I imagine they have the box fully powered up for light air (Med) conditions, and for peak performance in optimal (higher breeze) conditions more crew weight is needed?
I would not agree from a Sportsboat perspective
The Sydney based Munster/Barret GP loves a breeze
- Closing on 50% ballast ratio, specifically 500kg odd and 1.9mtrs deep
- arg. fully maxxed form stability, chines at virtually full width going max aft, this has to be factored in
- Above two make for quite a stiff platform, you simply will not get any stiffer without adding 100s in lead
- Rig is conservative compared to inshore maxxed up Antipodean & Euro SBs, probably scales to a M24, roughly, i would say mid-size rig
Basically it is stiff/stable compared to a souped SB which arguably would power up further down-range, and start to slow up/stagger sooner (simply due to SA) whilst the GP would be hooking in it's sweet zone
agree, in a breeze you could run more crew weight out of class, always helps & the boat would love it,
but that applies to all non-leadmines
now if you are comparing it to a Corby, j/80, offshore boat, IRC boat, or 1/4 tonner, 'the box' would arguably be powered up and flighty, but IMO No Way is it a tender drift special
There is no doubt that the GP 26 rule delivers a quite stable platform, and I can add some substance to a comparison to the Melges 24 (well known bench mark is this size of SB):
Melges 24 is 2 feet shorter and 2" narrower and weighs in at approx 2700 lbs (1225kg) with crew and sails - approx Displ/Length ratio of 100.
GP 26 weighs in at approx 3064 lbs (1390kg) with crew and sails - approx Displ/Length ratio of 83, so you can see the boat is considerably lighter for it's length than the M24.
Wetted surface comparison of the hull forms have the GP 26 in sailing trim approx 15% greater than the Melges 24.
This difference is probably closer to 18% on my design due to the proportionally larger keel and rudder foils.
GP 26 rig is 4.75 ft (1.45m) or 15% taller.
Upwind sail area is 30% greater and downwind sail area is 47% higher (the max class spinnaker is rather large).
What makes the GP 26 work much better than the Melges 24 is the added stability from higher tech construction (hull & deck weight the same as a Melges 24) and much more efficient ballast arrangement. The added stability allows the boat to extract the power available in the larger rig.
After sailing the GP 26 I can attest to the fact that it works very well.
Is the GP 26 a "maxxed up Antipodean or Euro SB"?
NO - it was never intended to be.
Recent tradegies have shown some of the issues that can exist with less-restricted designs; the boats require a higher degree of experience aboard and are simply more at risk of capsize in severe weather.
The GP 26 box requires complaince with OSR Cat 4, so the structures and stability are required to meet reasonable safety standards.
My design has a ORC measured capsize angle calculated at 128 degrees.
Just as the TP 52 class in not the fastest 52 foot package available, similar parameters of reasonably high power and light weight put the GP 26 in the range where most sailors will be able to operate the boat safely and have a great time doing so.