Skip to main content

Garcia Exploration 45: Jimmy Cornell’s Ideal Boat

Jimmy Cornell’s first two cruising boats were built of fiberglass and steel respectively. By the time he got to his third Aventura, an Alubat Ovni 435, he had settled on aluminum as his preferred hull material. His fourth Aventura, like the Ovni, is aluminum with internal ballast and an integral centerboard that pulls up into the bilges of the boat, a common feature on French-built alloy boats. Unlike the Ovni this new Garcia has twin rudders, dual helms and a deck saloon cabinhouse with a cored fiberglass coachroof.

Prior to this passage I had sailed Aventura IV briefly on Chesapeake Bay, as part of the SAIL evaluation team that gave her a 2015 Best Boat award, and I have to say her performance cannot be faulted. Jimmy claims she is more closewinded than his old Ovni, thanks to her foil-shaped centerboard, and during our test sail in Maryland she felt fully powered up at about a 40-degree apparent-wind angle, making better than 6 knots in a 20-knot breeze in choppy conditions. Even in light conditions, as I learned during the passage to Panama, she is easily driven, particularly when sailing off the wind, when her board can be raised to reduce wetted surface area. The wheel in a strong breeze feels light and easy, with just a touch of weather helm; in a weak breeze it is positive and exhibits little or no lee helm. One of the boat’s best features, I feel, is its motion in a seaway, which is remarkably smooth and easy for a monohull.

[brightcove videoid="3975550875001" playerid="4343385270001" height="315" width="560" featured="true"]

The cockpit layout is excellent. The best feature here is the overhanging coachroof, which functions in effect as a hard dodger and creates a comfortable, sheltered outdoor space from which the deck can be easily monitored. The drawback is that the raised roof obstructs forward sightlines near the boat’s centerline, but seating outboard of the wheels is very comfortable, so helmspeople should be happy steering and peering ahead from one side or the other. All control lines are led under the deck to the cockpit coamings, except that on Jimmy’s boat the lines for the first reef in the main are left at the mast. My one complaint regarding the running rigging is that certain important line runs, particularly those for the main halyard and mainsheet, have a bit too much friction in them.

The boat’s interior is dominated by the wraparound view in the raised saloon. The nav desk is forward, directly behind what is effectively the boat’s windshield, and has secondary autopilot and engine controls so that an active watch can be maintained from here. My one critique of the interior is that, in spite of the great view, it feels a bit cramped. Partly this is because of the two collision bulkheads stealing space fore and aft, but also because in this “Jimmy Cornell” version of the layout (shown below) there are too many berths. In addition to the owner’s stateroom forward, with an island double berth and ensuite head, there are two bunks alongside the short passageway between the forward stateroom and saloon and another two singles crammed into the undersized starboard aft stateroom, plus a full double in the larger aft stateroom to port.

Alternative layouts have fewer berths with more useful storage space next to the port-side inline galley and, if desired, a larger head aft with space for a dedicated shower stall.
The systems installations are first-rate. The engine space is easily accessed, as is the centerboard trunk, which has a very useful inspection port. To fine-tune weight distribution as fuel and water are consumed, there are transfer pumps to shift contents between the port and starboard tanks. Aventura IV is also equipped with a full solar array, a wind generator, plus a water generator, and in spite of being an energy-intensive boat, during our passage we found it easy to keep her battery banks pumped up and healthy.

Specifications

LOA 45ft 10in LWL 40ft 6in BEAM 14ft 6in
DRAFT 9ft 2in/3ft 5in AIR DRAFT 65ft
DISPLACEMENT 31,085lb Ballast 9,480lb
SAIL AREA 979ft2
FUEL/WATER (GAL) 87/132
ENGINE 55hp Volvo Penta diesel
BAllAST RATIO 31% SA/D RATIO 15.9 D/L RATIO 209
What do these ratios mean? Visit sailmagazine.com/ratios

DESIGNER Racoupeau Yacht Design
BUILDER Garcia Yachting, Condé-sur-Noireau, France
U.S. DISTRIBUTOR Swiftsure Yachts, Seattle, WA,
206-378-1110, swiftsureyachts.com

To read A Passage from Florida to Panama with Jimmy Cornell, click here.

August 2015

Related

Rescue

Cruising: Safety Lessons Learned

It’s not often that sailors get a chance to put their rescue and MOB training to the test, rarer still that they do as quickly as newbie California sailor Khosrow “Koz” Khosravani did recently. If and when an emergency situation ever arises, though, it pays to be prepared. This ...read more

01-LEAD-'22.01.10_FALKEN-Maiden_Emma-Bow

At the Helm: Sailplans

The first thing you notice when you look at the sailplan for the Farr 65, Falken, which Mia and I recently added to the fleet here at 59-North, is the sheer number of headsails. Falken was built in 1999 as a racing boat to go around the world, and the crew would have carried the ...read more

01-PR-2-Throwing-it-Back-_©LaurensMorel

Racing Class Reunion

Where does an old VO70 go to retire? Right back to the racing circuit, apparently. This spring saw a remarkable contingent of Volvo Ocean Race one designs back on the water and duking it out on the Caribbean circuit. While it’s no surprise that some of the VO65 teams intending ...read more

05-Sailboats-moored-in-sheltered-waters-off-of-Kärrsön

Charter: Sweden

With 2,000 miles of coastline, 270,000 islands and seemingly countless bays and inlets, Sweden is truly a sailor’s paradise. One of the top sailing destinations here is the archipelago just outside the country’s second largest city Gothenburg (locally known as Göteborg), on the ...read more

fa70b13c-8eec-4c35-b30f-f89e497b469a

Crowdsourcing Age-of-Sail Weather Data

Although big, multi-million-dollar projects like the Large Hadron Collider and the human genome project with their legions of PHD’s tend to grab headlines, there’s still a part of play for the “citizen scientists” of the world. Amateur birders have long contributed to an ...read more

01-LEAD-Ultime-race-Yvan-Zedda,-OC-Sport-Pen-Duick

Ultims to Race Solo Around the World

For years now, maxi-trimarans, both solo-sailed and fully crewed, have been racing the clock on their own around the world in an effort to set ever faster records for the world’s fastest circumnavigation under sail. Back in 2000-01 there was also a no-holds-barred ...read more

P1-01-LEAD-018_CARYNBDAVIS_AMISTAD

Juneteenth on the Water

Discovering Amistad and Mystic Seaport Museum have partnered to organize their third annual Juneteenth festival, featuring concerts, speakers and a reflection on the lasting legacy of racial injustice in America. Declared a National Holiday in 2021, Juneteenth celebrates the end ...read more

Lead-2021-01-17-vue-03-34-av-tb-01

New Multihulls for 2022

Lagoon 51 In keeping with many of the more recently launched models created by French multihull builder Lagoon, the Lagoon 51 is all about comfort, “en plein air,” in particular, as the French might say. Topside, a whopping 80 percent of the boat’s flybridge is given over to ...read more