I raced Luna Sea in the San Diego
Yacht Club Beneteau
Cup this weekend, against 15 other cruisers in the 31..43 foot range. There was one 31, a 36, my 38, a 42, and the remainder were 41s.
It was my first ever sail race
, although I did have experienced crew with me. We finished 9 out of 15, ahead of 1 42, 4 41s, the 36, and the 31 on corrected time. The 42 had a full dodger
up, and it finished last. I would say that generally, the boat sails
as fast as a 41. All of the boats that beat us flew spinnakers.
The first two races were buoy three leg races and the third was random leg around San Diego Bay, which was unfinished by the entire class due to extremely light air and time constraints.
We lacked a spinnaker
, so downwind legs were pretty long, and those racers with them outpaced us more than the PHRF allowance would show. This race
is likely the first time an Oceanis
38 has competed, so I expect the PHRF may be adjusted on both ends.
The boat easily heels onto its chine and will routinely do 7 knots without really trying. Dead-down-wind without a spinnaker
in medium winds it seems to do about 40% of windspeed with the stock 105% genoa
and the roller-furling main. In very light winds <5 knots, that goes up to 50%. During downwind legs, the boats with asymmetricals walked right past us.
We touched 8.4 knots in 14 knots of true wind
. The boat spend most of its time doing around 7.3 in 12 knots of wind.
In extremely light winds during lulls, the boat actually performed extremely well, and we passed most of our class members irrespective of the point of sail. I'm putting this down to weight overall, as the boat is quite light.
The boat also performs exceptionally well when pointing--we were never passed on an upwind leg by any class member
, and there were numerous times when we were in a dead-heat with the 41s for quite long periods of time with them unable to close the distance between us. This is with the stock roller furling mainsail
that is 20% under-sized; however, most if not all of our class members had roller furling
The boat's optimal pointing (genoa telltales parallel and sheeted in as well as possible, barber hauled) is across 110 degrees as other forum members had said it would be. The boat pinches much better than expected however, and we actually pinched around the docks at North Island rather than taking two tacks, putting us considerably ahead of some competitors. We were waiting for the pinching to take its toll to call a tack, but it never actually slowed down enough to change tactics and we came out of that turn with a significant advantage.
PHRF ratings used in this Beneteau
sponsored event for the boat are:
PHRF Bouys: 128
PHRF RLC: 128
PHRF No Spinnaker: 145
The way the numbers play out is not uniform on all points of sail: The boats points as well as boats with a PHRF of 110, but on downwind legs even with the same style Spinnaker I expect it will lag against the same boats. Beam reaches are good, but broad reaches and running it falls off. Essentially it seems to be about 10% above average full pointing, and about 10% below average running, with a smooth curve between those points.
Essentially, when its heeled over on the chine, it beats everybody's expectations; when its flat in the water, its good that its pretty.
Asymmetrical is on order.
Luna Sea /Oceanis 38 #3