Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
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Thanks for this thorough analysis Paulo, which I think is very correct.
The skipper of an older Pogo 40 resumed it this way: “it sails just like a 470”. This is also what we felt when sailing the 10.50, which is probably a little less powerful but has very resembling characteristics.
I don’t think the handling of the sails themelves will be a big problem, because the boat is very light I expect quite acceptable loads on the sheets, comparable to smaller sails on a heavier boat. You’re right about the difficulty of reaching the mainsail top on larger boats, luckily this will not be the case on this one because the gooseneck is implanted very low on the mast (so low it does not even permit a classic downhaul to be fitted, see picture below).
And you very certainly are perfectly right about the need for a third, low reef, which is standard in the offer of the sail maker Incidences. The removable textile stay and reefable staysail have also been foreseen, the code 0 will be on a roller and the asymmetric spinnaker comes in a socket.
These boats are indeed very responsive and sometimes oversensitive, in stronger winds they behave somewhat like a dinghy instead of a displacement yacht. Since all of us are enthusiastic dinghy sailors (we will keep our Laser and 470), this is what we were looking for. I’m very happy you agree that we made the right choice in this perspective.
Because of this particular, nervous behavior only NKE or B&G are proposed as autopilots. But they seem to work very well, even in difficult conditions.
You are also right we should be aware of the consequences in heavy wind and seas, when we must expect to be working much harder than on more traditional designs. I expect e.g. beating upwind can become quite uncomfortable and this means longer passages will have to be planned with very careful attention to weather forecasts. As the above-mentioned class 40 skipper stated: “my destination is mostly where the wind blows to”. Of course this will not work all the time but since the upwind performance is not even that bad, we’ll cope with it.
And we will certainly also follow your advise concerning sailing singlehanded: this will certainly be done but only in good weather conditions and coastal cruising mode!