Friday, December 8, 2017


After the post on the Wauquiez 42PS I cannot resist to make a comparison with the Elan GT5, a deck saloon that is just some cm smaller than the Wauquiez (12.41 to 12.99), has a not very different waterline length (11.58 to 11.79m), a boat that costs a lot less (230 000 to 385 000 euro without tax).

As it would be expected the interior of the Wauquiez has a better overall quality and also a better design even if the one from the Elan is far away from being bad. It is also a nice and a comfortable one. Apart from the superior quality the diference goes for the different  interior concepts: while the Wauquiez is a true deck saloon, with a great view to the outside the Elan follows the same concept as the Jeanneau 41DS,  Bavaria Vision, Gunfleet 43 or Oyster 475, the one of a false deck saloon.

In what regards a deck saloon they only retain the raised cabin typical of those boats. The interior is not raised and what they get is not a lesser height from the saloon to the deck but a bigger interior overall height, a more luminous interior and a great sensation of spaciousness. This is today by far the most common tendency in what regards the so called DS boats.

The big surprise regarding the Elan is, that contrary to what would be expected, the hull is better built than the one of the Wauquiez. Both boats use infusion techniques, being the one of Elan a Vacuum assisted technology but, contrary to Wauquiez, Elan uses exclusively epoxy based vinylester resins. Both boats have cored hulls. Elan uses a closed cell foam while Wauquiez uses a balsa core, one that can give problems if any water makes it to the inside of the sandwich.

But most of all the big difference in quality and better building techniques regards the boat structure: while Wauquiez uses a prefabricated structure that is then glued and glassed to the hull (like Hanse or Bavaria) Elan has the boat structure infused with the hull, becoming a part of it, a solution that is used on race boats or very expensive boats.

It has also the three main bulkheads not made, as usual, in plywood but on GRP sandwich and fully laminated to hull and deck being an integrated part of the hull structure. That is also very unusual on boats with this price tag. All this allows the Elan to be lighter and at least as strong as the Wauquiez (8650 to 10700kg). For this difference in weight contributes also the smaller Elan beam and the slightly smaller length.

In what regards seaworthiness, stability (including safety stability) power and speed the Wauquiez is not a match for the Elan. Both boats have hulls with all the beam pulled back and the Wauquiez has more beam (4.34 to 3.91). But the superior form stability due to the bigger beam is not enough to compensate the lower CG that is given by a deeper draft (2.4 to 2.1), a more efficient torpedo keel and most of all by a much bigger B/D with those drafts (31% to 28%).

This means that B/D diference is much bigger than the considerable one those numbers show due to the difference of draft. The Elan can be delivered also with 2.25 or 1.95m draft but in those cases the ballast as well as the B/D would be superior. As I said that big difference is partially compensated in stability by the bigger beam of the Wauquiez but in what regards safety stability, the one over 40º of heel and that is not used for sailing, the Elan will have a much better performance, specially in what regards recovering from a knock down of 90º or over.

The Elan superior stability translates in more power that will be very useful to sail upwind with strong winds and seas, where the lesser beam and finer entries will be very handy too. It translates also on a bigger SA/D, 21.3 to 18.7 (both boats with a small overlapping genoa), making it a faster boat in all conditions.

Maxi 1200 smoke exaustor
Both boats offer a very comfortable interior having the one from Elan only a major defect: lack of appropriated exhaust of fumes from the stove. There is not an opening over the stove but that would not be an impediment if they agree to mount a small smoke exaustor, like the ones that are used on other yachts, like the one on the left picture.

In what regards storage space, considering both boats with two cabins, it is hugely superior on the Elan GT5, not only the interior one, with a dedicated storage space (also accessed from the outside) but the one outside, with a locker under the seat, and a big central one (bigger than the Wauquiez). It offers two removable lockers more, on the back of the boat, on the transom that I would gladly dispense to have more space behind the steering wheel and a better looking boat. Ok, I am sure my wife would not let me since they house an outside refrigerator and a barbecue, but that is another story LOL.

If you have the money to pay for the substancial difference and if a clearly better overall look and a slightly nicer and better interior as well as bigger cabins is paramount to you, than the Wauquiez is a better choice. 

If you really enjoy sailing pleasure and want a better and more seaworthy sailboat, if you need more storage space than the Wauquiez very reduced one (for long range cruising),  find the GT5 interior space comfortable enough, then the Elan is the right choice and you would save enough money to buy a car.

More important and usefull information on the Wauquier 42PS and on the Elan GT5 here:


  1. Hello Paulo, I am thinking on buying Elan gt5 or Azuree 41. If you dont mind, I will like your opinion between them. Specially about their performance and their building quality.
    Do you have any direct reference of them?
    I ussually sail every week during all year in the mediterranean coast.


  2. I have been inside both boats and I know how they are built. Never sailed any of them even if I had read many test sails and heard about from people that had sailed them.

    Both are well built boats and I believe that with any of them you will have a great cruising boat.

    Alex, that is one of the followers of this blog, bought an Azuree 41 and he is very happy with the boat. Maybe he don't mind to give you a sailing tour just for you to see how it sails.

    Personally I like more the outside looks of the Azuree and the interior from the Elan GT5, providing they put a smoke exaustor on that stove.

    Curiously the Azuree come to the market with a similar problem but they rectified it opening a hatch directly over the stove, a thing that cannot be made on the Elan.

    Almost for sure both boats will be at Dusseldorf (you can check that with the brands). You can visit them there and see what is the one you like more for living aboard and later do a test sail. If I was you i would test sail both boats. Go to Dusseldorf and talk with them to arrange test sails.

    On Dusseldorf you will be able to buy the boat with a considerable discount. Regarding discounts and offers that is also an important decision factors because even if the boat prices are not very different the boat equipped as you want can have a considerable different price, depending on the price of extras and offers. Only there you can make easily direct comparisons about that.

    And if the boat is there (it has been on the two last editions) have also a look at the Maxi 1200 that is a comparable one and also a very interesting one in what regards price, quality and performance.

    1. Regarding speed that should be very similar. Neither of them is a true cruiser-racer but both are fast cruisers.