I am in total agreement with Brent about the weight of cruising gear. The typical cruiser does not want to saw the handle off his toothbrush to save weight. He wants tankage, spare parts, tools, watermakers, gen sets, copious amounts of ground tackle including lots of chain and a full sized guitar. This stuff takes volume if it is to be stowed and leave enough room for humans to live in the left over volume. This is not theory. To do this with any style and grace takes a boat with some displacement. No,,,it won't be a rocket and go planing off into the sunset.
Yes of course. There is the typical cruiser, that are the majority and there are the cruisers that like to cruise in fast boats. They exist and even if they are not main market they are in enough number to justify shipyards to build production boats for them. Their number is not insignificant and they are growing in numbers as the number of production boats offered to them.
This is a also reality.
But you know what? Most cruisers don't have the skills or the eneregy to push a boat to planing speeds for days on end. They are comfortabvle and safe, SAFE, pushing the boat to hull speed and relaxing. Why design for a level of performance that is beyond your sailing ability or inclination to maintain. Better to design for good all round performance with a good safety factor for your structure and your stability while providing a comfortable ride and a comfortable home.
You would be right if those boats offered on the market for fast voyaging were based on crewed offshore (narrower) faster racers, boats that demand a crew to be sailed fast. That is the reason why cruising and voyage fast boats are increasingly based on solo racers.
Solo racers are designed to go fast and planning on AUTOPILOT. Take a look at the race movies, most of the time the boats go on autopilot even when the skipper is not sleeping and they are racing not cruising.
Yes these boats demand a sailor with some experience but they are very easy to exploit and to sail. Do you think that a difficult boat to sail could be offered as a charter boat for cruising to inexperienced sailors?
If you want to reach for the upper limits of performance you can decide for yourself what you want to leave behind. But when you arrive exhausted at the next destination and anchor next to a big, GUNBOAT catamaran you may have to rethink your idea of exactly what is fast. Because compared to that GUNBOAT the POGO is a PIGO. To go truly fast you need more than one hull. Now do we want to get into that argument?
Of course a big fast Multihull will be faster and there are more spartan cruising multihulls faster than the Gunboat 66 but do you know how much a Gunboat 66 cost? How many Pogo 50 you could buy with that money? Certainly you know that among 40ft cruiser multihulls the vast majority are not specially fast boats.
They are built for interior space not speed. Yes it is possible to have 40ft cruising multihulls faster than the Pogo 12.50 and there are some few on the market but then the interior space starts to be very small and going really fast on those boats require much more attention than on a Pogo. They can be capsized by the wind and sailing them fast is for very experienced sailors...and even so it requires a crew. They are also necessarily much more expensive.
Of course I am not talking about the Gunboat 66, I am talking about 40ft multihulls. That is why there is not a 40ft Gunboat and why the brands that propose really fast voyage multihulls prefer to offer them over or near 50ft. Smaller voyage cats are normally slower and heavier to allow less nervous and safer boats, taking into account its dimension.
Regarding those type of hulls (solo racers) they are fast on the trade winds and price by price they are by far the ones that offer the best performance in what regards fast cruising with a short crew and by a big margin.
Even in what regards pure performance last year on the ARC on the racing division we saw a boat similar to the racing Pogo 40ft with a crew of 4 or 5 beat a recent Swan 80 with a full (and huge crew). We saw a cruising Pogo 50 sailed by the owner the builder and some friends (not young guys) beat all cats and arrive among the first racing yachts, much bigger yachts with full racing crews. We saw also a cruising Pogo 12.50 with a small crew to arrive among the first surrounded by much bigger yachts.
Yes those boats are not for all, not even for the majority but they offer for the ones that enjoy fast sailing and cruising, the possibility to do that on a safe, fast and affordable boat.
You designed great cruising boats and I particularly like the Saga series but Pogos are pointing to a different market and different sailors, the ones that want, at half the price (or less), to enjoy a much more fast but spartan kind of cruising and voyaging. The success of the boat in what regards sales and that we can measure also on the number of boats doing the ARC shows that this is a valid concept, a concept that satisfies an existent part of the market in what regards voyaging and cruising. That market and the number of sails that wants that kind of boat is increasing.
I don't believe this has nothing to do with safety but with a more spartan comfort versus speed.
The Pogo 12.50 is a limit case (and yet it is a sales success) but there are also other very successful, fast and easy to sail boats based on the same type of hulls, among them the RM and the Cigale.
The efficiency of that kind of hulls in what regards safe and easy sailing is so evident that it is the main influence in what regards modern cruising boats and the reason is to provide very stable and easy to sail sailboats. All the NAs that are working for the big mass production sailboat companies reflects those influence in their sailboats, ones more than others but even German brands, that received that influence later are now deep in it. You have only to look to the more recent Hanse or Bavaria.
Has I have said, for the pleasure of sailing and has an all-round performance on a sailboat I prefer not so beamy boats and boats with a better performance upwind but I am not the typical cruiser.
Yes, I said that I have to work, and I have, but I could not resist: Pingo?