Monday, November 30, 2015


I have to say that never understood very well why X yachts have launched the XC series with the characteristic they have: Middle weight, very classical in design. Don't take me wrong, the XC series are great boats but I never understood why that type of boat would be the vision X yacht had of  a cruising boat. Maybe they just wanted to compete on the Halberg Rassy more traditional market and if it was all about that, no doubt that they accomplished the task.

But personally I would have took without any hesitation for cruising a boat from the XP line  over one of the XC. Sure, the XC has a better interior for cruising but all that weight does not make my style. I like rewarding boats to sail, even if I would like a Xp with a better cruising interior, not that the XP line has a bad one, but it is not a match for the cruising interior of the XC series.

Well it seems I am not the only one since X yacht launched a new series for me :-) and all that share my tastes, simply the X series. They describe the new line, referring to the first boat on the line, the X6 (the X4 is made according the same principles) like this:

"Utilizing the very latest state-of the art design concepts, yet unmistakably an X-Yacht, the X-Yachts designers started with a clean slate for the all-new X6. Developed to provide ultimate luxury, without sacrificing the renowned X-Yachts sailing performance, the X6 will take her owners and crew anywhere in sumptuous style and comfort...
Building upon the best features of the world beating Xcruising and Xperformance ranges, the X6 will utilize the same hi tech, low weight construction techniques as the latest generation of Xp racer-cruisers, including vacuum infused epoxy with localized carbon fiber reinforcements for strength, stiffness and stability.

The weight saved has been put to good use: allowing long-range fuel and water tanks, larger battery banks and optional equipment such as water makers and dive compressors to be fitted without sacrificing performance. The new ‘X’ range will be a luxurious and impressively fast collection of performance cruising yachts for state-of-the-art bluewater sailing".

Well, it makes sense to me ;-) The X4 will be a bit heavier than the XP series, but nothing like the XC. The new 41ft will weight 8850kg with a big B/D ratio (42.9%) for a boat with a standard draft of 2.20m and a torpedo keel. It will have a considerable beam of 3.95m (not beamy by modern standards) and that will give it a huge stability.

A L keel can also be provided, with a draft of 1.85m (and more ballast) or with the same ballast and 2.5m of draft (to compensate the less efficient keel design).

It will come with a 45hp engine, 97m2 of sail upwind, a tankage of 200L of diesel and 340L of water. First boats will be delivered next summer. I like it...maybe because it is very similar to my boat, that is just a bit less beamy and a bit lighter. My kind of cruisers ;-)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

VISMARA V56: just beautiful.

Vismara and the NA Mark Mills have done it again, what a beauty!!! After the much more sportive V65 :
a smaller performance cruising one. It is a pleasure to see Mark Mills, after having designed some of the fastest IRC racers around, designing big cruising yachts :-)

The boat is relatively beamy (5m), has a dingy garage, integrated solar panels, a moderated draft (2.5m) and it can have the boom control on an arch , that is also a permanent "bimini" or having a traditional cockpit system. It is made of carbon/epoxy sandwich and it is light (14 000kg) and will be certainly very fast.

The design program, for a owner that is a very experienced sailor, was for a blue water cruiser able to sail in very light winds built with tested solutions and made with the best materials : My kind of program ;-)

The winches are near the wheels allowing for solo sailing and it comes with a cutter configuration for easier control. No drawings yet from the interior (Lucio Micheletti) but if a very sportive boat like the V65 has a very nice cruising interior I am really curious to see this one.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


I don't find small cats very pleasing to the eye, they tend to be quite high for the length and that gives them a boxy look but I recon the comet 37 is near of what you can do best regarding looks on that size. From some angles it is even beautiful. Looked laterally not so much, but then any small cat isn't.
I have talked already about it when it was still a project, now is on the water and raising a lot of attention: It was nominated for the boat of the year awards and it is not a weak contender. It has proved to be fast, without being properly a true performance cat, at least on this version without daggerboards, it has a very good cruising interior, kind of the best part of two worlds for many and has a nice price: 225 000 euros without VAT.
12K speed with 20K wind is not bad for a 37ft cat ;-) I cannot wait for a true sail test to see how the boat will do upwind. This one has two keels of considerable depth (1.33m) but there will be a more sportive version with daggerboards. Well, sail tests will be many since the boat is going to be tested by sailors from the major European magazines for the European boat of the year, we have only to wait a little :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Maree Haute, Django 9.80 builder started doing mini racers, back in 2003 and they still make a racing one, the D2V2; then  they made a small cruiser based on the mini racer, the Django 6.70, then a slightly bigger version, the 7.70 (there is one circumnavigating) and now the big brother, the 9.80 that will be followed by a bigger one  the 12.70.
All boats are designed by Pierre Roland, are very sportive, well built, using infusion techniques. They have already built around 100 boats from all the types, a remarkable number for such particular boats.

The 9.80 is an oceanic boat with lots of interior space, lots of light, a good standing height (1.90m) with an interior that being very functional is quite basic and spartan. I kind of like it. A boat that points to the ones that like sailing more than interior comfort.

The hull is based on the solo racer's hull concept, it is beamy (3.60m) with all beam pulled back, light 3.2/3.4T, depending on the keel configuration, that can assume three forms: Twin keel (1.55m with 1350kg of ballast), torpedo keel (1.95m with 1150kg of ballast) and swing keel with all ballast on the keel (1.10/2.40m with 1150kg of ballast).

A considerable ballast for these types of keels and a big hull form stability gives a very stiff boat with a  sail area to match, a big one, with 40m2 on the mainsail, a 32m2 genoa and a gennaker with 92m2. That's a fast boat for sure. The price starts at about 133 000 euros for a boat equipped, without taxes.

The Django 9.80 was already tested by Voiles magazine on a comparative test, both boats at the water at the same time, with the Azuree 33, a boat with the same type of hull but more heavy, with a much more comfortable cruising interior and also a bit more expensive. The Azuree 33 is a fast boat but the Django 9.80 is faster even if the version tested was the twin keel (the slightly slower one):

Upwind with 22k of wind and waves the boats don't pound, both make 45ยบ real, the Azuree goes at 6.5k, the Django just a bit faster. Both boats are very easy to control and very stable. On a beam reach the Django lighter weight rules and the boat goes at 8.5K while the azuree makes "only" 7.5K. Downwind the Django goes at 10K surfing to 12K while the Azuree never made more than 9.2K.

With medium lighter winds the difference between the two boats was smaller going both around 8k downwind, with the Django going just a little bit faster. Testing the Azuree with the Django is quite unfair to the Azuree that it is considerably heavier (5.2T) even so the Azuree did good and if tested with the Oceanis 35 I bet that it would be considerably faster.

The Django 9.80 is a very interesting boat, not expensive considering what it offers and a good proposition to the ones that like sailing as much as cruising and dream with solo or duo Ocean passages on a small and fast boat.

Have a look:

Friday, November 20, 2015


And as subtitle: the expensive and the "cheap" options LOL. The ARC is almost starting and this year we have some very interesting performance cruisers doing the passage, among them two Outremer 51 (picture above), a Neel 45 "racing", a Pogo 50, two Pogos 12.50, a Knierim 49, a Marten 49, a XP44 and a More 55.
It is going to be very interesting to follow the comparative performances of these boats (and others) and I mean the rich and the poor because their price tag is very different as well as the interior space and comfort. The cat and the trimaran offer an incomparably bigger living space with a price tag to match: 750 000 euros for the Outremer 51, and for the standard version of the Neel 45 538 000 euros. This are base prices, not including VAT and the Neel is not the racing version.
The Outremer 51 and the Neel are very different boats, a cat and a trimaran. The Outremet has dagerboards and therefore a good performance upwind, the Neel 45 has not and the upwind performance suffers, but this is a downwind passage and that is not relevant here. The price is also very different. 
The Pogo 50 has a good cruising interior, on a zen way and it is slightly more expensive than the Nell 45, at 591 000 euros but offers a better performance, specially upwind: 
Pogo-50 from Andreas Lindlahr on Vimeo.
The Knierim 49 is  not very well known, it is made by a German shipyard (Knierim) that has made till know 3 49, a beautiful and fast yacht. I could not find prices but I would not be surprised if the Knierim 49 costed as much as the Outremer 51.

The Knierim 49 is a 13 year old Judel/Vrolijk design, a great design and a boat very different from the Pogo 50, that is a boat based on solo racers while the Knierim comes from the IRC cruiser/racer tradition and needs more crew to be fully exploited.

The XP 44 is a boat that comes on the Knierim 49 same line of design development. It's the smaller till now and compared with all the others, the less expensive boat at 358 800 euros. It has a great cruising interior for this type of boat and it will suit the cruising style of a sportive sailor. In fact there is one circumnavigating.

The Marten 49 is another gorgeous expensive carbon boat, designed by Reishel&Pugh. The design, like the one of the Knierim has already more than a decade but was also a very advanced design, with a lifting keel and a great cruising interior. Both boats weight about the same (9.5T) and the design is not very different (IRC derived). Both still look very nice and it seems time has not made wrinkles on these two, that remain beautiful sailboats, and of course, damn fast ones.
And finally the poor men's fast offshore performance cruiser, the smaller Pogo 12.50, at 253 488 euros, a boat that comes from the Solo racing tradition and is designed to be exploited with a small crew or even solo, if the sailor is a really good one. Fast, specially on the trade winds, with an interior that is functional and kind of comfortable in a zen way, it is the voyage boat option for the "poor" sportive couples.
Well, the Pogo is the cheapest boat that can be bought to sail really fast on passage but that seems to be changing with the More 55 being sold for comparatively less money. The More 55 costs about half of what costs the Pogo 50 and not much more than the Pogo 12.50 (295 500 euros). Let's reserve the boat performance till  we see what really is able to do, but looking at the specifications and design, I would say it is a very fast one. The interior seems a good cruising interior, needing some improvements, but that is just the first boat.
You are all invited to follow the ARC. It starts Sunday 22. This is the tracker:
And if you want to follow it more closely and with some interesting company, we are doing it on a forum, on this thread (I am Polux there):

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BOREAL 52, 47 and 44: THE MOVIES

I had posted already about the Boreal 52:  but since then some very interesting movies appeared on the net, including a video test of the Boreal 52 by magazine, so I guess a post is on order to share all this. The German Boreal 52 boat test video:
A interesting video with the Boreal 47 (the one on the photo) solo sailed: 
And the Boreal 44 sailing in the Arctic and Antarctic:

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I know that many look at this blog as a way to see what is going on the European yacht panorama and some boats constitute for them a surprise. Well, I can say this one is a surprise for me too. This is a beautiful boat, it seems very well made and certainly very well designed (by Cossutti) but what is odd is all the process: The boat is built by More Yacht, a Swedish firm, in Croatia and More Yachts is a Charter company that has many other sailboat on charter, including Salona.

I mean now it has the More 55 too, since the two first will be available next year on Croatia and Caribbean . Eh!Eh! my kind of charter boat, but quite amaizing regarding the market. Maybe the market is changing and these guys are just offering what more people want and don't find on the market. Anyway they are going to produce 10 sailboats for their charter fleet and then they will offer it to the public, with a different layout.
The price, given the high quality building techniques, is absolutely amazing, 355 000 euros fully equipped to sail and for the ones that want to keep the boat doing charter they warranty an income of 276 000 euros in six years over an estimated 390 000 euros. So my friends, this is not only a new interesting boat but may be quite a revolution for the ones that are working actively and that charter each year.

The More 55 is very similar in building techniques to a top Salona (and I believe that the know how comes from there). They use vinylester epoxy based resins with vacuum infusion and a stainless steel structure to distribute the loads from the keel. Even the interior wood work looks like Salona, on its standard mahogany versions.

The design is very interesting, being a beamy boat, with 5m of beam (about the same as an Oceanis 55), has very narrow entries  (all the forward part of the hull is narrow), with all the beam pulled back, but while the Oceanis 55 has a B/D ratio of  26% this one has 41%!!!! on a 2.7m torpedo keel. A very, very stiff boat with a huge amount of power.

We can see that power put at a good use on the sail area that the boat is able to sustain. The Oceanis 55 has a very decent SA/D of 21 the More 55 has 29!!!. We are not only talking about a very fast and seaworthy boat but also one that is made to cruise, with a big tankage (650L of water, 550L of Diesel), a big engine (110hp) and having as optional equipment generator, air conditioning, satellite communications among others. 
I guess this is my boat of the year ;-) I hope it will be at the Dusseldorf boat show. I really want to see this one.

Off course, as on all the boats we can always point at some things we would like to be done differently and among them certainly the lack of handholds and proper rail on the galley (to be clipped on) but remember these versions are just charter boats to be used on the Med and Caribbean. The owner versions will have a different interior and I am sure that have them with good handholds will not be a problem, if the owner wishes so.