Where There's a Will There's a Way
28 October 2008
As Published by Adesso Vela
Just two shots to get you immediately into the mood of this post.
The first test of the newest M20 in Europe it’s on Adesso Vela: a brave and unusual choice from the Melges Europe people but significant enough to show the path to those who will faithfully follow! As a matter of fact the boat sticks so much out from all the others we have been used to see so far that it could have only been a question of braveness. And here we go exclusively on Adesso Vela with the report of a great-fun day and of a great passion of its task force ;-) Make us - and yourselves - a promise: read, look and listen to everything to the very end… you won’t regret it! To make the story short now we start with Mr Melges Europe himself who is the first one to show up:
Malcesine october 22nd (we set the date because we want you to be able to check): no “peler” and no “ora” (the 2 typical wind of lake Garda) at sight. We eventually hit the water at 2pm with a max of 8-10 knots which made us sailing upwind as follows:
These conditions are sufficient to fly off on the spot: the M20 is extremely powerfull and the bow section is tight. As a tradition in the Melges family it has a tight and deep fin with a torpedo style end: this solution requires a certain speed to make the kell working and thus avoiding the lateral slip of the boat. The M20 must be driven fast and flat and even with little air Federico Michetti often suggested us to “download” the main in order to sail it at best. It’s a boat to be handled, full stop. Anticipate the wind puffs with the nose into the wind and… off you fly! The helm is so neutral and light as you would never expect and it helps the friendly approach of the boat.
If you think you go fast upwind , before you bear off you must ask for permission to the control tower! The hoist is the same as for the Melges 24, the piece of news is that the bowsprit and the gennaker tack get out just with one control line. Yes yes yes - you got it right: you can stay behind the driver even with 8-10 knots. Skeptical? Then here we are:
You lean on the broader section of the stern with its angle typical of VOR 70 and off you go, planando searching for the best VMG. Essential are the angles during the gyibe in order to keep the “little one” alive, even if with its declared 500 kg it will surprise you at each re-starts. You will do a standing ovation to the spi which works on a new Harken system with pivoting block; no prolem with the angles of the sheet tacking as easy like a sunday morning, but perhaps only beacause we had a world champion of the Melges 24 onboard;-) To note also that both the blocks as well as the jib tracks and the gennaker are placed on the vertically on each side of the cockpit. This means that the crew can seat at the tiny lifeline freely and confortably while searching for the best balance upwind.
Hang in there because the best has yet to come: here the coolest details of the M20 which will make you fall in love from bow to stern:
Here the bow which looks even lightly negative in a static shot and then at full speed.
The completely built-in furler.
The gennaker bag mounted on a metallic cross-bar on the left side.
The sliding shroud anchorage, similar to that on the Star: thanks to its movements you can control the tension on the shrouds. Onboard no need for stanners to “torture” the turnbuckles ;-)
The diamond shroud system also called “M-rig” seen from the bottom. The driver should be thankful to it to be avoiding the backstay! The mast-shroud system is likely to be kept assembled also during transportation. The Melges workshops are currently studying a special cover- and protection system to enable what just said above. Were this the case, then the M20 may truly be considered as a “plug & play” boat ready to sail off after 40 minutes from the arrival at the Yacht club.
The anchorage of the GNAV, the reversed vang on the boom. Passing under the boom is extremely easy during taking and gybing.
The mini stantion on which are mounted the shrouds. The legs are inside and the big band is at kidney’s hight. This is the end of the era “NO PAIN - NO GAIN”. And during the upwind you can chat with the rest of the crew: they won’t disappear while hiking.
The detail of the jib tracks and its cumcleat: they are mounted vertically on the side.
Storing of the outboard engine strictly according to the Melges "family feeling"
The end of the gennaker sheet circuit with a the block which is adjustable on its horizontal axle.
The gennaker system on the stern
The arch system of the main sheet extremely on the stern which allowed the elimination of the trailer.
The straight lines of the back side of the boat which are lately a "must" for every last generation
That’s all folks! We would like to pass on to you also some of the splashes we got in the faces together with the all differents emotions of the “first time” (the first time on the M20 but also the very first test of our blog) but to this respect we still have to get organized. Let’s part in this way... with heart and soul... here the last shots that came back home with us: