Thursday, December 6, 2018


I have already talked about this very unusual boat when it was being built but since then the boat is on the water and two major sail magazines sail tested it and the results were better than I hoped for. No wonder since the design is by David Raison and follows the lines of his mini racer designs, the ones that have been dominating the mini transat on the last years.

But the Revolution 29 is a lot heavier and I was afraid that the performance was not there. I was wrong: Voile and Voiliers, the French magazine made a 150nm test on the boat in hard conditions, blowing between 20 and 29k and they loved the boat and the way it sails. 

On a beam reach with 20kt of wind the average speed was around 8kt!!! With a gennaker and on a broad reach the speed was around 10 with a maximum speed of 15.8kt!!! Later with an increasing wind (25 sustained) they sailed with main and genoa “at a more reasonable speed”. 

This type of hull offers maximum form stability and a decent B/D (28% with a draft of 2.60m) what makes for a stiff boat that will excel on a beam reach and downwind. Obviously the strong sailing point of this boat is not upwind but they said that the performance was not bad and that if the boat is hand steered it can, sailing close hauled, pass frontal waves without losing too much speed, even if the boat tends to slam. 

Without significant waves this boat has no problem sailing upwind. Even with waves it can power on, since it has a lot of power and stability, but the wave drag is big, resulting in an uncomfortable ride and the need of opening the angle to increase speed and decrease drag. The compromise is not that bad because the boat is powerful but not as good as a more conventional fast yacht with the same size. 

The German magazine Yacht de. tested the boat with very light winds and the numbers are good, except in what regards wind angle upwind, that is not as good as on a more conventional fast boat: with 6k wind at 50º-4.8kt, at 60º-5.2kt, at 90º-5.5kt, at 120º(gen)–5kt, at 150º(gen)–3.9k. 

The big advantage of this kind of hull for cruising is the maximized interior space, about 30% more than on a conventional boat and I have to say that the interior space is here very well treated making it an interesting proposition for a couple to live aboard for extensive periods. 

The outside area, including the cockpit, is also maximized and it has a nice finish with projected cork that contributes to the insulation, gives a very good adherence and a nice touch. The running rigging is well thought for a tiller set up and according to the ones that test sailed it, everything works fine.

The Germans complained about boat ventilation, lack of insulation and about a not very detailed boat, the French complained about the position of the engine command and about the size of the aft winches, too small for the forward sails. All the rest was pretty much positive with a lot of interesting features like a very good navigation berth and a huge traveler for the main. 

Looking at the boat dimensions we can see that it is not as wide as it looks, with 3.50m it has 20cm less than the Pogo, 8cm more than the RM 890 and 5cm more than the Mojito 888. In what regards displacement the Revolution with 4000 kg is considerably heavier. 

The Pogo 30 displaces 2800kg, the RM 890 3200kg and the Mojito 888 2850kg. Being heavier is not necessarily a negative point since it will give the boat a bigger overall stability and that can be important on a small offshore voyage boat. It makes it just a different proposition, closer to the RM than to the Pogo, in what regards performances.

The Revolution has a 28% B/D on a swing keel with 2.60m draft that compares with 30% on the RM with the 1.90m keel version, 34% of the Pogo with the 1.93 fixed keel version and the 31% of the Mojito with a 2,25m swing keel. A bit better on the Pogo, but values that will give a not very different AVS and reserve stability, a good one as it is mandatory for small class A sailboats. 

Regarding SA/D the Revolution has 26, a value similar to the other compared boats, 24 for the RM, 27 for the Pogo and 28 for the Mojito. The difference and what makes it a different type of boat is on the D/L, with 224 for the Revolution, 131 for the RM, 102 for the Pogo and 121 for the Mojito.

For the ones that don’t know what these numbers mean, the bigger the SA/D the more sail the boat carries for the weight, the smaller the D/L the lighter is the boat for its size. Above 20 SA/D means a lot of sail area for the weight and regarding D/L those numbers mean that the Revolution is a middle weight boat while all the others are light boats. 

The Revolution 29 comes standard with a 18hp engine with 30hp option, a 100L diesel tank and a 90L water tank, with space for a supplementary water tank if needed. It has two cabins, being the frontal one open to the saloon with the possibility of being closed and a huge space for storage, on the back of the boat and a bit everywhere. 

It can have a nice arch over the transom for solar panels (see the photos on French test)and a lot of options including heating and that makes the price to vary a lot. From about 100 000 euro to the 170 000 for a top equipped boat with a swing keel (the one on the French test). The prices are without taxes. With European VAT we will be talking about a bit over 200 000 euro for a true mini globe trotter. 

A boat like this could not come cheaper and the price is interesting, just a bit more expensive than the other compared boats. A Pogo 30 costs around 100 000, the Mojito 90 000, the RM 104 000, all prices without tax. A ready to sail well equipped boat will cost significantly more, depending on equipment needed and chosen. Yes, that’s a bitch; boats are expensive and really good ones considerably more than mass production boats.

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