They sure look like fun! Almost like something I could drive! Do you have any experience sailing one? …
I would like to try one, but no, I haven’t.
But I am looking for a new boat and, as almost all Europeans that like fast, small crew (or solo) oceangoing sailboats, I have my eyes on the new breed of fast cruising boats that are arriving at the market. They are not only arriving, they are selling
These boats, between 32ft and 60ft, have incorporated many things that have allowed the Minis, the 40class and the Open 60 to be safe, fast, and forgiving boats, that can be handled by a single sailor. Of course, the cruising boats are less powerful, more easily driven, but are fast upwind and can go downwind without second thoughts or difficulty, well over 10k.
These boats are very light (for a cruising boat), hi-tech, with variable draft, some with water-ballast and with a very light but functional interior.
I want to try one of these…and they are certainly a desirable option for my next boat… If I can convince my wife of their beauty and if I can find the money for one (they are inevitably expensive).
I will soon share more information about these boats on this thread:
…The big issue is trying to race PHRF, which is not really nice to this style of boat. Rated about 20-30 secs a mile too fast for buoy racing. On the open ocean, the initial rating was probably correct.
Ive liked the concept since I first saw these back int he early 80's.
You are right, neither of these ocean racers (Minis, 9mclass, 40class, Open60) are good at any form of rating racing ( the ratings are too bad and anyway with any rating system it is not pure performance that matters).
This is also a new racing concept (well, it was new some years back) the basic concept that among the boats with the same size, the first to arrive is the winner.
Of course, if you try to ocean-race any other type of 23ft monohull against a Mini, you will be beaten and by a large margin. After all, that is a very Open class and that hull shape has evolved trough decades of racing, to the best compromise between an easily driven hull, stability, sailing carrying power and seaworthiness. If other hull shapes were as suitable to pure ocean sailing performance you would see them among the 80 participants of a Transat.
By the way, this is not only a very interesting class in what regards racing but it is also a very interesting class in what regards Boat Designers. Almost all of the best European designers have begun designing Minis and some of them, designing, building and racing them.
Originally Posted by midnightsailor
Thanks paulo for sharing this and bringing up these boats and races. I had become so involved in cruising and other aspects of sailing and boating that I had totlly forgotten about this class, basically only focusing on the more widely popoplar and known races like the Vende, around alone, etc. Way back when I was fairly new to sailing I started to follow these races and recal that Steve Callahan, the author of Adrift, was enetred in the mini transat which I believe started in England somewhere and was to end in Antigua. I believe he was somewhere between the Canary islands and Cape Verde islands , when he lost his self built racing sailboat "Napoleon Solo" setting off his historic , and epic feat of survival while adrift in a liferaft for 76 days , if I remember correctly. I will defeinately be paying closer attention to these boats and the races now that you have brought them back to my attention. regards, Rick
Thanks for enjoying. The pleasure is mine. I love Ocean racing and it is much more agreeable to follow the races sharing them with sailors that love them as much as I do.
Yes, I remember those first races. To be true, at the time I thought that they were crazy. And probably they were
. It was not just race but a big and dangerous adventure. All kind of sailors were in, including a lot of mad ones, that had not a clue about ocean racing, or even bluewater sailing. The accidents were more than many…and many serious sailors gave it a wide berth.
Some decades later it is a completely different story:
A long evolution has transformed the Minis into seaworthy boats that have to comply with strict and well proven safety rules. New sailors, before having their inscription accepted for a major race have to race very demanding ocean racing series to prove that they are up to the job.
On the last Transat (France-Brasil), from 85 boats only 7 boats retired from the race. All made it to port by their own means. And these guys were not cruising, they have endured winds over 40k and several boats made better than 270 miles on 24h (better than an average of 11k). They have stressed the boats to the limit.
That’s an amazing low percentage of retired boats and a true demonstration of the incredible seaworthiness of these boats, taking into account their size.
From the seven, several retired by electrical problems and autopilot failure, some with broken rudders (they have two), only one had problems with the canting keel (after colliding with a submerged obstacle), one got stuck in a sand bank 60 miles from the finish line and the most funny story: they had to send two airplanes and a Brasilian navy vessel to catch a guy that passed at large of the Brasilian coast, and was heading to the South Pole. He had a “problem” with the GPS
One of the guys, after the big party, is going to sail the boat home, as soon as possible, to Saint Martin on the Caribbean. That’s for sure a sailor that doesn’t mind to sail solo
Headlines - La Charente-Maritime / Bahia - Transat 6.50