By the way, Paulo, I still expect your firsthand impressions on the Sly 38, one of the contenders for best performance cruiser at the Dusseldorf show if you think it's worth a post.
Yes, I was surprised with the boat of the year award. I was expecting that in the category of Performance boat the winner to be the Grand Soleil 39 or the Sly 38.
Of course I have no doubt that the fact that the Dufout 36p won means that the boat is better than what I initially thought it was and that handicap in what concerns being heavy is somewhat compensated by an excellent balance and a very good feeling at the wheel. I guess the boat had to perform very well to beat the other two but I was also very curious about the main shortcomings they had found on the other boats.
About the Grand Soleil 39, that has a better quality and better cruising interior, compared with the Dufour, I knew already what had happened: They delivered for testing a boat with a mast so badly tuned that they were afraid top test sail the boat with 40k of wind. I guess that is pretty unacceptable and don't say nothing good about the dealer that delivered the boat for testing.
Regarding the Sly I had not heard anything, neither read any test sail. Only saw the boat and found it beautiful with excellent technical characteristics. If there was something that I didn't like it was the transom shape/transition, that looked a bit sharp to me and most of all the interior design. It seemed not inspired and not particularly attractive. But off course I was in a huge disadvantage regarding saying something about the Sly 38. Regarding the other two boats I had not only been aboard as I had read several test sails about each and regarding the Sly 38 I had only saw the photos and the dimensions.
Length overall 11.50 m
Waterline length 10.25 m
Beam 3.70 m
Displacement 2.30 m
Draught 5.500 kg
Ballast 2.125 kg
Surface area of mainsail + jib 106% 85 m2
Mainsail 49 m2
JIB 106% 36 m2
Spinnaker 110 m2
Engine 30 Hp
Diesel tank 120 Lt
Water tank 280 Lt
On a French magazine I read what was the generalized criticism about the boat by most testers: The interior. They talk about an interior that was made to be disassembled for racing (they say they didn't like the "Mecano" interior
) but they say also that the boat is very agreeable at the wheel, fast and with a very good hull. they also said that they have managed to get a considerable interior height without making it apparent on the outside shape of the boat
Finally I managed to read a test sail, an Italian one, from Vela, a very good sailing magazine, this one:
And I know that I would probably love the boat and hate the interior
They say (for the ones that don't read Italian) as main title:
"Better than a go Kart : Fast, amusing and easy to sail. The interior can also be dismounted for racing".
And they give the maximum note in what regards sailing:
On an easy Easy 30° off the wind with 13 knots wind we reached 7.8 knots. The existence of a feet support allows for comfortable sailing without any effort. It's time to enjoy a little downwind sailing.... Even with a spinnaker of contained dimensions, we can safely descend to about 140 ° to the wind and helped by a little waves we reach a peak of 9.5 knots, while maintaining -perfect control of the boat ... I would define the Sly 38 as a "Go Kart" of the sea for its ease of handling and the speed with which it reacts to all the different stresses to which it is subject.
The Sly 38 was also tested by "Vela e Motore"
and on this test they get light winds....and the performance was even better:
I don' see the need to comment that
They said also that the finish was below what is normally offered by Sly. On Sly the apologize and said that was just the prototype and that the production boats would be better.
Well, if they get that interior right, I would not mind to have one
They did not test this boat with a lot of wind but with all the ballast on a torpedo at 2.30 and a B/D ratio of 39% with 3.70m of beam this boat is going to be stiff, powerful, able to carry a lot of sail in a blow and blast against the wind at a tight angle.
This one, with a reasonable tankage, even in standard configuration, will be a fun sailingboat to cruise but also a serious contender on the Sydney-Hobart. Well, it would not be the most luxurious or comfortable cruising boat around but you cannot have it all...and this one offers already a lot in my opinion. What a boat