A friend with one of my 36 footers raced on a Beneteau. He said going forward on the decks was like runing an obstackle course, it was small and cluttered. He said if you left the helm for a second, it would instanly go off course. My 36 tracks like she is on rails.
Then he didn't know how to balance his boat and needs to go back to sailing school. He probably didn't know how to trim his sails and tweek them for maximum speed and efficiency. He probably doesn't understand how adjusting the traveller, the out haul, the jib track, etc, etc changes the dynamics of a finely engineered machine and not a welded together pile of metal. If he bought into your opinions of no roach, no battens, and $350 sails at the flea market not even cut to your boat, then I can certainly see where he would think a First is too complicated, cluttered, and his steel boat bobbing around at a couple of knots is ideal for him. And you know what, Brent, I have NO problem with that.
I am glad he has found a boat that fits his tastes. But that is a poor example because unlike KNOWING someone that has been on those boats, I have BEEN on them and they are pristine at sailing and finely engineered sailing machines built for speed and some comfort down below. I won't rehash the whole Racer for a cruiser thread, as you know I do not believe they are good cruisers and not a good comparison to your boat or mine, but never the less, that boat by anyone even partially competent would quite literally sail CIRLCES around your boat. Please don't disagree with that because you and I and the rest of the sailing and racing world knows it is true. Now, next...
My best days run was 175 miles in 24 hours, in a heavily loaded 31 footer. I made two trips from Hawaiii to BC in 23 days, mostly to windward in a heavily loaded 31 footer, lived aboard for decades. Last time I left Tonga at the same time as a 28 ft aluminiun Bob Perry design. I took 57 days to BC, he took 99 days. You wouldn't do much better in any heavily loaded 31 footer, with all that the owner owns aboard.
You and I totally agree that the difference between a "weekenders" boat and a true, fulltime liveaboard-cruiser are TOTALLY different. That comes because we have both been there (and I am doing it now, again, still). Never the less, 175nm/24 hours = 7.3 kts avg. Assuming your Load(ed) Water Line or LWL is circa 28-29 feet, that puts your Theoretical Hull Speed at about 7.1-7.2. That is not bad. Congratulations. Incidentally, what you are writing as your best time ever, most of the "plastic boats" (mine included) going to weather will always be at or over hull speed in winds at 15-20 sustained... fully loaded. I have already posted pics of it here. I bet we pinch a lot tighter than you do too - which in my opinion, can be even more important that SOG. Even on my best day, a Bene First will point higher than me and outrun me. So at 15 sustained, what speeds are you running? How close are you pinched? Reality is you can't compete with us, just like I cannot compete with many Benes.
As far as you beating one of Bob's aluminum boats, good for you. But other than the fact he had less water line, was he racing you? Same sails? Same sailing skills? I mean come on, are we really comparing apples:apples? So if I sail out of here, throw all my sails up, petal to the metal, and zoom by a TP-52 that I see going the same location, does that make my boat faster? HELL NO! Just means he either doesn't know how to sail or isn't interested in racing or has run aground.
I saw a Beneteau hauled out, with 38 flimsy plastic thru hulls, which you could easily break out with a light kick, leaving an inch and a half hole in the boat, mostly below the waterline. Mine use welded in stainless pipe nipples . Beneteaus dont have any back up plates undee their stanchions. Mine are welded in, sch 40 pipe, 34 inches off the decks.
I call BS. Name the boat type. And you know they could be kicked out because you did it, you did hull-analysis, or because you walked by and you just "know"? That is another one of your baseless statements that have no basis in fact, but are thrown out by you as such. If this boat is a 49 (which I believe has 3x Thulls), I have been on that boat. Had one in our last marina. Know the owner and we are friends and he has sailed all over the caribbean, S America, bahamas, and keys on that boat. That boat easily runs over 10 kts on a moderate day... easy! Certainly not a flimsy hull either as he took it out in TS Debby just to see what it would do. I was there and INVITED (and quickly declined)! He pushes that boat to the limit and blows out brand new ($7000) spinnakers and has even pushed the boat so hard he blew a sheet!! Blew a new jib sheet! Zero structural damage to the boat. How many of your owners have taken them out in TS just to see how fast they will go or push them to their limits? Try again.
My boats dont rust out, as long as they follow the directions I give them. If they dont, then that is not my fault.
Steel boats rust. Please don't deny that they don't. How bad and when depends on the owner and the upkeep... I get that. But just like I prefer to cruise maintenance free with everything but my flagpole made out of fiberglass, I also prefer to cruise with a can of wax and a buffing rag over a belt sander and 20 gallons of rustoleum.
Most don't tie to docks, one is enroute from Cape horn to the Aleutians, several are finishing circumnavigations and several are leisurely cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, while others are cruising full time in BC waters, unlike the expensive plastic boats ,which leave their owners so broke that they have to tie the boat to a dock and spend years earning the money to pay for them.
That is such a load of bull, I don't know where to begin. First of all, you wanna compare how many Benes have circumed or are out there cruising versus Brentdesigns?? Benes are cruising and have been cruising all over the world for decades. Many have circumnavigated. Crap, even a Hunter 50 just rounded Cape Horn and he posts here (I forget his name now). Ask Mark of Sea Life about plastic boats sitting around. Didn't he just finish his circum and is back in the carrib!? We have a Catalina 42 who posts here that just crossed the Atlantic (by himself) and is now cruising the med. We have Killarney Sailor who is almost completed his circum and now sits in S Africa. That comment by you is an absolute, complete bunch of bologna and I just proved it.
Do they sail faster? Not if you include the time peope spend working to pay for them, then pay the moorage, insurance, repairs, sails maintenance etc. while the guy in the more affordable Brentboat is out cruising and making miles. The guy in the so called "fast boat" will never sail enough miles to make up for the time he has wasted at the dock.
What does that have to do with the price of bread? So you and those who make your boats dont pay moorage, insurance, for repairs, for sails, etc? Well, that is a different discussion which I am HAPPY to discuss with you. But as far as it pertains to this conversation, the decisions for each one of those are personal decisions that is irrelevant to the boat. You can put a $350 sail on a bene and go without insurance on them too, you know.
If I spend the cost of a new mainsail, and it forces me to put off sailing for the winter, and the head start the difference would have given me, will I end up having covered more gound than if I had bought the slower used sail, and got a years head start? Not a chance!
On that, we agree. But again, it is irrelevant to the boat.
One 36, cruising in company with a 35 ft Beneteau, leaving port at the same time, was always arriving at his destination way ahead of the Benny, despite being heavily loaded.
That Bene owner obviously graduated from the same sailing school as your friend who raced them. All those rope thingies get complicated. I know. See above how to fix this.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I arrived in Auckland with a battened mainsail, falling apart around the batten pockets.. Getting rid of the battens let me sail another 3,000 miles, in squally conditions , without popping a stitch. And you say I could have done the same without doing a thing to the falling apart sail, or eliminating that which was causing it to fall apart?
Why not have a sailmaker to your boat, have them measure and cut a sail specifically for your boat, make it heavy cloth, double around the battens, several reinforced reefs sewn in, reinforced clew etc, and work with you to maximize the displacement and type of sailing you do? I know, you can't get this at the flea market for $350, but as you can tell from your trip to Auckland, you get what you pay for. I am not criticizing your decision not to pay what would be a multi-thousand dollar sail. You are the 'go-now and make it work' type of guy. I like that, honestly. I respect it. But don't critique others who have the funds and interest in maximizing their sailing performance. It is a sailboat after all, and there is a reason we have moved from wooden square-riggers of the 1700s to some boats which are quite candidly highly engineered, screaming machines that blow BOTH of our socks off.
Now let me say in all of this again, as my point does not seem to come through to you: I like what you do. You have some good ideas. Your design does, and should, appeal to many people. I have no problem with that, nor do I have an issue with your attitude of 'go now, go cheap'. You and I agree on many things and I respect what you do. I just don't respect how you do it. Instead of proclaiming that everyone who does not buy a boat like yours is gullible, or decrying the many benefits of production boats (or any fiberglass boats) and throwing out many things as facts which are simply untrue, you would be much better served realizing that your boat fits a certain segment of the sailing population. It is the right boat for them. Your boats have many positives, as all steel boats do. You are NOT the right boat for everyone and others are well served to consider other options. No problem. Other boats have many positives too.
You see, on all of that, we would agree.