I totally disagree with your comment or reply on my thread and I'll give you the reasons why...
First of all you say that the design is 30 years out of date..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 or perhaps your knowledge is just out of date...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..
[Edit: My comments below were started before, but posted after Braavos's later post. I do want address the core issues within the post that I have quoted]. I will start by apologizing for not explaining my earlier comments. I had assumed that someone buying a large and complex boat like the Discovery 55 would be familiar with yacht design principals but from your reply it appears that you are not.
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.