Ballast Ratio greater than 33% - Malo 39 - 32.2%
Displacement length ratio around 200-250, maximum 300 – Malo 296
Sail area-displacement ratio 15 to 18 - Malo 17
Waterline length to waterline beam ratio greater than 3:1 – Malo 3.14
Stability curve above 120 – Malo 135
This is for a fully loaded boat – we are talking displacement of 20,300 pounds, plus a load of 3634 pounds for fuel, water and cargo. These numbers suggest that the boat would be exactly what we wanted, - fun to sail, somewhat fast, and stable. We heel to windward initially in a bit of a breeze – say 15 - 18 knots, and then stay there like a rock with a 130 genoa – the boat is perfectly balanced with no weather helm when trimmed out - not tender, but not stiff either.
So at the risk of offending someone – here is my take on the boats we did not buy:
Valiant 40 – truly a fine boat – but it was expensive – at the time of our decision, it was $100K more than the Malo. Also, it is a bit spartan – we did not like its layout below as a long term home.
Caliber 40 LRC – this boat has truly impressive tankage, but the underbody did not promise good windward performance. Also, the fit and finish, and the quality of the fittings, though quite nice, did not reach Malo standards nor were as robust. The sales person I talked to, whom I had know for a few years, told me to order it without sails, since they were junk – this made me wonder what else was junk that I could not see…
Island Packet 39 – a fine and respected cruiser, though the underbody seems antiquated, and that club foot staysail? Any way, another American boat that is very expensive – we have smoked several IPs going to windward…..these boats are slow.
Saga 43 – I was revved up to get the Saga – Bob Perry designed, purpose built cruiser, and 200 mile days, 10 knots motoring under power, great tankage. But again, the fit and finish was not as nice as the Malo - but I sure loved that working area forward. We talked to some folks that had sailed the Baha HA HA on one and they said this boat heeled – I mean – as if it was some tender race boat (which it was). We sat in it at the dock in 10 knots of wind - boy it really did heal, even with no sails up - a very tender craft. I talked to a rigger who put a few of them together and he said that often from the factory they had to beat them together with a hammer. Also, Discovery had lots of problems with the factory – not good recommendations for a $300,000 purchase.
Pacific Seacraft 37 - 44 – there were a few of these floating around, but the 37 footer was too small for our needs and the larger version was way to expensive. The boat seemed based on an old design and again, had that cut away forefoot that promised good downwind performance, but not much windward performance.
These were all fine boats, but did not offer as much to us as the Malo. Also, the Malo is built by some of the nicest people on earth. They have sent me boxes and boxes of stuff for upgrades – much of it free or at cost. I am 4 years into ownership, and can send them an e-mail and get a response. It you are reading this, you may have linked from their site. No I am not a Malo shill – it’s that in this day and age, it is so rare to get what you pay for.
Next – outfitting.
The proud parents....