In Spain and first chance to look at interesting sailboats in 4 weeks. Sorry I will not be able to write a lot about how our new French centerboard Boreal 44 is doing but a quick note. Gurnsey to Brittany on first major sea trial. Bean reach 30 to 35 knots from west 3 knots of current from east. Typical lousy English channel day. Waves standing and breaking 3 to 4 meters just a messy day. RC LOUISE sailed perfectly with one reef in Genoa and one in main. I swear not one pooping a few bits of spray every few hours. We made lunch below in the worst of the weather ate in the cockpit, no sea sickness.
North coast of Spain with trough over Spain and Portugal, Azore high off the coast, Paulo and others know this one lousy crazy weather. 30 plus knots dead down wind, no other way of doing it. Seas 4 meters plus after an hour of 3 to 4 meters. Up the centerboard and just used the main, I have never been able to do that with any cutter rig in my 40 plus years sailing around the globe. We had lunch again in cockpit never once even thought that we would round up while surfing. Speed 6 knots at very top of climb and surfed between 9.2 and 11.2 knots totally under control.
All these French boats handle this way granted some better than other but all well. We think we did the best after talking with many of owners of the other makes, they would agree also. We feel confident in big seas over 5 meter but we will have to wait till we cross the pond later hopefully we don't have to see big seas I'm too old now for that size sea.
Jimmy Cornell we have heard asked for a Boreal and Boreal laughed their ass off at him. I love the French serious sailors.
I'll post more the good and the bad about our new Boreal. Their is not much bad just French culture built into the boat that makes it hard for most non French but again nothing serious.
Steve and Tracy.
Nice to know that you like your new boat but there is some confusion, the problem is not going downwind with 4 or 5m waves in 30k wind but going upwind on those conditions. But let me tell you that it is not worst than trying to do that on the med in 25K with 2/3 meter steep waves of short period.
Those can create an even nastier motion on the boat and they are so short that sometimes you are down with the first wave when you're hit by the second one that comes over the boat and sweeps it.
We have done it nicely and last week (since Corinth) all we have done is close upwind sailing, many times beaten. All went well until yesterday when a head port that normally Isabel leaves slightly open (protected by the spraywood) let enter in the boat an amazing quantity of water. Isabel opened the head's door and the water come crashing down. The wash basin was full as also the bottom of the boat.
Today we made the passage to the last of the Ionian Islands (Zakhintos) between 30 and 45º, most of the way well over 8K. Wonderful ride. When we came to port we were helped by a French couple in a steel boat. Very nice people, it turned out that they have been living on the boat for the last 25 years and have just finished a circumnavigation. I was complaining that my wife would not want to listen about crossing an ocean and the guy said: "why? It's a lot more difficult to sail here" LOL. Even so my wife was not convinced