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Review of Athena 34


Athena 34
Athena 34 anno 1981.


Basic specs.

sail specifications
The Athena 34 aka Helmsman Athena is a sailboat designed by the Swedish maritime architect Håkan Södergren in the early eighties. The Athena 34 is built by the Danish yard Helmsman Yachts.

Looking for a new boat? Find a Athena 34 or similar boat for sale

Hull

Both the hull and the deck is made of fibreglass. Generally, a hull made of fibreglass requires only a minimum of maintenance during the sailing season.
The hull is a double hull which improves the indoor climate. Especially when the water is colder than the air in the cabin, then the double hull insulates against cold water and reduce the condense water in the cabin.
The deck is a double deck which improves the indoor climate.


Interior

The boat is equipped with a galley and toilet facility.

Note: the boat has also been sold to be self-made/-interiored, which means that the quality of each boat may vary.


Rig

The boat equipped with a fractional rig. A fractional rig has smaller headsails which make tacking easier, which is an advantage for cruisers and racers, of course. The downside is that having the wind from behind often requires a genaker or a spinnaker for optimal speed.


Keel

The Athena 34 is equipped with a fin keel. The fin keel is the most common keel and provides splendid manoeuvrability. The downside is that it has less directional stability than a long keel.

The keel is made of lead. Compared with iron, lead has the advantage of being 44% heavier, which allows a smaller keel and hence less water resistance and higher speed.

Athena 34 can only enter major marinas as the draft is about 1.80 - 1.90 meter (5.91 - 6.21 ft) dependent on the load. See immersion rate below.


Engine

The boat is typically equipped with a Volvo Penta diesel engine.


Sailing characteristics

This section covers widely used rules of thumb to describe the sailing characteristics. Please note that even though the calculations are correct, the interpretation of the results might not be valid for extreme boats.

Stability and Safety

What is Capsize Screening Formula (CSF)?

The capsize screening value for Athena 34 is 1.73, indicating that this boat could - if evaluated by this formula alone - be accepted to participate in ocean races.


Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed

What is Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed?

The theoretical maximal speed of a displacement boat of this length is 7.0 knots. The term "Theoretical Maximum Hull Speed" is widely used even though a boat can sail faster. The term shall be interpreted as above the theoretical speed a great additional power is necessary for a small gain in speed.


Immersion rate

The immersion rate is defined as the weight required to sink the boat a certain level. The immersion rate for Athena 34 is about 162 kg/cm, alternatively 907 lbs/inch.
Meaning: if you load 162 kg cargo on the boat then it will sink 1 cm. Alternatively, if you load 907 lbs cargo on the boat it will sink 1 inch.


Sailing statistics

This section is statistical comparison with similar boats of the same category. The basis of the following statistical computations is our unique database with more than 26,000 different boat types and 350,000 data points.

Motion Comfort Ratio

What is Motion Comfort Ratio (MCR)?

The Motion Comfort Ratio for Athena 34 is 27.1.

Low High 54% 0 50 100
Comparing this ratio with similar sailboats show that it is more comfortable than 54% of all similar sailboat designs. This comfort value is just above average.


L/B (Length Beam Ratio)

What is L/B (Length Beam Ratio)?

The l/b ratio for Athena 34 is 3.66.

Wide Slim 88% 0 50 100
Compared with other similar sailboats it is slimmer than 88% of all other designs. It seems that the designer has chosen a significantly more speedy hull design.


Ballast Ratio

What is a Ballast Ratio?

The ballast ratio for Athena 34 is 43%.

Low High 66% 0 50 100
This ballast ratio shows a righting moment that is higher than 66% of all similar sailboat designs. A righting moment (ability to resist heeling) just above average.


D/L (Displacement Length Ratio)

What is Displacement Length Ratio?

The DL-ratio for Athena 34 is 222 which categorizes this boat among 'light crusers & offshore racers'.

Heavy Light 62% 0 50 100
62% of all similar sailboat designs are categorized as heavier. A light displacement requires less sailarea and has higher accellerations.


SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)

What is SA/D (Sail Area Displacement ratio)?

The SA/D for Athena 34 with ISO 8666 reference sail is 17.6, with a 135% genua the SA/D is 20.3.

Low High 62% 0 50 100
The SA/D ratio indicates that it is faster than 62% of all similar sailboat designs in light wind.


Over- / underrigged

Low High 58% 0 50 100
The Athena 34 has more rig than 58% of all similar sailboats, which indicates that the boat is slightly overrigged.


RSP (Relative Speed Performance)

What is Relative Speed Performance?

The Relative Speed Performance for Athena 34 is 69

Slow Fast 69% 0 50 100
The relative speed performance is 69 which means that a it is faster than 69% of all similar sailboat designs.


Maintenance

Bottom Paint

When buying anti-fouling bottom paint, it's nice to know how much to buy. The surface of the wet bottom is about 29m2 (312 ft2).
Based on this, your favourite maritime shop can tell you the quantity you need.

Note: If you use a paint roller you will need more paint than if you use a paintbrush.


Rig

Dimensions of sail for fractional rig.

mainsail specifications genoa specifications spinnaker specifications

Are your sails worn out? You might find your next sail here: Sails for Sale



If you need to renew parts of your running rig and is not quite sure of the dimensions, you may find the estimates computed below useful.



Guiding dimensions of running rig
UsageLengthDiameter
Mainsail halyard 33.8 m(110.9 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Jib/genoa halyard33.8 m(110.9 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Spinnaker halyard33.8 m(110.9 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Jib sheet 10.6 m(34.6 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Genoa sheet10.6 m(34.6 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Mainsheet 26.4 m(86.5 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Spinnaker sheet23.2 m(76.1 feet)14 mm(0.55 inch)
Cunningham4.2 m(13.8 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Kickingstrap8.4 m(27.6 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)
Clew-outhaul8.4 m(27.6 feet)12 mm(1/2 inch)

Boat owner's ideas

This section is reserved boat owner's modifications, improvements, etc. Here you might find (or contribute with) inspiration for your boat.

Do you have changes/improvements you would like to share? Upload a photo and describe what you have done.



Finally

We are always looking for new photos. If you can contribute with photos for Athena 34 it would be a great help.

If you have any comments to the review, improvement suggestions, or the like, feel free to contact us. Criticism helps us to improve.



References