Saturday, October 17, 2015


This is a post that I have wanted to make here for a long time about a very interesting boat that will probably (unfortunately) be a commercial failure. I had already posted about it when it was on the project stage and it seemed already a very nice one.
Now that it is on the water and I have seen it at Dusselforf a follow up makes all the sense. 

The Sundbeam 40.1 is a lovely medium to light weight boat and even if they prefer to evidence its “sportiveness” it is not a performance sailboat but one that one can put on the same category as the Halberg-Rassy 412, a more sportive one but not a cruiser-racer. The boat is not as expensive as the Halberg Rassy 412, it is a bit smaller and considerably less heavy being a much slimmer and elegant boat. 

While the Halberg Rassy makes more concessions regarding interior volume the Sunbeam makes a lot less as it makes less in what regards effective sailing and beauty. Sunbeam is an Austrian brand, not very well known but that has been making quality boats for more than 50 years. On the past the boats were very well built but in many cases the looks were very similar to Bavarias. That was in the past since now they have a line of beautiful, elegant well built boats that sail very well, designed by J&J curiously the one that designed the pre-Farr Bavarias.

I have in the past visited several Sunbeam and even sailed side by side (at least for some seconds ;-) with some. I was always impressed with the built quality and finish but this time in Dusseldorf, I was not only impressed with that but with the quality of the design at a very good price. 

Comparing the HR 412 with the Sunbeam 40.1 will give some clues about the differences. The HR has a bigger LOA ( 12.61m to 11.99) the HR has more beam (4.11m to 3.99) both featuring modern transoms with the beam pulled back. The Sunbeam has a more effective keel with about the same standard depth (1.99m to 2.00). 

Regarding stability the Sunbeam balances the HR bigger form stability with a similar ballast ratio (0.36 to 0.35) but a much more effective keel (for the same draft), that means that the HR will sail with slightly less heel but that the Sunbeam will have a better final stability. 

 The HR weights 11.1T while the Sunbeam only 8.5T and the superior slightly bigger sail area of the HR (90m2 to 87.5m2) will not prevent the much lighter Sunbeam (and less beamier boat) to be a faster boat, specially upwind (and the HR is already a fast boat for a medium weight boat). 

The interior is a very nice one, slightly on the conservative side but cosy and the quality is evident. The storage is adequate specially on the two cabin version having the boat a very useful fender locker aft the anchor locker.

Several magazines have tested the boat and all the reviews were very positive, especially in what regards sailing. A great boat that I would say will miss a market since the ones that are after that type of boat want more interior space and will compromise a lot for that and in what regards performance cruisers, well it is not one, not comparable with true ones like the Arcona 410 just to speak of one with similar quality. At about 250 000 euros (without VAT) it is an interesting boat at an interesting price.

Maybe it is just your type of boat, not too sporty, not too fat, not too slow (meaning faster than most new cruisers) and a beautiful one with a great cruising interior.

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