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post #5117 of Old 11-04-2013
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Re: Beamy modern boats and offshore cruising.

Originally Posted by PCP View Post
My bad, anyway a very good cruiser for its time but a much older design from Van de Stadt that started do be produced in 1988. Essentially a typical boat from the early 90's and curiously the type of boats that most on this forum associates with a good bluewater boat:


Anders, please give your contribute to this discussion. Having owned a Dehler, a 43cr ( 1995), also a boat also from Vand de Stadt but with a more modern hull than the 39CWS (also a relatively narrow boat for a 43ft) and having now an Opium 39, a boat with a big beam and big stern, a fast cruiser with the hull also directly derived from solo racers, tell us about the difference in what regards sailing downwind and particularly in following seas.


Yes, as I have written earlier I went from a Beneteau Oceanis 40 2007 (new) to a Dehler 43 CWS from 1993 and then 2011 (new) to the current Wauqiez Opium 39. The Dehler 43 CWS is rather similar to the 39 CWS.

I have very mixed experiences from sailing these and other boats before. The Oceanis was overall rather nice but too beamy aft and too little ballast for a single rudder set up.

The Dehler was a very "traditional" performance cruiser with big ballast, rather narrow aft parts and a high rig with good hardware. All this resulted in very high loads on everything but apart from that a very nice boat. We sailed it home from Fehmarn in Germany to Gothenbourg in 32 hours with an avarage speed of 9 knots and that included 6 hours of motoring in the night doing only 6 knots. During the last 6 hours we had 46 knots TWS dead from behind and we had only one reef in the big main and poled out jib doing 11-13 knots all the time. In these conditions the boat was surprisingly stable, probably due to the high speed but compared with the Opium the biggest advantage for the Dehler is in very light winds where the Dehler has a better release aft and less wet surface.

On a beat I find them pretty similar and in more normal downwind sailing wind speed the Opium has a higher average speed and as you said, less rolling. It is nothing you reflect that much over initially but after a while you start noticing
that everybody is relaxing and behaving as if we would be sailing in sheltered waters with a tws of perhaps 12-14 knots when it is in fact big swell and blowing 20-24 knots. And "stressing" the gennaker with the aft beam and double rudders is less of a problem compared with the earlier boats.

What we initially noted most is the so much lower loads on everything. As you discussed recently regarding hoisting the main with electrical winches, on the Dehler that was definitively a must and the 12mm dyneema haylard was only 6 mm during the last meter. On the Opium, with 2:1 set up my wife easily hoist the smaller but still significant main all the way by hand, only winching the last 20 cm. Low weight demanding lighter gear giving lower weight....

Still, the Dehler was a very nice boat and we mainly sold it due to finding it too big. But the joy of speeding along with the light Opium riding on the aft quarter is nothing you could experience very easily on the Dehler.

Regarding Erics recent note about boom wang I totally agree. On the Opium we mainly use the rather wide traweller for trimming the main and it is a feature I definitively would not be without on a boat. Sailing upwind it is better to switch to small jib on the inner forestay and keep the full main somewhat down the traveller, than keeping 105% genua and reefing main.

Regarding the X6 and comparison with oceanis 38 the X6 also has double rudders,

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