Wednesday, February 1, 2017


Starting with a positive impression: Some brands had over the structure of the keel and keel bolts a plexiglas, instead of the normal floor, for visitors to be able to take a look at one of the more important parts of the sailboat, the boat structure and the keel bolts.

Azuree 41
Obviously I did not visit all boats but among the ones I visited the More 55 (picture above) and the Azuree 41 had that particularity. X Yachts had in exhibition the huge steel structure of the X6 and Grand Soleil had not only in exhibition the keel structure, but also it had many cuts of several parts of the LC 46 , not drawings but real pieces showing how the hull is made, how  the connection between hull and deck is done and how  the reinforcement on all the parts of the hull subject to stress, cleats and other items is achieved (  with special aluminium inserts).

Halberg Rassy 44
An example to follow, from boats that clearly have something to show of positive on that area, even if I doubt many that visit the boats will care or look at that. Maybe that will change in the future if sailors start to ask to have a look at the boat structure.

Passing to a negative point: the tendency to diminish storage space to an insufficient minimum, saving all the space for increasing the interior. And I am not talking only of mass produced main market boats but also about brands that are associated with offshore sailing and passage making and I am not talking about small boats but about 46 fters. One would think that a 46fter would have more than enough space for storage, but no, incredibly some don't have it and I am not asking for much space.

Saare 4
And the worse are precisely the ones that a certain type of sailors see as the more adapted to passage making, center cabin boats, with a relatively small cockpit area and a huge keen cabin on the transom...and that cabin is really the problem because it takes all the available space. Two examples of new boats that fit that bill, the Halberg Rassy 44 and the Saare 46, both with center cockpit and offering as storage only two deep but relatively small and unpractical outside lockers, on the aft part of the deck. Those deep narrow lockers are not really a good idea for storage, except for fenders.

The Halberg Rassy does not have an option to diminish that shortcoming even if on the version with two separate berths on the aft cabin (that I believe nobody will want) they have joined both the two small deep lockers on a central more practical one. The Saare 46 offers a version with a smaller head cabin to manage the space to provide a forward locker, and that is an improvement, even if the overall storage space is only now on the limits of the acceptable for a 46ft cruiser boat. A pity because I find the Saare 46 a great sailing boat, on a conservative way, especially at will on upwind passages, an overall fast and pleasant to sail yacht.

I find ridiculous that a boat that has the seaworthiness and strength to be considered especially suited for passage making to have less storage space on the outside lockers than my 41ft performance cruiser. That means clearly that boat builders know that most of the boats are bought by the interior, many with a decisive vote from the wife and therefore it is on the interior of the boat that they invest all the available space, even if does not make much sense to cruise extensively on a boat that has not a decent outside storage.

Regarding storage on main market boats, of about this size, two boats have impressed me in a positive way, an expensive one, the Contest 42 CS and a mass production one, the Bavaria Vision 42/46. They both offer a big voluminous saloon and a large storage area.

I was truly impressed by the Contest 42 CS, a boat different and more modern than its bigger brothers, so impressed that I will make a post about it soon. I would say for now that it is hard to find a 42ft boat with so much (nice) space, with a bigger saloon, with a bigger storage space, so well rigged for solo sailing and so well built and finished. Truly a surprise...and I know, that for that type of boat, it is a fast one too....they even call it a performance cruiser on the shipyard 😉

Bavaria Vision 46
Finally a word regarding multihulls that were this year more present than ever. A big number of small sportive cats, several with flying foils, a considerable number of small cruising trimarans, from the Dragonfly to the Corsair passing by the Tricat and several condo cats, being the more interesting the new Nautitech 46 made by Bavaria and I say more interesting because it is the fastest and less condo of all cruising cats in exhibition.

Unfortunately the one I wanted to see was not there, the Outremer 4x, that won the European Yacht of the year on the multihull category. It seems that Europeans have a clear preference for trimarans in what regards performance small cruising multihulls, a preference that justifies each year a bigger number of trimarans on the show, while performance cruising cats never appear in Dusseldorf, contrary to condo cats that are on the rise and increase their number every year.


  1. Thank you paulo for your info, I am looking for a boat between 40-42', wich 3 cruiser-racer do you think are the best options under 350.000 euros?

  2. It depends on the meaning of the term cruiser racer since the therm can also be applied regarding performance cruiser. So, do you want a boat for cruising and racing or do you want a fast performance cruiser with no racing involved, or even just very ocasional racing?

  3. Sorry, I mean a fast performance cruiser. Not to race but a fast and well built boat and with a good stability.

    1. Tell me what is your sailing program. What are you going to do with the boat? With whom are you going to cruise? Where? Living on the boat? Or just sailing on the sprig and summer?

  4. I sail every week-end during winter and a pair of cruises of 15 days in summer. Usually from spain to sardinia or sicilly.
    And always with my wife, so most of the time only two. We like more anchoring than going to marinas. Its important to me not have problems with the boat construction, so I dont want a popular brand like jeanneaus, dufours, bavaria,...

  5. You may find odd all those questions but boats have strong and weak spots and if you have said that a circumnavigation or sailing in the trade winds was what you would do must of the time the boat suggestion would be different ;-)

    I don't think you would have problems with the boat construction with a Bavaria or a Jeanneau or any other mass production boats with that sail program (I owned for 8 years a Bavaria bought new without any relevant problems) but there are better built boats and faster ones too.

    The choice of the boat depends also on what you and your wife finds comfortable regarding interior design. To name 4 that I think that are very good options regarding price/quality, I would say Maxi 1200, Azuree 41, Dehler 42 and Elan GT5.

    I could have named also the Elan S5 if they had not a so small galley. Maybe they can do what they have done on the GT5 in what regards a single bigger aft cabin with the other one transformed in a big locker and more space to the galley.

    Salona has the 41 that fits the bill but I would not recommend anybody to command one. The last time I made such a recommendation was 3 years ago and they did not delivered the boat yet, even if it is fully paid.

    It is difficult to know the exact price of boats with all the extras and vat. You have to check that asking for boat price and list price of options and then compare the price of boats equipped the same way. For instance that Elan GT5 had a basic price of about 190 000 euros, the one exposed on Dusseldorf costed 265 000 euros, that without VAT and delivery. Join at least 6000 euros for delivery more 4000 euros for the final epoxy coat and antifouling plus 21% VAT and you will have a total price of about 333 000 euros.

    Between the several boats consider also that some will offer discounts, others not and regarding discount most has to do with the dealer you will buy the boat to.

    There are many other very nice boats that fit your bill but not your budget, like the
    X4, the Grand Soleil 39/43, the Solaris 42, Italia 12.98, Arcona 410, Finn Flyer 42 among others.

  6. I dont agree with Grand Soleil as they are now very similar as Dufour, but with a very higher price. Its quality is going down. And attention for the same with Solaris.
    My preference for its good quality-price ratio are Italia Yachts and Azuree.

    1. No, You are wrong about that. Grand Soleil and Solaris has nothing to do with Dufour in what regards boat building quality or even the building techniques. Dufour built now boats with the same techniques used by Jeanneau and Beneteau and some say the building is worse. It is not better, I would say.

      On the Duseeldorf boat show they showed several cuts (real pieces) of the Grand Soleil 46LC to show the diferences. A very well built boata nd very enlightening examples.

  7. Ok, probably you are wright. I did refer to GS 40-43 Botin & Carkeek. They were not much different than Dufour (except for the galvanized grid). Obviously there was a difference only for the grid, but the difference was very much higher in the price. Not justified for me.

    1. Probably we are talking about different things, I am talking about the new generation Dufour GL and you are talking about the old Dufour performance line. Yes the old Dufour from that line were better built even if in what regards structure the one of the GS was superior but then the price of the Dufour from the performance line were not very different from the one from GS, if you equipped the boat the same way.

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