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Griffon sailing/handling question

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:20 am
by niccapotamus
Good morning

we are going to buy a boat again next year after far too many years away. We are looking for a cruiser (our prev boats were a jaguar 27 and moody 30) with bilge keels and a griffon is a serious contender. bilge keel.

two important questions if I may about the griffon (having said that I've just asked three!!)

1. is it fairly light on the helm - we don't want to have to fight the helm - obviously there will be some resistance there but I recall our jaguar needing both hands far too often even when motoring and sailing with a tiller extension was out of the question. it just made for uncomfortable sailing.

2 is it balanced enough to sail with an autohelm?

3 what about windward performance? - does anyone know the tacking angle (not that I have much to compare it with) or how they perform to windward - we aren't racer types but lots of solent sailing seems to be into the wind in my recollection and we don't want to be motoring all the time - and my apologies to the centaur owners and please correct me if I'm wrong but the centaur seems to have a reputation of needing this too often so I'm hoping that the Griffon will be acceptable to windward - if you know what I mean.

thanks a lot


Re: Griffon sailing/handling question

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:11 pm
by Nigel Birch
Weatherhelm and poor windward performance go hand in hand with old baggy sails. Could this have been the case with your Jaguar?

Re: Griffon sailing/handling question

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:08 pm
by niccapotamus
The sails were indeed tired but in our defence we were only 23 and we had to protect the beer budget. In truth it was b. awful under motor also. We didn't know any better then but the new owners after we sold it did ring and ask us about it so maybe it was an issue with that particular boat.

Anyway......anyone got experience of the griffon?


Re: Griffon sailing/handling question

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:33 pm
by Hot Ayre
We have old baggy sails on our Konsort and she sails fine ... have you thought about a Konsort?

Re: Griffon sailing/handling question

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:43 pm
by Nigel Birch
I've got a Konsort too and they are great cruising boats loads of stowage space sail well too...

Re: Griffon sailing/handling question

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:18 pm
by Uncle Albert
In defence of Centaurs, I am happy to say that my wind arrow thingy on top of the mast that transmits wind angle to the instrument shows that I can make 60 degrees easily and, if really winding in the genoa, and bringing the main traveller all the way to weather, can pinch up to 30 degrees (but that is hard work and boat speed suffers). I have in mast furling so I can also play with the shape of the loose footed main as well.

This year especially I have been experimenting with hands free/balanced sailing and learnt a lot about the boat.

So dont dispel the trusty old Centaur, after all where else do you get standing room for a 6 footer for less than £10K.

Re: Griffon sailing/handling question

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:57 am
by niccapotamus
thanks for replies so far guys.

the Konsort is a lovely boat but I think our (currently non-existent) budget will be sub 15K and preferably towards the 10K+ end of the scale and we are looking at keeping the length down to make it "guilt-free" and affordable as our lives at 48 are much more complicated than they were when we were in our early 20's...............we would rather have a slightly smaller more affordable boat that we keep in great "nick" rather than have a few extra feet but can't sensibly afford decent sails for instance. The beer budget is much much lower these days which is a good thing :)

noted about the centaur - we are chartering one from Cornish Cruising in October for a few days to see what they are like.

so back to the griffon........any owners out there?



Re: Griffon sailing/handling question

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:51 pm
by ndt228
I have had off-and-on experience with sailing a Griffon II across about 10 years, so can offer you a response to some of your questions, tho she was not my boat. My sister/brother-in-law took her across the channel/Southern N Sea a few times.

Firstly I would not describe the boat as heavy on the helm, although I have never used a tiller extension. As usual, by adjustment of the sails a balanced helm is achievable. The boat sailed and motored well with an autohelm (800 I think). She would point reasonably well to windward but I can't give you a figure. She is not a "performance" yacht - a good steady reliable cruiser. In fine weather she is manageable single-handed (assuming a roller-reefing gib), but in more wind you need 2 on watch to cover sail handling (and 3 to make it easy). Bilge keels are ideal for occasional drying out, and shoal waters.

A key to comfortable sailing is to reduce sail before she tips too much. If it is struggle to stay on the windward side of the cockpit, then its time to reduce sail, and there will be no loss of speed (such as it is). This will also reduce the weather helm. Our boat had slab reefing.

In summary I would describe her as good boat for 2-3 people to sail/live aboard. 4 persons aboard is a little more crowded, but the separate heads compartment keeps it practical. The "sleeps 6" description would only really work for a single night, or watch-on-watch sailing; otherwise you are too much on top of each other.

All the best, Nick