Re: Interesting Sailboats
Thanks PCP. For those that don't know the Grand Surprise, well worth the look as it's a great weekend / race boat.
1 did 2 Bol d'Or on the GS and some daysailing and I have to say it was the first time I've been on a 30 footer and the helm feel felt like my Open 5.00. Reactive like a race car and single finger handling on the tiller. Absolutely great feel and control.
Very good upwind, crosswind and downwind performance - we had a Spi on a pole so had about 32° to 170° performance angles with good speed. Light boat so with a crew you need to anticipate both direction changes as well as crew weight / placement on tacks but that's for racing.
Solid build, good access to foredeck and very predictable behaviour. The cockpit layout is the best I've seen for 4 crew racing. Tiller way back with mainsail trim. Foresal on outbound winches. Pit / Nav, and spi at mast. Lots of space, great ergos, decent protection on a heel.
Only downside is it a light, race first boat so undersides lack stowage and headroom. Think of it as a man's crash pad as opposed to a flat you'd share with a future second half. The one I sailed had a single gas burner, no fridge, and no hot water. Not a big issue on the Leman as most ports have great waterfront restaurants so it's more a crash pad for sleep and then off to the next destination. Camping more than B&B.
If you can sail it one day, I guarantee a *** eatin' grin after 30 seconds with the tiller in hand.