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Posts Tagged ‘Gunboat’

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While there will always be ratings complaints whenever two different boats race, it’s excellent to see the high-performance cruising cat fleet playing nice with one another for the always-enjoyable St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.  Here’s one Gunboat 60 sailor’s breakdown of the performance and variables between the Gunboats, HH, Outremer, and the blazing fast and nosey Bieker 53 Fujin, shot above by Lorens Morel with a decent gallery here.  Hit the thread to talk to crews from many of the boats, and thanks to SA’er ‘pyrat’ for the report. DISCLAIMER: SA has ties to every boat in this fleet, with Gunboat (and Outremer, a related company) and HH both advertising here, and Paul Bieker a long time SAer, which is why we’re not giving any opinions, and instead relying on a Gunboat sailors’ report.  Got your own report from a Caribbean regatta? Send it in and see your name on the world famous Front Page.

Fujin is an entirely different beast from the rest of the class. Primarily, she’s about 10 tons lighter than the lightest GB, and something like 18 tons lighter than the HH… Fujin to me is much closer to a true racing multi than ‘what the rest of the world’ considers an offshore/luxury/cruising multi. That said, they cruise and sail that thing offshore and big props to them – very cool boat, very well sailed, and they deserve the trophy and then some – so no hate here at all, just saying, when you get past by that thing upwind (from a GB60) at nearly double your own boat speed, you realize that it would be silly to try and gauge your performance against their mark. I think it is equally as silly to try to handicap that machine with a GB, HH, or Outremer. Its like trying to rate a Swan 60 against an IMOCA 60.

The Outremer is an impressive boat for roughly a third of the price of the larger cats. She stuck on our hip boat-for-boat every race, and corrected out on top of us each time. I will point out that it was a very heavy weather regatta, and she likely benefitted from a smaller rig & sail plan vs the GB’s who required a reef some days, but still, props to them for sailing well and keeping the pressure on us on the water.

The HH was a monster upwind – walking over the entire fleet every windward leg (except Fujin) – but a total dog downwind. Word is that the next one (hull#3) is a different beast from this first one, and that ‘dog’ will not be among the adjectives that describe her on any point of sail. Very curious to see how she goes.

The most interesting matchup of the regatta for me was the two GB60′s. Flow has gone a bit further than Arethusa in the way of turbo’ing the boat (larger & lighter mainsail, primarily), but is still very much a comfortable/luxury cruising cat, and absolutely walked away from Arethusa on every leg. Both boats were well sailed without any major fuckups, slow-downs, or penalties. While it could be argued that Arethusa has fewer miles on the course and is further back along the learning curve with performance multi racing, the gap between the boats was surprising and impressive. Props to Flow for pushing the boat hard and showing everyone what’s capable on a 60 (or any of the NID boats). Hoping to see them, and eventually Arethusa, give the HH’s and faster 62′s a good fight in the future.

As far as ratings go – I think the new attempt is neccessary, well-intended, and properly backed. The leaders of the OA are going about it in the right way and spending the neccessary time, money, and effort on the algorithm. The behind the scenes meeting of the minds was impressive and eye-opening. The idea is to end this old argument (see above!!) about cruising vs racing multis. It is a fair argument to say that it is silly to go ‘so far’ with turboing a boat but not actually go all the way to ‘fully stripped race boat’. Most of the owners know that and agree. BUT they bought a fast boat because fast is fun, and the racing scene is addictive and competitive, and they want to have a chance against the other boats in the class, so an arms race is inevitable. If the new system works as it is supposed to, the owners who wish to live comfortably aboard their cruising boats for regattas (no stripping weight) will be able to compete fairly against the owners who DO go all the way towards full race boat. In that way, you can make the fast/cruising cat class whatever the hell you want to suit your preferences! To the naysayers who grumble that it is absurd to race around with an interior – look the hell around!! How many boats would be on the line at ANY of the Caribbean regattas if only dedicated racers were allowed? And how many sailors would get to experience racing? And learn to sail their boat better/faster? Get real guys!

 

March 10th, 2017 by admin

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This week’s Sailing Anarchy Podcast features two sailors who’ve fallen in love with sailing fast, and when they say fast, they don’t mean 15 knots!  First we grabbed forty minutes with male pin-up model, VOR/AC veteran, and 24-hr monohull recordholder (aboard Comanche) Shannon Falcone, picking his brain about testing and delivering the F4 foiling cat, who he sees as favorites for the America’s Cup, and whether he’s even interested in it anymore.   Follow Shannon here.

Then we sat down with a guy who sees 50 knots as the speed for the kids boat; it’s multiple iceboat world champion Ron Sherry, and on an icy day in Detroit, he talks with Mr. Clean for an hour about Obsessive Runner Disorder, raising your kids while racing, crazy rigs, and sailing in Siberia.  Learn more about Ron and iceboating at the web’s most comprehensive iceboat racing site here.

Follow the SA Podcast on iTunes here or Stitcher here.

February 15th, 2017 by admin

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Clean Report

The Gunboat G4′s famous flip in St. Barth’s a couple of years ago didn’t do wonders for the marketing plan behind that ‘cruising’ foiler, but the dedicated racers developing the DNA F4 one-design spinoff of the G4 have been following a different, more logical path.  Two-time America’s Cup winner Shannon Falcone (who sailed the G4 extensively) and the team at DNA have been working up the 30-knot-plus machine in Antigua to find her limits before going into full production, and they found those limits a few weeks ago while testing the boat on a squally day off the West Coast of the island.    We spoke to the guys in Holland to get the story (and if you want to see the F4 being built in the DNA factory, click here for the full tour we did back in November.)  Here’s a photo from under the boat, and here’s a look at the F4 at 30 knots on a more typical daysail.  In a bit of bad news for race fans everywhere, the golden F4 won’t make the start of yet another record-setting fleet in the Caribbean 600.  Anyway, here’s the official statement:

Thanks for your inquiry, Clean.  Although everyone knows cats can flip, we would wished it wouldn’t have happened on a sunny day in the Caribbean after they’d already survived rough weather and storms from NY to Bermuda and then another thousand-mile trip to Antigua without issue!  But hey, it happened – so let’s learn from it.  That’s why Shannon has been working so hard to learn the boat.

While we hope you get the story straight from Shannon [it's coming sooner than you realize] we learned from him that he was sailing inside the jib, heading towards the harbour while his crew were on the bow getting the furled FRO down on the tramp.  A squall and a big shift caught them with the jib on the winch, and even with the main blown off completely, the pressure on the jib slowly carried them over.

In association with Andrew “Macca” Macpherson, we’ve been working for some time on a system that’s essential for these kinds of boats, and this incident reinforced its need. While winged AC boats and sealed-mast cats lay on their sides in a capsize, boats with more conventional masts turtle almost immediately, making recovery complicated and causing damage to electronics.  That’s why we’re excited about the mast-mounted inflatable balloon system we’ve been engineering for the TF-10 trimaran and G4 and F4 foiling cats; in the rare case that one of these boats goes over, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to be righted quickly and easily.

We’ll have more news on the system later, and while we get the boat back in racing shape, feel free to check out this video of the F4 sailing in BDA and Antigua.  She’s a dream!

February 15th, 2017 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

After a complicated 2016, Gunboat is back with a vengeance, and they open up 2017 with a Caribbean get-together of Gunboats that includes a head-to-head war between two of the most turboed luxury cats ever splashed!

In the above video you’ll see the beastly and beautiful Extreme H2O, the queen of West Coast Gunboats and the fastest multihull in the Transpac.  The last (and by far, the quickest) of the Gunboat 66 line, the burgundy and green mile muncher is transiting Panama tomorrow from Pacific enroute St. Maarten for some relaxing sailing and prepping at the Heineken before the battle of the BVI begins.

Double Melges 32 World Champion Jason Carroll’s all-conquering Gunboat 62 Elvis easily owns the East Coast Champ title in Gunboat land, and has put a similar amount of hot rod performance into his now-teenaged silver G62.  Carroll’s well-oiled multiple world champ, moth, and sportboat crew knows the BVIs like the back of their hands, and they’ll be looking to represent the land of Tom Brady against the interlopers from the Republic of California.

It all goes down at the BVI Spring Regatta at the end of March, where Elvis and Extreme will join the turbo 60′s Flow and Arethusa as well as Momentum and a couple of TBAs for the biggest Gunboat fleet of the season.  Extreme will hope that her extensive modifications and the racing knowledge of VPLP principals Vincent and Xavier as well as a few Gunboat ringers will give her the edge…

Extreme is now for sale, so if you’re looking for one of the fastest and sexiest cruising boats ever assembled, and you’re the kind of owner that appreciates a boat whose kinks have been worked out in excruciating details, let Nils at Gunboat know so you can schedule a closer look.

If you’re puzzled by the title of this piece, get some gangsta in ya.

February 10th, 2017 by admin

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Bankruptcy_monopolyGunboat USA’s is well-documented for the multihull sector.  Hall Spars just reportedly sent out the official notices of theirs, showing that even the world’s best racing spar builder isn’t immune.  Hathaway Reiser shows that sailmakers – even from the 1800s – can’t hold it together.  Brewer’s Yacht Yard seems to have sort-of saved itself by selling to a marina holding company.  And now, Navtec USA gets on the list of shuttered American sailing outfits, with at least one Anarchist warning that ‘another unnamed northeast raceboat building company…will likely be shuttering their doors soon.’

Fortunately, we have God to thank for the bounty that is soon to come.  Everyone, hold your breath…and….GO!

February 9th, 2017 by admin

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SORC once again delivers on one of the quickest races in the land, this time, a recordbreaker.  From Chris Woolsey (and go here for more great photos from Marco Oquendo and the SORC media team):

Every so often, the weather gods deliver the famous conditions that bring people back to the Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race year after year after year. For starters, winter storms up north usually have folks looking to points south by the time the new year rolls around. South Florida and the warm waters of the Gulfstream always provide a welcome place to thaw out. Couple that with the South Florida winter cold front cycle of a new blast of NE breeze every few days, which allow high speeds on nice waves down and around the bend of the Florida Keys to the Happy Place known as Key West, and you have a recipe for something more fun than shoveling snow and crossing items off of the honey-do list.

So it goes to figure that those blasting conditions would coincide with the race date roughly every other year, delivering racers to Key West overnight as quickly as (I Dream of) Jeannie can fold her arms, blink and say “Pepe’s!” As is sometimes the case, those conditions were a bit overdue, with the last all-out downwind romp coming in 2007. Those who made it for the 2017 running, hosted as always by Lauderdale Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club, finally got a treat.

As a result, David and Peter Askew, and their all-star crew (including AC legend Marco Constant, Star world champ Phil Trinter, Artie Means, Ralf Steitz, Chris Larson, and half the Alvimedica VOR team) on the Reichel Pugh 74 Wizard romped across the finish line in record time, and pushed Carrera’s 2005 monohull record run to second-best by a few minutes. Jason Carroll’s warhorse Gunboat 62 “Elvis”, with Anderson Reggio navigating, crossed a few minutes later to take the overall quickest time (thanks to a later multihull class start), but never threatened Stars & Stripes record pace of last century. The happy crew revelled in letting the big cat get out and really stretch her legs in the fresh conditions.

The rest of the fleet is still rolling in and we may yet see some surprises in the results. Hook in, hold on and stand by.

 

January 12th, 2017 by admin

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Big Pimpin’

Our long history with sailing’s premium luxury catamaran brand means we’re pretty stoked to see how quickly Grand Large Yachting has brought Gunboat back from the brink.  While we’ll need to wait a while to see the just-announced, all-new VPLP-designed GB68 hit the water, this shot of the new Gunboat 57 VaiVai sending it hard in Newport last weekend sends a loud and clear message: Gunboat is back, and better than ever.  With VaiVai hitting 17 knots upwind and 26 downwind last week without even letting her off her chain yet, she’s already exceeding expectations.  Compared to the 55, the new boat is 10% lighter – nearly 1.5 tons – all while sporting major upgrades:  An all-carbon interior, a gorgeous, high-modulus rotating Southern Spar, deep daggerboards, and amidships engines.  Throw in air conditioning, a washer/dryer, and a gourmet galley, and you have a full fledged Caribbean dream that just happens to be faster than a new TP52.

A personal note from our editorial staff: We visited with the management of Grand Large several years ago in the south of France, and they are an impressive bunch with a serious passion for yachting. More importantly (given Gunboat’s history), they are a solid business with a strong product line and over 700 boats on the water, and we expect they will be around for a lot longer than you will.

It’s not too late to have VaiVai for yourself this Caribbean race season. But if you want to try her out first or charter for an event, get in touch here.  Want to buy new?  Looking for a job? Want a free puppy? Get in touch with them today.

We expect a ride on one of these, ASAP, and you all can expect a long chat with Erickson and maybe even the designer of the new 68 coming very soon on the SA Podcast.  Got questions for these guys? Post them in the GB68 thread.

NOTE FROM THE EDITORS: Just to set the record straight, as much as are delighted to see Gunboat 57 VaiVai perform to its expectations, this evolution happened before the new management for Gunboat took over, and they don’t want to take any credit for an achievement that is primarily the work of VaiVai’s owner, Nigel Irens, and their team.  Congratulations to them on a beautiful boat and a job well done.

October 20th, 2016 by admin

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If your dream boat was the Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 48, you may wish to steer clear for a bit; the boat at the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis seems to have some legal issues…

In other news, the new Gunboat is rising from the ashes of their bankruptcy on the back of the just-announced Gunboat 68.  It’s just vaporware as of today, but with orders already placed, we expect we’ll see this gorgeous creature IRL before too long.  and she looks gorgeous.  The VPLP design seems to integrate some of the swoopier, sexier lines of the Nigel Irens boats (G55, G60) without losing the look of power and substantialness of the more enduring 48/62/66.  With longtime SA’ers running the project, you can of course get firsthand info in the forums.  Find Nils and Mer hanging out at the boatshow.

October 8th, 2016 by admin

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While we’re grateful to have support of awesome sponsors throughout the sport, we’re even more grateful when they have real news instead of just press releases!  Just six months after launch, the first in a new line of Morrelli & Melvin designed, high-performance carbon cruising cats proved her racing prowess, with HH-6601 R-Six winning her first regatta! The six-boat fleet gathered at Port Adriano last week for the inaugural Multihull Cup – a new event designed to provide a fun and competitive regatta platform for 50′ and over performance cruising multis. Other participants included three M&M designed Gunboat 66s: Slim, Coco de Mer, and Outnumbered; the Nigel Irens’ custom 78’ Allegra and a 60′ Bañuls’ MC2 Dragon.

Harry Dunning was named the official rating authority by the Multihull Cup organizers; his complex and impartial rating system takes into account weight, waterline and sail area measurements as well as daggerboard and rudder dimensions. The system sees further adjustment each day based on wind conditions and course length as determined by the race committee.

img_7931Racing took place over three gorgeous days, with one race sailed each day. Mostly sunny skies, decent sized wind swell and variable breeze set the tone for an exciting weekend of racing. R-SIX performed strongly each day, finishing third on day one, 12min 34sec behind Allegra and 1min 12sec behind SLIM, third on day two 7min 42sec behind Allegra and 52 sec behind Coco de Mer, and ending the regatta in dominating fashion on day three, taking line honors and finishing 49 sec ahead of Allegra and 5min 55sec ahead of both SLIM and Coco de Mer, who finished within one second of each other. On corrected time, R-SIX placed 1st on day one, 2nd on day two, and 1st on day three.

Aboard were the core crew; the owner and his two permanent crew who’ve been with the boat since it’s arrival in Valencia in June. Four additional crew rounded out the team, including co-designer Gino Morrelli and longtime Anarchist and HH commissioning skipper Chris Bailet. The crew felt their performance throughout the regatta was strong, save for a few tactical and execution errors. Gino surmised that the crew work and tactical calls improved each day, and explained that on day three they seemed to have “found a new gear” and really sailed to their full potential.

The boat itself proved solid, sustaining fewer and less severe breakages than other boats in the fleet. A chafe issue with the Antal line driver on the starboard daggerboard left the board fixed down for much of the race on both day one and day two. Big thanks are owed to rigger Scott, who sailed the regatta as crew on Allegra but worked overtime in the evenings to help address the board issue. Damage reports from the other competitors included a busted hydraulic hose on Allegra, breakages to multiple sails on SLIM, and a busted main halyard on Dragon, among others.

A first place finish amongst a strong fleet of boats that are optimized for performance and well sailed is an obvious testament to the design and build of the HH66. To read Gino’s full race report from each day, head on over to the HH website here, and if you’d like to join in on the mostly uninformed and typically combative banter regarding the event, hit up the Multihull Cup thread in the SA Forums here.

Jesus Renedo photos.

September 27th, 2016 by admin

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Join the 1% while paying less than 1% of her original price!  Rainmaker has hit the market for a reserve price of just $15,000, with the salvage auction closing in early September.

From Cooper Salvage:

Description: Vessel dismasted during severe weather and was abandoned. Vessel was recovered after being at sea for over a year.

Type of water damage: Salt.  No shit.

August 11th, 2016 by admin

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