This year was a great crop, specially if we consider performance cruisers. So many and so good that they had to pass one to the Luxury cruisers were he is competing with other more conventional luxury boats.
This year's nominees are:
Grand Soleil 39; Dufour 36 performance; Mc34 Patton, Sly 38 and Xp-50.
Well on this category it will be impossible to say who has more chances.
The grand Soleil 39 would be a major favorite for me but the British tester raised some doubts about the steering to be much race like, so I guess that if it is chosen it will be against his opinion. But I have read great reports about the boat and everybody else seems to love it, so I am very curious about the global opinion on this one. This boat has a great cruising interior and it is an innovative boat that started an all new design trend on Grand Soleil boats and marks also the arrival of Claudio Maleto has the new GS NA.
This is an outsider. It is one of those new performance boats made by a small but enthusiastic French small shipyard and it is much a semi custom boat with racing has a good part of its sailing program but also able to cruise in a lot more spartan conditions than the Grand Soleil. It is a Marc Lombard design and I have heard that the boat is a rocket.
On the Yacht movie, on top of this post the boat the boat seems to sail exceptionally well. Here a movie with almost no wind and the boat gliding softly, on conditions most cruisers would be dead on the water:
On the movie also the A27, a boat that was nominated but that by financial problems could not be tested (they were not be able to deliver a boat on the location).
Then the sly 38, with great specifications and absolutely beautiful, inside and outside. If the boat sails as well as it looks, I would chose this one as one of the favorites. It is a great looking design by a quite unknown Studio Lestuzzi. Let's hope the sailing qualities to be in accordance with the specifications and the looks
The Dufour 36 performance is a nice boat even if I find it a bit heavy. I don't think that it has much chances, or maybe the boat sails better than what I suspect and in that case it can be a contender. It has a nice interior but not really anything new or very exiting.
And finally the Xp 50. I confess I am partial about this one. I agree that it has nothing new regarding the other boats on the Xp series, like the XP44, but the boat seems absolutely perfect, I mean it is a very fast cruiser with an huge potential, it is easy to sail solo it is beautiful and has a great cruising interior. What would someone wish for more? Between this one and the Sly, well.... they have much more information and they will sail the boats. May the better win, and I bet they will have a big difficulty in choosing the best among all these great boats
Like every young man in a hurry to meet his destiny, Francois Gabart (Macif) arrived early last night and in his urgency claimed an unexpected second record. When he crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin in Australia at 22:25 UTC (11:25 p.m. French Time) on Friday night, Gabart set a new record (which will await ratification) between the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Leeuwin of 11 days 6 hours and 40 minutes. That bettered the time of his mentor, Michel Desjoyeaux, by just nine minutes. Desjoyeaux completed the passage in 11 days 6 hours and 49 minutes on Foncia when he won the last edition of the Vendée Globe in 2008-09.
More expected was Gabart’s new record between the start at Les Sables d'Olonne and Cape Leeuwin of 34 days 10 hours and 23 minutes. That bettered by 2 days 2 hours and 25 minutes the mark set by Vincent Riou on PRB of 36 day 12 hours and 48 minutes, when he won the 2004-05 race.
This has been race of minutes and small margins and 29-year-old Gabart and the 35-year-old Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire), continue to chase each other around the world as if they were match-racing in an Olympics, drawing away from the rest of the fleet. A little less than two hours after the passage of Macif, Le Cleac'h crossed the longitude of the second major Cape of the race. His time between Les Sables and Leeuwin was 34 days and 12 hours 13 minutes. Enjoying consistent 25 knot south-westerly breezes, the two men accumulate miles but Macif still seems to have a slightly better performance and 40 miles now separate the two men.
This guys are all great sailors. Just look at this story With mike:
Almost to the day four years, and within three hundred miles or so of the same spot that he lost his mast in the last Vendée Globe, Mike Golding has emerged this morning from a problematic incident which, but for the actions of the highly experienced skipper, could have been much worse.
"There was certainly a point where I thought, 'Here we go again, please, not another Christmas in Perth'," Golding said. "But I am reasonably sorted now, I am not going to go mad. ...
It was around 0400hrs this morning when Golding was just completing a sail change, hooking south into stronger breeze, when the furling line on the giant Code Zero failed just as a 35kt squall hit. Previously the wind had been around 18kts. With the boat overpowered and the headsail flogging wildly with no way of re-furling, the autopilot let go. Quick thinking Golding reached for the keel dump and effectively set Gamesa on her side to reduce the pressure on the rig before battling the Code Zero down in a nasty heap.
"I’m back on course now. The Code Zero is a bit of a mess with all the sheets inside it. Im in repair mode now and have to sit and stitch the cover back on the furler line...
"When all this was going on I had the flashback to four years ago. It is so dangerous now because you have 20kts and are lulled into a false sense of security and then suddenly there is a big 35kts gust."
That's advertised as a kind of a bluewater MacGregor:
"If you are looking for a boat easy to manage in every condition, extremely confortable and customizable, able to drive you to the farest locations but that leave you convenience to moor it in the nearest port and finally a sailboat.
Thus born the true convertible boat, a boat with good sailing performance and able to navigate planning at more than 20 knots pushed by the engine power.
Boat has an innovative design and comfort is with no compromise:
open cockpit with foldable sofa, hydraulic pivoting keel with a minimum draft of 850 mm, dinette folding table, internet and mobile booster, watermaker, air conditioning system, integrated electronic instrument....
Classification RINA cat. B - 10 people
Loa 11,4 m
Beam max 3,65 m
Draft 2,35 / 0,85 m
Displacement (W.type) 4.950 Kg
Ballast 860 Kg
Mainsail 34,8 m2
Selftacking jib 29,5 m2
Gennaker 81,0 m2
Engine: Volvopenta D3D 200 Hp
Porpeller VP Aquamatic DPS
Fuel tank 270 L
Black & Grey water tank 40 L
Fresh water tank 120 L
The boat is very light if we consider that it has an heavy 200hp engine. I guess that is possible because this boat has an incredible low B/D ratio (17%), so low that had not passed the EC certification for a class A boat and is a B class boat (a well designed 30ft sailboat can pass an A certification). The category boat limits the boat to a Force 8 and 4m waves.
And even so they advertise the boat as: "easy to manage in every condition, ... able to drive you to the farest locations "
I have seen many ridiculous statements regarding sailboats but I guess this one beats them all. Obviously this boat would not be capable of rising from a knock down and contrary to a multihull ,that has a huge righting moment and is very difficult to capsize due to their huge beam, this boat has a beam that would not be considered big even considering performance cruisers.
Note that I am not saying that is a badly designed boat for what was designed to do (it seems that it even sails reasonably well) but regarding the program the shipyard advertises it to be suited for.
There are some details that are just unbelievable: In a boat that has a very limited stability (for a sailboat) why the hell did they impoverish more that already weak stability with a radar high on the mast and not have it lower in a pole on the transom?
I have already talked about this boat. I remember that I had posted the drawings. It is a 2010 boat and a Maurizio Cossutti design. In fact the boat has a hull not very different from the one of the Salona 38. It is lighter (5500kg to 6500kg), it has a similar B/D ratio (31%), a close beam and most of all is the NEW WORLD ORCI CHAMPION in its class.
Interesting? Amazing! Do you think, there is also any cruising potential?
And why not? I like a lot these small shipyards that are run by enthusiasts and sailors that can adapt the boat to each owner needs and desires. Of course if you want a boat with the specifications of the one that won the world championship it will be a week cruiser type but they can adapt the boat for whatever you want, even for long range cruising. The interior is a nice one for cruising.
The boat has standard a diesel tankage of 150L that is more than enough given the brilliant sailing performance and only 100L of water that makes it a cruising boat with about a week autonomy. But I am absolutely sure that they can duplicate without any problem that tankage and even triplicate it if that is what you want.
There are more boats like this one, some very expensive, like the Sly 38 that is one of this year nominee for the performance European boat of the year but also others not as expensive like the IT 1098, from the same designer. It looks a lot more classic but its performances has nothing of a classic boat.
Regarding the world ORCI championship that was run in Finland this year the classification was this:
1º NM 38S, 2º (with the same points and the same number of won races) Salona 37, 3º Modified First 36.7, 4º NM38S, 5º X-332s, 6º Salona 37.
It is a pity that while the world ORCI championship is growing in weight and dimension it is still a top amateur championship and that means that the boats racing are most of the time local boats (in this case, North of Europe) and that just don't give us an overall perspective. Off course those guys have great racing boats and race at high level so that means that the NM is a very competitive boat.
The Nm38 have been winning not only in the North of Europe, it won also the Italian championship. The second was a Comet 38s (with the same number of victories). Another NM 38 come in 3th, a GS 37, another Comet 38, a M37 and a Italia 10.98 were next.
The M37, also a Mario Cossutti design, is also winning a lot. Also a very beautiful boat:
Salona is also winning races. Besides that second place on the World ORCI championship, a Salona 35 won Garmin Hamble Winter Series, a Salona 34 won Helsinki Tallinn Race and a Salona 37 won International Caribbean Conservation Regatta.
Have a look at the Comet 38s, probably the one with better quality interiors:
And here we have strategic play again, and Armel seems better at it then François. On the Drag race Armel was slowly losing miles to François. It has at 40nm when the Drag race finish. On the strategic play, in few hours, Armel won almost 30 to François and if I am reading well, it will continue to lose on the next hours.
That is just great, a faster sailor (or with a better sail) against a better tactician on much the same boat (the hull is identical, only the keel is different). Cool