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Old 15-04-2016, 08:44   #1
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Feedback from La Grande Motte

Spent a day in LGM looking at mass production cats, with an eye for blue water cruising, size between 40 and 45ft. Am greenest, so was looking for real life apart from what I have learned reading through you guys (and gals) experience: and by the way, thanks for all your generally shared wisdom.
The following are random notes:
Lagoon 42: being very successful (they are already at hull 120 we were told) it was the first we approached. Balsa core, Weight: 12 Tons, Sails: 90 Sq. Mt, ratio: 7.5. Led lighting. Aluminum mast. Shows a little bit shorter than 42, but maybe it was my impression. Well done, with good details, lots of thought given to try to create a smooth flow from inside to outside. We found the inside a bit on the smallish side overall.
Bonus: we managed to track down Lagoon’s head of marketing, Alexander Dauberville and sat down with him. He explained the reasoning of Lagoon’s recommendation of NOT sailing downwind without the mainsail in use, subject of another thread. More on that later.
After that, we moved onto Bavaria-Nautitech stand. First we checked the 40: Weight: 8.5 Tons, Sails: 91 Sq. Mt, ratio: 10.7. The inside was simple and functional, all led lighting, construction in PVC sandwich. We were told they have fully glassed in bulkheads (unlike other competitors starting with L), overall we found it an excellent boat, attention to detail was evident.
Then we moved onto the brand new 46: Weight 11 Tons, Sails 110 Sq Mt, ratio 10. Much more room, well thought out overall inside, the biggest access to engines’ compartment that we have seen among the boats (good if you gotta work down there). At some point we were shooed off the boat cos they needed to shoot the promotional video.
Next up, Leopard 40 and 44. Leopard 40 (newest design): weight 10.5 Tons, Sails:95.5 Sq Mt, ratio 9.1. Aluminum mast, balsa core, apparently glassed in Bulkheads, all Led lighting, lots of room inside for being a 40 footer.
Leopard 44 (2012 design): weight 12.6 Tons, Sails: 123 Sq. Mt, ratio 9.84, excellent boat overall, maybe not as flashy as some other ones, but a solid feel overall.
The sales guys told us that there was great demand for the 40, while the 44 was lagging a little bit and had some room to accept new orders, and that’s why the price of the 44 was barely higher than the 40 (it was 399k euros with installed options. You probably need another 100k to prep it for blue water cruising, just my two cents).
Bali (Catana): yep, we visited those as well. Enough has been said in the other threads so won’t dwell on it, just a couple of details: craftsmanship looked poor, not suitable for blue water cruising and the weight ratio is just bad. The Bali 43 weights in unloaded at 11.3 Tons with 90 Sq Mt sailage, ratio 7.95. The Bali 45 weights 16.4 Tons unloaded (yep, sixteen, not a typo) with Sails of about 121 Sq Mt, ratio 7.3. I mean, buy a powerboat already and skip the sails directly! By the way, the Nanni diesels are being replaced by Volvo engines on the new models.
O’Yachts: visited them as well, they’ll build the boat on your specs, with focus on performance.
Last, we visited the FPs. They had no Helia 44 on show, only the Lucia 40. Weight 8.9 Tons, Sails: 95 Sq. Mt, ratio 10.06. Not as wide as the Lagoon, about 40cms shorter (width), boat seemed ok but not very exciting. Claim is that they wanna do boats which have a good compromise between comfort and performance. Personally, I would have liked to see the 44 for a better feel.
Our conclusions were that, would you have forced me to buy a cat right there, value for money, the Leopard 44 was tough to beat. The impression was that you couldn’t go very wrong in cruising with such a boat. Going up 100-150k, I’d probably be interested in the Nautitech 46.
Last but not least, here’s Lagoon’s explanation of why they do not recommend sailing downwind with any mainsail up. This has to do with the fact that the center of the wind force is too forward of the mast if you go only with the spinnaker, and if conditions align (wind spike) and the boat pitches down the mast might come down. He recognizes there’s no real history of this happening, even if people commonly use only the forward sail and no mainsail, but he stresses that the risk exists (he says he repeats it often) and that’s why Lagoon doesn’t recommend it. At the very least he says, have the mainsail triple-reefed up, to be able to keep the tension of the mast back (given the absence of the backstays like monohulls have).
Hope it’s helpful,
Best regards
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Old 15-04-2016, 19:06   #2
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Great summary,

Think the Nautitech 46 would be the pick of that list if I had the Budget for such a vessel
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Old 15-04-2016, 20:03   #3
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Hello,

nice to hear it once from the horses' mouth...

...but it still does not make sense to me. Imagine you have the spinnaker up and the full mainsail - while that moves the pressure point aft it further increases the risk of digging in.

We're cruisers, so we don't ever have the gennaker up in winds that would even make pitchpoling a remote possibility. But we do cruise extensively with just the genoa in various stages of deployment, depending on wind speed and direction. And this therefore should not cause a problem.

Thanks for the trade show report.

Oliver
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Old 15-04-2016, 22:13   #4
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Thanks for the review! I look forward to going myself soon!!
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Old 16-04-2016, 00:37   #5
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver L. View Post
Hello,

nice to hear it once from the horses' mouth...

...but it still does not make sense to me. Imagine you have the spinnaker up and the full mainsail - while that moves the pressure point aft it further increases the risk of digging in.

We're cruisers, so we don't ever have the gennaker up in winds that would even make pitchpoling a remote possibility. But we do cruise extensively with just the genoa in various stages of deployment, depending on wind speed and direction. And this therefore should not cause a problem.

Thanks for the trade show report.

Oliver
Pitchpoling isn't the risk. Damage to the mast is - since there are no backstays and no tension being provided by the main halyard/leech, there will be very one sided fore/aft loads at the mast head.
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Old 16-04-2016, 01:05   #6
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Quite simply, Lagoon must be under-specifying their rigs, if this is a genuine possibility. Even though their are no backstays, the PROPERLY SIZED shrouds should give more than enough support.


People seem to be unable to understand that not having backstays is NOT a disadvantage, it's an ADVANTAGE. If you really wanted a backstay on a cat it would be simple to set up. But you'd lose the ability to have nice efficient fully battened big roached or square-top mainsails.
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Old 16-04-2016, 03:04   #7
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

[QUOTE=Waveda;2097897]
Bonus: we managed to track down Lagoon’s head of marketing,


Say no more.
Thank goodness he doesn't work in lagoons engineering department with explanations like that.
What an embarrassment for Lagoon.

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Old 16-04-2016, 04:56   #8
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Waveda.
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Old 16-04-2016, 09:36   #9
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Thanks for the summary!

Did you also get some pictures from the boat show?
Or maybe someone else here has some pictures from the show?
Tried to find some pics or videos but haven't found nothing yet.

Excited to the launch of the Nautitech 46 fly in september =)
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Old 16-04-2016, 12:34   #10
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Well,

I think you missed a visit to one of the better cruising cats around: Outremer 45' and LGM is where they are built. This one gives you performance, comfort and the pleasure of actually sailing. A lot of the other cats are cataminiums design for the charter market which consists of short sails from one bay to the next and the accommodation for the guest is paramount. This is not a negative as from a commercial view point this is where the money is for the builders. They do try to accommodate people who live and cruise the world but you definitely loose in performance, seakindlyness and a vessel that can sail at all points.
All sailing vessels are a compromise and there is no perfect vessel. It's come down to what's the best compromise for you.
The Nautitech is not a bad compromise if budget is a concern.
Good luck with your search and remember why hop on one leg when you can run on 2, sail a catamaran.

Maas Hanen
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Old 16-04-2016, 13:29   #11
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

For those who have posted about pitchpoling.

If the conditions are that extreme you probably won't have the spin up. Generally if the spin is up the shoulders can give you some lift.
Having sailed and raced dinghies (I40's and 18ft Skiffs, look in Internet if you don't know what they are), keel boats and catamarans of various sizes and makes, + deliveries, as well as building, designing and reffiting sailing vessels for over 40 years, we found the spin gives a better control downwind as the shoulders tent to lift the bows. On a cruising catamaran to help the spin to set (keep the shoulders standing up) drop the mainsail to the second reef which is usually around the hounds, this stops the bigger rouches blanketing the spin, it also gives the rig some support and aids in dropping the spin as the spin will collapse in the wind shadow of the mainsail which will aid in squeezing it into the sock and if no sock and firing the spin from the windward brace the mainsail will shadow the spin taking some sting out of the spin so it can be hold in easier, without the mainsail the spin is at the full mercy of the wind and that's not a lot of fun. There are tricks to prevent the spin when collapses from wrapping around the forestay but that's for another time. But the up shot of all of this it is better to sail the mainsail up with the spin and mainsail reefed when running. If you must fly a spin with no mainsail I would only do this in light airs as keeping my rig up is important to me and hope it is to you.

Maas Hanen
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Old 16-04-2016, 15:37   #12
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

As a newbie cat owner, please excuse me if my questions are naive.....
1. We have an assym spin...so, if I had the main down, but the boom sheeted in tight, and the topping lift tight, would this not provide support to the back of the mast?
2. If the best practice is to have the main up, with two reefs in, should it be sheeted in tight, with the traveller in the centre, or should it be in the usual down wind set up, traveller and sheet out?
Thanks


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Old 16-04-2016, 15:49   #13
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Properly designed and specified, the rig will provide all the support the mast needs.


But to answer your question, yes the topping lift and mainsheet would add some further support.

Lagoon's position here doesn't make any sense at all. Are their owners supposed to sail with the main sheeted in tight all the time? If you're sailing downwind (or any deeper than about 100' AWA) the mainsheet will normally be eased so much the sail will offer absolutely no support for the mast. Just the opposite in fact, the mainsail will just ADD LOAD to the mast.
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Old 16-04-2016, 16:24   #14
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Quick comment on the no-main-downwind warning: it would seem to me that a boom with a topping lift and lazyjacks, and tensioned mainsheet would provide as much or more support for a mast without backstay than a full (or slatting)set mainsail. Maybe a topic for another thread, but am curious about others' thoughts. I like to go downwind in our (St. Francis 44) cat with a-spin, drifter-reacher, genoa, storm jib or combinations thereof - and the main furled......alleviating some of concern for accidental gybes, and the wear & noise of a boom & full-length battens bouncing around and chafing on the uppers (with their well-aft position in lieu of backstay)....
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Old 16-04-2016, 18:28   #15
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Re: Feedback from La Grande Motte

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
Properly designed and specified, the rig will provide all the support the mast needs.


But to answer your question, yes the topping lift and mainsheet would add some further support.

Lagoon's position here doesn't make any sense at all. Are their owners supposed to sail with the main sheeted in tight all the time? If you're sailing downwind (or any deeper than about 100' AWA) the mainsheet will normally be eased so much the sail will offer absolutely no support for the mast. Just the opposite in fact, the mainsail will just ADD LOAD to the mast.
Regardless of how the main is sheeted, the halyard and leech provide compression loads on the back of the mast. As I understand it, it is the lack of such compression loads that is the concern for Lagoon.
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