Panache sails very sweetly in light to moderate conditions but needs the weight of a full crew on the weather rail to perform to it's potential in heavy going. The light ballast and high freeboard, as expected, adversely affect the windward progress. Amazingly she does not build up unacceptable weather helm at extreme angles of heel, however, so she remains very much in control. I am also surprised by her relative lack of pounding.
A benefit of the high freeboard, in addition to interior volume, is the she
is a very dry sailer. Off the wind she tracks very well in light to moderate conditions and needs less attention to the helm in heavy going than one might expect. The deep forefoot does tend to steer the boat a bit when entering a large wave but the rudder has lots of power and the helm has never been excessively heavy.
I''m just getting used to sailing a lightweight having been accustomed to a more traditional design. At first I regretted my choice but as I learn to steer her actively and hoist the right sail for the conditions I am finding her a very able and enjoyable sailer. I should also mention that her sails are somewhat beyond there best. A new main and genoa would get her more on her feet and vastly improve her windward performance.
The accommodations are amazing for a boat of less than 32 feet. We have
seated eight people at the dining table and the berths are very accommodating
for up to six people. I would not want to spend more than a weekend with all
six berths occupied however. She is still just 32 feet overall and more than four people start to get in each others way. Stowage is not adequate for more than four for more than a couple of days in any event. I am very appreciative of the incredible engine access. It makes maintenance a breeze.
Given that all boats are compromizes, the Attalia''s strong points more
than adequately compensate for her weaknesses. Overall I find her an
extremely well engineered boat and a pleasure to cruise in.
Things I would change?
I''d give her additional ballast, probably in the form of a bulb at the
bottom of the keel (a modification I have been considering); I would
position her mast further forward to better distribute her sail area; I
would giver her a deeper bilge....
Ken & Larraine Kemper