Saturday, April 10, 2021


If you are a follower of this blog you have noticed that, more and more, posts are about big yachts, some bigger than 50ft, and believe me, not because I have a bigger interest in them than in smaller ones, but because new and interesting sailboats are appearing mostly among big yachts to the point of becoming rare among smaller sailboats.

I believe this has to do with price and sailor's options. Interesting sailboats, many times imply better materials and superior boatbuilding and therefore tend to be more expensive.  And if the boat is more expensive it makes sense to buy a bigger boat that costs the same price, offers more interior space, is as fast, with bigger overall stability. Regarding bigger yachts, this is less true because sailors are buying the size they want, independently of how much they will cost.

The only remaining niche where we can still find small interesting sailboats is among the ones that are used mostly for racing, cruiser-racers, more pointed to racing than cruising, and true racing boats. and That's the case with Aeolos P30, that is a racing sailboat, one that is pointed more to offshore solo or duo coastal races even if it can be also used in crewed coastal regattas.

The Aeolos P30 is truly a very interesting sailboat, one that will have a great sailing performance and probably will smoke in real-time any other 30ft racer in a single or duo offshore race: it was designed to do that by a very experienced racer, a specialist in this kind of races that used to win them in a Farr 280.

The other boat designed with the same program: winning in real-time coastal offshore races on a 30ft sailboat, is the Dehler 30OD and the Dehler will not stand a chance against the Aeolos, unless very particular conditions are met, with strong winds and a very disproportional downwind sailing...and even so I have doubts that it will be faster.

Dehler 30 OD
Contrary to the Dehler the Aeolos is a full carbon/epoxy boat and all in it is maximized to save weight. The Dehler interior, which allows for some spartan cruising, looks luxurious when compared with the one of the Aeolos, which is bare, with just some cushions to sleep and a support for a laptop. 

The interior remembers me of my first boat, a 23ft traditional 80-year-old wooden sailboat with a covered full deck and an open interior. My wife and I sailed it along the Portuguese coast, more than 40 years ago, living inside (and mostly outside), for several weeks. 

Dehler 30 OD
Like in this one the head was a chamber pot, the difference is that on this one it is a carbon one LOL. Times have changed and now, instead of emptying it overboard when there was nobody around, they propose to store the pee and shit on plastic bags to dispose of on land.

Well, not very practical, it is to stretch things in a radical way, but that is what this boat is about, and this spartan approach allows it to have a lower price than the one of the Dehler 30 OD. 

Dehler 30 OD
Of course, the Dehler includes an expensive inside engine, while Aeolos will use a small 6hp outboard engine in a removable motor plug, that can also take an E-POD drive 6hp electric motor. 

The well will be closed, when the engine is not in use, allowing for a clean hull and less drag.

Farr 280
All in this boat is spartan, cleverly designed, functional, aiming to save weight and maximize performance. The only concession to performance is the beam, which is limited to what it is possible for the boat to be trailerable. Even so, it is not a big trade-off because they use a special trailer that tilts the boat and they manage to have the required width (2.55m)  with a 2.95m beam. 

Aeolos P30
The concession to performance due to limitations on beam is small because the optimal beam for such a boat should be between 3.10 and 3.30m, assuming that it is used mostly in coastal offshore races, where generally there is a bit more beam reaching and downwind sailing than upwind sailing. 

And if it is a small concession in what regards performance, on offshore coastal races, in what regards crewed traditional regattas between buoys, the beam is probably the right one (or very close) for providing the better performance on traditional regattas, that normally have the same distance upwind and downwind. This is even more true if the wind is in between 12 and 14 kts.

Nothing to do with the big beam compromise L30 (the boat chosen by World Sailing for the World Sailing's Offshore World Championship 2020) assumes, regarding overall sailing performance, to be trailerable without a tilting system: a 2.55m beam. That beam compromises the sailing potential of a 30ft boat, slightly on traditional regattas, but much more when the boat is used solo or duo on coastal offshore races, especially if they are solo or duo crewed.

The Dehler 30 OD, with a sailing program similar to the Aeolos P30, has a 3.28m beam, the 32ft Figaro3, 3.40m. Solo racers maximized for beam reaching and downwind sailing have more beam: most racing boats from the 9.50 Class (31ft) had a beam between 3.6 and 3.7m and the Pogo 30 has a 3.5m beam.

Out of that limitation, the Aeolos P30 is truly maximized for performance, offering much more spray protection and interior space than other fast racers like the Farr 280, Soto 30 or Fareast 28R, offering also more power, more stability and a rigging adapted to solo or duo sailing.

If we compare the Aeolos 30 design data with the one of the Dehler 30 OD we will understand clearly why the racing potential of this sailboat is extraordinary: both boats have the same hull length:  9.14m (30ft), with a similarly long bowsprit, that will give them a close LOA, one that is not specified on the Aeolos and it is 10.30m on the Dehler. 

The Dehler is considerably beamier, with 3.28m while the Aeolos has 2.95m. The Aeolos is much lighter, with 1530kg (including a 6hp outboard engine), while the Dehler, with a 10hp diesel engine, displaces 2800kg. Both have similar torpedo keels with the same draft (2.20m) but the Aeolos has a lifting keel that allows it to be moored in shallow water (0.5m) and allows it to be easily charged on a trailer without the help of a crane.

Above,Dehler, below, Aelos
The ballast is not very different, 940kg on the Dehler, 800kg on the Aeolos, but because the Aeolos is much lighter that gives it a much bigger B/D (52.3% to 33,6%). The bigger RM/D that comes from the Aeolos keel will be partially compensated by the Dehler superior hull form stability and also by 200kg of water ballast, but all that increases weight and drag, and in the end the Aeolos will have a considerably better power/drag relation.

And if we look at the sail areas we will see that even if the Aeolos is much lighter and has less drag,  they are not very different. Aeolos with 57.3m2 upwind, 144.8m2 downwind and the Dehler with 61.7m2 upwind and 133.5m2 downwind. This indicates that the Aeolos is a much more powerful sailboat, one that will have a considerably better performance in all points of sail and sail conditions, maybe, except downwind with very strong winds.

In lighter and medium winds the Aeolos will smoke the Dehler and that big difference in sail potential is somewhat reflected on the SA/D and D/L, that are both much more favorable (in what regards racing) to the Aeolos. The Aelos has a 58.9D/L, the Dehler 109.9, a huge difference and the difference in SA/D is also big: upwind the Aelos has 43.9SA/D, the Dehler 31.6 and downwind the Aeolos has 111SA/D, the Dehler 68.4.

How does the Aeolos manage this huge difference in sail potential to the Dehler? Basically with a much lighter boat with a much bigger B/D. The lighter boat is obtained with better building materials and with a much lighter interior, a truly racing interior. That means an almost naked interior. Big savings in weight comes also from the option of an outboard on a pod versus a much heavier diesel engine.

So, what are the building differences that allow the Aeolos to be much lighter? The Dehler has a GRP hull and deck, built in vacuum infusion with PVC sandwich core using polyester resins (vinylester only on hull outer layer), the Aeolos has a full carbon-infusedsa ndwich hull and deck using epoxy resins. The materials used on Aeolos allow the same strength with a much-reduced weight (and are also much more expensive).

On the Aeolos the boom, the bowsprit, the tiller and tiller extension, as well as all interior, are made of carbon. On the Dehler, the boom and the tiller and extension are made of aluminum, all the rest is GRP, except the mast and some carbon fibers on the boat structure (fiberglass and carbon). The Aeolos does not have a proper head, much less a black water tank or a 40l flexible water tank with a manual pump or a mini galley, like on the Dehler, and all that saves weight. 

But who cares for the interior comfort if the boat is used for racing?  All that is necessary for two to live in a boat for 2 or 3 days, while racing, is not much and it can be easily improvised. For cruising, it is another story and the Aeolos, in what regards that, it is truly a camping boat.

 Well, when I was young I have cruised in a boat with a similarly naked interior, with my wife, for more than a month at the time, and we were quite happy about it. It is up to you to find the right kind of girl, one that goes along with it, or else you really will need another type of boat, unless this one is used only for racing or solo cruising.

I am quite sure that if there is a demand for it, they will figure out a better carbon interior, a small galley and a true head with some privacy, as well as a water tank and a black water tank. But as it is this is already a remarkable boat with an incredible price: it costs standard (first orders) 84 000 €, and that is 30 900€ less than a standard Dehler 30 OD (prices without tax at the factory). With a proper interior and inside diesel engine there is no way this boat will cost less than the Dehler and it has to be much more expensive, due to the incomparably superior cost of the carbon/epoxy boatbuilding.

Even considering that the Dehler comes with more cruising equipment (but not better equipped for racing or sailing) it is hard to understand how they are able to sell the Aeolos for this price. I would say that this is a promotional price for the first yachts and that it will be impossible to maintain this low price.

If I was a young guy interested in sailing and racing, and I had the means, I would be very interested in this boat, that truly corresponds to the image that was given to Dehler 30OD, the one of a racer that would be almost unbeatable, size by size, in solo or two-handed offshore coastal races, and a yacht that will be a lot of fun to sail. 

Like the Dehler it is a small seaworthy boat, but while the Dehler comes already certified as Class A, the Aeolos comes certified Class B. It can be certified optionally as Class A, but for that, it needs extra equipment. The Dehler, due to its bigger displacement has an overall bigger stability but the Aeolos has better dynamic stability, better safety stability and AVS. Both offer good potential for offshore sailing and in the right season they will have no problems crossing the Atlantic, with a reasonable safety margin.

Some doubts can be raised because the Aeolos was not designed, like the Dehler, by a reputable sailboat designer, and built by a reputable shipyard.  I know of several very experienced sailors that basically designed their own boats, with some external help, some giving origin to famous brands, even if on the Aeolos the concerns can be bigger, due to the type of yacht, a very fast and light carbon racer.

Regarding hull design, I don't see any problem, the hull is very similar to the one of the Farr 280 with a modern bow, not very different from the one of the Dehler 30 OD, a bow that will provide more buoyancy and will prevent the boat from digging in the waves, helping to keep on planning. It has just a bit more length than the Farr (9.14m to 8.72), a bit beamier (2.95m to 2.87), more powerful, with a bigger draft (2.20m to 2.10) and a bigger B/D (52,3% to 40.6%).

Like the Farr the Aeolos has a deep single rudder, but mounted on an innovative smart cassette system, that  allows to pull the rudder up, when the keel is up. It will also allow for a very easy replacement in case the rudder breaks, due to contact with some submerged object.

Performance-wise, the single rudder on a relatively narrow hull will have more advantages than disadvantages. Only while beam reaching in oceanic strong conditions some slight advantage may be felt, while on all other conditions and situations the single rudder will have advantages.

The Farr 280 is built using an epoxy/e-glass sandwich, the Aeolos, epoxy/carbon sandwich. That allows the Aeolos to be lighter, but the biggest difference is due to a very different hull structure.  While on the Farr a more traditional one is used, with a big frame reinforced by some longitudinal beams (under the deck), the one on the Aeolos is more modern, with two main carbon bulkheads that hold a carbon box for the keel and three longitudinal frames, one forward, two aft.

 It looks well to me, even if on the drawings the substructure for the forward hatch is missing. But one thing is to look good, another is to be sure that all the calculations and dimensions have been done with an adequate safety margin, by somebody that knows very well this type of sailboats and solutions, someone in which reputation and past work one can trust.

If I am confident with Hans Genthe ability to improve the Farr 280 hull (a boat that he knows very well and raced extensively), to be more effective and faster on offshore coastal races, regarding boat engineering, I would like to be more reassured, especially because this boat has a hull structure different from the one of the Farr 280, and because the Aeolos is a more powerful racer, with more efforts involved, especially on the keel structure.

Farr 290 structure 
If it seems that, regarding architecture, there is no doubt that the Aeolos P30 is a Hans Genthe design, but in what concerns boat engineering, the site is vague about who has done the project. It seems it was Solico even if they are not specialized in sailboats, much less high-performance racing boats.

Several firms, from fluid engineering, passing by structural engineering and composite technology are referred to but none specifically related with high-performance sail racing engineer, except Pauger, but Pauger is not a yacht engineer cabinet, but a carbon Yacht shipyard and carbon mast building, and certainly a reference in both counts.

The Aeolos will not be built by Pauger (except the mast) but by Aeolos composites, a firm based in UAE (United Arab Emirates) that seems to have little experience in boat building, even if one of the managers is Hans Genthe that is familiar with the processes.

As I said previously I like the basic structural design even if I would have liked to see it complemented, between the two bulkheads, with a small carbon grid, vacuum infused to the hull. All structure will certainly be laminated to the hull, deck and cockpit providing a very strong shell. If there is a weaker point it will be on the lateral support of the keel box and on the big efforts that the hull will be subjected on that area.

I am not saying that the boat is not well-engineered and strong, only that yacht carbon top sail-racing hull structure design is a very specific subject, that nothing substitutes engineering experience, and that I would be a lot more reassured if the ones that designed and specified that structure had a reputation built over a substantial experience on the sector. 

This boat has an incredible price and the specs are almost too good to be true. The materials are top, I am sure the running rigging will be very good, it is transportable, it can be class A, and the only points where I would require more information would be about the boat structure, not because it looks bad to me, but because the reputation and knowledge base (top racing yachts) of the ones that designed it is unknown.

For the same reasons, I would require more information regarding the shipyard that will build the boat, also about its financial stability and portfolio. Much of these doubts will be lessened once the first prototype is sailing and even more when several boats have been built.


  1. Sail boats are always a compromise of sorts. I have loved the Dehler 30 for a long time and this new competitor doesn't change that. Ultralight boats are of course faster, but I don't think anybody is going to call the Dehler 30 slow. The additional comfort and (ahem) waste handling amenities, as well as the global service and support network are the deciding factors that make the Dehler my next boat (probably).

    The Farr X2 does offer a similar comparison to this new offering from Aeolos. If I wanted a hardcore racing machine I would probably opt for the Farr instead. One of the biggest features of both the X2 and the Aeolos that I find most compelling for an offshore boat is the combing design that actually protects the people in the cockpit; something that's sorely missing from the Dehler.

    1. No, I don't thick Farr X2 would be as fast, at least in most conditions. The Farr will be closer to the Dehler in performance not close to Aeolos.

      The Farr is not a carbon boat, the Farr does not even use epoxy resins and therefore it is not as light, not even close: 2500kg to 1530kg. Aeolos has a similar keel but more 10cm draft, and a superior B/D (52.3% to 40%).

      The Farr X3 has more beam (3.15m to 2.95m) and 250L of water ballast, but if both things increase stability, they also increase drag and in the end the Aeolos will have a superior Power/drag relation.

      And if the Aelos is already less expensive than the Dehler, it will be even less expensive than the Farr, that should be more expensive than the Dehler. On top of all that the Aeolos is the only of the three that it is trailerable.

      Off course, this is looking at the specifications, we will have to see how the boats perform while racing, and with a little luck, if they manage to finish the boat, we will see one Aeolos racing against 6 Dehler 30OD on this year's Silverruder. I am very curious about the Aeolos versus Dehler performance comparison.

      I am also very curious between the comparison performance of those boats with the slightly bigger JPK 10.30. Two will be racing.

      In what regards this race, that is the biggest solo race in North of Europe (451 entries for the next one) the Farr X2 will have a big disadvantage, and will be racing not against the Aeolos and the Dehler 30OD, but against bigger boats.
      This is not an handicap race and it is raced by boat lengths. The Farr X2 is just a little bit bigger than 30ft and that puts it on the next class, one that has been won by a Fareast 31R, also a carbon boat, lighter and with more B/D than the Farr. In normal circumstances I don't think it the Farr will stand a chance against the Fareast.

    2. Hi Paulo
      Interesting points.
      For complete clarification though you contact me on
      I would be more than happy to engage in a conversation about modern OFFSHORE yacht design.
      Bret Perry

    3. Hi Bert,

      Nice to hear from you. I have intention to make a post about the Farr X2 and I am very interested in your point of view regarding performance and advantages, comparing with the Aelos P30, L30, and Dehler 30OD.

      Please send me information and drawings about the Farr X2, if possible with photos about the development stage and the estimated time for having the first boat on the water.

      Can you tell me why the FarrX2 is slightly bigger than 30ft? That will put it competing with boats bigger than 30ft on the several races that consider hull length for defining classes.

      You may be interested in this post too:

      Paulo -

  2. Would love to see how the P30 goes against a Cape 31 which is now pretty well established as successful at this size and speed.

  3. Well, it did not smoke the Dehler 30OD, not on the 2022 Silverruder race where it arrived in 5th place being beaten by 3 Dehlers and a Seascape 27.

    But I guess we have to wait more to see if it cannot do better, because the boat was sailed with a bad regulated autopilot and without reefs on the sails (they finished the boat just in time for the race) and the conditions were difficult, sometimes with 30kt of wind.

  4. The Farr X2 almost killed 2, and Farr has said nothing in MONTHS. There is no way I sail a Farr X2 offshore, the D30OD is $340K and P30 is around $110K. The P30 smokes the Farr X2 and D30OD both in performance and value. Mark.