Monday, October 20, 2014


Well, not that bad, he only lost the boat...a beach cat with some alterations, but he will not give up. We will rebuild the little cat and will finish it. That's Ivan Bourgnon, not a quitter, a hell of a professional sailor with a long list of achievements :

 He had already made more than 2/3 of the circumnavigation and the more dificult part, the Atlantic, the Pacific and the more dificult part of the Indian....and then he slept just for 5 minutes, 5 minutes too long and the cat finishes on the beach. Damn!!!

All the story:

and the interview is even more impressive (in English): Learn how to survive big storms on a beach cat LOL!

The two previous posts about his voyage:


and I can only get two lousy photos :-( Somebody should fire the commercial director of Advanced yachts :-). The boat was presented on the Genoa boat show some weeks ago, more than time to have a photo release. 

One of the photos is this beautiful lounge interior, one that make the one from the Oceanis 38 to look poor and the other one is this view from the wheel station:My wife would love that: enough space to have some proper deck chairs while on anchor :-) But that is not what makes it sexy, just what makes wives liking this boat, what makes it sexy is the unashamed beauty of the hull, the low freeboard, the low cabin and the overall design that screams: SPEED and STYLE.

Yes, a speed dragster with a race boat performance with a cute and functional interior plus a comfortable deck (look at those seats) for the wive and guests, separated from the sailing area where the lucky husband will have all controls and winches at easy reach from the wheel.

Some would not like it but I am sure the boat has all the electronic, hydraulic and mechanical help that can be provided to a solo sailor, that means, lots of buttons, that will allow a couple or a solo sailor to tame and sail this beautiful beast comfortably.
As almost all modern top designs it is the work of a team: General concept from Advanced Yachts; NA from Biscontini Yacht design, the Structural Engineering from SP Gurit and the interior and exterior design by Nauta design. The boat is built in sandwich with fiberglass and carbon reinforcements under vacuum epoxy resin and reinforcements in high fatigue areas.

The technical characteristics are just awesome:
Overall Length: 13.46 m ;Waterline Length: 12.70 m; Max Beam: 4.25 m; Draft: 3.00 m Displacement: 7,100 kg (light); Ballast: 2,700 kg; SA: Main 74m2, Genoa (106%) 51m2, Gennaker178 m2.

4.25m of beam is not much for a 44fter (the Pogo 12.50 has 4.50m) but enough to give it a lot of form stability, specially given the shape of the transom, designed to control heeling and limit roll making sailing easier and more comfortable. The RM provided by the ballast is just huge: a 38% of D/B ratio on a sharp torpedo keel at 3.00m deep? That (and the hull stability) will provide an enormous stiffness and power to this sailboat and allows a big sail area: 125m2 upwind for 7100kg of weight, that is racing boat territory.
Well, if the lottery comes my way I would want a swing keel on that boat (a lifting keel would be better but probably would spoil the interior or maybe not since I only need it to go 0.70cm up) but that's just a detail, nothing that money would not buy or that design team would not be able to solve.

What a sailing boat!!!:-)

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Plenty of interesting stuff on magazines on the last months. This time is Yachting world with this interesting test. Pity they had not joined the Oceanis 38 to the group, it was certainly not because they don't wanted but probably they were not able to find a boat.
Like on the previous comparative we are only looking here at how the boats sail. To see what they offer in terms of interior space comfort and storage you have just to go to a boat show and take your own conclusions. I am pretty sure they will all be at the Dusseldorf boat show.

The results were pretty much what I expected but I bet they would surprise more than one and even more if the Oceanis 38 were part of the group.  They were clear: the best sailing boat (in what regards sailing) was the Varianta 37, the fastest and more enjoyable. 

Regarding the Oceanis 38 even if it was not here, on the last year's group test from Voile Magazine (for choosing the 2014 boat of the year) the Varianta 37 was way faster then the Oceanis 38 on light to medium winds (probably the Oceanis 38 will be faster in strong winds, downwind and slower upwind on those conditions).

The full test by Yachting World magazine (September) is very interesting and you can download the magazine on Zinio. The relevant parts regarding boat speed and the way the boats sail are these:
"What immediately set the test boats apart was the difference in speed and pointing ability of the Varianta, particularly against the Bavaria. She smoked the other two yachts upwind despite having a fixed prop..the Varianta soon won all tests on the water. With a F5 going over the Solent she behaved obediently and tacked sharply...A large wheel...provides light direct steering and excellent feeling at the helm. She is nimble, quick and a real pleasure to sail for just sailing's sake.

In terms of performance the Jeanneau was not far from the Varianta - specially considering that she was fully laden with cruising gear. ..We felt most comfortable sailing with the breeze up...upwind..the self tacking jib and good distribution of buoyancy in the hull helped to make the  379 the most nimble and balanced to sail. But with the modest sail plan the Jeanneau strugle until the wind rose above 8/10K.

It was evident in all points of sail that performance was not the Bavaria's strong point... Aboard the Bavaria i failed to get any sense of the helming pleasure the two other yachts had offered. She felt comparatively sluggish and proved difficult to keep on track or find a grove and routed up into the wind too easily. In a group that is close on the paper, we where surprised by the gulf between the three yachts in speed and handling."

Contrary to the impressions regarding the interior, where different sailors will have difference needs and different tastes, the part regarding sailing ability is the part of the test that is objective even if some points slightly blurred, for instance when it is made the assumption that the Jeanneau is not far in performances regarding the Varianta "considering that it is fully laden with cruising gear" but forgetting that the Varianta had a fixed prop while the Jeanneau had a foldable prop.

 That in my experience can give up in speed half a knot to almost a knot, depending on the conditions, probably at least as much as the Jeanneau would lose with being laden with cruising gear. That would made the last sentence more meaningful, regarding the gulf between the three yachts and not among two of them regarding the Bavaria.

I have no doubt that if the Oceanis 38 was part of the group the results would not be that different: Probably a bit better than the Jeanneau in strong winds downwind but worse close to the wind.That makes me wonder why the Varianta, costing almost half than the Jeanneau is not a big sales success and I can only assume that the way a sailboat sails is not as important to most cruisers as the quality or the interior or even the look of the boat.

Personally I like the way the Varianta looks, particularly sailing but the design does not look (and it is not) new, the boat has only on steering wheel  but the way it sails shows that what is older on the design are the looks, not its efficiency: The Varianta hull is the old Hanse 370 one but the keel is the one from the new Dehler 38, a torpedo high efficiency one.

The price of the three tested boats (with the extra equipment they had): Bavaria 37 - 170 267€; Jeanneau SO 379 (swing keel) - 230 626€ ; Varianta 37 - 133 979€

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Remember this?

I find this adventure crazy but only a great sailor with a steel determination would be able to do it. Particularly the voyage from France to the United States was particularly stressing: 87 days, alone in his tiny 16ft boat made of a vulcanic composite, passing hunger and with problems on the autopilot!!!

 Compared to that the return, from the US to France was much easier, "just"46 days and 21 hours.  Harald Sedlacek passed about 134 days alone at sea on a tiny and incredibly uncomfortable boat...just to promote the brand Fipofix (vulcanic composite for boatbuilding) in the hope that Fipofix will build for him an Open 60 for the next Vendee Globe. I really hope they can do it because if someone deserves a boat for that race is this guy, even if it will have to learn how to sail it first :-). 

Certainly it will not be has hard as this made adventure. The 90 days of a Vendee Globe, on a big "comfortable" racer will be much easier than these 134 days on that minuscule boat and certainly a lot more fun!!!


The data is taken from the huge comparative test (21 boats on the water) that served to chose the Voile magazine 2015 boat of the year. Let me say that for me that data is more important than the boat chosen: there are 90 testers, most not professionals and they are testing completely different boats, all kinds, from daysailers to voyage boats to chose a single boat. It is obvious that personal preferences for a given type of boat will play a major influence on the boat chosen, even more knowing that most are not professional testers.

It seems  more relevant to me the information that can be assessed by direct comparisons regarding boats of the same type, more if they are direct competitors to the same market segment. That's the case with the RM 890 the Malango 888 and the Dufour 310.
When a boat is tested preferences play a part in what regards interior and comfort but speed on the different points of sail, the way the boat sails are objective parameters, if the boats are in the water at the same time (at least for those conditions). That's what we are looking at here. For the rest you can just visit the boat on a boatshow and take your own conclusions. Regarding sailing performance evaluation they had luck with the wind this year: for the first day 25k wind, for the second they had less strong winds, medium winds.

The big surprise comes from the RM 890, carbon mast and all, the boat that belongs to Fran├žois Gabart equipped with a twin keel and twin rudders: It was slower than the Mojito but surprisingly also slower than the Dufour 310!!!! Unfortunately they don't give many details but they say that on the first day with the strong winds the RM 890 and the the Mojito 888 sailed fast reaching and at about the same speed but that close upwind the Mojito 888 went faster and better. 
Regarding the Dufour 310 versus the RM 890 they say even less, except for this phrase "Advantage from the Mojito and Dufour in what regards performances, advantage for the RM in what regards the interior, better finished and interior space"!!!

Big surprise, at least for me in what regards the Dufour 310. That's true that I had said already (on another post) that the Dufour 310 has a beautiful hull (Umberto Felci) and that on the test sail movies the boat seemed to sail really well. But from there to be faster than a RM 890, that is lighter (3900 kg to 4940), has about the same sail area and better sail controls (a traveler for the main and a 3D control for the frontal sail) there is a big difference. Probably they are referring to the conditions on the second day (medium winds) even if they don't make it clear (they say that the Dufour 310 sailed very well with strong winds pointing at 16k).
I don't really believe that the Dufour 310 will be a match reaching in strong winds, but in what concerns upwind sailing it can be another story. They did not test in light winds, where with the standard sails the RM will be probably faster due to the bigger SA/D but using a geenaker it remains to be seen. The 310 is a bigger boat, has a bigger LWL and less beam.

Anyway, it is not the RM 890 that is bad. It is certainly faster than the previous RM 880 that was already a great small voyage boat, it is the Dufour 310 that is surprisingly fast. The good performances from the Mojito/Malango were to be expected.
Some comments regarding the boats (from Voile Magazine and translated with some liberty):

DUFOUR 310: "It sails remarkably well. Very comfortable even in conditions that could be considered rude for this boat...easy to sail, fast, we made some points at 16k. It doesn't need a lot of wind to offer good accelerations Sensitive and very agreeable to steer. At ease with medium/strong winds, relatively stiff and easy to control in strong gusts"

RM 890: "Very well balanced...the rudder-man has all the controls at hand "

MOJITO 888: "It goes very fast..very sensitive, lively, comfortable when heeled...with 25k wind it is a delight with a light (twin) rudder that offers a total control even when strong gusts make the boat heel over what is sensible. We never thought of reducing sail and kept the full mainsail. With asymmetric spy we go even faster, planning."

If you want more information, namely regarding the boat interiors and read French you can find the November issue of Voile on Zinio, for downloading.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Jboats will have a new cruising 36ft that will join on the offer the other 36ft, the recent J111, that remains basically as a racing boat.

When the j111 arrived to the market I said that the boat was meant basically for racing and contrary to the J122, offered very little cruising comfort and that was a bit of a disappointment on a boat that otherwise is a blast, not only fast but also enjoyable to sail. Well, it seems they agree on Jboats because the new j112 is on the making. It is not a MKII, or a upgrade version for performance cruising but a completely different boat.

Let’s have a look at both boats, starting to compare their dimensions, first the J111, then the J112, all in meters and kg:

LOA: 11.10, 11.00; LWL: 9.97, 9.68; BEAM: 3.29; 3.58; WEIGHT: 4216, 5126 STD DRAFT:2.19, 2.10; B/D RATIO: 37.6%, 37,2%; SA UPWIND: 61.6, 65m2; ENGINE: 21hp, 30hp.

So what have we got here? A hell of a performance cruiser, knowing that the interior will be made along the lines of the new 122 and that means a very nice one, adapted to cruising. The bigger difference between boats regards beam and ballast. The J112 will be a more easier boat to sail, specially downwind offering a very good sailing performance, one that will allow it to win lots of club races and also lots of more interior space. Even so this boat is way faster than its true predecessor, the J109.

The IRC ratings will allow a close comparative look at the boat performance. Regarding the J109 (1.015) the J112 is much faster (1.060), slower than the J111 (1098) but faster than all other Jboats with the same size:

J105 – 1.014, J35 – 1.024. It is worth referring that the new J112 is closer in performance to the J111 than from any of the other older 35/36ft Jboats.
I cannot wait to see this one. I hope it will be at Dusseldorf. Probably it will be manufactured in France, like the 122 due to the lack of interest on the US regarding performance cruisers. I know that a lot of Americans that like fast boats follow this blog and that lack of interest can change: This is a boat for them, or at least one they would like to own, if it was not so expensive, as all Jboats. Well, expensive but very well made and very strong. You cannot have high quality without paying for it. A hell of a cruiser as I said. I love this one;-)

Thursday, October 16, 2014


One of the problems of a growing blog, like this one with lots of information, is to find the one that is relevant to each one at a given moment. For that it is needed an effective Index, a way to find quickly the desired information or to see if there is something here about... or not.

Well, it's done, or better it is going to be done and I have already find out how. That's simple, now on top of the right bar on the blog you have a new item: Pages. You have two, one for the blog (Home) another for the index. To go to the index just click on Index. There you are going to have all the content (now only about half of the posts) divided by categories and linked directly to the posts.

On a second phase I will create two pages for the Index, one only for boats and other for all other subjects. The boats will be divided by different types. I hope this will allow this blog to be an effective source of information for the ones that like sailboats, allowing a good access to all information.