World Cruising Yacht
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What is a performance yacht? Today's benchmark is a vessel that can cover 200 nautical miles in a day. The world is full of yachts that do 200 NM a day in the marina bar. Many of them do it on passage too - about once a year! But cruising performance is about reliable, sustainable, month in / month out averages.
La Novia does 200 NM a day, over the ground, waypoint to waypoint, on average over the year. If you're curious about what happens when the weather is just right, well, we covered 705 NM over the ground in the first 3 days out of the Galapagos en route to the Marquesas. But the more realistic picture of La Novia would be her average of 198 NM a day from Auckland to Phuket, inside the Barrier Reef and west of Sumatra, 2-handed all the way except for the Tasman. What a pleasure, but do you need it?
Skim through a few classic cruising books and you will find no shortage of experienced sailors telling you that speed has nothing to do with safety and is irrelevant to a boat's suitability for blue water cruising. They will also tell you that you shouldn't look for weather windows, should set out on your chosen date and “take what comes”. Before you blithely accept that tosh and start passing it on to others as gospel, consider the following.
Firstly, it is based on the experience of the 1960s and 1970s - the golden age of small vessel ocean voyaging. The weather forecasts beyond 24 hours were about as reliable as having your palm read and the boats were all small and slow. Doing 140 NM a day instead of 120 made no material difference to making most passages within an accurate forecast window of only 24 hours!
Secondly, the people dishing out this wisdom made their living writing about sailing, so going out and getting the crap beaten out of them gave them more to write about!
Today, the three-day weather forecast is amazingly reliable. Days 4 & 5 are now far better than days 2 & 3 were in 1970. Today's modern cruising yachts can receive up-to-date weather forecasts by e-mail, SSB, or navtex anywhere in the world's oceans. Combine that with a yacht like La Novia that really does cover 200 NM a day in all conditions and you will be amazed at how little foul weather you need encounter at sea.
La Novia: 60 ft woodcore epoxy composite monohull
aerorig ocean cruising yacht by Van de Stadt design
© 2003-2008 M Boyd Maunsell