I tried to do a search on this form , but for some reason it wouldn't pull up the keywords Discovery 55, so I have to ask my question here . But if this boat has been reviewed somewhere on this form , can anyone help me find the thread ?
My question is this , Discovery 55 review . I have a friend that's trying to talk me out of this boat ..because of what he calls poor Hull design , that it doesn't handle rough Seas well. Or that it takes a stronger wind to push it. versus other similar-sized yachts.
Any Discovery 55 owners out there , or people with experience on this vessel, that can reply ?
One of my main interest in upgrading to this discovery 55 is that I've heard the company is very easy to work with , in designing the boat purchase.
I trying to ignore my friend .because he sold on only one name brand boat.. ( His boat's manufacturer of course ) so he has a very biased opinion.
It's a big purchase , but now that I've sold my boat I'm anxious to move up to my next boat ..
Coming out of a 38 footer that I frequently solo sailed . I might be buying off more than I can chew , but at this point , mostly I was looking for feedback on the Discovery 55 hull design , and handling characteristics.
Re: Discovery 55
Here's the thing, a boat like the Discovery 55 are made in very small numbers and so it will be hard to find people who have actually even been on one under way. Moreover, on a forum like this one, there are only a few folks who own boats of this general size and complexity and then a slightly larger group who have even sailed on boats this size. As a result, it will be very hard to find a review based on experience with these boats. It should be possible to perhaps get the name of a few Discovery 55 owners from Discovery Yachts and talk with them. You might also try to see if you can talk with the professional skippers or crews, on a Discovery 55 or perhaps a delivery skipper who has delivered one, since the professionals may be more impartial in their comments.
For the rest of us, it is really hard to comment without knowing what you plan to do with the boat, or where you will be sailing her. It is also very difficult because personal taste plays a huge role in building a new semi-custom boat of this size.
For example, based on my own personal taste, I look at the Discovery 55 and think that is a really outdated hull and rig design. The Discovery 55 would have been state of the art design circa 1975 but we have learned a huge amount about motion comfort, seaworthiness, and performance in the intervening years. To me a boat like the Discovery 55 would be harder to handle, less seaworthy, and way slower than a boat that was based on the design principals that came out during the 40 years that have followed. That is not to say that I personally am a fan of the most of the more modern design trends either. But since I personally lean towards boats that are easy to handle and offer great performance, even if I had the money and inclination to buy I boat of that size, the Discovery 55 would not even be on my list and it would be nearly impossible for me to figure out why someone would ever build a boat of that design in this day and age. But that only represents my own tastes and my own view point.
Which gets back to the central point, that there is little that anyone (even a current Discovery 55 owner) can do to help you without knowing more about what you personally are trying to accomplish and why a boat like the Discovery 55 appeals to you personally.
Re: Discovery 55
... and for those of us that will likely never sail on a Discovery 55; here is a picture:
Personally, I like the "Open Saloon" layout
First of all you say that the design is 30 years out of date.. and better designs that come along.... yet you give no specifics about your problems with the design, or how new designs have improved ,, so basically you stated that you know all about it,, without giving me any information that I asked for..
Second talking to Discovery already, We have discuss all the improvements they have made in their design through the years , with their new hulls, that they're producing today.
Plus they just bought out two other well known boat manufacturers , and are producing a whole new line of boats with new designed Hulls , their Discovery 55 has a new design on its holes as well.
..... or perhaps your knowledge is just out of date...
My final selection has changed , I will be purchasing a southerly 480 .
But before you start talking about ship manufacturer designing hulls the same for the last 30 years , perhaps you should get some industry update..
Re: Discovery 55
Braavos, congrats on the new-to-you Southerly. Nice boats. I also like the Discovery line, I was aboard one in Annapolis during October's show. I could swear it was a 55 or close. It was sailed across the Atlantic for the show and was returning after the show. No doubt a capable hull.
I'm sure there is truth to what Jeff H describes about design. He's a naval architect and knows his stuff. Whether it matters to the average bloke, like me, is a reasonable question and I'm pretty sure he would acknowledge it. Everything is a compromise.
Re: Discovery 55
Aw c'mon Jeff, don't leave us hanging like that :-)
At least give us a few words about what you would like to see in terms of hull form and rig.
Re-read my post of my reply to Jeff , I'm worried it sounds a little harsher than I meant it , sometimes written tone isn't a good reflection . Discovery has modified their hull design , especially in the last 3 years. I had originally had looked at the amel50. , amel 55 , . But I have read some reviews of owners , of the Southerly yachts.. and they seem to really really love their vessels ...
Yes hull design is a compromise of different usage.. as I have recently retired and we plan on spending at least 2 seasons in the Caribbean , crossing over and spending 2 season and the Mediterranean. I'm compromising for a blue water boat for the Atlantic Crossing versus some shallow anchorage's in the Caribbean. We plan on living on board full-time For 4 seasons . With off periods , Of course , on the hard. .. I've looked at oyster , and hallberg-Rassy. , and Amel .
.. for reasons I don't need to get into, I wanted to stay under 50 feet.. . It seems discovery has gone to wider Beams, on their popular yachts along with a few years, with other changes.
.. they say that you don't pick the boat the boat picks you .
Everyone seems to have their personal favorite , the broker that I've been working with has his own opinions, but for some reason my top two boats, that I've been drawn to were the Amel's and the discovery group.
This Southerly 480 , comes closest to meeting my needs. .
Re: Discovery 55
Congrats on the Southerly..
Knowing Jeff H as I do, he's very knowledgeable about boats in general and, like so many of us, has his own (rather strong) opinions on what would make a good boat FOR HIM - and he has certainly never set out to purposely offend anyone - quite the opposite.
You had already alluded to others with a similar opinion of the Discovery line as he had. And in the end you didn't buy one.... so....? ;)
Anyhow glad to see you backed off from your initial reaction, enjoy your new boat.
Re: Discovery 55
In any event, to explain my earlier comments, during the 1970's and into early 1980's, the design of then modern cruising boats migrated towards adaptations of what were essentially IOR II hull forms and rig proportions. For the day, this actually produced some pretty nice boats, boats that went upwind well, and which were faster than many of the boat which came before them. They were also reasonably seaworthy and had reasonable carrying capacities especially as compared to the prior generation of RORC/CCA rule derived boats. Ron Holland like most of the better known designers had designs which fit this mold. The general hull form and rig proportions of the Discovery 55 are of this type form.
These IOR II based boats generally had hull forms with comparatively deep canoe bodies, cylindrical hull sections, and comparatively deep vee'd bow sections. Their center of buoyancy was typically near the longitudinal center of their waterlines. They had 'destroyer bows' and comparatively fine sterns (not as pinched as the prior generation of the IOR).
The rig proportions generally were masthead rigs that relied on very large headsails and comparatively small, high aspect ratio mainsails. Often these rigs also had a self-tacking staysail as well as the larger genoas.
In the intensive research that followed the Fastnet Disaster and that was conducted as a part of producing the CE Directive for Recreational Watercraft, as well as the work done by the yacht racing world studying motion control as an non-penalized speed factor; a lot was learned about motion comfort and seakeeping. The net result was that hull forms and foils were shifted with an emphasis on damping as a way of producing smaller angles of rotation, and lesser impact accelerations and decelerations. There was also a greater emphasis of the effects of the water to air interface in terms of wave collisions.
The net result over the period that followed all of this research is that on modern cruising boat hull forms the waterlines were extended to a greater percentage of their length on deck and designed with finer entries. The longitudinal position of the center of buoyancy was moved aft a little. The forefoot became a shallower vee. The hull sections aft of the forefoot went from cylindrical to ellipsoid. The runs became more powerful. This shift was mainly was done to increase damping and initial stability, while also reducing the impacts of the air/water interface. These changes came with a small increase in wetted surface, but a net reduction in drag due to the smaller frontal area of the canoe body, and also benefited from a large increase in sail carrying capacity.
Along with the hull form changes, and with the improvements in higher modulus sail cloth, better sail shaping, lower stretch running rigging, and better sail handling hardware; rig design shifted to sail plans which can quickly be depowered (reduced angle of attack and flattening) as opposed to the earlier IOR style sail plans that were heavily dependent on sail changes and/or other form of sail area reduction.
By and large, this has resulted in the majority of cruising boat manufacturers shifting to fractional rigs on their newer designs. With the greater stability of the newer hull forms they have also shifted to taller rigs which allow minimally overlapping headsails. These smaller headsail eliminate (or reduces) the need for the intermediate headsail and the pain in the neck of dragging a large genoa through the gap between the jibstay and the headstay. The net result is a boat that is much easier to sail and a sail plan with an extremely wide wind range. It also reduces the cost of purchasing sails since fewer sails and less sail area is needed.
To visualize what the above looks like compare the hull form on the Discovery 55 to that on the Discovery 54, the 54 being a more modern hull form. and the rig on the Discovery 55 to that on the Southerly 480, and you should be able to get a better sense of why I indicated that the hull form and rig of the Discovery 55 is based on outdated design principles. [Edit: a similar illustration in the shift in design concept can be seen between the older Amels and the latest Amel 50)
For the record,
-I never claimed to gave direct knowledge of the Discovery 55.
-I was careful to emphasize that without knowing more about your goals and tastes, it would be hard for someone to provide useful information to you even if they knew the Discovery 55 pretty well.
-I was careful to state that in the absence of knowing your goals, the basis of my comments would be my own tastes and preferences.
-I never claimed that Discovery had produced the same boat for 30 years. Nor had I claimed that all of Discovery's boats or lines of boats were outdated.
-I did not comment on the interior of the Discovery 55 (although I personally do not like boats with wide open floor areas and multiple floor levels and steps for offshore, but that also is just my personal preference).
-The kinds of things that Discovery lists as improvements to the Discovery 55 may have been important to you, but to me things like increasing the height of the deck in the raised salon or adding hull window are simply adding lipstick to a gorilla.
For what its worth, the Southerly 480 looks like a nice boat and more up-to-date design. A part of me wonders about the basis that could lead a knowledgeable sailor to change so quickly from the Discovery 55 to the Southerly 480 since these are conceptually such extremely different designs. I'd love to hear that explanation.
Discovery bought out the Southerly Yacht Company. It all in the same now , the 480 is basically the old southerly 47 , ( with a few modifications ) . I got a private message that said my reply to Jeff sounded harsh.. and now your reply said something about offended.. I wasn't offended by Jeff's reply, and didn't mean to offend jeff in Return , that was the last thing on my mind, so the tone of this thread is taking a Direction , that has me totally by surprise, and if I was able , I just delete this thread, because I was just asking a simple question .
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