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Old 25-02-2015, 14:11   #241
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

Congrats Hugh. We loved the St. Francis at the Annapolis show, spent almost 2 hours on it Monday during the rain, just hanging out, talking with owners and the builders. Loved the feel of it. If we were buying new, it would be at the top of my list, displacing the Antares just from the boat show.

But, my wife and I are used car people, so we are figuring we are going to be used boat people as well.

Good luck, and can't wait to hear about the build.

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Old 25-02-2015, 14:29   #242
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

And when you do read them try to remember that this guy had the same problem with another boat he built. He also came on this forum and worked as hard as he could to create a hostile environment, then left and started his own forum where that continued until there are about 4 users left.


Compare that to the many, many happy owners of St. Francis Cats. There are a lot of blogs on the owners sailing their boats and I don't recall reading any unusual problems from them.
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Old 25-02-2015, 15:46   #243
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

Congrats, Hugh, on finding a boat that you love. After all, that's the real goal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Howey View Post
We were doing 70%+ windspeed downwind with screecher and main. In 15 kts of true wind, that meant moving at 9 kts and barely feeling anything apparent.
Based on my experience, I find that very hard to believe. Sorry. Downwind? Like really downwind? Was this with screecher and main wing-on-wing? - other wise, how did you keep both drawing?? "Barely feeling anything apparent" would mean approaching 100% windspeed, which is impossible without a very strong favorable current - around 15 kts. Maybe you hit 70% wind speed on a couple spikes when the waves were right. But 70% consistently downwind? :BS:

Dave
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Old 25-02-2015, 16:09   #244
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

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Based on my experience, I find that very hard to believe. Sorry. Downwind? Like really downwind? Was this with screecher and main wing-on-wing? - other wise, how did you keep both drawing?? "Barely feeling anything apparent" would mean approaching 100% windspeed, which is impossible without a very strong favorable current - around 15 kts. Maybe you hit 70% wind speed on a couple spikes when the waves were right. But 70% consistently downwind? :BS:
I found Hugh's post very good. It sounds like a great boat and he has really nailed the perfect boat for him.

I must admit my response to the above was similar to yours, but I have learned to take these statements with a grain of salt.

I have actually stood on the helm of boats with owners who are telling me the performance of the boat is such and such and the instruments I am looking at tell a completely different story. This is especially true for pointing performance. So much so that I only believe data provided by electronic means now.

Based on my observation the reported sailing performance of the boat will be directly proportional to how much the owner likes the boat. This is simply human nature and why I continue to be happy with the performance of Helia of 12kn at 30 degrees apparent.
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Old 25-02-2015, 16:20   #245
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

Palarran, there are other disgruntled St. Francis owners on the other forum. It seems they have a point especially the one about a brand new 8 man raft that was purchased with the boat from the factory but later on was found to have an "old 6 man non-functioning" one in the canister. Now how did that happen? Anyway, I wish Hugh all the luck and hope his new boat is a great one.

Remember, "Don't shoot the messenger."
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Old 25-02-2015, 17:06   #246
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

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I must admit my response to the above was similar to yours, but I have learned to take these statements with a grain of salt.
I think experienced skippers should challenge implausible claims whenever they are made. Our mono friends have been conditioned to consider all performance claims by multi skippers suspicious, at best, and we are mocked for it. Justifiably so, in many cases. We should rather be brutally honest. We'll still win.

The biggest villain is "average speed". Anytime a skipper claims average speed over 10 kts for a cruising multi, you know he's zooming us - unless it's a very long or very light boat and/or in ideal conditions. Averaging 10 kts offshore means you're doing 5 or 6 kts half of the time and 14 or 15 kts the rest of the time, depending on where you are in the waves. Similarly, "averaging 200nm/day" means 4 or 5 kts half the time and 10-12+ the rest of the time over several days. BS - unless it's a very long and/or a very light boat, which does not include most cruisers. And we all know which boats they are.

Here's my honesty: the very fastest I've ever sailed my boat (not surfing) is about 14.5 kts for a few seconds at a time, a couple times on the same occasion >> Over canvassed in a race when we were pushing it, i.e., not cruising. Fastest cruising: 438 nm in 48 hours - reefed in ideal conditions.

Dave
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Old 25-02-2015, 19:38   #247
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

Dave,
Well said👍
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Old 26-02-2015, 02:34   #248
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
And when you do read them try to remember that this guy had the same problem with another boat he built. He also came on this forum and worked as hard as he could to create a hostile environment, then left and started his own forum where that continued until there are about 4 users left.


Compare that to the many, many happy owners of St. Francis Cats. There are a lot of blogs on the owners sailing their boats and I don't recall reading any unusual problems from them.
I'm familiar with the owner's issues and have read much of what he has to say. I'm sorry he had a bad experience.

I've spent time with three other St. Francis owners, and I've done a delivery with a captain who has logged tens of thousands of miles on them. I've spent a lot of time with the builder, picking through three of their hulls. But probably the best experience I've had was ten years working on other people's boats to see how many issues every new boat has and how owners choose to deal with those issues. I worked for one lady who sued a great boat yard because of normal kinks that needed to be worked out. That boat spent a lot of time chained to a dock in Ft. Lauderdale after she abandoned it and the payments. It was a fantastic boat.

This will only be the second boat I've ever owned, but if past experiences are any guide, I'm expecting a lot of things to break, a lot of systems to not work perfectly right out of the yard, and to have a huge list of issues that constantly need tinkering. And I like to think that keeping a positive attitude and working with others with trust and a smile will make fixing any issues a joy rather than a torment. Anyway, it's worked for me thus far. Better to be naive and always smiling than cynical or paranoid and always looking over your shoulder.

As for doubting the sailing performance of the St. Francis I was on, I'll see if I took any video during the downwind runs. We crossed the Bahama Bank with 10-15 kts on our stern or quarter, depending on our heading as we rounded Mackie Shoals. The wind was from 120 to nearly 180. We had to drop the main at one point because it was blanking the screecher. The speed we were making was pushing the wind toward the bow (we had true wind on an analog readout and apparent on a digital readout just below it, which was a really nice way of seeing the effect of boat speed on the wind). We were doing 3/4 windspeed consistently. The delivery captain said this was what they saw during the nearly 7,000 mile delivery. He'd been on several other St. Francis cats, and this was easily the swiftest he'd been on. Keep in mind that there was no tender, and the boat was minimally loaded. Three people and kit aboard. Half fuel and water. But he was also comparing the performance to other similarly laden boats he'd delivered.

The reason I suspect for the difference in speed of this hull over previous hulls is a couple of things: The builder switched to resin infusion for this hull, which saves a lot of weight. Probably a few hundred pounds, at least. They also switched out a steel crossbeam under the traveler for a carbon fiber truss, which saved several hundred pounds as well. The boat may well be 1,000 pounds lighter than previous hulls, which is a big difference.

Anyway, sorry to derail a thread comparing two other boats, both of which are awesome, in my opinion. Something I'll say for the new FP designs: The helm and winch station are dynamite. Being able to stand and work the winches, with your back to the console, just works. There was just two of us on the Sanya 57 I helped move, and we did one 30-hour run from Hope Town to Freeport in heavy wind and seas, so we were each singlehanding the sails most of the way. I fell in love with that helm. Even with 30kts of wind at 45 degrees, I stayed dry at that "exposed" helm. It was windy, but not a drop of spray. Had it rained, I would've watched from inside and come up to trim. I've always been a bulkhead helm guy, but cruising with that partially raised helm reminded me that I'd be happy on a lot of different boats. Again, you really can't go wrong. All of these new boats are built so much better than what we had twenty years ago. And the systems put onboard keep getting better and better.


(Edited to add): The delivery captain of the St. Francis 50 worked out average speed for the entire delivery, and it came to just under 9 knots. (Granted, he blew out the spinnaker on the delivery, so maybe he was having a bit too much fun. And he admitted to being very lucky with the wind. They never took on fuel and arrived in Miami with half a tank). We pulled into the Sail Only show and docked up with several other South African built boats. There was another model that left at the same time as the St. Francis, and it arrived in Brazil three full days behind! Same length boat. The captain of yet a different cat, who has delivered several of the SA-built boats, chatted with me for a solid hour when we arrived. I told him I was putting a down payment on a boat at that show, and was torn between several models, but impressed with the run we just had on the Francis. He listed his experience and said if he was buying, he would definitely go with the St. Francis. And this was a guy paid to bring a different manufacturer's boat to the show.

Of course, any boat I'd gone with, I'd have nothing but positive things to say about it. I could easily be in here right now going on and on about the Antares or the Helia. Put me on the Kon Tiki and set me adrift, and I'll wax philosophically about what a sturdy raft she is.
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Old 26-02-2015, 06:25   #249
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

I still find it hard to believe that he averaged just under 9 knots (216 a day!) for his entire crossing from South Africa to Ft. Lauderdale, espcecially when not racing and with a crew of only three. Obviously they did not prudently reduce sail at night in questionable conditions and, in any event, without using the diesel in extremely light conditions, he must have had a number of 300 nm days!

Brad
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Old 26-02-2015, 06:47   #250
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

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I still find it hard to believe that he averaged just under 9 knots (216 a day!) for his entire crossing from South Africa to Ft. Lauderdale, espcecially when not racing and with a crew of only three. Obviously they did not prudently reduce sail at night in questionable conditions and, in any event, without using the diesel in extremely light conditions, he must have had a number of 300 nm days!

Brad
They had four crew until Barbados, and they had lots of wind, by their account. I was skeptical as well, but the word on the dock at the show was that they blew the doors off the other boats coming over from SA. I can email the skipper and ask him how he calculated his average speed. It wasn't 9, but it was close. 8.6 or 8.7. Part of our hourly log was to enter the actual log, which they kept running from Cape Town. So it was in the 6,700s or so when I was on the boat. I think he took the log times (taking out time spent anchoring) and just looked at underway speeds.

We left Georgetown, Exumas at 9am and arrived at Bimini around noon the following day. We had lots of wind for half the first day, and then 15-20 most of the night, and then 10-15 from midnight on. If I had to guess, I'd say the run was about 260nm. We did it in 27 hours. We had the main fully reefed for 8 of those hours and a single reef in for several more hours. The boat effortlessly did 9 knots. And I don't mean top speed, we were doing 13 knots as well. Sustained, not surfing. (Again, the boat wasn't loaded for cruising.)

I was on the fence about what boat to get, and I really didn't decide until a few days into the show, but I emailed the builder while underway to let them know the next hull was no longer on the market. I wrote a very big check at the show, and it was easy to do after that run. I totally get the doubts and skepticism. I've been there. I took the delivery captain's estimates with a grain of salt. And I've only logged 300 or so miles on the boat, but I was floored by what it did. Gobsmacked.

Edit: The only video I could find from our trip that shows the plotter. Reefed main, 20 kts of wind, averaging over 10 kts through the water. This main only had two reef points, and the first reef was more like a traditional second reef, with the thinking that the first reef is rarely used. So we could have pressed more, but the boat really seemed to like moving at 9-10 knots. You could work a lot less and still do the same speed.

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Old 26-02-2015, 07:05   #251
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
I still find it hard to believe that he averaged just under 9 knots (216 a day!) for his entire crossing from South Africa to Ft. Lauderdale, espcecially when not racing and with a crew of only three. Obviously they did not prudently reduce sail at night in questionable conditions and, in any event, without using the diesel in extremely light conditions, he must have had a number of 300 nm days!

Brad

Brad, if I remember correctly, Paul of the other multihull site averaged a little over 200 miles per day on his St. Francis 50 crossing from Cape Town. All this without the use of his screecher! As I said, if I remember correctly:-)
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Old 26-02-2015, 07:18   #252
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

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Brad, if I remember correctly, Paul of the other multihull site averaged a little over 200 miles per day on his St. Francis 50 crossing from Cape Town. All this without the use of his screecher! As I said, if I remember correctly:-)
I recall he said it was without his main. I asked him about this over and over and he still claimed it was true. I finally quit asking.

Must be one hell of a N bound current on that route. And no light air days over the time period and no wind ever on the nose?

Dave
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Old 26-02-2015, 07:25   #253
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Howey View Post
(Edited to add): The delivery captain of the St. Francis 50 worked out average speed for the entire delivery, and it came to just under 9 knots. (Granted, he blew out the spinnaker on the delivery, so maybe he was having a bit too much fun. And he admitted to being very lucky with the wind. They never took on fuel and arrived in Miami with half a tank).
So, assuming they left with a full tank means they motored quite a bit. When most people discuss high average speeds it's inferred they are talking about sailing speeds. Motoring doesn't count. Just about any cat can make 200nm days motoring, especially in light winds and light seas when you would expect to be motoring.

Dave
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Old 26-02-2015, 07:38   #254
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

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So, assuming they left with a full tank means they motored quite a bit. When most people discuss high average speeds it's inferred they are talking about sailing speeds. Motoring doesn't count. Just about any cat can make 200nm days motoring, especially in light winds and light seas when you would expect to be motoring.

Dave
There were 37 hours on the mains, which includes all the maneuvering and docking since commissioning. That's not "quite a bit" on a 7,000 mile delivery. They went through half a tank of fuel over 35 days, with running the generator for power during that time. So maybe one full day of motoring in getting the boat from St. Francis Bay to Miami? That's not "quite a bit." That's "almost not at all."

I put up another reply with a link to a video from the sail, but it seems to be stuck in moderation.
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Old 26-02-2015, 07:41   #255
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Re: Saba 50 vs Antares

So using 1/2 tank of gas on a delivery from South Africa to Miami equates to substantial motoring? Wow, that's a pretty high bar. Also, even with my dog I sail generally faster than motor. One motor at 2200 rpms only gives me 6 knots or 144nm. In order to get 200 nm per day motoring you'd have to average 8.3, which is WOT on one motor (for me at least).
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