Monday, October 8, 2018

KUFNER 54: THE BEST DEAL?



Some boats are interesting for their design or sailing characteristics; this one is interesting mainly for its price, that is quite incredible, the lower by far, regarding this size and type of boat.

Why have you never heard about it? Well, this is a boat that exists since 2016 but with the exception of the last Genoa boat show, didn't go to boat shows neither pays publicity on sail magazines, so it is pretty much as if it did not exist in what regards public knowledge.

And you would ask: how they survive if they are not known? That's a good question and the answer is a curious one: like “More” this boat is built by a big charter company (Kufner) that fed up with the quality of the boats offered for the charter market, meaning all main market boats, decided to build his own boat.

Damir Kufner the owner of the charter company and the de designer of the boat says about it: ”Boost for this project was also the fact that European brands are getting more expensive, and their quality is declining, maintenance costs have risen, so it has become increasingly difficult to make profit in charter business. I simply had to do something about it. …
 I decided to start this project”.  "Despite the fact that the intention was not to create a light boat, as it is well known that the feeling of comfort is better on a heavy vessel, the boat is extremely fast due to her great hull shape and optimized helm sheet and keel. So, with a little luck, we produced a good-looking, comfortable, fast, and affordable sailboat.. "

Only the charter Kufner company has 8 Kufner 54 on its fleet and more companies in Greece and Croatia bought the Kufner 54 for their fleets even if having an unknown boat (for the clients) represents a disadvantage that seems to have been compensated by the price, that is 35% less than the one of an Oceanis 55 and includes much more equipment.

Some would say that a boat built for charter is not a good boat but they forget that charter use is not only an intensive use but one made by careless and many times ignorant sailors that  use and abuse the boat. That means that a charter boat suffers more than an owner’s boat not only in what regards hours of use but in what regards rude use and therefore it has to be a strong one.

For that reason toughness and good resistance to wear are some of the main characteristics that are appreciated on a charter boat. That and price.

The Kufner 54 seems to be handling well all those areas and it comes standard with many things that are options on other brands, some of them needed on a charter boat or on a boat used for extensive cruising: the boat comes standard with a generator, air condition, webasto heating, bimini, sprayhood, Sundeck tent, cockpit and sundeck cushions, led TV (80 cm), radio /CD/DVD, a good battery pack (4×180 Ah), a good tankage, a 110hp engine and even a teak deck, all for 279 000 euros.

And even if they don’t mention it the boat comes with 6 winches, a thing that not any of the main market boats have, and that allows a much better and practical sail control than what is possible with four, that is the normal offer on this segment. Plus I have heard that the boat sails well, if compared with other main market boats, although some tons heavier.

The boats are made in Croatia, the design is conservative but pleasant even if it does not offer anything new, with a tankage and stability not very different than the one offered by an Amel 50 at 1/3 of the price.

 If I was on the market for a main market 50 to 55ft boat I would have a better look at this one, I would charter one, I would visit the factory and if I was satisfied with the sailing, the building and finish(that looks acceptable) I certainly would consider it: the price is too good for not considering it as a valid option.


2 comments:

  1. Amazing! More of everything and it costs 35% less! Maybe if they added a bit more expensive equipment they could get the price down to zero?

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  2. I was skipper on a chartered Kufner 54 and I really appreciated its easy handlig, the great comfort for my guests and the fine ecquipment. I found the boat very nice and wellsailing.

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