... When I finally get around to doing long-distance cruising, I will make sure to have at least one French crew on board, so that we are always eating well and drinking plenty of red wine. Those guys on the Pogo 10.50 were going in style and having too much fun.
... I love J/Boats as much as the next person, but there is nothing like this going on in the United States today. Indeed, without J/Boats I would say the U.S. boat building business would basically be dead.
You can get a Portuguese also. That's the same regarding wine. The first thing I have done on my previous boat, a German one, was to built a proper storage for wine bottles. This one is an Italian one so the place(s) were already there. Sometimes the most practical thing while at sea is to eat sandwich or simple food but any of those improves drastically with a good wine...and a good wine is easy to carry, easy to open and don't need a fridge so good wine is a must on any offshore cruise.
Regarding the J I guess they survive in America because they are bought now mostly by Europeans (some are only made here). You can find plenty of older Jboats on the US (and fewer in Europe) but regarding newer boats it seems to me that it is the inverse.
That's the best compliment that can be made to Jboats, American boats that can survive and be very successful in such a competitive market as the European one. For what I heard the J70 is not only a big hit in Europe but in the States too. Maybe things are changing?
The boat is a lot less beamier than the 400 (Ceccarelli designed). Both boats have about the same beam and being the 46 designed by Rob Humphreys I am pretty sure that it will have a better final stability than the 400. Humphreys likes to design seaworthy boats, with a good final stability and AVS. Even if they don't give the boat ballast I trust it will be adequate to that purpose.
Humphreys says about the Azuree 46:
Having considered a shortlist of potential designers for their new Azuree model, Sirena Marine tasked us with the challenge of designing a new flagship for the range. The current models are exciting, twin-ruddered Open-style boats and share some philosophy with a development line we have pursued for a number of years, one that in our case derives from our work in the Open 60, Volvo 70 and Class 40 theaters.
We love this style of boat; it delivers a heady mix of excitement and excellent traction. If it was a car it would be one which could be thrown it into the corners at high speed in the knowledge that it would respond to the driver's most delicate touch - adrenaline and reassurance mixing in a rare infusion.
But... fast, exciting yet forgiving: these are qualities one can find in a dedicated, custom raceboat, and in themselves are not enough to enthuse the wider sailing sector. We needed to focus not just on performance per se, but on performance versus handicapping, under both IRC and ORC rules. We wanted to design a boat that could thrill in its sailing qualities but also have a chance of delivering some silverware, and with the Azuree 46 we believe we have a boat with well-rounded capability. Of course she will be fast and exhilarating downwind in a breeze, but at the same time powerful upwind in the same conditions, with her long waterline and easy lines giving her the feel and power of a larger yacht. And in the same, ambidextrous way we had to make sure she was no slouch in the light; her hull may be wide and powerful, but the upright immersed sections represent a surprisingly low wetted area form in order to minimise viscous drag and make the most of the Azuree 46's generous sail plan.
If it was a case of ticking boxes, that's a few of them addressed. But for many boat owners, performance and race-winning potential is only part of their lifestyle. For an immense number, sailing is also about the simple joys of just enjoying life on board, to have home-comforts at anchor as much as to have long-distance passagemaking as part of their potential itinerary. The Azuree 46 can hold its hand up as a very capable cruising yacht, as able to slog it round Ushant in the teeth of a South Westerly as to provide exuberant comfort at anchor in Göcek, where the enormous cockpit transforms itself into an enveloping reclining area.
The Azuree 46 is a thoughtfully blended cocktail, sensitively composed and definitely shaken, not stirred.
and it seems that Humphreys like it too
The boat is light (10450kg) with a big draft (2.60m), not too beamy (4.25m) and is built by a company that have built already several boats that proved not only fast but reliable. The boat is built in Turkey so the prices are an agreeable surprise. The interiors are of good quality and this one seems to have a nice interior distribution with a big garage and lots of storage space.
I bet J.P. Morgan Asset Management is delighted that Ben Ainslie set a new multi-hull record in his J.P. Morgan Asset Management AC45. That's giving the sponsor their money's worth.
And speaking of Ben Ainslie, it's quite a tribute to his incredible sailing skills that he could step out of the Finn class into a high performance multi-hull and start winning races right from the start. I suspect Oracle Racing gave him a program just to make sure they didn't have to face him at some point driving for one of the AC72 challengers.
While I've had the opportunity of racing in the Solent (on a Rob Humphreys designed boat, by coincidence), I've never done the Round the Island Race before. I need to add it to my bucket list, along with the Fastnet Race.
I thought there might be some big boat racing on my schedule this year (aside from the casual Ultra 30 outings), but so far it looks like it will be all Laser racing and perhaps a few Viper 640 regattas. Hoping to get back to San Francisco in September for the Rolex St. Francis YC Big Boat Series, if only to add to my Mt. Gay hat collection.
Paulo - If adding a Portuguese to my crew list will contribute to a wine-friendly boat, then I'll be sure to do so. As it turns out, I spend a fair amount of time up in the New Bedford area, which has a vibrant Portuguese community, primarily due to the commerical fishing industry, which employs many people originally from the Azores. For this reason, I am able to consume quite a lot of Portuguese food and wine (from the Douro region, of course). My first time visiting, I tried Antonio's, one of the many Portuguese restaurants, and was initially surprised to find the menu different from what I was used to in California (there is a superb Portuguese restaurant in the town I lived, Sonoma, called La Salette). But then I realized that the cuisine reflected the culture of the Azores, not mainland Portugal, so that is why it was unfamiliar. Nevertheless delicious, of course. Quite a few people from Brazil living in New Bedford, as well, probably because it's easy to be in a place where people speak the language.
The Solitaire du Figaro, previously called the Course de l'Aurore, is a solo multi-stage sailing race created in 1970 by Jean-Louis Guillemard and Jean-Michel Barrault. The unique character of the race, the presence of great solo sailors and its being open to amateurs, has made it one of the most cherished races in French sailing.....
The race is split into 4 stages varying from year to year, from the length of the French coast and making up a total of around 1,500 to 2,000 nautical miles (1,700 to 2,300 mi; 2,800 to 3,700 km) on average. Over the years the race has lasted between 10 and 13 days at sea.
The competitor is alone in the boat..
In 1991, the Solitaire du Figaro made the milestone of becoming a One-Design race. The race organizers chose the Figaro Bénéteau (now called Figaro Bénéteau I) designed by Group Finot and Jean Berret. Since 2003, a new design called Figaro Bénéteau II has been used, a modernized, more powerful version ( designed by Marc Lombard).
Two quick observations about the Pogo 10.50 Mediterranean cruise video:
1. Is it just my imagination or does everyone sailing in Europe wear brand new, top-of-the-line foul weather gear? It seems like in every video I see, people are kitted out in crisp new Musto offshore gear (or Gaastra or SLAM or HH)! I would be embarrassed to show up at a European regatta in my 13-year old Jeantex foulies (a company that is already out of business) and worn out Sperry sea boots.
2. When I finally get around to doing long-distance cruising, I will make sure to have at least one French crew on board, so that we are always eating well and drinking plenty of red wine. Those guys on the Pogo 10.50 were going in style and having too much fun.
In the meantime, the more I read the Interesting Boats forum, the harder it is becoming to choose the right boat for performance cruising. Once again, I blame the Europeans for designing and building one amazing boat after another, each one intriguing and enticing. I love J/Boats as much as the next person, but there is nothing like this going on in the United States today. Indeed, without J/Boats I would say the U.S. boat building business would basically be dead.
When I went over to France to look at the Boreal 44 a couple years ago and I was looking through all the locker spaces I had to ask what all the holes in the shelves were for. The reply was was obvious to most, " It is to store your wine." Did I feel American as I said, "How does box wine fit in a round hole."
Even with all the holes in perfectly good shelves we bought a Boreal 44.
I look forward to a pleasant eating and drinking orgy in Portugal this September when RC LOUISE heads south from Brittany. And I'm pleased to say my wife speaks Portuguese from her years as a doctor in East Africa. I will be emailing Paulo about the finer places to eat along the coast.
Coming originally from Weymouth, MA. and from a commercial fishing family that was not Portuguese I always enjoyed the bar brawls on the deep south shore. I walk into the bar, the Portuguese fishermen would recognize you and bingo, black eye and some blood and then buying each other drinks.
My wife comes from Weymouth as well. Salty girls. We are South Shore people as well. Once the stick was put in it was uncertain if the tricolor was working well. Builder went up to look at it. Once he came down she said "What's it like up there? I want to go up" and she did. The locker behind the center back cushion of our Outbound folds down exposing a wine locker ( with cut out holes for the bottles). The back of the locker door becomes a convenient shelf. Good food and one glass can be a morale booster coming off watch.