Thursday, February 28, 2019

GRAND SOLEIL 48, PERFORMANCE AND RACE VERSIONS


The GS 48 was not at Dusseldorf and that was a disappointment. The boat was nominated for boat of the year so it was expected at the show but they did not finish the one meant to be there on time and they opted to show again the GS 52 LC, from the cruising line.

Performance above, Race below
But the GS 48 is on the water, there are photos and movies, there is more knowledge about the boat including ballast, so I will try to sumarize my general impressions, regarding design and building characteristics of the two versions, that are in fact three since the boat can be built using vinylester resin/eglass, epoxy/eglass and epoxy/carbon, having as core on the sandwich, close cell PVC foam.

Below, Solaris 47
Only the two more sophisticated versions use infusion techniques, the basic one (vinylester resin) uses hand lamination and has the main bulkhead in composite, glassed to the hull. On  the two other versions the four main bulkheads are all in composite.

There is a huge difference in building quality and techniques that makes the weight difference between the carbon version and the performance version seem too small, considering that it has also a 40% lighter furniture, carbon spars and a considerably bigger draft. The weight difference is only 1000kg.

The more inexpensive version weights 11500kg while the Race version weights 10500kg. The weight of the carbon race version is on the heavy side for a boat that is designed with top racing in mind, the bigger Mylius 50 weights 9900kg, the older  Marten 49 weighs 9500kg.

Above Swan 50, below GS 48
With the low tech version (performance), it is the opposite and the GS 48 Performance is lighter than boats with a superior built, using epoxy infusion and also light furniture boats like the XP 50 (11900 kg) or the Solaris 47 (12600kg). Maybe that can be explained with a significant difference in ballast?

In fact the XP 50 has a 5140kg ballast (43%), the Solaris 47 has 4320kg (34%) and the Grand Soleil 48 performance 4519 kg (39%) and yes, on the XP50 that difference in weight can be partially explained due to a bigger ballast (even if the the XP 50 has  a better built than the GS (basic version) but not on the Solaris 47 that is not only slightly smaller as it has also a superior built (vacuum infusion).

Note that Grand Soleil continues to not provide the ballast of the GS48 in neither of their versions. The ballast I mentioned was obtained through an unofficial source and can be wrong. Regarding draft the standard one on the race version is 3.00 meter and on the performance version 2.60.

Above Sly 54, below Solaris 47
The draft can be also 2.80 on both versions but what is going to limit more the cruising potential on the Mediterranean is the huge spade rudder, that does not vary with the versions, and that should have a draft of about 2.40m. That should raise a lot of concerns while med mooring to a quay.

The GS 48 has a classical type of hull, a bit like the one of the XP 50 but with more beam  than the the XP, more beam than the Solaris 47 (4.50, 4.41, 4.36m) but much less than the Oceanis 48 or the Hanse 495 type of hull (4.74, 475m) , comparable in beam to the Jeanneau SO 479 (4.49) but with a hull with finer entries and a different transom.

And that transom is a bit odd. Marco Lostuzzi, the boat designer seems to like that shape a lot because more than 10 years ago he was already designing it on the Sly yachts and since then they don't seem to have changed much.
I confess that I didn't like those transoms 10 years ago and I like them even less now. Sure, they will provide a very good performance with light winds, they will make the hull stiffer at relatively low angles of heel but will not provide any extra hull form stability at higher heel angles, like on the ones used to go hard close hauled.


Just compare that transom to the ones of the Solaris 47, Swan 50 and you will see what I mean. Sure both boats, contrary to the GS have the max beam pulled aft but even on fast designs that don't have that characteristic (J99) we can see that the transom curve is much less abrupt than the one on the Sly or on the GS, giving hull form stability and support when the boat sails with high angles of heel.

On both GS 48 versions the running rigging is completely different: the race version uses a traditional set up with 6 winches plus two!! for working the back-stay. Seems complicated and expensive having two winches just for the back-stay instead of a hydraulic system. The performance version has only 4 winches, near the wheel.

The race version uses lateral travelers, like the ones we start to see in several boats,  to trim perfectly a jib or a small genoa. I have no real racing experience and I don't know how helpful they are in comparison to the 3D systems that are used on racing. They seem expensive but easy to work with...but they will add weight too.

On the performance version the 4 winches will be enough if one uses a self tacking jib (that is included) but with a genoa or a geenaker two more will be needed to work the sails with ease. For sure they can be mounted on the place where they are mounted on the race version, on the side, on a nice place to work with them. I believe that, with that addition, the running  rigging will work just fine.

There is a nice traveler for the genoa over the cabin  but it does not have a traveler for the mainsheet (boom). I confess that I don't understand why. Sure that it will only allow a bit better mainsail trim but is it not what  performance boats and performance sailing is about?

It is supposed that the ones that buy performance boats like to trim their sails as best as possible, it is part of the fun and the same can be said in what regards the six winch set-up, in what regards easy and fast trimming. That's an important factor that distinguishes performance boats from non performance boats: the ability to better, faster, and easier trim the sails.



This line of thought applies also to the the general concept of the two versions. One that buys a performance boat will want it light and powerful, at least if one has the means to pay for it and most owners use them only sporadically for racing and much more for cruising, so they will want a well built light boat but also one with a light but beautiful interior.

That happens on other carbon boats, for instance the Arcona 465 or the Mylius 50, but on the Grand Soleil 48, if  the interior is very nice (but heavier) on the low specs version, on the higher specs version the interior looks ugly and badly designed.



It can be very light and  it can look nice and be well designed. As an example of bad design look at those interrupted metal bars over shelves that are supposed to hold books in the salon or hold personal items and clothes in the cabin: it is obvious that they will not work for what they were designed for and are completely useless, them and the shelves.

Surely on the luxury market there are sailors that can and want to have a top performer with a very nice and good cruising interior and in that respect the Grand Soleil 48 fails to provide, they will have to look elsewhere and it is a pity because in what regards cruising if offers, contrary to other yachts, a good storage space, having a sail locker at the bow and a big locker aft under the cockpit.



Unfortunately it does not offer any cockpit locker under the seats since all the space is used on the aft cabins. Annoying since those lockers are very useful to store small items that are used frequently and reaching or finding something small on the big storage space under the cockpit will be complicated.

Obviously the boat price will be specially important, mainly on the low specs version and it seems they have made all the efforts to have a basic GS48 at the lowest possible cost. That version can be interesting as an alternative for the ones that are not specially interested in a performance boat but on a fast, no thrills, safe and elegant boat with a nice interior, kind of an upgrade in what regards building quality and stability over mass production boats, but regarding that it will only make sense if they can make it less expensive or at least with the same price of the 46LC (considering that it is bigger).



Unfortunately, like on the ballast, they don't disclose the prices. I mean if you ask them they will tell you, but I don't like this kind of secrecy policy that leads nowhere. Sailors should be provided with all the information regarding sailboats on the market. If the numbers are good their disclosure can only be favorable in what regards selling boats and shipyard reputation.

The Grand Soleil 48, even if not exciting or innovative, offers a kind of classical elegance that will not pass unnoticed and being more beamy than what it looks, if the ballast numbers are true, it will be a powerful boat and a fast one. Regarding its performance on the race course we will have to wait and see but I  don't believe it will be a match for boats like the Mylius 50, the Swan 50 or even the older Marten 49.

Friday, February 22, 2019

2019 CARIBBEAN 600


This edition was marked by the Mod 70 trimaran Argus capsize, just before the race. The start was delayed to recover the boat that, having in consideration the accident, had a good race performance, finishing 2nd overall.

Argo capsized viewed from Maserati
The Caribbean 600 becomes  bigger every year and on the 2019 edition 75 yachts participated. Unfortunately here a small yacht is a 50ft boat and not many with less than that make the race, with the exception of pure racing boats and in what regards those the 40 class racers are very popular here, and with a good reason.

Looking at the video from the beginning of the race, with the yachts pounding hard upwind, we could wonder why, but the fact is that those images are misleading, this is mostly a beam reach/broad reach race with some downwind sailing and only two small upwind legs.

Cover Cookson 50, above the winning class 40
The class 40 racers and derived cruisers, like the Pogo, that have a poor performance on the Mediterranean races and races with lots of upwind sailing, have a good performance here.

Regarding their performance it is funny that cruiser sailors tend to have about them a more positive overall image than what they deserve, while it is the opposite with racing sailors, specially med racers. I have heard many racers saying that they are slow boats.

Pogo 50 Maremosso
In fact they are excellent designs and very fast for what they are designed to do and are size by size almost unbeatable on a transat. On this race we can see that what they lose on the smaller upwind legs is much less than what they gain on the longer beam reach/broad reach legs. 

They are not great sailing with the wind dead downwind but they don't lose that much and since situations of weak winds are very rare here, they had an overall good performance.

Marten 49
The 40 class racers were the first 40ft boats to finish, among much bigger yachts and very close to two very fast carbon racers that made a great race, a Ker 46 and a Carkeek 47 and at only three hours from the fastest 50ft racer, the carbon canting keeler Cookson 50  Kuka 3.

And it was not only one 40 class racer that was fast but a trio, that came few minutes apart, leaving behind a Swan 80,  a Swan 66, a Volvo 60 and 2nd Cookson 50. 

Ker 46 Lady Mariposa
If the conditions suited the 40class racers, they suited also the two Pogos cruisers racing, a 12.50 and a 50. Of course, I am not talking about positions in handicap racing where they will always be too penalized. I am talking about positions in real time and about sailing fast.

The Pogo 50 arrived in the middle of the slower 40 class racers, ahead of a Santa Cruz 52, a Whitbread 60 and way ahead of a Farr 65 and a XP 55. It was the 2nd 50ft cruiser racer to arrive, not far from the all carbon Marten 49, a hugely more expensive sailboat and a very fast one too.

Pogo 12.50 Hermes
The Pogo 12.50 made even comparatively better, it was the first 40ft cruiser racer to arrive, very close to the Farr 65, ahead of the XP 55, the XP 44, a Swan 57 and a Solaris 44 leaving the 2nd 40ft cruiser racer, a well sailed J122 at considerable distance.

For the ones that like to understand how the performance of the sailboats varies with different types of hulls, according to different types of conditions and sail positions, I recommend to follow the race of the Pogo 12.50 Hermes and the J145 Katara on the race plotter, using predict wind data.

J145
They fought all the race and it is very curious to see how the Pogo went away quickly on a beam reach and how the J145 closes while beating upwind. Fascinating stuff. http://yb.tl/C6002019#

The J145 after having lost a lot of time on the long beam reach leg ended up recovering on the downwind and upwind smaller legs finishing very near but ahead of the Pogo. But it is good to remember that we are talking about a 40ft versus a 45ft. The other fast 40fter, a J122 made a great race and finished in compensated well ahead of the Pogo (20th and 27th)but in real time way back, needing more  4 hours and a half to finish the race.

Bieker 53
Without Cheyenne or Rambler, with ideal conditions, the multihulls had a great race and at the finish the distance from the two MOD 70 (Maserati won) to the first monohull, a Volvo Open 70, was huge.

Surprisingly the Volvo arrived with the 53ft Bieker catamaran very close behind. It seems that when it does not capsize (as on the last edition) the Bieker is a hell of a sailing machine leaving  at a great distance not only the bigger Gunboat 62 but also the foiling DNA F4 and the two older Multi 50 derived trimarans. Quite a performance.

Mod 70 Maserati
Also good the performance of the foiling Black Pepper code1  Black Soul (40ft carbon daysailer), that arrived just a little bit ahead of the Pogo 12.50 and very good the performance of a 37ft racer, a Reichel&Pugh design (Taz) that arrived after the Pogo and side by side with the XP 55.

http://www.rorc.org/raceresults/2019/rc600-ircov01.html

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

DUSSELDORF BARGAINS: BENTE 39


Very different from the Viko, also made in Poland, this one was supposed to be also a low cost sailboat  but, contrary to the Viko, not an entry level one but  a good quality performance yacht. The 145 000 euros initially announced price for a ready to sail boat (no taxes included) seemed too good to be true.

In Dusseldorf the boat on exhibition was an upgraded version and at 307 800 euros (without taxes) it was not an inexpensive boat and even if it was well equipped there were plenty of details to be revised:

The doors, the ones inside and the one outside, had not a fixation point, the cabin door opens to the outside obstructing the galley, the raised chart pilot seat is very uncomfortable, there is no ventilation over the stove, the ventilation on the cabin is insufficient, there are no shades (and they will be absolutely indispensable due to the large glass area) and the standing height is low in many parts of the boat.

The finish is painted plywood and average, not bad but worse than on a RM, that uses the same type of interior construction and finish. The interior space is a very nice and modern one  and the feeling is good even if the forward standing height in the saloon is low and inconvenient. To go to the forward cabin you will have to bend.

I like the shape of the boat but I don't like the design that much. Confused? The shape of the boat has to do with the drawing (nice or ugly), design has to do with the shape regarding functionality and that's where I have some doubts.

The shape of the glass cabin allows for interior standing height (not in all the saloon), for a raised pilot seat with view all around, providing a lot of light to the interior but its wedge shape makes it high on the cockpit, partially blocking the vision forward from the steering wheels.

Not completely, but on a sportive boat you want to have a good vision of the waves ahead. It is important for the pleasure of sailing to have the ability to chose your seaway and that is denied by that structure that has the advantage of providing an interior pilot station and lots of light but at the cost of a  very high interior temperature on hot sunny days.

Also, on those days, while at anchor, it does not also allow a good cockpit ventilation and the ones that sail on the Mediterranean or Caribbean know how that is important. Maybe adapted for sailing on the Baltic or on high latitudes but nor on warm climates, where most sail.

Below, Pogo 12.50 transom
In what regards having a view forward while sailing on more or less sportive boats, JPK, Pogo, RM or Allures have solutions that do not create the disadvantages that will be experienced on the Bente 39.

 Sure, the all around view is better and that would make sense on a boat that would be sailed from the interior most of the time but I don't think that will be the case with most Bente owners.

Regarding the hull I have only good things to say: very nice from the bow to the transom that is not one maximized for solo sailing but for overall good performance. We could argue that a solo sail type of transom would make the boat easier to sail solo fast, especially downwind and that it would make the use of an autopilot easier but this transom will make the boat faster overall, specially upwind and will increase its racing potential.

At Dusseldorf they had prices for three different boat configurations, one that they call Standard (166 000 euros), another called Average Family Cruiser (207 020 euros) and The Ocean Challenger (345 785 euros) all the prices without any taxes and at the factory. There is a basic difference between the most expensive version and the other two and that is boat stability and power.

Most boats offer the same overall stability and about the same righting moment curve with different drafts. The designers just compensate on the ballast, adding more on the versions with swallow drafts. Not a different  stability, just a boat some hundred kg heavier.

That is not the same on the Bente 39 where the Ocean Challenger, with a 2.55m draft, is a more powerful boat than the two other versions, able to carry considerably more sail area. It is not only a considerably faster boat but also one with a better overall stability, higher AVS and better safety stability. It will also be a more structurally reinforced boat.

As you can see on the previous post about this boat I had already noticed that something odd was going on with the boat ballast. I was assuming that all the versions would have a similar overall stability and that was not the case. Well, that's explained:
https://interestingsailboats.blogspot.com/2018/10/bente-39-inexpensive-and-looking-good.html

In fact the ballast on the two versions, the one with a 1.95m draft and the other with 2.55m is quite similar with a difference of only 100kg (or 200, according to different sources).

Those 60cm difference in draft, considering that most of the ballast  is on a lead torpedo (2000kg) at the end of a narrow fin, makes for a huge difference in RM that could only be compensated with about more 400kg ballast on the shorter keel version.

Anyway, regarding the less powerful version, the Family Cruiser, with a 1.95m draft, it has a  39.5% B/D providing already an unusually high overall stability and  lots of power, specially if we consider the high hull form stability. The more powerful version should have a not very different B/D, (lighter boat with just a bit less ballast) but those extra 60cm in draft will give it a lower CG and will make it a hugely powerful sailboat that will love to sail in demanding conditions and lots of wind.

Above Bente, 39 Below Pogo 12.50
Power does not come cheap and the Bente 39 is not an expensive boat for what it offers but that comes always with a price. Let's forget those 145 000 euros for a ready to sail boat. The standard version does not have sails, not even a furler for the frontal sails, does not have an integrated bowsprit and with a basic interior costs already 21 000 euros more.

The real ready to sail boat, that includes sails, basic sail hardware, a foldable propeller, very basic electronics,  a 100Ah battery for the house (60Ah for the engine), only 200L water tankage, without a windlass winch, costs 62 020 euros more  than the first announced price.

No, I am not saying that it is expensive, it is not, only that I don't like incredible price claims that in the end cannot be met. On that respect the Viko S35 is a better example.

The Ocean Challenger costs 200 758 euros more than the announced first price (more than the double) and even more if one chooses a swing keel that unfortunately will not generate the RM of the deep keel but the one of the swallow keel (and unfortunately because it would not be difficult to manage that). So, what explains this huge difference in price between this version and the Family cruiser?

Deeper 2.55 performance keel, 3 hull portlights (per side), two GRP wheels instead of two GRP tillers, composite light weight interior, salon table with a wood finish, one extra refrigerator, electric windlass winch, communication hatch, cockpit table,  cockpit upholstery, 6 mooring cleats (instead of four), bigger winches, one of them electric, better sail hardware, better sails (including a geenaker and a code 0), carbon mast, better electronics, radar, VHF radio and antena, marine radio with outside speakers, bigger engine (28hp to 39hp), better propeller, additional automatic bilge pump and a bow thruster.

Most of these things, with exception of the lighter interior, carbon mast and maybe higher quality sails and bow thuster will be options that most cruisers will want. If we consider an average VAT of 20% the price of the boat with all these extras will cost 414 942 euros.

The Pogo 12.50 costs standard a lot more, 234 538 versus 166 000 euros (without taxes) but it comes already with a carbon mast, carbon bowsprit, probably a standard better sail hardware and most of all with a swing keel. The Bente 39 can have all that but while they are standard on the Pogo they are optional on the Bente. If we mount all of them on the Bente probably both boats will have a very similar price.

Again, I am not saying that the Bente 39 is expensive, the Pogo is an inexpensive boat for the performance it offers, I am just trying to give a global panorama about prices.

Anyway even if both boats have some similitude in what regards offering a fast performance cruiser at low cost, the boats are very different starting by the hull that some would mistakenly take as similar when they are not and finishing in the interior, a nicer one on the Bente 39 a more practical one on the Pogo 12,50 that offers standard the double of the water tankage and almost the triple on the size of the refrigerator.

Just looking at the dimensions we can see that the length of both boats is not very different: the Pogo 12.50 is 12.18m and the Bente is 11.99m but we can see that the beam is very different: The Pogo is 4.5m and the Bente is 4.1m and most of all, due to the diference in beam, they have a different transom shape.

While the Pogo has a transom similar to the ones of the Class 40, that are solo transat racers, the Bente transom is based on the ones of oceanic crewed racers like TP52 or VOR racers.

The bow of the Bente is more modern, giving more buoyancy but really the main difference in what regards hull design lies on the beam and transom design and that is what makes both boats sailing characteristics different.

Alex, the owner of the shipyard, says he wanted to make "a defused Pogo, one that my girlfriend is happy to sail" and if  he got it wrong because the type of hull of the Pogo will make it easier to sail solo or even on autopilot.

 I do not mean that as a criticism just as a fact. In many aspects the Bente 39 hull has a better performance than the one of the Pogo (not on others). For sailing on the med (and that is what I like to do) the Bente 39 hull is a much more adapted one, probably with a better performance in light winds and certainly with a more comfortable motion and performance upwind. On a transat or on a circumnavigation on the trade winds, the Pogo will not only be an easier boat to sail but it will also be a faster one.

I would love to see a comparative on the water test between the Pogo 12.50, the Bente 39, the JPK 38FC the Django 12.70 and a fast more traditional performance cruiser like the XP38, a test that would take several days and allow the boats to be sailed in different conditions.

Normally on these tests, test sailors are very happy to sail fast boats downwind in semi planing or planing conditions but forget to make an all around comparative performance test. The last one I saw regarding this type of boats, several years ago, was a prototype of the Pogo 12.50 versus a Dufour 40e and curiously on a triangular type of regata circuit, with all kinds of wind directions, the overall speed was very similar and the Dufour 40e is not a particularly fast traditional cruiser-racer or performance boat if you want to call it that way.

Out of such a comparative test we can only have an idea about the comparative overall performance of these boats by the race results in real time where the Pogo 12.50 is not a very fast boat, if compared with more traditional performance cruisers, except if it is a downwind race, like a transat, especially one solo or duo.

I hope that some Bente 39 will do some serious racing to get some real information about comparative boat performance. Maybe we see it on the Silverruder, that has already been won by a JPK 38FC or in any of the others solo or duo races that start to be popular on the Baltic.

Curiously the running rigging of the Bente 39 is only adapted to solo sailing if the two tiller configuration is used and on the more expensive and upgraded version two wheels are used. We can see on the test sail below, made by Yacht.de what I mean.  Also the fixed cockpit table does not help standing in the way in what concerns sailing maneuvers.



The Bente 39 has been tested by several boat magazines and all said very well about the way the boat sails even if nobody has made any observation regarding beating angles upwind, an information I would like to know more about.

By the video images I can tell that it is well balanced and that the bow is very efficient keeping the nose up and contributing for a dry boat. Downwind, with not too much wind, the boat is kept  on the central part of the hull, dragging little water and making a clean wake indicating that probably it has a better performance than the Pogo in lighter winds.



Note that the interior on the video above by Yacht.de is from the boat version that costs with 20% VAT about 414 000 euros. You can read the boat test on yacht.de (you have to pay something to download it) or you can read online the one made by Sailing Today:
https://www.sailingtoday.co.uk/boats/boat-test-bente-39-with-gallery/
https://digital.yacht.de/de/profiles/edf7d6e8da08-yacht-browserclient/editions/yacht-25-26-2018


Friday, February 15, 2019

THE DUSSELDORF BARGAINS: VIKO S35


The Viko S35 looks as good in reality as in the photos and drawings and this is saying a lot: nice design, clean lamination, well done gel coat and tidy interior, made of american oak veneer with a quite pleasing design and a well integrated led illumination.

The interior looks solid but in fact cabinets and cabin doors are not really tight and if you force them around they will rattle. The door handles are a little flimsy, not strongly fixed and all around the boat needs some detailing that anybody with decent hands and some spare time can do, at a low cost.

The exposed boat had some extras among them the two wheel setup. It comes standard with only one wheel. Like on most other brands bigger winches can be mounted as well as a bigger engine and more batteries. The standard winches are Lewmar 30 and the standard engine a Yanmar 15hp. It comes with a dacron semi-batten main sail and a genoa.

Of course almost everybody will opt for a 20 or 30hp optional engine since 15hp on a 5.2T boat works only as an auxiliary engine, will want more than a single 60 A battery and will rather have teak on the cockpit that,by the way, is a very nice one, deep, large and with a good seating position with lots of back support.

The Viko S35 is well ventilated by an adequate number of hatches of good quality and in fact it looks quite "normal" taking into consideration the low price.

The sail hardware is quite complete, including a genoa track, a traveler track near the wheel and a boom-vang. Nothing looks particularly strong, quite the contrary, but probably it will be enough for coastal sailing where if something stops working a fix is not far away. The running rigging looks practical and traditional, using 4 winches and two groups of 4 halyard stoppers, one on each side, over the cabin.

What really looks very good is the hull and since it has a good B/D (36%) on a 1.95m keel I have no doubt that it will sail very well. The design is from the Italian cabinet of Sergio Lupoli yacht design that, without being a major one, is certainly competent.

The overall design is very good with a very well integrated cabin and a nice interior layout even if on the three cabin layout the aft cabins are on the small size and with a part (the one under the cockpit) with a really low height. The deep cockpit has here negative consequences and the aft cabins are only practical for one person not only due to that characteristic but also due to the short width between the engine box and the hull.

 The two cabin version has a much bigger head, a bigger salon with a small chart table with a seat, it offers a much bigger storage space but unfortunately, even if the aft cabin is bigger it offers not a much improved space since the height is the same as well as the width. For solving that problem the cabin would have to be transversal and not a longitudinal one.

That solution would imply not to have a dedicated charter table and a redesign of the head. It would be a much better solution since it would not only allow a decent height all around as it would increase the cabin width and length, that with only 1.86m will not be comfortable to many sailors.

The standing height on the boat is good having 1.92m at the entry and 1.70 on the forward cabin, that has a bed 2.00m long. The interior boat storage is also good, with two lockers on the forward cabin, one in each aft cabin and a considerable and practical storage on the galley area.

Outside, on the three cabin version, the storage is not enough for extensive cruising even if adequate for shorter cruising. It has no lateral lockers under the cockpit seats but has two deep lockers under the seats aft the wheels  that go all the way till the hull. The volume is big but the practicability not so much except for things like fenders. Smaller items will be very hard to reach since the opening is not big.

On the two cabin version it will have, besides these, a big storage space that will occupy the underside of the right cockpit seat and also part of the space that was occupied by the starboard cabin. That will make for a very good and practical storage on a 35ft boat. The chain locker without being big is deep and it will be enough for a fair amount of chain.

As I have said many times, all main mass production shipyards are saving money producing boats with a very good hull stability but with a low B/D. Managing to make an inexpensive boat with a relatively high B/D is what seems to me more extraordinary regarding the Viko 35 and I was really curious regarding the boat structure and keel fixation.

1900kg is a lot of weight, 1.95m is a considerable draft and the boat structure and keel attachment to deal with the involved efforts have to be considerable....and expensive to make. For that reason I wanted to have a good look at them, but the floor boards on the boat were screwed in and it was not possible to have a look at any of that.

I  talked  with the German Viko dealer that not only was not interested in showing that part of the boat but also told a strange story about industrial secrets and not revealing them to the competition.

Quite surrealistic stuff, I would say, as if the boat had some kind of high tech building that they wanted to maintain secret. He ended up saying that the bottom on the keel area was 5cm thick and pointing to the massive steel structure, exposed by X yachts on a nearby stand, that it was something like that but made of composite material.

I was not impressed, quite the contrary, I was strongly convinced that he did not know what he was talking about. I remember seeing once the keel attachment on a Viko 30s keel and it did not seem to me particularly strong. I certainly would not buy a Viko S35 without more information about the way the boat structure is built, without having a good look at it and the way the keel is bolted.



As I have said, the thing that amazes me most on this boat is how they have managed a relatively high B/D ratio maintaining the boat price very low and it is very important to know if that was not made at the cost of the boat resistance and strength and if shortcuts were not taken on this area.

This is the biggest Viko boat to date so it cannot be said that they have experience with boats of this size  and I cannot give you any information regarding boat structure. The visit at the boat in Dusseldorf did not provide any and the shipyard on their site do not give any information or images regarding the way the boat is built, namely in what regards boat structure or bulkheads. A pity since the boat really looks interesting.



I  guess you would have to find for yourself, or by buying one and seeing what happens (or not) or going to Poland and visit to the shipyard, assuming they will allow that, to see how the boat is built. Anyway, if you get more information on that aspect please share it here.

The above video was published by Yacht.de, and in it Michael Good makes a good report about the boat, unfortunately in German, for the ones that don't understand it, but you can still have a look at the explicit images. You can learn more about the Viko S35 and about its price here:
https://interestingsailboats.blogspot.com/2019/01/viko-s35-beauty-for-less-than-54-000.html