The Opium is a lovely thing is it not ? As you say Paulo, maybe not as fast as the Pogo but a much more civilised boat for cruising. The head could be a little more civilised, but its not bad while the idea of that storage compartment accessible from the head is clever thinking.
The questions I have is ..how weight sensitive are these boats ? I mean boats of this design concept. With a crew of two who defintely like to eat and drink well and who tend to carry around a small library of books are we likely to load them up so much that they lose any preformance benefits ?
That question has two answers
As you know the boat designer establish for each boat its maximum load. On the first years the EC certification had only into account a minimum load stability curve. Today they consider, to evaluate a boat stability, both curves, minimum and max load curves. The max load is the load considered safe, for sailing the boat.
I was surprised by the max load of the Opium. If I remember correctly, it can carry about 2000 kg of weight and that is huge if we consider that the boat only weights 5600kg. As comparison, the Bavaria 36 had a carrying capacity of 1000kg and that is a normal max load for a modern 36ft. The Bavaria weighted about the same as the Opium.
with Geenaker and main sail the Opium has 179 m2 of sail that can use from 60º to 160º. This gives it a fantastic sailing ability in light winds. Even with full load its weight is similar to a modern cruiser racer and much less than a pure cruising boat (less 3000kg and a lot more sail).
Now, if you are talking of a very sportive kind of sailing, planning downwind at 15 or 16k, yes a very loaded Opium (near its max load) is not going to plann as easely and it will make a big difference, but it still will be a fast and safe boat, if compared with other boats of the same size carrying the same load.
About how nice it is
, go to the link on the bottom, have patience and after opening it, you will look at what it is a promotional picture of a city and a beach. Let it be and on the end of the page click on "Voile et Loisirs". There you are, on the Paris Nautical boat show
. Maximize the image (top) right and you are going to see lots of nice boats. Look for the Opium: yes it is a very nice boat
After doing that, go again and on a bottom chose "allures 57" and you are going to see the interior of one of the best aluminum French voyage boats. It don't looks like the rustic interior of a typical aluminum boat, it looks just perfect
Visites virtuelles à 360° du Nautic - Salon Nautique de paris 2009