POGO-50-BASIC-PRICE-2018.pdf

2 comments:

  1. Firstly, I would congratulate for your blog. I regularly follow all your posts. I have a few comments regarding what you wrote about Oceantec 50. I have spent some time on Pogo 50 which in reality was not a successful model for Pogo like others are. They are sold out with other models 12.50, 36 that are really great. My comments:
    -winch position: Everybody is pushing all controls aft in front of wheels, however I cannot image working on winches in front of the wheels during big waves and strong winds-ergonomic position but more important you are not protected from elements. I think that if the boat is single or double handed the boat have to be driven by autopilot 95% of time. Using tillers on a 15m log boat is dedicated to a few very experience guys that are racing not fast cruising with the family. Also, the forces are really big and I doubt that my wife would be happy to steer the Pogo 50 even in normal conditions. The FC53 that is not in the same budget range as Ocenatec 50 but is an evolution of Pogo 50 they are using the same winch layout with the only exception of the pod for mainsail (sheet and traveller).
    -interior: for what I saw the interior is really different from Pogo’s and is more Vismara style. Regardsing teh interior my comment is that the kitchen is not big enough for long voyages.
    -keel: for my knowledge the only keel system that works in terms of reliably and performance that also does not need constant maintenance is socket type fixed keel. Besides this you cannot achieve the lowest possible VCG with the lifting mechanism and without bulb. From my point of view is more a decision what is more important security and performance or being able to reach a shallow port.
    -Tanks: I totally agree with you that the gas tank is way to small so I hope that this is a mistake in the spec.
    -Water ballast; the performance gain in double handed sailing is quite big as you can not move people to a rail. It depends of the design but in general you start filling tanks in 8 to 10kts. Besides this ballast are really useful in heavy seas. I have to mention that FC 53 also have also ballast. Cigale is a really great boat but in term of performance is not really comparable with fc53 or Oceantec 50.
    In the end I found this concept really nice as is really something new on the market-nice looking, fast ,easy to maintain, well protected cockpit, sail locker connected with the front cabin,..…. .
    I was in Genova and all 50ft boats (X-yachts, Solaris,…) are completely the same in terms of layout and deck-you have to check the label in order to know on which boat you are. All cockpits are really nice looking and shallow but this Mediterranean concept has been pushed too far. The biggest disappointment was X-yachts X49(only one example is the position of a traveler car) and the biggest positive surprise was GS 48 race.
    Please let me know your opinion.
    Thank you.

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  2. Hi,

    Regarding the winch setup you are quite right: the setup, like the one on Oceantec 50 is designed to work with tillers, not wheels. The Pogo 50 is offered on the two versions and knowledgeable owners chose the tiller version. The wheel version is there for comercial reasons only.

    Regarding the forces to be big on a 50ft boat I am not sure. As you know racing 60ft IMOCA use tillers and the forces are hugely bigger on those boats. These are light boats and I believe that the force you would make on them have to do with the boat being well regulated or not in what regards sail trimming.

    Regarding the keel I don't think you are right. First these swing keels are a lot more fat on the bottom, forming a kind of bulb and secondly I saw once a comparison between the different keels offered on the Jeanneau 349, being one of them a torpedo keel and other a swing keel. The swing keel was lighter, offering the same RM, meaning more efficient regarding the weight.

    Off course that is only possible because with a swing keel you can have more draft and that is the case with the Pogo 50 versus the Oceantec 50. Off course, it needs more maintenance but a 3.5m fixed keel would be impractical for cruising and a boat that has a 1.5m draft is a joy in what regards to be able to go to all ports and stay protected really close to the shore on anchorages. Many boats use now that type of keel and I have not heard about problems.

    That med concept that you talk about has not only to do with looks but also with hull characteristics more adapted to the med where many times de wind is light and the more used point of sail is upwind.

    In some days you will have the Middle Sea Race, this year with a great number of boats and several cruising Pogos. I predict that the Pogos are going to stay well behind boats with that med concept of hull, boats less good on autopilot downwind but much better upwind and on light conditions, specially with some waves. Note that is not a upwind race but a race where you usually get all types of winds, very typical med conditions.

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