The boat that is leading the cruising division is a big one but far from being the bigger one on the fleet. It is a 62ft but it has such a big advantage to everybody else (except a smaller sister) that deserves a big praise here. It is not even a performance boat, just a very good bluewater boat, even if its performance looks like one from a performance boat.
It's the boat that won last year European boat of the year contest in the category of Luxury yachts, the Oyster 625. The testers said that they were impressed with its sailing performance, well it seems they were not the only ones, I am impressed too Have a look at the boat. It does not like a fast boat to me. Appearances can be deceiving, but that's a luxury boat for sure
To the North, there is an older Oyster 565 doing almost as well or even better if we compare the size. Great ocean cruising boats the Oysters, but I guess that all know that, as all know also that they are expensive
On the next size of boats the distinction goes to a Swann 48. The boat is one of Swan bestsellers, a recent model (1995/2003) designed by German Frers, a fast boat that can do very well in heavy weather. A very expensive boat, like all the Swan, a performance cruiser with a good cruising interior.
Then a reference to Ocean cruising cats that as usual, on a downwind Transat are faster then comparatively sized monohulls. The one that is making better regarding its size is a Catana 431 that is not far from that Swan 48.
The catana 431 is not a new boat (it has about the same age of that Swan) and has been replaced in the Catana range by the 42 (or the 47):
Some images of the boat and the current Catana range
an then, two boats are impressing me, one because it is just a bluewater cruising boat with no performance in mind doing amazingly well, the other that should be theoretically faster, but it is slightly behind, is a bigger inexpensive mass production boat, the first of the inexpensive modern boats (if we don't consider the Pogo 50 that is on the racing series), a Hanse 531 that manages to be ahead of a First 50. The other one, the one that is not a performance boat, that is ahead of these two is a favorite of mine, a XC-50, a production bluewater boat in the same class of Halberg-Rassy and as that one, a great but expensive sailboat.
the 431 has been replaced recently by the Hanse 445. This is the 431:
This is the 445
I will leave the boats below 50ft for another post
Looks like those who passed Aiguilles Gate do not have to pass Crozet and vice versa, is this true?
I have translated from the French since this seems not to be in the English pages:
"How these gates work is not rocket science. A gate is a segment of points on the same latitude, longitude between two defined points. The spacing between these two longitudes points is about 400 miles, or a day and a half of navigation. The course consists of four to six or seven gates, spaced from 800 to 2000 miles. To validate their passage, they have just to be North at least one point of latitude located on the segment that constitutes the gate. It is therefore possible to cross the gate from South to North or simply to stay North of it"
See my last post on the Vendee to understand what they are trying to do and why.
Since then he have a new position on the race tracker and we can see that as I had previewed Stamm passed Jean-Pierre and is going up to the gate like a rocket. Of course before he arrives there he is going to stay almost without no wind
Very interesting this strategic play.
By the way do you have noticed that they have improved the information on the tracker? Now we have:
The boat speed over one hour, the speed made good over an hour, the average speed on the last 24 hours, the speed made good on that time and the distance covered. Isn't that great?
For improving things and permit us to understand better their options I only wished for a longer weather preview, one over 72 hours at least. That should not be too difficult and I don't understand why they don't have it
This one is FANTASTIC: remember talking about that Pogo 50 that is making a hell of a race, a performance cruising boat beating racing boats and not far away of incredibly expensive boats like a Swan 80 and the Jp 52 (with canting keel)?
Well, first impressive new: the crew is composed by only 5 guys and that in a 50ft boat that is racing is not many. I bet that all other boats around have a much bigger crew.
Second impressive new: Besides the owner and two second rate short crew racers, the other two are the owner of Pogo shipyard (Structures) and the boat designer, Pascal Conq. How coll is that
Other curious new: There are lot's of "cheap" mass production boats crossing the Atlantic. Many Bavarias, Benetau, Jeanneau, Dufour, Hanse and many others but the two boats that retired from the race, one with a broken mast and other whose rudder just fell off are both very exclusive and expensive boats and the one that lost the rudder is reputably one of the best Blue water cruisers around for the ones that like it strong and slow: the 39 stell Motiva 39.
The one that lost the mast is a very expensive custom build Farr 585CC , a blue-water fast cruising boat.
Well, how about that? I know that can be just bad luck and good luck, depending on the cases but it is curious.
An finally let me talk about another boat that is making a great race on the racing division, a race cruiser that is letting well behind boats like a Swan 45, Swan 48 and other bigger boats, I am talking about the Grand Soleil 43, a great performance cruiser and one that I have considered having for a long time. Have a look:
UAU!!! Stamm the Swiss is leading, there should leave a lot of French pissed
Great race. I had said some days ago that it seemed to me that Stamm was in the better course but from there to leading UAU!!! what a great sailing and rooting. And right now he is doing a smart move: As I have said yesterday, they will find very weak winds crossing that gate so he is sailing parallel to that gate retarding the moment to pass it and he is going to take it perpendicularly, making the way longer but getting the better wind angle with those weak winds making sure his boat is "making" wind.
But attention, they give Armel at 138Nm from the leader (Stamm) and that is just rubbish. I still think that Armel has done the right thing and will get the lead again in two days. He has strong wind all the way and all the others will be stuck in that high near the gate and will lose a lot of time to get out of there and get decent winds again.
The wind is definitely slowing down and we'll only know where everybody is standing once we’ve sailed through the gate and we’re back in the wind again. In the meantime, it feels great…
Leading the Vendée Globe in the Indian Ocean is huge. It’s also a quieter time on board, with easier conditions.
When the boat’s speed reaches twenty knots, which happens constantly when there’s wind, conditions can be pretty difficult. I don’t know what it’s like for the other skippers but I’m sure it’s the same. It’s not a cruise ship we’re sailing on so whatever the actual comfort, it’s still quite extreme.
Last night I came across MACIF’s AIS signal. Incredible… I think he was two miles behind me, which is crazy after two weeks in the race!
Incredible images of Dominique and Jean sailing together in the midlle of the big ocean
Jean is saying about Dominique: "a friend and a remarkable guy (a quality person)".
And I say to you guys that Dominique is incredible. He is 57 years old. How he can cope with that huge effort of sailing his boat solo in a racing pace for 3 months non stop is behind my comprehension. And not slow too, he is making a hell of a race. His boat is not a new one.
This guy makes me fell younger Cheers Dominique, Chapeau!!!!
Sory guys, I was waiting for the English translation of yesterday highlights but the only thing they had translated was the title
Regarding those first images I guess that I don't have to translate "Merde", that resumes what Tanguy is saying. Is autopilot disconnected and he went to a 90º capsize. Look at his face. There is fear there. That should have not been nice. It was a simple thing to repair (just the "pin" that went out of its place).
BRJ 35 What do you think of my design?
The yacht will be built in Poland by the best Polish shipyards ...
I cannot say that I like your designs. I see some good ideas and some nice curved lines (sometimes) but all designs show a huge freeboard and that makes for bulky boats that don't sit nicely on the water and offer a big windage.
Regarding the one you posted I don't like the hull design that seems old to me:
You have to see this movie, it is long and it shows some very nice boats. I thought that this year the competition would not be so tight, but I guess that I was just not remembering all great boats that come to the market this year.
This video is only about two of the four categories: Luxury cruisers and Family cruisers. Well, both are family cruisers but ones are for very rich families the others for families that live well
What is the boat that is going to be chosen? Well those guys have a big advantage, they will actually see the boats and sail them so I can only talk about design, and that is only a small part. They can not only access quality but actually see if it works
But I would say that even if the Halberg Rassy says pretty well (as I am sure he does), it is a pretty banal bot, lusury yes, but nothing new about it.
The Italia 13.98 brings something new, a classic looking boat with top performance sailing so it may well create a surprise here but I really don't know how the different members of the jury are going to value that.
I never like the Discovery line and my impression is that they are not great sailing boats. Maybe that's because I saw a stability curve of the first one on the line and was not impressed but that can have changed and I don't know much about this boat. The interior looks great but the boat seems a bit bulky.
Southerlies are great offshore boats with a great stability and the possibility to go to the beach (swinging ballasted keel). The Southerly 47 seems a nice one with great interiors. I guess it will depend on how well it sails.
Amel are great yachts even if with a particular interior that I don't look too much for a boat with all that gloss. Well the Amel 64 was last year also nominated and lost to the Oyster 625. Maybe this year is the Amel year. Again it will depend on how well the boat sails.
BRJ 35 What do you think of my design?
The yacht will be built in Poland by the best Polish shipyards ...
BRJ 35 What do you think of my design?
Do you really want to know?
That is an interesting sculpture but frankly, strikes me as a pretty mediocre piece of yacht design. Hull forms and deck plans have functional purposes related to the environment that the live in and the use that they are intended for. These functional purposes should control the shape of the boat, that is unless you are only out to create an artistic statement, in effect a floating sculpture rather than a real boat.
For example, the deck plan would make for a wet boat that was very difficult to move around aboard. Water would be launched into the laps of people in the cockpit, deck hardware would be difficult to mount and ergonomically awkward to reach. The short inward facing stanchions are ornamental tripping hazzards. There is no place to sit at the wheel, no place to brace while steering, and hardware in the way of putting your body wherre you can see up the slot. Getting below or to the boarding platform is a contortionist act. There is little opportunity for ventilation. The high freeboard would be detrimental to the boat's sailing ability, ease of handling and motion comfort. The rotating mast would add complexity, makes the rig more vulnerable to damage, and offers zero advantage on a boat with the limited speed range/high aerodynamic drag that is likely given the rest of the design. You do not appear to understand the rigging geometry problem of a rotating mast (i.e. you cannot have lower shrouds attached to both the hull and mast on a rotating spar.)
I would suggest that you think a little bit more about why mono-hull boats look the way they do and then adjust your design approach accordingly. The multihull design displays similar issues but might have a better chance of actually working as a boat.
Family cruisers - Hanse 415; Bavaria Vision 46, Delphia 31; RM 1260; Sun Odyssey 469.
This is probably the more disputed category and the one that represent more boats and sales.
Hanse 415 - I did not saw the boat but I it seems that there is an improvement on interior design and eventually quality. The boat represents a very good compromise to the typical buyer of this type of boats, that represent after all the main market: A cruiser with a well designed interior, very functional, a big stability and a very well studied rigging that makes sailing very easy, even to a solo sailor. It is a strong candidate
The Bavaria Vision 46 is probably the strongest candidate. It not only sails well as it is a very innovative boat, a very good cruising boat that also presents a Bavaria visible improvement in design and making faith on the testers, also an improvement in the global quality and finish.
The RM 1260 is an improvement of the RM 1200 and as the 1200 was already a great boat, the 1260 is even better. But it is only an improvement not a breakthrough and is a more specialized boat, not pointed to the main crown but to the cruiser that voyages. Maybe because the boat was there but was not well known on the other markets out of France it stands some chances but I don't thing it stands so much chances has the Bavaria.
Guys understand that I am not looking at this on a personal perspective, If I was, I mean if I was to choose for me any of these boats I would choose this boat easily without any doubt. I have test sailed the previous model just because I was interested in the boat and it was the preferred by my wife, so I know that she would also pick this one
the Sun odyssey 469 I am sure it is a great boat but it just looks a bigger 409. Sure it is a great boat but nothing new or exiting about it.
The Delphia 31 is an outsider. It is a very interesting boat that appears to offer a lot for the money, has quality hardware on the deck and seems to have a nicely designed interior. I don't know the boat but I guess that it would have to sail very well and have a quality interior to stand any chance. I don't believe it but than I never been in the boat and much less have sailed it, so who knows?