The boat was a brand new Lipari
. I have an extensive sailing experience with FP range starting from Fidji 39 up to Salina 48. I find them in general very easy to sail, reliable, reasonably fast for a cruising cat and more importantly quite safe, forgiving and seaworthy
. I believe they are opting for family
cruiser and charter
companies at mid price
range and in my view they are very good value for money
I usually sail on my Orana
44 ownerr version and I've seen up to 52 knots, 28 knots apparent full sails
wing on wing with aft swells up to 10 ft, boat speed +10 knots, no problem at all. 28-30 knots apparent at 40 degrees sailing at 10 knots in relatively calm water
, no problem. (all his with a professional crew on board)
Athena's are probably the one which is closer to Lipari
sizewise. I don't have the full numbers but she should be close to Lipari in terms of sail area / displacement
ratio. With Athena, once up to 40 degree apparent wind of 28 , gusting 30, full sail up, in a very choppy sea (app. 10 ft) making 9-9.5 knots, the boat behaved perfectly well and I felt absolutely safe. Later, I put the reef just to not to put too much strain on the rigging
. (I know it's not good seamanship and I should have taken the reef earlier) What I am trying to say the baot was fully manageable, the rudder
feeling was excellent.
Lipari has the highest sailing area to displacement
ratio. (the next closer is Mahe and Orana
is way lower.) She has the top square main sail. The genoa/mainsail ratio is a bit smaller than standard FP range. The light displacement is given as 7.8 tons and with full water + fuel
+ crew I was about 1 ton above light displacement. (you should read carefully the displacement given by the manufacturer; usually it's heavier than official numbers not lighter..)
The first impression I've got, as opposed to Orana or Salina the boat was that she was very lively in light winds with standard rigging
. More importantly the rudder
feeling was very strange; too light and very little feed back. Thinking back and reading the comments, I tend to believe that the rudder and maybe the keel
as well was way too small. I cannot believe that FP could have made such an error but I have no other solution. When the boat has accelerated to 10+ knots + increased lateral pressure, the boat has lost
her line (the way point) suddenly and with the centrifugal force internal hull
has taken off. So, the force on the sails
must have over ridden the rudder. Thanks God, as the boat heeled like a mono, excess of wind escaped, the boat slowed down and the hull has landed.
The remaining questions are:
-the cat doesn't heel but experienced cat sailors can easily feel when the boat is overpowered. There wasn't at all any such a sign with the exception of the helm
that was strongly pulling towards to wind, albeit the trim was far form being perfect.. This happens often with monohull
in a race
; when the gust comes, the boat heels extensively, big part of the rudder is out of water, you cannot govern anymore the boat and if you don't release the main sheet immediately, you may broach. This is the job of the guy in charge of the mainsail
trim when racing
. If I am crusing for fun on a mono and there is nobody to do that for me, I furl a bit the genoa
to make sure that the boat doesn't heel too much. This should never happen on a cat; she doesn't heel + you have two rudders always fully in water. At worst, the cat should glide off the wind giving more leeway (remember no significant swells to get tripped) which is OK.
So can it really be an undersized rudder ?? FP doesn't provide with the detailed technical drawings but I will measure them..
-The FP's traditonally are conservatively rigged. Looking at numbers can we conclude that Lipari is exceptional, hence, should be sailed with much more care ??
-could the top square sail have contributed to this in some way ? (much higher point of attack vs. traditional main sail)
-shouldn't the "ocean going wessel" (that's how FP is calling her on their web site) be way more foregiving ? Getting cought to 20 true with full sail, after all, is something that can happen quite often.
Thx for yr contributions..