Happened to see this post and thought I'd chime in. It's true, the Hans Christian 33 is not a racing
boat - but she's no pig, and we were as surprised as anybody at our daily averages. For long haul passages boats tend to bunch up and leave at the same time when the weather
window opens, so we have frequently been able to compare ourselves to a variety of other vessels underway with the same destination
. We're usually the smallest boat or nearly the smallest, but we consistently finish in the middle of the pack and usually better than that. On shorter passages under 5 days or so where we can leave with a decent wind forecast
we easily turn in 150 mile days. It's always fun to check in to a net, give our position and then get the surprised feedback from people astern
So we've been happy with her performance on passage. And honestly we're not expert sailors or racers. But I do think we sail less conservatively than some boats. When we left for our first offshore
passage on Bella Star I had Brion Toss aboard for a rig inspection
and he said to me, "Sail it like you stole it." It was good advice
We don't baby the boat. If the wind is there Bella Star has a job to do. We put her shoulder down and tell her to get to work
We don't baby the sails. This is a big one - over the last three years we have seen tons of sails getting torn up, blown out and shredded on other boats in moderate conditions. You simply cannot cheap
out on your sails for serious offshore work
. Cloth weight and construction details matter. We fitted Bella Star with Hasse sails and it was by far some of the best outfitting money
My wife and I don't baby each other. If the wind lightens up in the middle of the night and a reef needs to come out, then the off watch needs to get up out of their nice warm comfy dry berth to go through the process. That always sucks, but passages are hard and we want to get where we're going ASAP so we can get on with the aspects of cruising we enjoy the most. Some cruisers prefer to stay reefed down for a squall that may or may not come in the night, and are okay with taking a knot off their boat speed just in case.
And of course staying within safe limits. But I think anybody making a passage on an HC33 for the first time is going to be impressed.