Regatta riders: enjoying that regatta or club competition has never been more fun thanks to the latest flotilla of seriously well-built cruiser-racers.
Ranging from the sublime SwanClub 50 to the outrageous Wally Cento 100 and plenty of competent production boats in between, the current cruiser-racer has come a long way from the hotted-up cruisers of old. The competition is as fierce in the yards as it will be on the racecourse with these yachts, so choosing one requires both heart and mind. Not forgetting of course that we're talking performance cruisers with fully fitted interiors that have a life beyond the hustle of the race course, so crunching the numbers is worth doing.
Our selection demonstrates a wide variety of yachts, showcasing the latest semi-custom work from some of the current racing winning designers, such as Mark Mills. Back in 2014, I was impressed with the build of the Mills V62 SuperNikka, his first collaboration with the Italian Vismara yard, and have watched as she's gone on to win, most notably the 2015 Mini Maxi Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo. So the semi-custom Vismara 50 looks like another rocketship in the making from the Ireland-based Mills. Another race winning brand that caught my eye last year when I was sail testing in Barcelona, was Italia Yachts. I saw the Italia 9.98 win the prestigious ORC World Championships there, beating a strong held of production yachts from all the major manufacturers and boutique builders, so the new Italia 12-98 is a cruiser-racer I'd love to sail.
Italy features strongly in this article because the country produces many exquisite cruiser-racers as well as cafe-racers and Solaris is yet another marque of note. Delivered locally by Windcraft Australia, the new 47 continues the collaboration with Argentinian designer Javier Soto Acebal, who also penned the One 42 model. What struck me when I sailed the Solaris One 42 was the quality finish and attention to detail, apart from the obvious slipperiness you'd expect from a performance-cruiser, so sales manager Rick Hawkins at Windcraft is expecting more of the same when the first 47 reaches Australia. Yet more eastern Med promise is to be found in the German Frers Euphoria 54 built by Turkey's largest yard, which shows the attributes of a bluewater classic that can enjoy the Caribbean circuit and beyond. Yet another Frers-design and one of the potentially most exciting performance cruisers listed is built in Sydney by McConaghy's. The Frers 57 is powerful, fast and innovative in both race and cruise mode but if you have to ask how much, you probably can't afford it!
Competition for your cruiser-racer dollar is fierce so there's plenty of strong sales pitches going around, such as from Swan dealer Brendan Hunt at Vicsail. "The ClubSwan 50 has to be the best new cruiser-racer because it's been a choice between adapting older TPs and very few exciting new designs," explains Hunt while adding: "And adapting old boats for a new life often leads to a limited chance of resale." The new Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed ClubSwan 50 is built to be competitive in open class racing and be a successful One Design while giving owners a comfortable cruising life afterwards.
Exotica aside, there's plenty of production boats to choose from as well including the quality Dehler 42 that should be a notch up from the Dehler 411 enjoyed racing, and then the evergreen First 40's slippery Farr hull has been given a deck revamp with moveable helm binnacle and carbon gear throughout. Yet more French savoir-faire comes from Dufour in La Rochelle whose new GL412 hotted-up cruiser is being imported by Matt Hayes at Performance Cruising Yachts.
BENETEAU FIRST CARBON 40 EDITION
This slippery race-winning hull of the First 40 now has carbon fitments as standard and comes with an innovative yet movable steering wheel.
Beneteau's race winning First 40, along with the 35 model have been revamped with the release of the Carbon 40 Edition, which comes with some innovative improvements to the slippery Farr designed GRP hull. Most noticeable, is the new way of improving space usage in the cockpit with the new smaller movable composite steering wheel, which can favour the steerer on either tack.
Favourably optimised for IRC (TCC: 1.090), a major selling point for club racers, buyers usually opt for the higher stability and stiffness of the lead keel and the taller carbon rig to improve stability. This is now standard on the Carbon Edition.
The model upgrade (from the 40 CR--Club Racer version) also includes a retractable carbon bowsprit that can fly assymetrics. Further optimisation to this well established cruiser racer includes a lead fin keel to replace the bulbed version keel (giving a fairly stiff ballast ratio of 37 percent). Steering is done via a deep spade rudder and same smooth Farr GRP hull is used, with waterline maximised.
Below decks a three-cabin layout has the owneris V-berth with an ensuite head, which has a second door for crew use which should all go to help this new model continue its winning ways.
MODEL First Carbon 40 Edition DESIGNER Farr / Nauta LOA 12.58 metres (41 feet) BEAM 3.89 metres ENGINE 40 hp sail drive FUEL 130 litres WATER 200 litres SAIL AREA Mainsails 50[m.sup.2], Genoa (106%) 40.5[m.sup.2], Asymmetric spinnaker 147[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 7,900 kg (GTE) BALLAST 2,925 kg PRICE $450,000
BRIAND P100 WALLY CENTO
Perhaps the ultimate cruiser-racer with maxi class power combined with a family friendly interior.
Arguably the ultimate cruiser-racer, the Wally Cento class uses a box rule to encourage designers to push both sides of the C-R equation, and Philippe Briand is the latest naval architect to join this carbon super-maxi fleet. Striking aesthetics are a key feature of the Wally stable and the Wally Centos take this to a new level for cruiser-racers, with the P100 having a 'roller coaster wave' deck. Foredeck crew may not be so enthusiastic with this multi-level layout at first glance but it is a clever way of improving comfort by supporting feet when racing and allowing relaxation when in cruise mode. Additionally, the P100 has this all teak-clad so gives a sure grip and a cool base for bare feet during cruises. Other compromises that you won't And on a dedicated maxi like Wild Oats XI include a guest cockpit, self-tacking jib track and general lack of imposing deck hardware; although hydraulics are extensively used.
French designer Briand's Cento P100 has a 100-foot length overall with a seven-metre beam, which is slightly less than the beam and freeboard of the second Wally Cento Magic Carpet (3), which has twin rudders, as the P100 will have. Briand tells me he's optimistic his P100 will be faster due to having a two-tonne weight advantage; which equates to 20 seconds over a mile. The upwind sail area is 7,040 square feet, while the downwind sail area is 14,370 square feet. The sail plan is all about powerful running and reaching sails so there's a long fixed bowsprit for the 412-square-metre Code o to fly from and the carbon spars have swept back stays and runners.
Below, on the P100, the box rule stipulates a minimum of 1.9 metres of headroom with three cabins. Carbonfibre furnishings are used, which adds rigidity while reducing weight and the ambience will be like a sports car--more Audi than Ferrari is my guess, having seen the Wally Cento Magic Carpet (3)'s luxurious interior with owner's suite and two ensuite guest double cabins.
MODEL P100 (Wally Cento Class) DESIGNER Philippe Briand LOA 30.48 metres BEAM 7.0 metres DRAFT 4.5 / 6.2 metres SAIL AREA Mainsail 390[m.sup.2], jib 254[m.sup.2], Staysail 152[m.sup.2], Code 0 412[m.sup.2], Asymmetric 945[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 48,450 kg PRICE POA
A yacht with finesse and power to put owner's on the podium.
Nautor's Swan has created what it describes as an extremely fast boat that is easy for owner-drivers to take to the limit, yet is convertible into a sports cruiser with few crew; and so the GlubSwan 50 is born. The other provisos that designer Juan Kouyoumdjian had to contend with was that the new 50-footer had to be competitive in open class racing and be a successful One Design. Australian dealer Brendan Hunt at Vicsail agrees but adds sound logic to this equation: "This has to be the best new cruiser-racer because it's been a choice between adapting older TPs and very few exciting new designs," explains Hunt while adding: "And adapting old boats for a new life often leads to a limited chance of resale."
Initial information shows a fairly clean design with minimum appendages in the carbon pre-preg hull, apart from twin rudders and fixed bulbed keel. The high ballast ratio of 40 percent means she's a stiff boat that will hold on to sail offshore. But being a Juan K. design, there's a few digressions from the classic Swan shape such as the reverse bow that maximises waterline while reverse sheer topsides compensate for reduced freeboard.
For running, there's plenty of beam at the transom with chines to aid tracking and full bows for allowing those big downwind sails.
Looking at the deck, the prosaic club-racer appearance belies an effective layout for a serious race crew to enjoy. Helms are far forward to put the steerer amid the action and nearer the pointy end for aggressive race starts while behind is acres of space for the mainsheet trimmer.
Sail controls include transverse jib tracks on the coachroof for improved upwind angles and six standard winches.
MODEL ClubSwan 50 DESIGNER Juan Kouyoumdjian LOA (incl. bowsprit) 16.74 metres (54.9 feet) BEAM 4.20 metres DRAFT (empty): 3.35 metres / 2.20 metres ENGINE Volvo D2-75 75 hp FUEL 300 litres WATER 500 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 93.0[m.sup.2], Jib 65.0[m.sup.2], Asymmetric Spinnaker 270[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT (empty): 8,500 kg BALLAST 3,450 kg PRICE POA
A discerning new performance-cruiser from a proven line of quality German yachts.
The launch of the Dehler 42 at the 2016 Dusseldorf Boat Show continues this line of quality cruiser-racers that the German company has been famous for over half a century. After the Hanse takeover, Dehler has had the investment to strongly follow its performance yacht inclinations with the popular 46 and before that the 38; and now the 42.
Local dealer Windcraft is excited at the prospect, sales manager Rick Hawkins tells me, having already sold a substantial fleet of 38 and 46 models. Slotting between the 38 and 46, the 42 requires less crew for those regattas while being manageable for a cruising couple. Rig options include a taller alloy mast for more sail area plus a separate carbon option. The Competition fit-out comes with the taller mast, equating to about 12 percent larger sail area and a bow sprit to fly both kinds of spinnakers, so should make the Dehler 42 a well equipped regatta boat, especially if you can stretch the budget to a carbon rig and rod shrouds.
The standard layout is two double cabins, with the second aft one a sail locker. Alternatively this becomes an ensuite in the optional three-cabin version. In the saloon, the navigation station shares the lounge area to port. Stiffness, a prerequisite for a successful performance yacht, is inbuilt via a carbon cage inside the vacuum infused fibreglass sandwich hull and glassed-in bulkheads. A cast iron T-keel is standard but there's a deep lead bulbed option, which, along with the Competition hull, gives a stability ratio of 30 percent, which puts the Dehler 42 comfortably in the performance-cruiser class.
MODEL Dehler 42 DESIGNER Judel/Volijk & Co LOA 12.84 metres BEAM 3.91 metres DRAFT 2.15m (standard), 2.38m (competition), 1.98m (shallow) ENGINE Volvo D2-40 (39.6 hp) FUEL 160 litres WATER 315 litres SAIL AREA 93.0[m.sup.2] (std), 105.5[m.sup.2] (comp), Main sail 52.0[m.sup.2] (std). 57.5[m.sup.2] (comp). Furling Jib 105% 41.0[m.sup.2] (std), 43.0[m.sup.2] (comp) Spinnaker 130.0[m.sup.2] (std), 130.0[m.sup.2] (comp), Gennaker 120.0[m.sup.2] (std) DISPLACEMENT 9,100 kg (std), 8,450 kg (comp), 9,350 kg (shallow) BALLAST 3,000 kg (std), 2,600 kg (comp), 3,250 kg (shallow) PRICE $435,000
A stylish, comfortable cruiser with a versatile sail plan, the GL472 is more than suitable for the budding club racer.
Dufour's yard in La Rochelle continues to revamp its cruiser Grande Large range with the introduction of the stylish GL412 that replaces the 410 model, a yacht I found very competent in heavy weather on the Biscay coast. But these stylish Felci-designed hulls can be easily optioned up for the cruising divisions of regattas, as dealer Matt Hayes told me when describing a 'hotted-up' GL412 that will be a demo boat in Sydney soon.
The Grand Large cruising range has long ago eclipsed its Performance range and this versatile 40-footer comes with all the essentials for an easy life at sea: a simple deck stepped rig with self-tacking headsail plus fixed bowsprit, spacious flat decks and large cockpit plus acres of space below decks in two or three-cabin layouts. Layout options include an owner's ensuite forward with two doubles aft plus a second bathroom. Alternatively, one aft cabin can be a sail locker and the forecabin bed offset, giving plenty of flexibility in the GL412.
Around the small twin binnacles are a couple of electric Lewmar primary winches with two more on the coachroof for halyards and twin stainless steering wheels. The polars show 7.4 knots boat speed in 14 knots wind at 40 degrees true.
Keeping things upright is an L-shaped cast iron keel, which compromises the ballast ratio for buoy racers somewhat (29 percent) but the GL412 is primarily a cruiser, and a very stylish one at that. See for yourself when Performance Cruising Yachts imports the first one in April.
MODEL Dufour GL412 DESIGNER Feloi Yacht Design LOA 12.35 metres (40.5 feet) BEAM 4.2 metres DRAFT 2.10 metres ENGINE 40 hp sail drive FUEL 200 litres WATER 380 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 38[m.sup.2], Genoa 33[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 8,940 kg BALLAST 2,600 kg PRICE $327,000
This ultra-modern German Frers design oozes quality details in its slippery hull that lacks no creature comforts for the ultimate in bluewater cruising.
The Euphoria 54 is a quality cruiser penned by the legendary German Frers that went into production a couple of years ago. The Euphoria 54 shows the clean lines and flush decks of a Swan but it is made in more affordable injected vinylester by the Sirena Yard, Turkey's largest yacht builder that also makes Azuree Yachts. Frers said that the wedge-shaped powerful hull-form and ergonomic deck layout offer a very good balance between performance, as well as ease of handling, aesthetics and comfort.
The twin helms are connected to a single deep spade carbon rudder with sturdy JP3 linkages. The stylish flush deck profile means that a sprayhood is needed while offshore to shelter those in the shallow cockpit.
The sail plan is held aloft by a swept-back spreader rig with adjustable backstay and spars that can be aluminium or carbon with Park Lane boom.
Reefing on the Euphoria 54 can be either slab or roller-furling reefing options for the mainsail, depending on your intended use for the boat. For the performance-orientated owner, the slab-reefed mainsail is cut with a square-top head for maximum power. However, the Euphoria 54 has been primarily designed for cruising, so the simple genoa and roller main sail plan should appeal.
The Euphoria 54 layout has the classic Mediterranean setup with owner's suite forward, away from the quay when moored stern-to, while aft are two double cabins and the Design Unlimited lounge includes a chaise longue.
MODEL Euphoria 54 DESIGNER German Frers LOA 16.46 metres BEAM 4.9 metres DRAFT 2.40/3.00 metres ENGINE 75 hp FUEL 450 litres WATER 550 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 95[m.sup.2], Jib 71[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 17,900 kg BALLAST 6,200 kg PRICE POA
This is as semi-custom Italian cruiser for the discerning sailor who enjoys comfort as well as speed.
Italia Yachts is a young company based in Trieste but run by an experienced and well credentialed team who know how to create fast cruisers with designer Matteo Polli. The brand caught my eye last year when I was sail testing in Barcelona and saw that their Italia 9.98 win the prestigious ORC World Championships there, beating a competitive held of X-Yachts, Sunfasts, Firsts, Archambaults and others in a 35 strong Class C fleet. Aboard this Italia 9.98 Low Noise 2, was the young Italian designer Matteo Polli who felt vindicated at delivering a winning boat to company owners Franco Corazza and Marco Schiavuta.
Cruiser features include teak clad cockpit benches and drop-down swim platform. Notable sail controls also include barber haulers and jib tracks inboard on the coachroof to close the slot with the mainsail. The alloy keel stepped rig is held aloft with rod rigging (with tie rods into the carbon grid) and a hydraulic backstay for adjustment, while the furling genoa is controlled with an underdeck roller; nearby where the foot of the 140-square-metre gennaker is attached. The E-Glass hull has carbon frame and is a modern take on a classic shape, with flared topsides maximising deck space while rounded sections minimise drag and the 42-foot of waterline is stretched thanks to snub ends fore and aft. The carbon frame supports the mast and the rigging tie rods. Polli chose a classic T-keel with lead bulb, which favours all points of sail in a performance cruiser, and a classic deep spade rudder.
Below decks is a three double-cabin layout with two bathrooms, while the owner enjoys an ensuite forward. The saloon uses a fairly conventional layout while furnishings can be finished in classic teak or a more modern light wood.
MODEL Italia 12.98 DESIGNER Matteo Polli / Italia Yacht Design Team LOA 12.98 metres (42.5 feet) BEAM 4.16 metres DRAFT 2.20 metres ENGINE 40 hp sail drive FUEL 200 litres WATER 330 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 57[m.sup.2], Jib 46[m.sup.2], Gennaker 140[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 7,950 kg PRICE Euro 279,000
McCONAGHY FRERS 57
A carbon rocketship with all the cruising comforts for those most remote archipelagos.
The only Australian-built yacht in our selection and hot off the German Frers drawing board is this McGonaghy-built performance cruiser. The initial figures, which boss Jono Morris shared with me, show a potential rocketship in the making at Mona Vale in Sydney. "It's specifically designed to be easily sailed single or double handed for both day sailing and extended cruising," says Morris. Running some numbers on the hull puts it firmly in the racer category yet it's fitted-out for cruising down below.
A great deal of emphasis has gone into researching and specifying the lightest equipment and interior materials available so composite bulkheads are integrated into the structure to add rigidity and minimise weight.
Construction of hull, deck and structure is in prepreg carbon fibre and nomex cores while foils are twin rudders and an innovative lifting keel. The deck layout is dictated by the needs of short-handed sailing but the carbon rig holds a powerful sail plan with big topped mainsail and masthead running sails that fly from the fixed bowsprit. The minimalist cockpit belies some clever innovation, so there's seats that rotate to the heel angle and fold away, cockpit tables that rise from the floor and can combine with the seats to make two large day beds, and the sprayhood retracts.
The standard layout has a single ensuite forward, while two more cabins can be added when required. The open-plan saloon has a longitudinal and fully-fitted galley with dinette table opposite on port, beside the navigation station. The aft section contains two large lazarettes, including a generator, and behind them a dinghy garage.
MODEL McConaghy Frers 57 DESIGNER German Frers LOA 17.4 metres BEAM 5.05 metres DRAFT 2 to 3.6 metres ENGINE Electric Oceanvolt SD 15kw FUEL 440 litres WATER 550 litres SAIL AREA Upwind 173[m.sup.2], Down wind 300[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 12,000 kg BALLAST 3,200 kg PRICE POA
SOLARIS ONE 47
A classy performance-cruiser from a well credentialed Italian yard.
This new 47 continues the collaboration with Argentinian designer Javier Soto Acebal, who also penned the recent 58 model. What struck me when I sailed the Solaris One 42 model was the quality finish and attention to detail, apart from the obvious slipperiness you'd expect from a performance-cruiser, so sales manager Rick Hawkins at Windcraft is expecting more of the same when the first 47 reaches Australia.
It will be interesting to compare it with Windcraft's popular selling Dehler 46 but my money would be on the lighter German yacht on the racecourse. However, in performance cruise mode, the Solaris 47 is a different story with a mix of solid build and a user-friendly sail plan, including a self-tacking jib.
The deck plan epitomises the modern performance cruiser--it is uncluttered and all controls are aft around the twin binnacles, including the mainsheet track, which allows plenty of twist and control, while freeing up the fore-part of the cockpit for the family to relax in.
Initial drawings show no sheet cars but I'd assume large genoas can be used in addition to the smaller self-tacking jib. Downwind, an asymmetric can clip onto the bow and the basic setup should rate favourably under IRC. The keel-stepped alloy mast is supported by wire shrouds and chain plates are reinforced by carbon.
Inside the 47 is a three-cabin layout with the owner forward in a spacious ensuite with island bed. The saloon images I've seen are in Light Oak, so a nice mix of modern and traditional finish. The layout is fairly conventional with dinette and settee benches forward, including a full-size navigation table; while behind is the galley to port and second bathroom opposite; which all goes to make this a classy performance cruiser.
MODEL Solaris One 47 DESIGNER Javier Soto Acebal LOA 14.35 metres BEAM 4.36 metres DRAFT 2.75 metres (2,45 optional) ENGINE Volvo Penta 55 hp sail drive FUEL 280 litres WATER 440 litres SAIL AREA Genoa 106% 59[m.sup.2], Mainsail 70[m.sup.2], Genoa 19,60[m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 12,600 kg (light) BALLAST 4,320 kg PRICE $975,220
VISMARA 50 MILLS
The innovative Mark Mills Vismara 50 is a true voyager that carries on from the Rolex Cup-winning V62 cruiser-racer appropriately named SuperNikka.
Alessandro Vismara has 30 years experience of building sophisticated performance yachts such as the race-winning V62 SuperNikka. Key attributes on the new carbon hulled V50 is a powerful high-modulus carbon Axxon rig, for eating those voyaging miles up, as well as putting you on the podium; and a huge ballast ratio (49 percent) for holding onto the big sail plan in offshore conditions.
Initial drawings for the sail plan show a spacious J triangle for large upwind and masthead downwind sails with conventional slab reefed mainsail. Also, the fixed bowsprit should give adequate separation for a Code o while inboard longitudinal genoa cars should close the slot nicely upwind.
On deck, the low profile coachroof is streamlined, thanks to all lines running aft in gutters where they are managed by two sets of winches (one electric) clustered around the twin binnacles; with mainsheet track nearby.
This layout leaves the forward cockpit clear in cruising mode but may be a bit confined during racing.
Below decks is a fully-fitted interior and is expected to be a similar contemporary design to the V62 with the owner's ensuite using a large proportion of the bow and either two doubles aft or one used as a sail locker; with dinghy garage behind.
The hull shape is classic IRC friendly with minimum overhangs and slab sides but a relatively lightweight carbon-epoxy construction means a lot of weight is in the keel bulb, which is just what you need for a serious performance cruiser, which the Vismara Mills V50 undoubtedly is.
MODEL Vismara 50 Mills DESIGNER Mark Mills LOA 15.80 metres BEAM 4.7 metres DRAFT 2.8 metres ENGINE Volvo D2-75 sail drive SAIL AREA 142.5[m.sup.2] PRICE Euro 1,000,000 plus sails
Your accountant may not agree but numbers don't necessarily tell the whole story when It comes to yachts, but they can be a guideline about a particular yacht's attributes, so the popular ratios of SAD, and Displacement-Length and Ballast, are worth a mention. The Ballast Ratio compares keel weight to hull displacement, so indicates righting moment, with figures of 40 percent or above showing a powerful boat. But this doesn't tell the whole story as hull shape and beam are major consideration for stability. So, the more powerful yacht's ability to hold onto her sailplan can also mean an aggressive motion In a seaway. The SAD, Sail Area to Displacement ratio, is a power-to-weight ratio that indicates sail power. A lightweight cruiser with acres of sail shows a figure typically of 20 or more while anything under 15 would be too sedentary as a cruiser-racer. But the devil Is In the detail when It comes to yards quoting key figures such as foretriangle area (rather than overlapping headsail measurements). Finally, there's the Displacement to Length ratio, which is used to measure weight relative to the waterline of a yacht. Just like the other ratios it can be used for comparing different sized yachts and how bouncy they'll be. Generally figures of 180 to 270 can be classed as moderate, so anything higher Is heavy and therefore more stable In a seaway, while less is more bouncy. But be wary of this simplistic approach as heeled yachts with overhangs, for Instance, complicate this.
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|Title Annotation:||CRUISER: RACERS|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2016|
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