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I'm trying to wrap my head around the Skyron / Grand Soleil 34. Intended use would be distance racing and fast cruising around the Caribbean with Transquadra entry as a long term goal (2-5 years out). Home base would be South Florida.

The 3D jib lead system on the GS seems awkward and less efficient compared to the SF3300's toejammer system, and the fancy interior just seems like it would make it harder to inspect the chainplates and move deck gear around.

On the other hand, appearance matters and my girlfriend strongly prefers the appearance of the GS to the SF. Her favorite boats are the cruising Pogos. But she likes resorts rather remote exploration, so I'm not sure the swing keel adds much value. She also enjoys helming and trimming to make the boat go faster, so efficient and ergonomic systems will win in the long run.

I enjoy racing as a way to continuously measure and improve my skills, so I'd prefer a boat that at least pays lip service to the locally popular rating rules (seems to be IRC in South Florida?). 

Ignoring budget, is the GS34 a worthy competitor to the J/99, SF3300 and JPKs? Or have I been taken in by marketing jibber-jabber?

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44 minutes ago, apophenia said:

I'm trying to wrap my head around the Skyron / Grand Soleil 34. Intended use would be distance racing and fast cruising around the Caribbean with Transquadra entry as a long term goal (2-5 years out). Home base would be South Florida.

The 3D jib lead system on the GS seems awkward and less efficient compared to the SF3300's toejammer system, and the fancy interior just seems like it would make it harder to inspect the chainplates and move deck gear around.

On the other hand, appearance matters and my girlfriend strongly prefers the appearance of the GS to the SF. Her favorite boats are the cruising Pogos. But she likes resorts rather remote exploration, so I'm not sure the swing keel adds much value. She also enjoys helming and trimming to make the boat go faster, so efficient and ergonomic systems will win in the long run.

I enjoy racing as a way to continuously measure and improve my skills, so I'd prefer a boat that at least pays lip service to the locally popular rating rules (seems to be IRC in South Florida?). 

Ignoring budget, is the GS34 a worthy competitor to the J/99, SF3300 and JPKs? Or have I been taken in by marketing jibber-jabber?

I'm impressed with the people from Chicago. Hollywood is hype, New York is talk, Chicago is work.

Michael Douglas
 

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The GS34 is a pretty boat but the cockpit very exposed and not a single foot chock in sight, lots of smooth grp and Perspex on deck flush hatches etc and a smooth toe rail. The interior has square cornered doors and the ones I have looked around didn’t even have door catches. To me the GS34 is a performance coastal cruiser and the deck layout designed for day sailing and light overnighting. I have raced a SF3600 for a few years which addresses all the things I just listed and the boat ‘just works’. It’s by no means perfected, despite the foot chocks in the cockpit I still feel like the moulded non skid isn’t as good as some aftermarket non skids and we had some added in places. Also I would prefer a single tiller mounded in front of the traveller instead of twin tillers behind the helm but these are small things. Construction of the 3600 had ended but there are still some hulls lying around outside their factory and you could probably get one at an attractive price. IMO it would be easier to make a 3600 cosmetically better than make a GS34 more offshore practical

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Thanks, @JL92S.

How are the 3600s holding up?

My guess is the boats for sale now will need a new sail inventory and sheets, but standing rigging, clutches and other longer term maintenance items should sill be in good shape (except where they aren't). Prices should dip as some owners downsize to 3300s and others get their program ready to switch up to the replacement boat. Electronics might be getting old, but probably still functional.

No point in buying and stripping out an M3 when you can just buy a WRX Impreza, ready to go.

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14 hours ago, JL92S said:

The GS34 is a pretty boat but the cockpit very exposed and not a single foot chock in sight, lots of smooth grp and Perspex on deck flush hatches etc and a smooth toe rail. The interior has square cornered doors and the ones I have looked around didn’t even have door catches. To me the GS34 is a performance coastal cruiser and the deck layout designed for day sailing and light overnighting. I have raced a SF3600 for a few years which addresses all the things I just listed and the boat ‘just works’. It’s by no means perfected, despite the foot chocks in the cockpit I still feel like the moulded non skid isn’t as good as some aftermarket non skids and we had some added in places. Also I would prefer a single tiller mounded in front of the traveller instead of twin tillers behind the helm but these are small things. Construction of the 3600 had ended but there are still some hulls lying around outside their factory and you could probably get one at an attractive price. IMO it would be easier to make a 3600 cosmetically better than make a GS34 more offshore practical

JL92 is spot on.  I went aboard the GS at the last real boat show and was pretty underwhelmed with it.  It is a really nice looking boat, but as JL says, the ergonomics are pretty off.  everything from the cockpit layout to the settees, to the nav station did not seem to work for me.  The Italia 9.98 might be worth a look as well.  I think better ergonomically than the GS but still not as good as the SF.  The J99 also is pretty well laid out boat and works from a functionality standpoint.  

On paper, I have been really impressed with the JPK's.  If I were buying a new boat, that would the route I would be going.  Now, I have never set foot on one, but have looked at them pretty extensively on paper and really think they provide a great boat for the money.  

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this thread needs pictures and sounds. She is a civilized yachtmans boat. That does not translate to paper or statistics comparisions. 

 

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I own a 2007 Grand Soleil 40 that was designed by Botin Carkeek.  I am considering between the Pogo 36 or GS 34 as a next vessel.  I can tell you that our GS40 is incredibly well built, fun to sail and more than capable.  I like that the Cantiere Del Pardo yard has been in business a long time.  Our GS40 is a cruising boat that races well enough.  I imagine that the GS 34 is similar.  A great sailing boat for cruising and local yacht club racing for fun.  I also can't help but mention that GS boats are beautiful inside and out.  I don't know how but it definitely breaths Italian style.  Vis-a-vis my wife loves going sailing on her.

Jhavoc

 

 

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On 4/9/2021 at 11:03 PM, apophenia said:

Thanks, @JL92S.

How are the 3600s holding up?

My guess is the boats for sale now will need a new sail inventory and sheets, but standing rigging, clutches and other longer term maintenance items should sill be in good shape (except where they aren't). Prices should dip as some owners downsize to 3300s and others get their program ready to switch up to the replacement boat. Electronics might be getting old, but probably still functional.

No point in buying and stripping out an M3 when you can just buy a WRX Impreza, ready to go.

The 3600s I’m on about are brand new and sat at the factory unsold. If you’re in the market for a new boat there could be a deal to be done with a Jeanneau broker on a boat. 
 

@Black Jack I don’t doubt they’re a civilised boat and probably appeals to a different market. There are a couple in Hamble that cruise and occasionally will do a short handed day race from time to time but the 3600s here do some big offshore mileage and some cross oceans. On paper the boats are similar but in reality they’re very different. It’s small things like the through hull fittings for the heads are in a sealed compartment, as is the bow and as are the rudders. There’s minimal headlining to allow better access to fittings, there are ‘off watch seats’ inside that allow you to sit to weather to get rest, it has a symmetrical layout inside meaning you can always sleep aft and to weather and all the wet sails can be kept forwards in a wet area, there are no solid doors to the aft cabins and instead there are zip up canvas doors which are lighter, take up less space and don’t have handles that will fall off when someone falls against them in rough weather. None of these things are particularly nice to look at but from a functionality point of view the boat just works. 
 

also I never doubt the build quality of a Grand Soleil, I raced an ‘09 54 which stood up to some seriously hard racing that it was never designed for and it held up surprisingly well, the vang fitting on the boom failed, the code 0 soft padeye on the stem delaminated the surrounding deck, the main bulkhead shifted where it meets the hull and we ripped the pushpit from the back of the boat sailing in 30kts of wind with the A3 flying and the kite sheet block pulled it apart. Apart from that the boat did ok. 
 

the 3600 hasn’t been perfect either, the intermediate bulkheads in the saloon separated from the deck and one of the forward bulkheads in the bow separated from the deck as well after a 2000nm offshore race but these were very quickly fixed under warranty when we got back, neither of which affected the sailing performance of the boat. 

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