After some hard racers almost a classical performance cruiser,the first serious Salona 38 sailtest, by Voile and Voiliers:
And a test with more than some hours on the water, they passed 24 hours on the boat on a delivery trip and experienced different sea and wind conditions.
The boat was not sailed with a full racing crew seated on the sides, but only by two guys, one of them, a journaliste.
First interesting note, the title they have chosen for the article: “Salona 38, already a great classic”
. Well, that’s a good omen
They sailed with a jib (solent) and that worsens the boat performance with light winds. The boat can come with that sail or with a 140% genoa.
Personally I would choose the bigger front sail and for stronger winds a jib mounted on a removable stay sail.
Even handicapped by the small front sail the measured speeds in light winds were not bad:
With 7K true wind at 45ºTW they made 5.9K
With 7K true wind at 120ºTW they made 6.1K
With stronger winds:
With 19K true wind at 70ºTW they made 8.2K
With 22K true wind at 95ºTW they made 10.5K
With confused seas and waves, sailing with a small spinnaker (for stronger winds):
With 18K true wind at 150ºTW they made never less than 9.5K and sometimes more.
They say that if the sea was not so confused and if they had proper following waves they would probably have surfed the waves, getting more speed. They say also that with a bigger spinnaker and that wind they would have probably the boat planning.
I know of similar typed boats that with strong winds and spinnaker had sailed at 16k (Elan 37).
These speeds were expected, considering the small front sail and the small spinaker, what gave me more satisfaction on this test was the confirmation of something that I also was expecting but that I never had heard confirmation:
I was expecting that the considerable rocker of this boat, the fine entries and a moderate beam would contribute to a good wave passage with not much wave drag and with a reasonably good comfort motion.
They have said about it:
“Without effort, the Salona 38 …passes easily the chop, dragging little water …. In every sailing conditions the dominant impressions are: the easiness at the wheel, the good balance, the softness of the sea motion" (soupless dans le passage à la mer).
It seems that I got it right.
Those characteristics they talk about and a good speed, especially in what regards light wind sailing are my top sailing priorities, in what regards sailing performance.
Of course, I want other things from a cruising boat, but those others things are more objective and easy to observe, like a comfortable interior with good storage, a well built and strong boat and a god reserve stability.
Of course, in what regards a comfortable interior I am talking about the 2 cabin boat. On the 3 cabin boat the head is just too small unless you are a small guy, and not a big one, like me
Here you have a movie with the guy that tested the boat. The boat was (obviously) that one.
Salona 38 : un Croate astucieux et plaisant