This thread started around new vessels about to be picked up and that process, but it seems now to be on spec choices and others experiences with choices already made...so we thought we could now 'chirp' in a bit...
Starting with batteries, we're definitely expriencing 'issues' with our 6 X 140ah factory-optioned-up gel battery
bank. We're not sure whether it was the previous owner -- We bought CatNirvana
9mos old -- or inherently bad batteries, but it seems we may need to replace the lot.
We're holding off the replacement until our solar panel (1 x Sunpower E20, due to be released in 2012) is installed...and we're confident thereafter all will be fine as we're managing OK now, albeit using the genset (4Kv) a bit more than we'd prefer.
Square-top main? Brilliant...and no hassles whatsoever. We sailed CatNirvana
from the Med to Syd (~14000nm) and have been doing coastal cruising here. I say again for the sceptics...NO HASSLES WHATSOEVER! The only time we need to climb up the lower mast
steps is to grab and then secure the main halyard
to the boom, to stop it flapping and snapping. The (factory setup) release for the top batten works fine, every time, and there's great light-air performance. We tend to sail a lot single-reefed, perhaps because the square-top results in too much sail area fairly quickly as the breeze stiffens, but when it's really light the square-top is much appreciated...NO DIESELS!
Our experience also suggests the rest of the sail plan is (with respect to yeloya) not at all "problematic
". The single-line reefs
are easy, with perhaps the exception of the third reef requiring a trip to the mast
. We fly the (factory-supplied) screecher in 60-120degree AWA and up to 20kn TWS and it reliably adds >1kn in any condition, more so if the sea state is relatively flat. Above 120degrees the main covers the screecher too much for it to be effective.
Downwind is a personal preference thing. We too note the factory prohibition on the genoa
with no main, but agree that's probably intended for heavier weather
. We tend to keep some main (unless it's pushing Force 9) up, reefed as appropriate, with a preventer on the boom, and then using the beam to brace a wing-on-wing genoa
if it's really square (>160 degrees) from astern.
Sail value surprised us a bit. We thought the factory Incidence sails
would be exhausteded by the time we reached OZ, but to our surprise they held up very well indeed...and two well-regarded sailmakers here commented to the same effect. We did some mainsail repairs
(to UV strip, wear patches and strengthening the batten points on the luff) and there's a bit of a 'bag' around the window in the genoa, but there still seems to be plenty of sail life there, for our cruising purposes anyway.
We also will echo impi's warranty experience. Incredibly, Lagoon
seem determined to not fulfill their warranty obligations. Our vessel was purchased under warranty, but we ended up doing the warranty work ourselves and we are now facing-off with Lagoon for compensation.