I guess that the differences that led you to choose that one and I to choose another one is because I like to voyage a lot, mostly on the med where there are not trade winds and also because I intend to live in the boat for some months each year. Even in what regards sail performance I value differently sailing qualities, and that of course, has to do with the use it is going to be given to the boat and with personal preferences.
I think your analysis is very accurate once again.
If we would be able to spend long periods of time aboard as you will do, the Pogo would have been a wrong choice. Weight is essential for these designs and although they can of course be loaded like any other, it would certainly take away most of the fun.
That’s why I appointed our youngest son as “weight watcher”, who checks anything that will be taken on board for weight/relevance ratio. My wife already complains he is too severe, while the boat is not even there yet!
He even objected against the lightest possible outboard for the tender, because simple oars work so well, are much lighter and will improve Mum and Dad’s physical condition
In this prospect your Salona 38 (and hopefully also your son
) will be more forgiving and certainly a much better performer upwind, which is what you want when cruising extensively for longer periods of time.
We will spend most of our time day sailing or making short trips along the Channel and the North Sea, giving us the opportunity to choose our destination according to short term wind predictions and avoiding beating upwind as much as possible. We hope also to be able to spend two or three week holidays in Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Scandinavia. This will then of course imply passage-making and inevitably some close-hauled sailing, but these delivery trips will mostly be outsourced to our sons and their evenly fanatic and frentic sailing friends. They will take the slamming with a smile, we intend to take the car (and the outboard…
That is also why we care less about the somewhat minimalistic interior of the 12.50, which also for us would be much less acceptable if we were to live on board for longer periods of time. But on the other hand, we love the very bright and enormous space, which is quite exceptional for a 40 ft cruiser.
Draft is also much less an issue in the Med than it is in these Northern cruising grounds. Having a very slim and almost dagger board-shaped, composite glass/vinylester foil with the lead ballast down to 3m below the waterline is a thrilling perspective for us, probably because of our dinghy background. But this would be unfeasible without being able to lift the keel in our mostly shallow harbors. We think this is also a safety issue, because the hydraulic mechanism will absorb most of the impact should we run aground, by releasing the keel instantaneously.
For you this is a much lesser issue and I completely agree with your emphasis on the steel grid construction of the Salona. We have sailed a 1992 Dehler 39 CWS extensively, constructed in a very similar way, and which we once ran aground very abruptly at >8kts during the Antwerp Race. Without any single damage, except many crew with quite some bruises. Ten years and two owners later, this yacht now stands ashore at our yacht club for a major refit, but only of the interior
I also very much agree with your analysis about chartering versus buying a yacht. Charterers can sail yachts they will probably never be able to afford to buy, can visit any cruising area they like and never have to bother about repairs and maintenance. On the other hand, they cannot decide on Friday to go sailing for the weekend.
Owning a yacht therefore only makes sense when it is going to be sailed extensively. That is why we mostly chartered for 30 years and waited for both our kids to become sufficiently experienced and motivated before ordering the Pogo, so the boat will have three skippers instead of one and hopefully even more different crews.
We visited the Structures yard one month ago, it should now be almost finished. You probably would, but we do not intend to make the 550 M trip to Nieuwpoort before next spring.
Finally, I think the way Salona is complying with your specifications and providing custom made solutions is indeed quite impressive and certainly exceptional for a non-custom boat builder.
On the other hand, it seems to me you are handing them valuable improvements on an already excellent design.
So the bottom line is: they must be very proud that “our” Paulo, the expert opinion maker of this excellent thread, chose for them.