The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

The Garcia Exploration 45 Compared to The Boréal 47—Part 5, Interior, Summary and Price

In Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 I compared the rigs, deck layouts, cockpits, hull form, build, and inside watch stations of the two boats. If you have not yet read those articles, please do so now with particular attention to the disclosure that Part 1 starts with.

Now let’s dive below and take a look at the interiors. As you can probably guess from the first three articles, I will be coming at this with functionality while at sea and coastal cruising in adventurous places, as the number one priority.

That said, I’m also assuming that most of the buyers will be couples who wish to live on the boat for long periods, like Phyllis and I did for over two decades.

And, once again, this article will be of use to those of you looking to buy a boat for offshore cruising, even if you are not interested in a Garcia or a Boréal.

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James Thomson

Thanks John for a very full and interesting set of articles on both boats, although having bought my Boréal in March of this year I am possibly the least likely to benefit from the analysis of the two boats side-by-side. One point I would mention is that I think you are a little light on the price for the Boréal 47. As you make very clear a lot of the cost is in the options so it is very difficult to make an accurate cost comparison since what is standard differs from boat to boat. I cannot comment on the cost of the Garcia but for our boat, Curlew, I had the same philosophy as you outline: no generator, water-maker or bow thruster, but top-end sails and a fair amount of safety add-ons like optional grab handles in strategic places and extra pad-eyes. We have some obvious luxuries such as the Refleks heater, electric winches for the genoa and a carbon fiber pole, all concessions to advancing years. With these, and a decent suite of navigation instruments, the price ended at €600k before tax. Looking at other Boréals I got the impression that most owners are more kitted-out than we are. Again, this is not a comment on the comparison you make, more a clarification for anyone contemplating a Boréal 47. In the grand scheme of things (an expression one finds oneself using quite a lot when buying this kind of boat), the difference is not enormous.

Finally, in other places on AAC you discuss total system reliability as a crucial consideration when selecting options for a boat. Curlew had a few of the expected early teething problems, and since then everything has worked flawlessly. Correspondance with other owners of more richly equipped boats confirms the view that total system complexity is very much the enemy of reliability.

Richard Elder

Hi John,
We have a term for the design stylists who produce things like the owner’s berth in the Garcia— interior desicrators. Uninhabitable at sea for full sized adults— unless they have permanently deformed spines. In the same category fall the curved salon settees that yacht artichokes favor as they try to make their drawings look more artistic. (and thereby destroy the remaining functional sea berths),

Random Rants:
Fake Double quarter berths— An advertising necessity. Every Yacht World listing contains a standard category: “Sleeps “+xxx”. Who would buy a $400,000 boat that represents that it only sleeps 4 ? This type of berth may be quite useful for having sex, but certainly not for sleeping! The one exception is as a single sea berth if it is filled with large pillows to reduce it’s width, and does not try to intrude under the cockpit sole.

Crouching seating positions:
John, it looks like you noticed that the Stbd settee in the Garcia salon is pushed back under the side deck so it requires a pillow at your back or sitting with your head pushed forward by the deck house side. But you were too polite to add it to the other observations some Garcia owners have been criticizing you for! In the interest of fairness, seating underneath the Boreal hard dodger wings falls into the same category, but at least you are not expected to assume the position during a meal.

JFE is correct— replacing the aft berth with a perfect workroom would probably reduce market acceptance, even on a boat designed as a high latitude expedition vessel. Sad but true.

Under-salon engine location;
I’ve been looking for some time for the best possible boat for a particular mission: Accompanied by 4 crew, explore from the Queen Charlotte Islands & Alaska to the Fairweather Range under the highest coastal mountain in the Northern Hemisphere. Then sail to Hawaii, the Cook Islands, New Zealand, and the Patagonian channels. Either the Garcia or Boreal would be well suited to the mission, but are far out of my budget range.
Last week I surveyed a heavily built fiberglass boat that checks off most of the boxes. 6′ draft fixed fin keel, well protected skeg rudder. 60K to purchase. Two new sails and a Spade and she’s be ready for Alaska. In fact on some aspects I’d rate it above the Garcia & Boreal offerings. And I walked away after considering the impossibility of working (with my recently repaired shoulder) on the engine buried between tanks underneath the cabin sole.

Terence Thatcher

My old Morgan has a traditional interior, with two settee/sea berths in the main cabin–the most comfortable place off watch. Where are the long sea berths with lee clothes in these boats? In the raised salon? If so, great. If not…. But, of course, these boats otherwise are far superior to mine, although the Garcia’s spreader design would prevent my purchase of a Garcia even were I tempted to steal my spouse’s retirement account and sail away on an aluminum sloop. Thanks for the careful review.

Eric Klem

Hi John,

One note on all the ports, I think that it is actually possible to let too much light into an interior.  It makes it hot, sun damages the furniture and it can be annoying to try to block them to eliminate glare on whatever you are looking at.  The Garcia at least appears to have an overhang above the windows which is probably useful at anchor and useful on tacks where the wind comes from the other side than the sun (of course, around here that is opposite of prevailing breezes).  We have talked previously about how nice a Herreshoff style interior can feel due to being bright but for me at least, there can be too much glass except on really overcast days.

Is it just me or does the Boreal stacked single arrangement make it look difficult to climb into the upper bunk without disrupting the person in the lower bunk?  It looks like if you added a leeboard, a handrail and a step or 2 on the way up, it could be managed provided you were okay sleeping head aft but it could limit how far open that locker door can go.


P D Squire

From New Zealand I agree you can have to much glass. The sun is not friendly. Especially up North. Mind you, down South in Fiordland, which is a rain forest with ferocious sand flies, Its nice to enjoy the wonderful environment from inside.

Mark Wilson

Dear John

I think most of us had worked out after the first few lines of part one who was winning this particular race. In the end it comes down to who you are, where you come from and what you believe deep down in your sailing soul.

Recently, buried in my storage facility, I came across a box of yachting magazines I had saved from the late eighties. Cruising World and Yachting Monthly mainly. Many reports of Tania Abei circumnavigating in her Contessa 26. The magazines were filled with ads for and reviews of new boats that even today we would be happy to cross oceans and meet foul weather in now and for many years to come. How many boats in this month’s issue of your favourite yachting mag would fit this requirement three decades from now, a date that I personally am unlikely to be around for ? I am listening to Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma as I type this.

It’s all about attitude. While the carnage of the Golden Globe Race was going on the Longue Route quietly went it’s Moitessier like way. The Golden Globe had it’s perfectly specified long keeled tough as nails boats. The Longue Route had some of them too but it also had some pretty sketchy offerings. An Oceanis 43 with deck sweeping fore sails for goodness sake ? The Longue Route sailors were voyagers; the Golden Globers racers. Mark Slats was knocked down as many as 18 times in his Rustler 36. A badge of honour for a racer; not so much for some of us.

Nancy Mitford coined “you” and “ non you”. Peter York defined “PLU” – people like us. While most of us would be happy as Larry if if we found a ticket for a Garcia in a cereal packet that’s not we dream about as we fall asleep at night and fantasise about mooring side to a cliff in Tierra del Fuego – I’m looking at such a photograph as I write this and wondering if I will ever get back there.

The Garcia is the boat for the full page ad in the glossy mag. And good for it. It’s not as though it’s going to kill you. But the Boréal is the boat that many of us have sketched in the comment side of our logs or journals on those long night watches in the deep ocean, while trying to stay awake. The boat that had all the good bits of the boat we were in and fewer of the bad bits.

Marc Dacey

“All the good bits of the boat we were in and fewer of the bad bits” is about as good anything short of a kept designer and an infinity budget is likely to obtain. But if there’s one thing my refit has suggested, as well as the envious sighs of visiting skippers, is that a gas-strutted 48 x 27 inch aluminum hatch that reveals all of the engine and a place to stand the length of its port side is worth a berth or a portlight or two. Access trumps accommodation, and the voyaging boat is better suited to keeping its crew safe than keeping its guests comfy.

Marc Dacey

Unfortunately, I think that can be said for sailing as a sport and a lifestyle choice across the board. The Toronto boat show is coming up in a couple of weeks and once again I expect to see hundreds of power boats and maybe 10 sailboats made to cruise, and none made to voyage.

P D Squire

OK, I’m sold. Please may I have a Boreal 47 with one of the aft cabins replaced with utility, wet locker, and shower (I’m only 5’6″). The only catch is budget. So I need someone to mass produce it in fibreglass along A40 lines.

Actually, that’s possibly a good idea. All the design work, prototyping, and systems integration is now complete. The boat is a little bigger than the A40 and the lifting keel adds complexity, so it would be dearer, but how much?

It’d be interesting to research the price elasticity of demand for an A40+ You’ve got about 350 starters at US$250k, I wonder how many starters would remain if the price was say US$350k.

John Fussell

I just wondered, how thick are these windows, are they glass?

Alan Sexton

A few more observations
I found the forard head/shower on Boreal 44/Lunacy quite cramped, seem to recall it did not have full headroom for me at 1.83m
Neither yacht seems to have a lot of stowage in the galley and I do not remember there being a cutlery drawer on the Boreal – this seems to be something lacking on a alot of European boats.
The Garcia’s underfloor engine location just does not work for me, imagine trying to sort out a fuel problem or changing an impeller head down tail up in a seaway….
A solution to the question of a utility room/resale cocern on the Boreal for new builds could be a very basic fit out as a utility room and Boreal supplying as an option (for the purchaser to collect or holding in store) a flat pack of the bunk components for future retro fitting?

Maxime Gérardin

Something radically new regarding the 44/47? Wow!

Let’s try a guess:
– remove the centerboard and its trunk,
– replace it with two finely designed lateral daggerboards, yielding better upwind performance (and thus solving the last significant imperfection of the Boréal?),
– move the windlass aside, against one of the daggerboard trunks (or even, while we are at it, in the triangular-shaped volume between a daggerboard, the hull and the sidedeck),
– take the engine from its current location to that previously occupied by the centerboard trunk, yielding an horizontal shaft and thus a slightly more efficient propulsion, and bringing its weight to an even lower, and more central, location, which, taken with the slightly lowered ballast (no centerboard trunk), more than compensates for the higher weight of the daggerboard trunks,
– …eh, I’ve done half the job, now it’s your turn to figure out how to fit the accomodation into this! All I can say is that we now have a roomier inside, the only obstructions left being a standard mastpost and a diagonal tube from windlass to chain storage, and that the engine must be fitted into some easily opened/removed piece of fourniture. The space under the doghouse will be quite difficult to use, but what about a berth and some foul weather gear storage?

This is how big I expect the coming revelations to be!

Maxime Gérardin

I totally agree, there are obvious drawbacks to what I wrote, even assuming it can be done! One of them (and maybe not the main one) is that when you get caught with too much sail by more wind than you expected, at any point of sail but downwind, a daggerboard on the lee side becomes a trap, as it stays active even at large heel angles, while at some point the centreboard will “erase itself” (that’s a french phrase for it) and allow the boat to trip sideways. Regarding the safety of daggerboards when hitting debris, a “fuse” design should manage it, although the aft daggerboards by Boréal are even more secured by the aft bulkhead. My first worry (not saying that it’s rational) would be about the reliability of the system that folds or pulls the board up: when you want it up, it must go up! In that regard, the classic “folding knife” setup surely is unbeatable. One could think of twin folding knife offcenterboards, but one would incur a huge penalty in not-well-positioned weight, lost space and cost (I don’t know of such designs?).

By the way, is really the possibility of doing some “centerboard-assisted hydrography work” such a big plus in safety? I’ve practiced it only a little, and suspect that our judgement might be altered by the fact that it is a lot of fun!! Of course it’s great as a fallback low-tech solution, in case the depth sensor fails.

Ernest E Vogelsinger

Even if both boats are and will be way off my personal budget situation this series offers a lot of insight to offshore cruising designs and considerations. It actually has already influenced some of my ideas/red lines to my future boat…

However, if my budget situation were different the Garcia would be crossed off my list very early on, due to the twin rudder design. Not only that I’d be afraid of its greater vulnerability (and complexity), I would dearly miss the propwalk/propstream effect which I love to use to my advantage in narrow situations…

Charles Doane

Hello All:

I would have chimed in earlier here, but have been traveling.

Forward “shower room” on Lunacy: As referenced above, there is no headroom, but once you’re seated on the fold-out seat you can have a very comfy shower, even when heeled on either tack. I asked for this when Lunacy was being built, leaving out the forward toilet in favor of a dedicated bathing space. One toilet on a boat this size, aft so all can access it easily, is all I think you need. One problem we have I should have thought of: the aft head and toilet are to starboard, and the intake for the toilet is far enough outboard that you cannot flush the toilet when the boat is heeled hard over on starboard. (In the stock layout this is no problem, as the other toilet is outboard to port, so there is always one toilet intake underwater.) I should have asked for the intake to be closer to the centerline (insert dope-slap). We work around the problem by flushing the toilet with a bucket. I have a plastic piston pump long enough that it can pick up water via the super-sized cockpit drains, so filling the bucket and moving it to the head isn’t too onerous a chore. We rarely need to do this in any event.

Headroom in the Boreal interior generally is constrained. I am 6ft 1in tall and can only stand up straight in the saloon. Everywhere else I am crouching a little, including in the forward master stateroom. The Garcia is better in this regard, as it is a taller boat, with a higher center of gravity, which otherwise is not a good thing, particularly on these sorts of centerboard boats.

Aft stateroom berths: We opted for the stepped singles on both sides, so as to accommodate two daughters and their friends on short cruises. Also this configuration, as John noted, makes for more useful storage space when the berths are vacant. This configuration also gives you twice as many useful sea berths when on passage. I know from experience it is not too hard to crawl into an upper berth when the lower one is occupied, but you have to go in head first and sleep with your head aft to make it work. It is generally much easier to get into either berth this way. The reading lights, however, are forward. One small improvement would be to have reading lights at both ends of the berths.

In-line galleys: As John points out, U-shaped galleys aft are much more seamanlike while on passage. I’ve gotten used to the galley on Lunacy, but do still sometimes find it a bit challenging. My old boat had obscene amounts of galley storage space and certainly spoiled me. I feared it would be hard getting used to the limited storage space in the Boreal galley, but in truth I find there is just enough if you only carry what you really need. Note: if you don’t ask for the Refleks heater, you could have a really nice pantry cupboard just forward of the galley.

Fit and finish: I would say this is comparable on the two boats, at least as to appearance. One annoying feature on the Boreal has been that little bits of the veneer often peel off the woodwork around corners and edges and I am constantly having to glue them down again. I have no idea if this sort of maintenance is necessary on the Garcia. I do remember I badly damaged a lightly built fold-out saloon seat on the Garcia during a small fall, prompting an over-excited response from Jimmy Cornell. I would say generally on both boats the interior joinery could be a little more heavily built.

One thing I missed on both boats: there is no place to sit down comfortably in the center of the boat to pull on a pair of sea boots. To me overall the interiors on both boats feel a little constrained compared to other boats this size, due largely to the space given up forward and aft (particularly on the Boreal) to collision bulkheads.

As always, particularly when it comes to interior spaces, boats are composed of compromises!!!

Richard Elder

Hi John (& Charlie)

Congratulations on a great series of articles about two boats that have the same mission profile but end up choosing very different solutions. What a contrast to the “boat tests” that populate the print rags and are little more than disguised payoffs for buying ad copy!

An outsider’s conclusion: The Boreal is by far the best compromise for my tastes and the best choice for serious high latitude service. I’ll go even further– If my rich uncle died and willed me his new Garcia I’d immediately put it on the market. But that is based partially upon esthetics as well as function.

That said it seems as if there is one fundamental flaw with the Boreal design — it was designed as the personal boat by very experience voyagers and evolved into a successful production boat by fitting into an unfulfilled market niche. Since it is only really suitable for people under 6’0″ without headroom compromise the market acceptability for taller individuals is constrained. And as i’ve noted in the past, there is a substantial correlation between wealth and height, so the Boreal 44/47 loses a market segment that is unwilling to pay $600,000 to have a sore neck. All for the lack of a couple more inches of freeboard in the hull that should not seriously compromise stability or esthetics.

Scott Arenz

Hi all,

I too have really enjoyed this series of articles. The factual comparison of the two boats along with John’s opinions based on experience has been very illuminating. Any reader can trace the rationale of the evaluation and decide whether it applies to their own situation.

On the Boréal 44/47, I agree that about 50 – 60mm of additional headroom/freeboard would be both a practical and market-friendly improvement. Presumably it would entail a major redesign to make sure all the details work, plus lots of downstream manufacturing/process updates.

Additionally, I think Richard was on the right track with his earlier suggestion to move the sides of the doghouse further outboard so as to increase headroom underneath the curved top. No doubt a costly redesign and retooling effort as well, but surely a benefit for taller prospective owners. I would think pain-free posture while on watch would be a prerequisite for keeping a sharp lookout for the potentially catastrophic collision hazards John has described in this series.

Presumably the good forward sight lines of the current design could be maintained while making these dimensional tweaks.

The Boréal 44/47 was an exciting breakthrough design when it came out, an evolution of the “dériveur intégral” type that combined the best qualities of its forerunners with new innovations. The careful balance of its features and design tradeoffs really becomes apparent when you try to (mentally) modify the design. (And presumably, of course, when sailing!)

Feedback from users (and sometimes even us armchair critics) often points the way to refinement and improvement, and no doubt Boréal has gathered much feedback over the years. I look forward to seeing the next steps in the evolution of their concept. Hopefully AAC readers will be the first to hear about it! 🙂

Scott Arenz

Hi John,

Thanks for your thorough response.

In regards to doghouse headroom, although my writing wasn’t clear on the point, I was primarily thinking of the nav seat inside the doghouse. Charles Doane had mentioned in a comment on Part 4 of the series that he was unable to sit fully upright at the nav station due to the ceiling height. As someone with a long trunk who is often troubled by neck, back, and posture issues, it was this point of comfort that stuck in my mind and had me thinking about how to modify the doghouse. As for the seat position under the hard dodger, more headroom would be a “nice to have”, but I agree that it wouldn’t be worthwhile to trade helm sight lines for a gain in comfort at that spot.

As it happens, we’re in agreement on the difficulty of reconfiguring and retooling the doghouse. I believe the shape of the forward half of the doghouse is essentially half a cone with an arched top (both developable surfaces as you say), and so the only way to make it wider would be to increase the diameter of the cone as well as the arch. Every dimension therefore changes, and thus every related cut file for metal, wood and glass, every piece of tooling would have to be redone. (As a former architectural designer and fabricator, I consider that the kind of change you don’t ask a builder to make unless you’re willing to foot the entire cost on a time & materials basis—major bucks.) And as you say, there are probably other hidden issues.

Ha—I just reviewed Charles’s comment in Part 4, and I see he also mentioned a possible fix for doghouse headroom: lower the seat! So to make the headroom and sight lines work for all users, perhaps some kind of height adjustment mechanism could be built in. Looks like the problem is probably solvable for three or four figures instead of five or six. 🙂



Scott Arenz

Since many of us here are “Boréal dreamers”, I can’t resist listing some modifications for my own personal “mentally perfect” Boréal 44/47 “Mk2”. I don’t know if these would all be feasible, as they’re based on my interpretation of photographs, and not on actual experience of the boat. Most items have to do with human factors/ergonomics in the working of the vessel:

1. Add a dedicated deck-accessible home for a JSD, where it can stay rigged while underway and be easily deployed (without opening the big lazarette). I think a self-draining compartment just the size of the JSD bag, with a hatch that matches the aft deck, located just to starboard of the big lazarette hatch, might work well.

2. Place the genoa winches on bases that are angled inboard, so you’re not leaning over the downhill/leeward coaming so much when trimming from the cockpit. As John has pointed out, with the current winch angle, for best leverage the impulse is to stand on the leeward side deck to grind, which without much of a raised gunwale seems unsafe.

3. Increase the seat depth of the cockpit benches. To my eye, they seem too narrow to give much support to the upper leg when you’re seated, and would be even less comfortable if you add seat back cushions. There is currently a large volume of seat back storage for sheets and lines, and I believe a small amount of that could be traded to increase the seat depth. As others have mentioned, some kind of foot brace is also needed.

4. Flush-mount the daggerboard hatches and mount the cam cleats beneath. While I suspect this would require modification of the daggerboard case design, it would decrease tripping hazards on the aft deck and increase the deck’s utility at anchor. The daggerboard control line would be fed through a slot long enough to allow it to be cleated and uncleated from the cam.

5. Lastly, a most radical and expensive change: Take the hull length of the 47, but use the transom style of the 44, and put most of the extra length into the cockpit benches and hard dodger overhang. Yes, it’s a MAJOR redesign, requiring moving the aft watertight bulkhead, rudder post, daggerboards, and helm. Would it be worth all the trouble? The longer (and wider) cockpit benches would be a great boon in port, and the quarter berths immediately below would also be longer for either bunk space or storage. Plus, the standard vertical transom (though unfashionable) has a larger swim platform and more cleanly accommodates self steering gear. IMO, it’s a triple win.

I’m curious to know if anyone else has specs for their “dream Boréal” they’d like to share.

Bruce Savage

Hi John
Thoroughly enjoyed your comparison between these two designs, especially since I am the owner of an Allures 44, which would be a 3rd boat to compare in this category and size. The Allures 44 has many similarities as well as differences with these boats. Without going into too much detail (that would require another chapter) I am overall still a fan of what I have been sailing for the last 6 years over either of these boats.

Allures 44 good points:-
A protruding centreboard case similar to the Garcia but bigger, with lead ballast. Very little of the bottom plating is in contact when grounded.
Narrower stern with single wheel.
Dedicated life raft cavity on sugar scoop under the stern (you didn’t mention if Garcia or Boreal have similar).
Good freeboard and plenty of head room down below.
Anchor locker forward, then large sail locker, then owners cabin = plenty roomy bed which uses full width of the hull.
Full carbon rig, mast, boom, spin pole (custom not from Allures).
Inner forestay is light UHM rope, Hank-on staysail in bag, detachable with staysail still hanked on.
All lines come aft to Coachroof top inside spray dodger. I prefer this and don’t find this a space issue. Do need to go to mast for reefing cringle snap shackle strops attachment or release.
Dedicated utility room with watermaker and generator. (I would happily forego generator but it came with the boat).

Allures 44 bad points
No hard dodger.
Composite cabin top and cockpit, with associated join, definitely a structural concern.
Swept back spreaders (but good because mast doesn’t rely on backstay or runners to stay up).
Compromised upwind performance due to inefficient centreboard shape plus limited righting moment. (We plan quite hard to avoid upwind if possible. Doesn’t everybody?)
Powder-coated bilge which constantly peels and flakes.

I must say that I don’t like some of the changes made by Allures (Grand Large) in later models after ours. Wide stern with twin wheels, stainless bolted on mooring cleats, stainless insert staunchion bases (like the Garcia), hidden lines, enclosed anchor bow arrangement. Allures began much like Boreal, but then sold its principals and soul to the big corporate and marketing fashion trends.

I am very surprised that you don’t seem to consider a watermaker as important equipment. I would never even consider cruising without one and for expedition style it would be even more important.

Couple points on the Boreal centreboard box and rudder. If you hit something semi-submerged it could easily make solid contact with the front of the box. Big inertia impact for boat and crew safety, possible structural damage in that area. The Garcia or Allures would ride-up onto such an obstruction, minimising damage? Also you state that the Boreal rudder won’t be effected when aground, but your earlier photo clearly shows the rudder in solid contact with the ground. I would also be very nervous of the boat toppling off the box in high winds. The grounded Allures is much more stable in this regard.

Bruce Savage

Hi John
My watermaker observation was because you stated that having one would be “going bananas on the add-ons”, hence I inferred you don’t consider it essential. Also neither of the boats used in the comparison seems to have one?

In fact the Allures does have twin rudders and bending the shaft may be a concern, but I trust that they have been designed for taking this load. As far as I know, it has never happened ?

Jean-François Eeman

hi Bruce,
We do install in a regular way watermakers… We have a technical corridor in between the two aft cabins…

Unfortunately and unlike you seem to think, bending the shaft has happened on 39.9 during a testsail with a Swedish or Norwegian journalist. It happened the day after the boat show in Ellös Sweden.
We were both boats sailing along side each other, I was testsailing a Boréal 44…
Rocks were hit, the shaft of the rudder bend (and I believe there was a crashbox on top of the rudder which broke so the hull was not damaged…)
Of course, in the most natural way, a lot of people involved will tend to avoid speaking about it (to be honnest : I would too…)
But it was mentioned in the testsail done by a french magazine (Voiles et Voiliers) which sailed the day after… to be complete : The article stated sailing with a bend rudder shaft was ok…
Not a gossip, a fact…

Jean-François Eeman

Hi Bruce,
Hi John,

Please allow me to complete the information given :
Unlike it may look like from the picture you have posted, the rudder of a Boréal is slighlty less deep than the deepest point of the keelbox (and indeed the keelbox is much wider than the rudder)… So “normally” you do not sit on the rudder.
This said the rudder shaft is 100 mm plain aluminium.
We have one owner who has dried out on a prefect white beach except for one rock… By mischance he dried out with the rudder on that rock.
Of course the boat was in a strange position but there was no damage at all.
Another owner dried out with only his ruddder resting on a slipway. He ended up with the bow pointing into the mud… again no damage to rudder, hull and structure…

The keelbox is wide. The lead ballast is (mostly) in the keel box. The CG is pretty low : If you had a virtual finger and you would do the excercise of pushing laterally on the top of the mast, it would take an angle of more than 12-14 degrees heeling before the boat would trip and gently go over and lay on its first chine.
Granted, laying on the first chine is a uncomfortable position, but it is of no harm to hull and structure…
I hope it helps you understanding…

Bruce Savage

Thanks Jean Francois, that explanation certainly makes me much happier about the grounding capabilities of the Boréal.

Regarding the Allures 39.9 bent shaft that is very interesting. I’m sure I don’t need to ask which boat was going faster ?. To be fair it wasn’t due to a planned grounding, rather a collision.

I do feel like the rudders on the Allures are the part of the boat most vulnerable to damage if we were to run aground on a reef, same is probably true for the Boréal.

Another advantage of the single rudder is that you could pull the boat sideways off a reef (by a masthead halyard), whereas the twin rudder boat would need to be pulled off either forwards or backwards.

Nat Smith

Dear Charlie, John, and Colin

The end of 2019 took me far away from regular reading of nautical stuff.  Upon crawling out from under my rock, I find my dream team of Charlie, John, and Colin working on questions that have been nagging me ever since I decided to upgrade to an aluminum centerboard.  

I want you all to know what a treat it is to read your discussion.  Thank you for what you do!

Most interesting to me is the topic of unintentional rounding up & broaching on a cruising sailboat. Obviously, wide sterns on high performance sailboats make them prone to rounding up and broaching. My question is, how wide can the stern get on a cruising boat before that leads to bad behavior? And which boats are likely to have this behavior?

I found this 2012 review of an Allures 45 and was struck by professional sailers rounding up and broaching this cruising boat.

The following review by Chris Beeson was published in Yachting Monthly in 2012. 

“I’d like to go back out again and play with her sail configurations to find out whether the heel and the rounding up were down to our unfamiliarity with the boat – owners Adrian and Jacqui have done very little upwind work with Vagaris. Perhaps with an extra reef in the main she’d have gone just as fast with less heel, but should you really need two reefs in 20 knots of true wind? Certainly the 44 we tested in 2007 tracked like a train in a similar breeze without even a sniff of rounding up, so it was a bit of a surprise to find her broaching out of a white-sail beam reach. My time on board was fleeting but there’s no doubt Adrian and Jacqui will find the right balance once they become more familiar with Vagaris.”

Was hull shape a factor here? What do other Allures sailors report? Bruce Savage suggests that things changed between the Allures 44 and the 45.

The Allures are Berret-Racoupeau designs, as is the Garcia Adventure 45. Does the Garcia get wild and crazy?

How about the Alliage 45, another twin rudder Berret-Racoupeau?

Nat Smith

Bill Attwood

Not sure if anyone has already posted this, but there is an excellent Youtube video from Pete Goss showing us round his Garcia. Provides an owner’s view that I and others have said would be useful. Doesn’ t change my view that the Boreal would be my choice, but that has more to do with looks than anything else.

Ernest E Vogelsinger

Didn’t see a post of this, so here it is:

Richard Tomlinson

In an earlier chapter of this book, JPE mentioned that there were some drawings of a B44/47 layout with a dedicated shower stall/wet gear locker replacing the starboard head, and a head on the port side leading to a dedicated technical room. This would definitely be my preferred layout too. Has a boat been built with this configuration yet? Would be good to see the drawings if available.

I guess there would be a small disadvantage of having both forward and aft heads on the port side of the boat, but I could put up with that for the pluses of a technical utility room and separate shower stall/wet locker.

Hans van der Sloot

Wow. Ok. It’s a long time that my $22 USDs are so worthwile spend after reading this excellent review of both ships. We are saving up for one of these to make long voyages and to live aboard, and making the decision it’s going to be an aluminium hull, this thread of articles rounds it up for us personally.

I am going to read every article on your blog and I will learn so much. Thank you sincerely for the quality of work and thanks to the community adding useful comments.

PS We’re not new to sailing (owning a Sweden for a decade now, and having done some nice sea trips), but these articles gave me the feeling that there is still a learning curve. And I love it !