The Caribbean 600 has finished, and by all accounts it was a pretty cool race with everything from Beneteaus to an ORMA 60, with big wind and seas. There’s some excellent raw video footage of the race available, and here’s a report from the Gunboat 48 “Cream” as relayed by builder Peter Johnstone and pulled from a thread debating the virtues of various boats and their cruisability and speed.
The crew called when they hit dock. They said that most of the race felt like it was upwind. The angles were very tight, seemingly in every direction, with no real ability to press the Gunboat in her sweet spot. In terms of equipment, CREAM used four sails: Main, a small blast screecher, an asym and a solent. I think she could have benefited from a large screecher on this race. The interior is all built in. Nothing gets stripped out for the race. Queen mattresses on every bunk. Full fridge. Solar panels. All the normal stuff was onboard, cruising house battery bank, TV, cruising anchors and tackle. And they sailed with 8 or 9 aboard. You really only need 5-6.
Take a Gunboat in cruising mode, and it is 30%-200% faster than a cruising mono in cruising mode. This race shows monos being pushed hard, and in stripped racing condition. Most of those monos have twice the number of sails to choose from. CREAM is a low key program, albeit with some talented people who love to sail on her.
It would be great to see one of our 62’s or 66′ on this course next year. The 48 is way more affected by a seaway than the larger Gunboats – waterline does make a huge difference. I am pleased to see CREAM sail well, and bear out my earlier comments on the other thread that a Gunboat will outsail any cruising mono near its length. The Rogers 46 is a quick and good racing mono, and CREAM was right there with her all the way to the finish. If there was a Swan or Oyster 48′, I think you’d see that 30% advantage. Regardless, CREAM has shown she is plenty quick versus all of those other larger (up to 62′) cruising boats in the race.
I know that CREAM’s crew really enjoyed the race. The indoor watches, endless hot showers after that rigorous watch, never getting wet, gourmet meals eaten around the salon and aft cockpit tables, wine out on the table, and the queen berths on real mattresses were much appreciated by all. I know a mono can be fun for a day race, but leaning over all day long, trying to eat out of a dog bowl, hot bunking with some smelly guy, and no showers is not very appealing. Then you drop anchor and roll back and forth all night. Sweet dreams.