Saturday, November 22, 2014


Two boats pointed to the same type of sailors but two very different boats even if sharing a kind of similar look. The Garcia is an aluminium centerboarder with almost all the ballast inside the boat, the Comet is a swing keel boat with all ballast on the keel.

This gives Garcia an advantage in what regards simplicity and  Comet a clear advantage in what regards performance: For the same RM the Comet will only need a percentage of the ballast that will be needed on the Garcia.

The Garcia is almost integrally built in Aluminium, the Comet is made of vinylester resins, Eglass and kevlar and carbon reinforcements, using an infusion process. The finality is giving max impact and compression resistance on critical areas. The boat has a sacrificial crash box at the bow and another one at the stern. The cabin can have a watertight door. Even with all the kevlar reinforcements in what regards resistance to impact I believe that the aluminium hull will be a better option.

Regarding dimensions (m, kg, m2, L): LOA:  G - 14.21; C - 13.99. LWL: G- 12.57; C - 13.97. Beam: G - 4.44; C - 4.50. Displacement: G - 14 100; C - 11 500. Draft: G - 1.14/2.90; C - 1.60/3.50. Ballast: G - 4300; C - 4800. Sail Area upwind: G - 91.0; C - 85.3 (with Jib). Engine: G - 55/75hp; C - 75hp. Tankage: G - Water 500; Diesel 700; C - Water 440; Diesel 680.

From the dimensions we can see that to a very close LOA and Beam correspond a bigger  LWL and ballast on the Comet. The max draft is also deeper but the really huge difference regards RM and almost for sure AVS and inverted stability. The Comet has more 500kg of ballast but most of all it has all that ballast on a keel wilt 3.5m, while the Garcia has most of it inside the boat, just a bit below  the water line. The difference of effectiveness of both ballasts is huge as the stability of both boats, not in what concerns overall stability, due to the Garcia bigger weight, but in what concerns the stability/weight ratio.

The Comet will not only be a much more powerful boat in what regards sailing as  it will have a better reserve stability and will recover much quickly from a knock out. The Garcia has the advantage of maintaining intact its stability with the centerboard up and that can be important regarding seaworthiness in extreme weather but probably the Comet with the keel up will have a similar stability to the one of Garcia.

It seems to me that the Garcia is a more specific yacht, pointed to voyages in extreme latitudes while the Comet will also be able to do that (even with a less resistant hull) but will be a more versatile sailboat with a much better sailing performance, a long range cruising boat with a big autonomy and seaworthiness.

 Both boats can be sailed from the interior and have an all around view from the cabin and the rigging is designed to be used by a solo sailor.

The Comet  looked a lot worse on the first low quality drawings. On the new ones the boat looks a lot better and more elegant than the Garcia that,as I have already said, looks fat and too high to me. Not that I find the Comet particularly beautiful even if I like the hull.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


                                                                                                                          Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Volvo Ocean Race
Time for a check up on this great race: the First leg had a great final with several boats battling till the finish line: Abu Dabi won the leg over Dongfeng and on the last positions the girls (SCA), with the finish line on sight, overtook Mapfre. On Mapfre that with AbuDabi I had considered the big favorites things did not went well and Desjoyeaux leaved the team.

        Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget
They tried to make everything look like normal but the fact is that nothing went well on the boat, the conflicts were many, the Spanish skipper did not follow the advise of the French navigator (Nico Lunven) and the last drop was near the end where against Luven opinion, Íker, the Spanish skipper, decided to go for the final approach near the coast, instead of a more offshore option, having as result to be overtaken by the girls. Too much for the French sailing star, Desjoyeaux, that is not used to lose, much less to come in last.
Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race
Things continue not to be well for them: they made again last on the Cape inshore race and even if they made a great start with strong wind, starting the race in first and are among the first now, I don't see them as favorites anymore ...unless Íker starts to listen to the new navigator instead of deciding himself about the best course.

You can follow the race here:
The start of the leg two, the inshore race and a resume of the leg one, all great movies:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Thanks to Anders, that call my attention for it, some images of the new Salona 38PC.  It is designed by Cossutti, the one that designed the Neo 400. The hull design is very different from the Neo, close to the one of the NM 38 (also by Cossutti) and that means a boat that probably will be very competitive in handicap racing (ORCI and IRC). Avery good looking sailboat too!

Regarding cruising that will mean a boat not very different from the actual 38, that by the way was nominated by Sail magazine for boat of the year (like the 35 and 44), but a bit better specially downwind. A boat maximized to sail upwind and with very light winds: my kind of boat ;-)

They will have a performance cruiser version (PC) and a performance racing version (PR) and probably that denomination, like on the Dehler R is a bit misleading since the PR it will be probably just an upgraded epoxy boat with a lead keel, more draft and better specs. Sure they will also make a true racing version for the clients that want to make top racing but then it will be a boat based on the PR with higher specifications, like basalt/carbon bulkheads, carbon spars and even special keels. Anyway, very curious to see the hull dimensions and the B/D ratio, even if I don't expect nothing very different from the actual 38. Two completely different boats, not sharing the same hull with the same basic name: Salona 38. That's quite unusual.


On the class with more boats and where the competition is harder, the 40class, Alex Pella did not only win the race but also beat the record by one day and five hours. The boat was designed by Gonzalo Botin, the brother of Marcelino Botin and built by Longitud Cero. A completely Spanish team, from the sailor to the builder, passing by the designer, beating all the French on the biggest French Transat. That's a hell of an accomplishment and also one that means the French are not alone anymore in what regards top solo sailing and top racing solo boats design. 

Regarding design, several designers have tried including Ker, Owen and Clarke and Rob Humphrey but the  honor of having designed the first 40class racer  that beat the French designed boats on the bigger Transat, is for  Gonzalo Botin.
The name of Botin partners is not very well known out of the racing world but if I name some of their designs I believe that many will recognize the boats because they are winners: Caro, the Knierin 65 performance cruiser that beat all the race boats and won the last ARC, Beau Gest, the 80ft racer, the Grand Soleil 50, the VOR70 Camper and many top TP52 among other great boats. One of the more exciting and best NA teams around.

Alex Pella is a great sailor having taken part in two IMOCA seasons (2009 and 2011) and that, for lack of budget that would allow him a competitive boat, has passed to the 40class. He has been a top contender on the previous Transat, did not win  because he had to stop at La Coruna to repair a rudder  but after that he made an incredible recuperation to the first places, finishing second very near the first (with Pablo Santurde).

42 year old Pella, is at the top of his abilities as a solo racing sailor and it would really be a shame not to see this all Spanish team enter the next Vendee Globe. I really hope that this great victory can contribute for a Spanish national support that allows them to enter the next big solo race with a top boat, a Botin designed one, built in Spain.

Une course parfaite ! Arrivée d'Alex Pella... by routedurhum


Unfortunately I don't know anything about it except what we can see on the image, a Yacht of about 60ft (or over) that does not come on the line of any of the actual designs on the different comets series, featuring a more beamier hull with the beam pulled back . We can see also a different winch set up (easy for solo sailing) but most of all, instead of a traveler over the cockpit, one of those direct system, type black magic double swivel airblock for mainsheet on a boom style park avenue. It looks just great and show that something is changing in what regards design orientation on Comar. It looks like a Marc Lombard design, even if there are many that could have designed something similar, all great NAs, since this is a great design. If it is a Mrac Lombard one maybe there is a big swing keel on that hull ;-). I want to know more about this one and most of all if the aging sports series is going to soon be renovated with hulls like this one, with a rigging setup easy for solo sailing (and crewed racing too).

PS: Well, it was quick, I mean receiving information. Yes it is a Marc Lombard design, it is a  62ft yacht and the first one would be probably made in aluminium!!! but it can also be made in resin. Probably that means  Comar works in GRP, Carbon and now Aluminium. If that is the case that is a double surprise :-).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NEO 400

I don't know why I have not posted about this boat already, certainly it is one of the most interesting 40fters around, a Ceccarelli design. I had made a quick reference to it on the old thread but at the time it was only at a building stage. Now it is on the water, winning races and most of all showing an incredible performance in real time and also a huge seaworthiness (on the stormy Middle Sea race). After that race the crew said about the boat and the sea conditions:

"With us was a veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race and he said he never would thought that in the Mediterranean the sea could be like that with eight meters with a breaking and a a that has increased quickly from 20K to 25K and then up to 35K and 40 knots, so constant, relentless. At the end we saw 48 knots, without a break for 200 miles. We sailed between Lampedusa and Malta, for us the worst part, with storm jib and the mainsail with two reefs. 
We were consistently between 16 and 18 knots, with peaks around 22 and beyond. At 22 knots the log was out of water and did not work anymore, so we do not know how much speed we made, but it was really tough. The unusual thing was that the wind never fell, ..40-45 knots for at least 12 consecutive hours, it was really hard...Waves as ever I've ever seen in Mediterranean and we manage to sail the boat in safety without giving up performance. .. the boat behaved very well and we have not broken anything, I noticed a excellent behavior under storm jib. ..... we have outsailed 50 fters and beaten boats like the B2 and a Cookson 50..."

They outsailed the J122 that won the race (on compensated) by almost 4 hours, were faster than the fastest racing class40 and left behind a Sydney 43 (+3 hours) and a DK46 (+2 hours), a truly incredible performance that showed that the boat can go as fast as the absurdly high rating it has. It should be said that the J122 was incredibly well sailed and that's why it won on compensated. Those 4 hours difference are a true expression of the difference in speed between the two boats.

As a way of better understanding from where that speed and power comes let's compare it with a J122, a very fast boat and a preferred of mine, as a performance cruiser, a winner of many races (dimensions in kg, m and m2):
LOA: J -12.19; N - 12.15.  LWL: J - 10.55; N - 11.50. Beam: J - 3.63; N - 3.99; Weight: J - 6770; N - 4600. B/D ratio: J -37,4%; N - 52,2%. Draft: J - 2.20; N - 2.60/1.60.SA upwind: J - 80.4  N - 105.0.
Two very different boats. The carbon Neo makes the J look very heavy (it isn't) but the four most remarkable differences are the huge difference in RM, the difference in weight, the difference in LWL and the diference in hull design. No wonder the Neo 400 is so seaworthy, it is incredibly stiff.
The J122 is a stiff boat but the Neo with a lot more beam, a hugely bigger B/D ratio, a considerable bigger draft and a more efficiently designed keel, makes it it look like a tender boat. Also impressive is the difference on the LWL, almost 1 meter on a boat that has about the same LOA. The difference in weight was expected, being the Neo a carbon boat.

Regarding hull design the Neo 400 is very modern, with a lot of beam and all of it pulled back with a transom design that would make easier to control the boat downwind sailing fast. The J 122 has a very different hull, a more dated one, not because it is narrower but because a more modern design would have that transom slightly modified and the beam more brought back, as it is featured on the more modern J111. That and the old designed keel on the J122 makes the boat look outdated when compared with the Neo, even if still able to deliver an impressive performance.The first time I saw The Neo 400 specifications I thought: WOW!!! and when I saw what the boat was capable of doing on that race, I said again... WOW!!! what a boat!!!
They plan a more cruising version and I cannot wait to see it. It does not need to be carbon, a top light epoxy vacuum infused hull will put about more 1000kg on that boat but even with the extra weight it will be a hell of a boat. I can only hope that they can make a cruising interior as good as the one of the new version of the J122. The one of the racing version of the Neo cruiser racer is really...spartan, even if functional. Besidesbeing a hell of a sailboat, the Neo is also a Gorgeous boat:

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Well, I refer the nomination because I had not mentioned it on the post about this year's contest (I will change it). Not really my fault since it was not on some of the lists. A bit odd too since it is a 2013 boat that only changed the name, from Mylius 15E25 to Mylius 50.

But who cares, this is a sexy one LOL and I like it a lot. This boat is a kind of a Ferrari with a  luxury sedan interior, quite an amazing (and expensive) sailboat, an all carbon one with a big draft.

 Regarding the big draft, there is no substitute for that in what regards performance, sure a swing keel is a much  better solution regarding a lower draft but nothing can beat a torpedo keel like this one in what regards drag and efficiency. A lifting keel would be the closest thing but on a Yacht of this size  it would intrude the interior, increasing weight and in what regards weight this is a minimalist boat...... but not in interior comfort. Besides a 3.00m draft is not a problem when sailing out of big tidal waters or some specific cruising grounds.
 I found that when I cruised for two weeks on a 41ft with a 2.70m draft. I thought that I would have some problem in what regards anchoring but no, I anchored on the same spots I used to anchor and that has not made any difference. But that was in Croatia and it does not apply to all cruising grounds.
To better understand what we are talking about let's compare the Mylius 50 with a First 50, a great and very fast performance cruising boat:

 Regarding beam, the First is a relatively narrow boat with 4.42m, the Mylius has the same beam; regarding LWL, the First has 13.26m, the Mylius 13.35m,. Till now nothing very different between the two even if the Mylius has the beam much more brought back....but in what regards weight the First 13780kg look huge if compared with the Mylius  9900kg and in what regards ballast ratio the First 34.6% ( a considerable ratio for the draft and keel) can't compare with the 38.4% of the Mylius. That difference is much increased if we consider that the keels have a similar design but the one of Beneteau has a draft of 2.39m while the Mylius has 3.00m: then the difference in RM provided by the bigger ratio and the bigger draft is just  BIG!!!

The Mylius makes the F50 look like a slow boat. The Mylius is not only much lighter but also much more powerful and that means incomparably faster. That power is visible on the sail area each sailboat can carry. Even if  the First weights almost 3000kg more,  it carries upwind considerably less sail area (111m2 to 148m2,both boats with a jib): That is a HUGE difference. If the Mylius is a Ferrari, the First 50 is only a Golf GTI.

About the Mylius general concept:"Technical excellence and design, speed and comfort, experience and innovation, appearance and functionality, technology and style, a holistic view and care for detail are all values that give rise to Mylius boats. The result of a long and passionate process of research, design and construction, each Mylius boat is unique, beautiful, fast yet easy to sail, capable of offering the most in terms of navigation and life on board, be it on a pleasure cruise or a regatta, whether moored in port or in the open sea."

That seems obvious but these yachts seem so unusual, so passionate that I am curious about the people that are behind them. This is no usual shipyard, these guys are passionate for their work and we can see it on the end result. Who are they?

"Mylius was born in 2003 from a dream and the love for sailing of three men. Mario Sassi, Alberto Simeone and Mauro Montefusco always lived sailing as their big passion, since childhood; then, after various professional experiences in other sectors, they launched a completely new company, able to reflect their way of living and loving the sea. ...In 2007 the first Mylius 14E55 was launched, a fast cruiser-racer without sacrifices in terms of comfort, but winning high-level regattas – as the two Italian ORC Int’l Championships won by “Fra Diavolo” in 2009 and 2010."

Maybe that is what makes them different: They are not boat builders looking for a profit but people coming from different professional experiences sharing a passion for sailing and beautiful boats. The Architect (not NA) among them is Alberto Simeone that coordinates a team of naval architects, naval engineers and designers to give shape to their dreams. The sailingboat manufacturing world needed what they brought new: Passion and a notion of a sailboat as a work of art, perfection sailing, not only fast, but beautifully and with an interior that matches in design quality the sailingboat quality. The best of several worlds: top technology, top yacht naval architecture, top interior and exterior design, a work of art.