Originally Posted by HMoll
Hey Paulo, keep them coming! One question: Why the aft bimini position? Only I can think of is for pointing more to the wind while at anchor?? Beautiful pictures of your Comet!
Regarding the bimini position what you say is an added bonus but the main reason is that it is the position that allows me to sail the boat properly tight upwind. That is the position that allows the boom to come down to the right position without touching it. Furthermore I found out that the position gives me a good eye protection against the sun. I am going to add on the back a vertical removable panel and that should give considerable more protection than if it was used on the “horizontal” position.
Regarding the boat I want to make some corrections and add some information:
It was said to me by the Mediaship seller that the boat had a steel structure to hold the keel and shrouds. That is not true (the guy does not work with Mediaship anymore). That is made by a reinforced grid that is laminated in the hull. On the other hand I had several reports of different sailors that know the boat that said that it was very strong (and I didn’t ask, they were spontaneous comments). One of them was a sailmaker, owner of a sail making factory that said: “This boat is massively strong. I know, I have crashed several while racing”
Another thing I want to correct is what I have said regarding sailing with light wind. Yes the boat is fast but not as fast as a top Salona or probably a Pogo or an Opium. The boat is heavier and needs more sail. With a 130% genoa with 6K wind the Comet is not much faster than a modern light mass production cruiser with a 150% genoa.
Downwind I had several experiences with other boats, the last one was with an older Jeanneau Sun magic 44. Going downwind with 8/10 apparent wind the Jeanneau was slightly faster, when the wind picked up to 12/15K the Comet was much faster . In fact I was overtaken and then when the wind picked up I passed again and went away fast going between 8 and 8.5K. The Sun Magic had a big 150% genoa and I had a Jib as front sail.
The point here is that while a lighter boat could have with lighter winds a top performance with small front sails definitively the Comet needs more sail. That puts some problems for a solo sailor in what regards the choice of sails: The Jib is a fantastic sail for strong wind and the Comet works with it in a way I never saw in other boat. When I had all other sails for repair I had a week of sailing with only that small sail and found out that with 24/27K of apparent wind I could go at 30º (up wind) doing 7.5K with a very light rudder and a well balanced boat.
The bad news is that, as I have pointed out, that sail is insufficient for light winds and of course changing sails on the sea alone is not practical considering that when I change to the jib there are already at least 14K wind and some sea.
In Fumicino (Rome) I had the opportunity to exchange ideas with a good sailmaker (Speed sails speedsails
) and although he has more experience with racing, together we came up with some interesting solutions: When I can I will change the 130% front sail for a 140% and I am going to have the Jib permanently mounted on the deck in a bag, with a removable textile stay (already on the boat) with textile links. It can be left in place and in that case I have to see how hard it is to tack with it there or more probably, with everything in place I will put the stay, the sail and the bag stored in some place further back in the boat, probably along the life lines.
Well, this is the negative part.
The positive is that the boat has an incredible rudder, very sensitive and that can take a lot of abuse giving an excellent control over the boat even when it is sailed with too much sail. The boat has also a big stability and a soft motion in transitions, much more than in a lighter boat where the behaviour is more dinghy like. The boat has also a very good pointing ability. Till now I have yet to find (on the sea) any other boat that can match it. The difference to a modern mass production cruiser is really big and to a cat is huge, like 15 or 20%, if we sail upwind with waves. The boat is also very comfortable and doesn’t slam. Comparing with the Bavaria 36 the difference is huge and I believe it will be also big if compared with modern performance beamy boats, like the Pogo.
Bottom point, this is a medium weight performance boat and that means more sails than a light performance boat for the same speed. That will not be a problem with a crew but solo sailing is certainly a disadvantage.
The advantage is that the boat is not so dinghy like in its reactions, being slower on the transitions and a bit more comfortable and stable in what regards gusts of wind. It is also a very fast boat upwind with medium winds or strong winds and a formed sea, where the small wave drag will give it an advantage over boats like the Pogo or the Opium, that will be faster downwind and in other conditions.
I hope not to be too partial about this and have contributed to give an idea of the characteristics of this type of boats (medium weight performance cruisers). What is said to this boat will be valid to a First 40 CR, a Dehler 41 CR or a Dufour 40e.
Similar type of boats but lighter, like the Salona 41 or the Xp 38 will have similar performances with medium winds but will need less sail with light winds (will sail faster) and will start to plan with less wind downwind and that will make them faster there too. Anyway we are talking of winds near 20k or over and most cruisers will stay on anchor when the weather service give storm warnings (burrasca), I mean with force 7 and over.