Sunday, October 26, 2014


The Rapier 550 is a big cat, the last from Broadblue shipyard and was nominated for the European boat of the year contest. I don't see nothing strange in that, it is a push pull button boat, a light and fast sailboat that the shipyard describes as a performance model (they have a performance line and a cruising line). What strikes me as odd is the category she is competing: Bluewater boats.

Rapier 550
Off course it is a bluewater boat in a sense that it will have no problem in sailing offshore, but is a boat expressly designed for it, like the Garcia Exploration 45 or the Boreal 52? It is a more bluewater boat than the Euphoria 54, Italia 15.98, Moody 54DS, Centurion 57 or XP55 that run on the Luxury boat category and performance boat category? 

We can say that the Garcia exploration 45 and the Boreal 52 are imminently practical boats, the hulls are not even painted and therefore can be considered not luxury boats but the same cannot be said from the Rappier 550 or the Southerly 535 that have luxury as one of the main ingredients. Their brands confirm that: Broadblue talks about "Luxury interiors" on the Rapier 550 and Nordshore talks about "luxurious accommodations" regarding the Southerly 533.

Southerly 535
So I am a bit confused here: if they are as luxurious as the boats that run on the Luxury sailboat category and they are not more seaworthy or more designed for bluewater work than some of the boats on the luxury category why they put the Southerly 535 and the Rapier 550 on a different category, competing as Bluewater boats? Certainly those two have nothing to do with the Boreal or the Garcia in what regards their design purpose. Or they consider that a bluewater boat has to have a closed place from where the boat can be steered? That's odd to me, that is not what make a bluewater boat on my book, just a preference and besides the Moody 54DS can be steered from the interior. It is not a bluewater boat? 

Southerly 535
They should review their qualifications and categories: a luxury boat cannot be a family boat? Off course it can, but it seems that they are afraid to call family boats for what they are: Budget cruisers, boats made to a price that allows many to buy them and cruise. Luxury sailboats is a stupid qualification since they are not used for luxury purposes but for cruising, exactly for the same purpose than family boats, the only difference is that they are more expensive, have better quality interiors and hopefully a better built. They should be called as what they are: medium to high price cruisers.

So, after this rant, let's have a look at the Rapier 550 through a Yachting world test:

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