Friday, November 16, 2018


The Dehler 30 OD is a nice design but I really don’t know what to think about it. Not that the boat is not interesting, it is certainly a looker and it will be surely very fast and a lot of fun to sail. But what puzzles me is the market to which the boat is pointed, that seems to be an nonexistent one. 

It is meant to be a One Design offshore solo or duo boat and that implies the existence of a class for racing, but will this boat manage to create such a class on a country where solo and duo racing is not very big? And with a boat that due to the liquid ballasts cannot be an inexpensive boat? 

And even if they manage to sell enough boats to create a One design class and a championship of offshore solo or duo races how will the boat be transported to the races? The big beam makes it non trailerable and the absence of an engine with small autonomy and power (electric 4hp) makes the transport by sea difficult at least in what regards respecting a timetable. 
Regarding other type of races it is difficult to know how the boat will perform. For IRC or ORC duo class, 30ft is a bit on the limit in what regards offshore races. Yes, of course, there are mini-racers, that are even smaller but the truth is that on the offshore IRC/ORC races that include a duo class the chosen boats are rarely smaller than 35ft. 

There are two big amateur races for solo sailors, one coastal, the SilverRudder, other offshore, the Transquadra (transat). On the Transquadra there are some 30ft boats racing but most will chose a boat that will allow them to be among the first in real time and boats like the Sunfast 3600 or the JPK 10.80 were designed thinking about that race. 

The Dehler 30 OD is just too small to be able to win that race in real time and less adapted than a Pogo 30 and besides the electric engine does not allow the production of electrical energy through an alternator (as with a diesel engine) and on longer races they need to produce energy for the instruments and autopilot. 

Regarding this boat they talk specifically about the Silver Rudder, even if that one is a coastal and not an offshore race, but the SilverRudder is a relatively short race where there is no need of an interior since the sailors are full time at the wheel or rudder. It is not a handicap race but a race by boat length. This boat will be racing on the class Small (25.01 - 30.00 feet) against boats like the Farr 280 or the Soto 30 and I don’t think it has any chance to win. 

The Dehler 30 OD is not a dual boat, a cruiser-racer, it has no conditions to suit for more than a spartan weekend cruise while other boats like the Pogo 30 can do long range cruising and boats like the JPK 9.60 can coastal cruise comfortably. 

That’s true that it will be faster than any of these two but slower than true race boats like the Farr 280, Soto 30 or similar boats and almost for sure not as good in handicap racing as JPK or other top fast cruiser-racers designed specifically for IRC or ORC racing. And slower than the Pogo on a transat. 

Some say that this could be the perfect boat for the new Olympic class of duo offshore racing but that is really a long shot and there are talks that the boat has already been chosen, the L30, certainly a less adapted boat for solo racing but having a huge advantage of having a smaller beam that makes it trailerable, having a lifting keel and a better cruising interior, with a true head. 

With the Dehler it shares an electric engine, but more powerful, on a boat that is lighter with the advantage of including a hydrogenerator that will charge the batteries while sailing. It has also solar panels as an option. 

Maybe I am wrong and there is a market for this boat, much will depend on the price but I do not believe that Dehler can make that boat cheaper than the L30 (75 000 euros), probably not even close. 

Now, if they chose to put a nice and comfortable light interior on the Dehler 30 OC, if they mount a small diesel engine and offer an option for decent tankage as well as a stand for an anchor on that bowsprit, then we are talking about a different ball game, about a dual boat that can be very interesting as a fast cruiser and a small offshore racer, a boat that I believe will interest a much bigger number of sailors.


  1. I think there has been talk about a diesel range extender, but I can't find the source article

  2. Beautiful design, and amazingly compact and sensible. Tjis may well be my next boat!