Hi Paulo and Anders,
While reading up on all these performance cruisers it seems like the Opium 39 has the best combination of upwind and downwind performance for 40 footers.
From some of the numbers, it seems to point better than a Pogo and better downwind than narrow boats like the Luffes ,Xs, Salonas. Interior seems better from the pics than the Js
. Seems like a perfect racer/cruiser
Am I making sense with regards to this boat?
Well, I would say that for Anders it is the perfect performance cruiser since he had bought one
but for Eric that is waiting the delivery of a Pogo 12.50 the Pogo would be the perfect performance cruiser while for me that probably will buy a Salona 41 (or 38) the Salona would be the perfect performance cruiser
This thread is not about the perfect boat, performance cruiser or otherwise, but about good boats and their characteristics, helping sailors to find the boat that more adjust to their concept of perfect cruiser: Different sailors, different perfect cruisers, cruiser-racers or any other type
Regarding speed the only way to know is having the boats on the water at the same time and see the differences. That has already been tested by a sail magazine with a comparative test between the Opium 39, a prototype for the Pogo 12.50 and a Dufour 40e. A Dufour 40e is closer to a Salona 41 but slower and with less pointing ability. I have posted about that:
You should read this boat test:
YouTube - Match au sommet voiliers de 40 pieds !
They have made a comparison between a Dufour 40e, an Opium 39 and a Pogo 40 cruising (12.50 prototype). The wind was a good force 5 and the sea had short waves. Close to the wind the speed were the same (7.5), with the Opium (with a worst sail, the original was stolen) making less 5º to the true wind.
They have said that the Dufour is a little better with winds lighter than 20K and the Pogo a bit better over 20k. The Dufour is more comfortable and passes better the short waves, the Pogo passes in power (I believe that is why he needs more wind to be faster than the Dufour).
Downwind the Pogo rules with 12k with the other boats making 8/9K.
Of course, for having that performance a Pogo is a much more stripped down boat with a poorer interior than the Dufour or the Opium. That has no importance to some but would have for me.
Regarding the comparative performance of narrower performance boats like the Salona 41 or the First 40 compared with the Pogo 12.50 it all has to do with the sailing conditions: Downwind, with more than 14K a Pogo 12.50 would go away, but look at the results of the last editions of the Sydney-Hobart race and you will see that a First 40 always beat a racing Pogo 40 (more powerful than a 12.50).
The Sydney-Hobart is a race with rough weather, lots of waves and lots of upwind sailing. On those conditions a traditional cruiser racer like the First 40, the Salona 41, the X 40 or the x 122 will go faster and most of all smother than a boat like the Opium or the Pogo.
If there was a perfect type of boat for having as a performance boat, all brands would be making that same kind of boat. They are not because boats are compromises, even in what regards performance and different sailors chose different compromises even in what regards performance.