AFTER THE MINITRANSAT 650 2003 COMMENTS;
Overall: In short a good boat.
This article was written in mind what comments there was on the Pogo2 after been sailed for thousands of miles, so do not think we are now writing down the
Pogo2. As every boat is designed with compromises, every boat has some points that are in for comments. The perfect boat does not exist. Lets learn…. Keep in mind, the boat is good and fast. And as the Pogo2 is more then only capable of the Mini Transat, the designers/yard had to make compromises.
I asked two of the four P2 sailors about their comments. David Raison did send me an interesting reply, we/he really went into depth
with this. I know David for years and I respect his opinions and know they are not daft. David did the 1999, 2001 and the 2003 Transat. The first two in Proto, the last in the P2.
The three things I like;
I asked David; "which three things did you like the most?";
David;"The first thing I really like with Pogo 2 is its speed (specially reaching) which was very close to most protos. I could play in the first 20% off the fleet all along the season. This is the most important for me.
The second important thing is: "Easy". No hard work to do on a well-finished production boat. Just install the blocks after delivery (Structure can install them for you) and go
sailing! All the rest I did onboard was extra to get more comfort.
The third one is strong (specially the rigging and fittings). Except a big mistake, you can not have problems. Mirabel's P2 was quite OK after winning the "scratch" ranking at Salvador. (Mirabel grounded in sight of the finish- LeoV) Nevertheless, pay attention to SW(Sandwich-Leov) internal structure while moving the anchor or heavy boxes... It so easy to
damage the light skins...
It is wide and quit shallow. It is perfect before the wind, but upwind you are positioned outside, pushed against the guardrail..
"The only available steering position is very good downwind (then it is possible to appreciate to directly hold the tiller), but upwind, you have your back on the upper lifeline so that you can not have your body inclined aft enough. And that may hurt sensitive
skins. Furthermore (still upwind), your knees are always bents while preventing you from falling. This can kill your knees!"
"The cockpit shape could have been safer for heavy winds, specially when you loose control and heel a lot."
We had some discussion if it could be fixed easily.
"2 antislip tapes along each cockpit side would safer the place. A narrower and deeper
cockpit too, but it's always a compromise between safety and comfort sailing with a crew or sailing flat..."
The double tiller steering.
Positive points; It is damn light, it looks good.
David; " I personally consider that double-tiller is not the best solution because you can not
move at all in the cockpit while steering upwind as there is no possibility for an efficient tiller extension. The steering sensibility is too low because the tiller is too long, so you have to make large movements to move the rudders a little bit, which creates fatigue."
One of my questions; "So a better extension shorter to the rear would help....?
"I never used more than 5-10 cm of the original extension except in harbors. More to the
rear would mean that the extension is more parallel to the tiller, because you can't move yourself more to the rear (because of your legs along the tiller). But 10 cm more to the rear could help."
And a little note for new owners that have to maneuver first in tight spaces;
The rudders maximum angles are limited by the mainsheet track, making harbor operations more difficult then normal in restricted spaces.
The internal pilot drive (hydraulic) can't be disconnected easily and eliminates all the
steering feed back according to skippers who have this system. The internal system brings the weight more low, protects the hoses but due to oil pressure that is constant you loose feeling. One the other hand, the pilot can be operating in less than one second because you have nothing to connect yourself to the tiller. Choose your priorities...
I really can see that problem, I would not like that. Is there a way around found by anyone
? I would hacksaw a small door in the cockpit floor ;)
"You'd better hacksaw the cockpit bank to get better access to the connection. I think a good system will be setup one day."
The system David used was;
" I used a custom system. The software was Gyro2 from NKE (no problem at all, as usual). The drives were 2 customized Simrad TP 30 installed externally (each one was set for one side, but could be exchanged). The reason for this were:
- to have a reliable software for fast spinnaker conditions (Gyro2)
- to save energy (4x less than standard NKE hydraulic cylinder)
- to preserve sensitivity (see above) while steering
- to have a redundancy in case of failure of NKE system (everything can happen!), as the TP 30 could be used independently, with their own so basic and efficient internal software.
- The price was equivalent to 1 complete NKE set + 1 independent original TP 30 for spare.
- Conclusion the 4 goals above were 100% met, but:
- The TP 30 needed to be seriously protected against water,
- Due to the double tiller the pilots installed just beside the steering position. This was
very comfortable to clip the drive on the tiller (more than my previous 1-tiller proto), but the unused one leeward, was permanently exposed to waves and had to be stored inside all the time.
- I was very very very bored to install and connect the new drive after each tack/gybe, and to uninstall the other one, specially downwind with strong winds.
- In some special conditions, small winds, upwind or transverse wind, the TP30 software could be more efficient than Gyro 2 which tends to accept some permanent deviation. May be my set up?
- I also had a pilot remote from NKE: so cool! I can not imagine sailing without now!
My question; "You never thought, I wished I had Hydraulic drive ? Or was the weather to nice for that ? "
David; "I never thought so! Honestly, the weather as demanding for autopilots as in 2001
when I had the same system on my proto. The Simrad TP 30 power is quite enough provided the rudders are properly balanced which was the case on Savoy Truffle (his Proto) and also on the P2. The only way you save energy is because of the losses in hydraulic systems.
More points ?
Yes there is a rivet that is controversial, talking about details ;)
" The "sheet to keep it up" (balancine in French- best word I found in English is uphaul) is fitted on a tape collar on the tube. This very tape is just pop-riveted. This pop rivet may fail in "special" situations (tack point in the water when setting the spinnaker up or down for example). Then, the
punishment is quite severe: the bowsprit falls in the water, the pipe fails at the connection to the axis, then you get everything around the keel. If you are lucky, your spinnaker may be dragged around the rudder. To repair, it's very easy, you just have to cut the damaged part of the tube (3 cm +/-) and reinstall all the stuff. Don't tell me you have forgotten your saw blades, idiot!! I had a spare bowsprit onboard for the transat."
I thought this would be a mayor problem, but in mini spirit it is NOT.
David again; "No... The big problem is the pop-rivet itself that is to be replaced by inox rivet, that's all. The fact that the tube breaks at the connecting gear level when it dives is VERY GOOD because it as a fuse effect: you do not damage the pole too much and you prevent a failure of the connecting gear or of the stay chain plate it is connected to. Honestly, I would change nothing except the rivet/tape junction to the pipe."
(My thinking is again, damn you can think what you want, you have to sail them. You can
be so easily wrong. But you see, a little detail, and your spi is in the water -LeoV)
I asked Structures for comments on this article, and they have solved this problem.
Structures;"David's boat was one of the first boat, we have modified the iron parts for the last boats. The problem was not the screw but the length of iron part so we make it longer and it is far stronger
"To be used very carefully when close to the boat axis (gennaker)because it is not stable and may pass opposite side due to the lack of side spreaders. High tensions in the sheets can also lead to failure of sheet covering inside the cleat. The lack of jockey poles/spreaders is also a compromise when designing an easy to trim boat. I just mean you have to take care, just like when you have a standard pole close to the stay when
reaching with a symmetrical spinnaker. The original sheets from Structures are 10mm Marlow Vectran Racing which is a high standard for production boats.
Unfortunately the shield could slip along the core in the cleat, releasing the pole a little bit more and consequently increasing dramatically the tension leading to one of the system failure as said above.
The solution I suggest is just to sew the original standard marlow sheet the improve the
coherence of the shield on the core. To do that efficiently and quickly, the best is to take a sail-maker sewing-machine. A good solution may be to have the shield machine-knitted to the core all along the considered area. A sail-maker can do that. Another solution may be to use better-shielded sheets. Anyway, double-shielding the original Marlow has no effect at all."
What can not be improved;
THE SLEEPING BUNKS…."- I really loved the sleeping pockets!"(And damn, that is very important- LeoV)
Deck Equipment: Very good. Just pay regular attention to Wichard-Alucarbon blocks that may get damaged (genoa or main halyards, runners).
Small note;The lower side of the hatch may let spray coming in (when open only! I never had to close it while sailing) with high wind or breaking waves, but not much (1-2 liter a stormy day, which is quite good). Just be careful not letting charts or dry underwear's leeward. (I thought he was talking when it was closed, now it appears it only gets water in when it is opened ;) This is a schocker, big laugh…..
David;" Structures: Efficient, reliable, friendly."
"As a matter of conclusion, I would say that P2 is a kind of wonderful proto with a condom on it: It's safer, it's more logical as a project, you have fun without minding too much, but you do
not get the same feelings after all as a proto."
I think all older Pogo2 owners are now looking at that rivet ;) I thank David who gave me those comments.
I am a happy man because this is as good as it gets….;) Any Pogo1/Zero/Mistral/Naus/Ginto sailors want to do the same ?
One thing he did not mention, the boat looks good ;) Just my unbiased opinion ;)