SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,269 Posts
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For example, based on my own personal taste, I look at the Discovery 55 and think that is a really outdated hull and rig design.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.


Respectfully,
Jeff
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,299 Posts
... 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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
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.


Respectfully,
Jeff
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..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,368 Posts
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.
 

·
Doesn't sail enough
Joined
·
623 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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. .
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,489 Posts
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jeff_H

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,269 Posts
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.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
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 .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Not quite sure what you're asking Jeff. And I didn't understand 2/3's of what you wrote . I wasn't looking for that technical of a reply. .
As to how I switch from a new discovery 55 to a Southerly 480..
Simple , I listened to people who were more knowledgeable than I was , that I've chosen to help guide me , in my selection , based on what I told them that my needs were .. it's a large cash purchase , a large investment .. but at this point I wish the hell I had never join this forum.
... if I offended you my apologies , and I will be studying your reply to increase my knowledge,
thank you for your time ,

... now let me figure out how to delete myself off this forum.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,269 Posts
Braavos,

Please don't leave. As you have noted, the internet is a lousy conveyor of tone. At this point, I see no harm and no foul to all of the above and hope that you don't feel offended by my comments either.

But at the heart of it, it sounds like you are entering into buying a new boat and at the same time seem to be suggesting that you are in a learning process. Forums like SailNet really are good places to kick around ideas and ask questions that come up along the way. Many of us have experienced the kinds of things that you are likely to ask about and are quite willing to try to be helpful.

As to my perhaps too technical post, I am sorry if it is too technical to be of immediate use to you. Hopefully my explanation will make more sense to you if you discuss it with some of the people who are as you say "more knowledgeable than I was." All of us in this sport have had to learn from others at some point along the way, and places like this are also chances to give back to the sport.

I am hoping that you will stick around to teach and be taught, to ask questions, and describe some of your experiences and so on. Having ridden shotgun in my mother's boat building and importing company, I typically suggest that there are few things in sailing that require more knowledge and experience than buying and commissioning a new boat. Your process will include invaluable lessons in what to do and what not to do. Bob Perry's thread on the Carbon Cutters was a great example of a thread that was jamb packed with lessons on designing and outfitting a boat from scratch. But all boat decisions include the idiosyncratic elements of taste and preference and of course those will be uniquely yours.

Kumbaya and out,
Jeff
 
  • Like
Reactions: SanderO

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,220 Posts
Kind of interesting that the other two boats the OP was considering in his original post are a masthead ketch and a masthead double headed sloop. Although new designs both tuck in at their sterns and have a fair bit of rocker although less than seen in the past.
Really like the southerly. Enjoy. Please don’t leave the forum. JeffH is quite knowledgeable and generally gives more light than heat.
 

·
Learning the HARD way...
Joined
·
7,299 Posts
Perhaps @Braavos would find these videos helpful?

and regarding the Discovery 55;
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thank you for the vedios ,
I have seen them , and have spoken to Distant Shores , over the internet. . I'm working with a broker , and contracted license captain. But thank you for your post.

As to a previous comment made by someone else, as to why I had looked at totally different types of boats , perhaps you would understand. That when you have a wife , who picks out boats because they are , " pretty " you're viewing selection varies , lol ,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,368 Posts
Braavos. Hope you stick around and fill us in on the new boat commissioning process. No doubt many would learn from it. I got the process started many years ago and bailed to buy a near new boat instead. Long story.

No doubt, the disconnect in tone and content with Jeff is the presumption on his part that most buyers of the boats you’re contemplating have a high level of understanding of boat design principals. I’m 100% certain that most do not. Nor do most luxury car buyers understand how cars are designed. Some aficionados in both camps do. It does, on the other hand, pay to listen to them.

I loved the idea that the boat picks you. About as non-technical as it gets, but there is a lot of truth to it. You will need to love your boat, for it to ever be worth it. Once the boat picks you, best to learn as much as you can about it.

One thing to look into a bit is how well Discovery/Southerly is doing financially. They make a nice product, but I’m not sure how many they sell. May be totally wrong, but I had the sense their combination was a life support move. Again, I could be wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,220 Posts
Understand I gave the wife a short list too. Boreal, HR and Outbound. She picked the Outbound.
 

·
Doesn't sail enough
Joined
·
623 Posts
To anyone that didn't follow Jeff's post - I highly recommend Bob Perry's book, "Yacht Design According to Perry." It goes through the technical stuff in relatively small digestible pieces, and intersperses it with great stories of how his designs of various eras came to be.

https://www.amazon.com/Yacht-Design-According-Perry-Shaped/dp/007146557X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515685106&sr=8-1&keywords=yacht+design+according+to+perry

Maybe if you ask him nicely he will sign it for you.

I'm sure there are good textbooks that Jeff and others can recommend but they may be quite dry and beyond the attention span of a lay audience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I think that the Southerly 480 will be a great boat, but it has a much smaller state room but is more modern and has a lifting keel. However the Discovery 55 is hardly out of date. Just go to the World Cruising Club results of their passages and you will see that Discovery 55's seem to out pace most of the other boats in the same class except the Hylas 54. I have bought a Discovery 55 and I am very happy with the build quality, the later the boat the better they are, hull number 30 onwards is the best choice for a used boat, but like any boat the manufacturers just improve them as they fond better ways of doing things. The Discovery 55 VS the Southerly 480 is all about comfort an independence. The 55 hold 1300l of fuel and 1000l of water. the Discovery 55 is a bioat built for a job, i.e. blue water cruising and does it very well, there are no right or wrong answers only choices.

In a few years I can see a time when boats will have no gas on board and probably no generator and power will come from solar, wind, hydro and as a last resort the main diesel engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Jeff-H - Thank you for the great description regarding the important details between the hull updates for the boats listed. This is helpful for me as I am collecting information as well.

Best,

Scott
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top