Thursday, February 2, 2017

ELAN GT5, ON THE WATER


Yes, on the water, as you can see by the pictures, but not yet tested by any sail magazine. The boat was presented at the Paris boat show and I visited it in Dusseldorf.  I was agreeably surprised. It looks a lot better than on the (bad) drawings that were presented and has some refreshing new ideas.

I don't like those seats behind the wheel, that in what regards sailing are only useful when motoring, but when I found out that inside one there was a very practical barbecue, similar to the ones that are offered on the big Dufour and that on the other one there was a small basin with water to assist cooking, I changed ideas and started to think those seats are not a bad idea. I love grilled food but carrying a traditional grill on a boat is a drag😊.

Other innovation is a kind of a unusual cockpit table, divided in two smaller ones, that can be joined together, offering a huge one. Those two tables can be reduced to two very good hand holds, plus cup supports and feet support, useful when the boat is heeled, while allowing free access to the cabin, on the axis of the space between the two steering wheels. A really nice idea and a better solution than the central cockpit tables.

The GT5 offers a good cockpit storage, with a floor central locker, even if with a somewhat small opening and two under the seat lockers. Not much unless one chooses the 2 cabin version, the more interesting one, that transforms one of those under the seat lockers on the entrance into a huge locker (also with interior access). On this version the aft head gains a separate shower and the single aft cabin is considerably bigger than on the version with two aft cabins.  A well designed solution.

The innovation continues on the interior with a type of galley that I never saw used on a 41ft boat, the type it is used on some 50ft Dufours. At first look it seems small, but in the end it results very functional allowing for a surprising storage, with cabinets all around, allowing for a good working space. It has, on the blind corner , at the right side of the stove, another interesting storage space, a raising big cabinet, that can be used for a coffee machine or a micro wave.

All very interesting if someone had not forgotten about the exhaust fumes from the stove!!!! not even an opening hatch above???
Obviously this type of solution demanded a smoke extractor, like the ones that are installed in some yachts, even smaller than this one. As it is, it was clearly designed by somebody that does not cook. Better use the barbecue outside for cooking LOL.

Apart this "little" shortcoming, that I hope they solve with the addition of a smoke extractor, the interior is very nice, surprisingly big for a 41ft, airy, with lots of light and a big standing height. It has nice seats with two puffs that have been designed for people with hemorrhoids or other problems on the ass area. Seriously, I understand the need to hold the puffs under the table while sailing but there is something odd with that solution.

At first I thought this was the hull from the S5 but it does not seem the case since this hull is a bit longer. Anyway a very similar hull, a good one, on a boat that weights just a bit more (+ 800kg), has the same ballast and therefore a bit worse final stability and a bigger overall one. Anyway a good B/D ratio for that type of keel and draft (2.45m standard).  The draft can be optionally 2,25m, increasing then the ballast in 300kg.

The GT5 has a simple but efficient rigging, with two separate and angled points connecting the boom to the cabin, through a mainsheet, that allows some control over the main on the absence of a traveler. This system allows the use of a big bimini, covering most of the cockpit, a solution that is not possible with the traveler on the cockpit, that only allows a relatively small bimini.

All the lines are brought to 4 winches, two on each side, near the steering wheels and at easy reach from the helmsman. No winches over the cabin. A very simple boat to sail and a fast one even if not allowing the finer sail tuning of the S5 that is a faster and lighter performance sailboat.

The hull is a sandwich one, having as core closed cell foam, with a single skin on stress areas. They use vinylester resin and vacuum infusion lamination. The boat structure is also infused to the hull and the 3 main bulkheads, made also in sandwich, are laminated to the hull and deck.

A considerably superior building if compared with mass production cruisers and not substantially more expensive. The Elan GT5 has a basic price of 189 900 euros (without VAT) but that price will raise rapidly when extras are added, as in most boats unfortunately. Count with over 50 000 euros in extras to have a boat decently equipped.

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful sailboat... looks very well constructed... details are really nice!

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    1. Too much draft for a cruiser...

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    2. That is a performance cruiser and even if 2.45m can be too much 2.25m seems alright to me, at least for most cruising grounds. Less than that and the performance suffers. I am sure that they will end up to propose a shallow draft version with 2.0/2.1 meters.

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  2. You are wrong. We tested it few weeks ago from More magazine - Croatia :)
    The test will be published in a week but only in Croatian.

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    Replies
    1. Well, it seems so :-). So what about it? Would not be better to have a traveller forward to the Spraywood? like some Salona or Jeanneau have instead of that limited control boom system? and what about a stove without any aeration above? are they going to mount an exhaust smoke system? the Maxi 1200 has one that would just fit there perfectly.

      Can you email me? I have a question for you that I am sure you can answer:
      pernao.paulo@gmail.com
      Thanks

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