Hi all. Long time reader, first time poster.
In late May im going down to to St.Marine to visit Pogo Structures and test sail the new Pogo 30. If all goes well and the boat preforms as advertised, I need to sort out the options of what gear to get.
First off: Autopilot.
We are looking at primarily doing doublehaned costal and light offshore races (100-400 nm) so a good autopilot is essential. We are now using the Raymarine sox-10 and it performs ok within its limitations.
Is the benefit of going to eg. NKE worth the added price (as I can see, about double the price)? What are the real benefits of a NKE system? The pilot should be able to handle downwind in big waves & wind.
2. Vinylester hull.
Is it worth going with Vinylester over a epoxy hull (about 3500€ price hop)?
3. Sails and sail loft
We have got a quote from Incidences on a complete sail wardrobe in either D4 Kevlar, hydranet or a mylar/tafetta DCX sandwich and the price looks good. My biggest worry is having a sail loft so far away from home port. Anybody got any experience with this loft?
I will also be shopping around the local lofts (North, Elvstrom, US and maby Doyle), to see what they can offer.
The main focuses on the sail choice is shape and durability.
Any advices about sail choices are appreciated.
4. Furling system.
Im looking into different solutions for this, and the std. option from pogo is the Facnor Flat Deck Furler. Im leaning a bit in the direction of a structural furler like the Facnor STG 4T wire furler, as we will not use the furler to reef the headsail anyway (in/out only). Will the STG 4T be a problem if the wind picks up? Is it strong enough for the boat?
Are there other options on a light structural furling system I might not be aware of?
I also like the flexibility of the Karver KSF Top Down Furler for genaker/code/stay/spinnaker.
Will a spinnaker furler work as intended in heavy breeze?
Thats it for now, any insights are greatly appreciated.
I will try to give you some advice on your questions, based on my 12-month and 1.5-month chartering experience on a Pogo12.50 and a 10.50 respectively, whatever this is worth.
Autopilot: NKE on both boats perform very well on all conditions. The boats help because they are extremely well balanced on all angles and they do not exert high loads on the autopilot. However, this does not undermine the performance of the NKE. I do not know how the Raymarine would react, but the NKE had no trouble putting in less than 5 sec the boat back to its route after a broach/knock down (happened twice). Is NKE worth x2 as much as the Raymarine? Difficult to say. If they were sufficiently good (like B&G), they would be used in the big singlehanded races. But then again it is hard to tell how much more NKE should cost.
Vinylester: The advantage lies on the molecular structure of Vinylester, which has circular bonding, as opposed to polyester which has a linear structure. This is why Vinylester is much stiffer (stress-strain curve is much steeper) and cannot be easily penetrated by water. Epoxy has also circular structure with even more interlocking, hence it is even stiffer and more watertight. This is why anti-osmosis protection consists of a layer of Epoxy on most boats now days.
The yard masters equally the technique for both resins. For extended periods (>12months) in the water, higher resistance in shocks/rigging loads and protection against osmosis, my advice is to pay the premium. In this case it is related to the price/kg of the resin, not to some marketing trick or vague estimate of the advantage offered. It will also be a good point when time comes for selling the boat one day.
Sails: our sails are from Incidences and are from Hydranet. If you are looking for durability, this is an excellent choice.
Shape: very good even after a year of intensive sailing (>150days) not always handled in the best way...
Durability: the sails are very good, no tears, or signs of fatigue.
Problems: had some design issues, that I think most will be resolved by now as they get plenty of feedback
- top-batten auto-trimming system which is very adjustment sensitive (length) and although it was set by the yard it was torn during the first days of our transfer trip
- batten luff ends with plastic threading screwed on metal mast car pins. Not a good choice, nearly all of them broke, had to "invent" additional support system with dyneema ropes.
- our 10.50 does not have reinforcements/patches on the Main at spreaders' height neither at full sail nor at reef No1. Our 12.50 does have => Ask for that!
- Gennaker luff rope cut to perfection. A few cm shorter would have been better for tensioning and easy rolling.
- Spi sock rope runs only on one side, twisting the sock. Should be running on both sides symmetrically.
- all auxiliary products are of low quality (bags, covers, lazy bag) and even badly designed (lazy bag) on both boats. Zips destroyed, poor stitching, plenty of hassle, unjustified for such a top standard sail loft.
Genoa. Our Facnor Flat Deck work perfectly. I would not change them. Only draw back is the furling tape (instead of rope), which can be easily torn. Have a spare one handy.
Gennaker. The Facnor FX is not so good. Furling rope needs to be under tension, it gets very easily out of the drum, with strong breeze rope slips and you have to apply continuous tension on both sides/hands, generally not easy to master. I have seen but haven't tried the new Karver KF with the locking mechanism but it looks much better. I have no idea how the top down furlers KSF work, seen them only on youtube.
Keep us informed on your project and let us know if you need something else. I have seen the Pogo30 about a month ago in the yard, it is indeed a fantastic boat!
Greetings from Greece