I know that the older hulls perform very well and like you i also prefer a more moderate beam. To be honest you have educated me over many posts to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a wider beam taken all the way back versus a more moderate beam. If I were in the market for a new boat, then I would also look for a moderate beam with a moderate freeboard, fine lines of entry with a forefoot that is not too shallow and a hull with some rocker. What I find missing from these older hulls is a chine which assists form stability as you know but which I like the look of. Also I find that in the Salona 35 that the coach roof is too rounded for my liking. A more modern approach would be to have it flatter. Also, i like the option of a bathing platfrom with integrated ladder for chilling at thatbanchorage after you have arrived befiore everyone else
What I am on about is aesthetics more than anything else.
A brilliant boat though and like the Dehler, if it found its way onto my berth, I would be one happy sailor.
You are right about the chines and it is not only related to aesthetics but significant in what regards to increase hull stability at utilizable angles. Its importance is relative but it is one of the many little improvements that makes a boat better. Another one is twin rudders. Dehler has not them Elan and other cruisers have already them. It's importance can be relative to racing but not for cruising since it just gives more control over the boat with significant less effort on the rudder and with less deeper rudders.
Regrading beam brought back, as you have seen on those pictures, even when it is not all brought back there is a noticeable difference in design regarding 15 year old designed boats. Regarding the ones that have them all brought back that is so in what regards Max beam but not beam at the water line. It is a pity they don't give usually that measure because it would show significant differences. Boats can have max beam brought almost all back and have completely different hulls on what regards the under-body at and near the transom. And finally you have beam that it is not related with the beam brought back as many seem to think.
Well, not finally because the final chapter should go with preferences regarding aesthetics that as you say are important, I would say very important even if slightly irrational I would say irrational because what should be logical was one to like what is functional to him and his sailing but we know it does not work that way. Regarding functionality what you say regarding the bathing platform make all sense...I just hate the inelegant big fat ass that they visually give to a sailboat with all beam brought aft. That could be solved with a 180º pivoting platform but till know no one come with the idea.
Regarding hulls like the ones on the J boats or the Salona, versus equally moderated beam boats with all the beam brought aft I would say that even if with a crew they can result in a better performance, That would not be the case with a short crew or solo. So, even if in a well designed hull that would not make a big difference, in what regards cruising it makes sense to have a beam all brought back even if at the cost of a slight loss of performance. The slightly superior control will justify that. In what regards aesthetics every one has his own likings but what is true is that all beam brought aft will provide a very large cockpit at the steering post (unless a rudder is used) and that can be dis-comfortable and less safe. That is even more true in boats with a big beam.
Regarding beam I would say that narrow beams are very much a minority in what regards cruiser likings. They will provide a specially good boat upwind (and a comfortable one in what regards sea motion) but a boat with less interior space and most of all a boat the heels a lot.
It seems that the preference of cruisers go to beamy boats, the ones that sail with less heel and are especially easy to control and sail in any point of sail except upwind (they can sail upwind but not as well as less beamy boats), specially with the beam brought back. As most cruisers go against the wind motoring it makes perfect sense having those boats as the mainstream market for cruisers. It makes also sense as fast boats for voyaging since voyagers take most of the times the trade winds and go downwind most of the time.
There are some parallel here with the rigging of old tall sailing ships. Almost all of them had square sails and just one or two latin sails to go really against the wind if needed to. They used that rig because it was the best to go downwind even if that was a poor rig to go upwind. They had rigs that performed much better upwind but they just did not use them because almost all sailing was done on the trade winds were the square sail rig was more efficient. We can argue the same way regarding beamy boats versus narrower boats for voyaging.
For the ones that really go upwind, or sail in areas of very variable winds a less beamy boat makes sense. Many performance cruisers, specially all that are intended also to perform at some club regattas opt for this type of moderate beam. The boats sail with less heel than the narrow ones and with more than the beamy ones. They are also more comfortable in a seaway upwind.
They can offer the better overall performance, even downwind but in this case at the cost of a more difficult control. Even so the downwind control will be far superior than on the narrow ones. Beam is a big factor in what regards stability, the major one at low angles of heel and downwind you want a rock steady boat and not a boat that rolls a lot when waves are hitting the boat laterally.
On a narrow boat, because form stability is a lot less, only a very good wheelsman can prevent that rool movement because if it it is not immediately corrected by the rudder the boat needs to heel to get the RM from the ballast and that can cause an oscillating dangerous pendulous movement. A beamy boat can go safely in autopilot in conditions a narrower boat needs someone experienced at the wheel, and even so...it is less easy or safer.
It is all a question of balance in what regards the use the boat will have ant the performances one wants to see maximizing. No wrong or right here, except if one buys a boat not suited for him or the type of sailing he wants to do...and here aesthetics can be dangerous because they can lead you to a boat that is not the boat you need or want in what regards sailing.
The Columbia 32 is a very nice sailboat and it is just sad that our attention was brought to it by a fatal accident. That is much of a racer even if if it would not be difficult to make out of it a great performance cruising version. The boat has a huge stability with a big draft and a big B/D ratio and some interesting features as the possibility of having a lifting keel and a lifting propeller (never had saw one).
The fragility of those hugely deep rudders face to debris is a problem, even in what regards racing boats, as it is the case. The first version of the boat, this one(2005) had a different rudder and one that can easily be made to pivoting if hit by any obstacle:
The 2012 version has a different rudder and one that cannot be adapted to do that. A twin rudder system would probably have prevented this accident. We have seen several times Figaro II retiring from races with one rudder damaged by debris but I don't recall of any not being able to make it to port by its own means.
The designer of this boat is an experienced one even if not having designed many boats. Tim Kernan designed the Santa Cruz 37 and that is certainly a reference.
The boat looks very good, in its basic dimensions and in what regards design:
Now that the race is over started the discussion about the alteration of the boat for the next edition. Several possibilities:
1 -A 50 ft less expensive One class boat.
2 -A 60ft one class boat.
3 -Different boats with a rule but with box keels equal for all and consensual among designers.
4 - Different boats and keels, leaving to the Nas the resolution of the problem.
"As the Vendée Globe comes to an end again for another four years the discussions are turning to what changes need to be made to the format for the next edition.
Top of the agenda is changes to the boats eligible to take part. After more keel failures in this race, almost everyone agrees that something should be done, and the race organisers of the Vendée Globe have been looking carefully at whether or not they ought to move to a one-design for 2016.
To help make up their mind independently of what the current crop of skippers think, the Vendée Race management company, SEM Vendée, commissioned a report by former race winner Alain Gautier. Gautier has submitted his findings and recommendations, and a decision about the boats will be made within weeks.
"I asked Alain to give me a report on the evolution process of the boats and I gave him three objectives to look at," Bruno Retailleau, president of the race, told me.
"One, the advantages and disadvantages of a one-design.
Two, is that in accordance with the spirit of the race?
And three, can the race be safer in one-design?"
It just so happens that Michel Desjoyeaux has a potentially suitable one-design up his sleeve in the form of the Oceans50, a modified version of the canting keel SolOceans 50 from 2008, built for a one-design race that never got off the ground. This has proved reliable, has the backing of the French Sailing Federation, and he argues it would be cheaper to build. A new build IMOCA 60 like the race-winning MACIF now runs to around €3.5 million.
This baby will cost 3 times less.
Desjoyeaux has put the idea forward. There are a number of skippers who prefer the concept of a one-design in principle (though not necessarily this one). They feel they have nothing to fear from such a radical change. I talked to Armel Le Cléac'h about it last year and he was vehemently a fan, telling me that sharing a stock of spares and logistics would only be an advantage.
Probably the majority of current skippers are opposed to so major a change, and even the Vendée management seem to be taking the view it could be a step too far for the race....
"As well as safety we wanted to look at accessibility, and how easy it is for the younger generation and medium-sized companies to be involved. That is imperative because of the rise of costs. So we will look at that and analyse all these things and take a lot of care before deciding in March," says Retailleau.
In saying so, though, he leaves me with the impression that a compromise is already the favoured option. "We mustn't cut out the technical development, because before the start people come to see the boats as well as the sailors and they know that behind it all is technology, a human sport but also a mechanical sport," he says.
"So it could be that we look at something between these two options of a one-design and [open rule]. Maybe we could have a form of one-design [elements] in the boats. We will try to find a middle ground."
The options for a one-design keel and maybe also a change to the mast rule is soon to be discussed by skippers and voted on at the class AGM. It's been mooted before, and defeated by only a handful of votes, but this year the pressure is really on to reach a consensus for more sweeping change.
As for Desjoyeaux's 50ft one-design class, he's trying to find a place for it, but the Vendée Globe management isn't likely to bite. "I don't think we can have a double class in the race," says Retailleau. "We had in the first edition, but the fleet was so spread it was a safety issue and it would make the race more confusing and harder to understand."
I don't agree with Retailleau. We could well have something similar to what happens with the Mini transat: Open boats and production boats, meaning, Open 60, preferably with a box Keel to all, and a a smaller 50ft one design class. That of course if they can accept more inscriptions: 20 would be enough for the two classes. The huge difference in price between the 60 and 50ft boats would lead to the existence of many 50fts and a smaller number of really competitive Open 60's. This would make possible much more promising young talents without limiting design development, in what regards the top class.
I don't know what is going to be the option chosen but I don't believe that things will remain unchanged.
Archambault is building a new A35 (first 2 boats will be ready in late summer):
Better ballast to weight ratio (50 instead of 40%) at the same weight.
Same hull, but lighter deck and interieur with heavier keel.
Bigger sail area and longer mast.
Bowsprit as an Option.
Tiller or 2 wheels (instead of one wheel in the old A35).
2 versions: racing or cruising.
Price for the standard version is 148.000 including VAT...
Did you recognize that the NEO 400 has pivoting berths to balance heel in rough seas?
Brian Hancock "creative and media director" for the project has a blog and Welcome; comments on upcoming Volvo Ocean race classes: "Innovate, or die."
An 80% canting keel.
Thanks for posting. This is indeed an interesting idea but it seems that it is not working out at least on the first boat. They don't seem to have enough RM. The conditions seem pretty soft, with not too much wind and they have to balance the boat with the weight of the body. Contrary to what I think Murnikov expected, when the keels comes out of water the boat seems to lose quickly stability.
I guess that it is because the keel work as a foil and creates stability even if it was not maximized for that, like on this project (DSS):
Maybe we can combine both projects: Maximizing ballast effect maintaining it at the better angle to provide Max RM while profiling that keel to aerodynamically make a downward force. Maybe it is not much difficult to make a variable profile with small servo electric engines (like on an airplane).
That way it could be possible to maintain the keel always in the better position (slightly inside the water) adjusting the profile to give more or less downwind force according with wind intensity.
For working that way that bulb has to be modified, giving it a much more elongated form, diminishing drag. Like it is, it was made to be out of the water and now it would be inside the water all times.
It seems that they don't go that way and I don't like the way they are going. It seems to me that those wings on the new modified boat will be just to provide more RM trough the displacement of the weight of the crew. That would not work out on a bigger model. In fact if they want to test for a bigger model the way they are doing it makes no sense. The RM provided by the weight of the crew will have in the smaller model a completely disproportionated effect providing much more RM than it would be possible on the bigger boat where the crew will weight proportionally a lot less regarding the total weight of the boat.