As I was in Croatia for chartering a boat I pick the opportunity to went (again
) at the Salona shipyard to have a look at the new 38. I will post some photos and comments about it specially because I was lucky and could pick a test sail on the water (it was booked for some Italian clients and I went along with them).
For the ones that don't know the Salona shipyard is in Solin that today is just a continuation of Split. Salona was a Roman city (today Solin) and the boat name is a tribute to that city.
The Salona 38 is a nice and sleek boat:
And is made with care by enthusiastic people. Last time I met and talked with the shipyard director and the resident architect (on holidays this time), this time I met Nenad, the Sales director (I had already met him on boat shows and exchanged some emails). Nenad is much more than a Sales director and is all the time thinking in ways to improve the boats and since it is the one that has more contact with the buyers, that are most of the time experienced sailors, he listen to what they have to say so he has always a handful of good ideas on the verge of becoming reality.
Funny thing, if you talk with the guys from Bennetau or Jeanneau they will take a lot of work explaining why the things you want cannot be made. On Salona they hear you with attention and if you make sense they just end up doing what you want and improving the boat
Some pictures of the test sail and I start with this one taken when we were going out of marina Kastela: Do you recognize the boat on the background?
Yes, it is the Wally!!! We were waiting for him to open up the engines (16,800hp) to see it flying at 60K but it seems that the crisis have reached everybody and they have not the budget for fuel
(that thing at speed wastes as much as a commercial jet).
The 118 WallyPower - a fast pleasure Yacht Onboard with OPC
Some more photos:
About the test sail it was very impressive in what regards sailing without almost no wind and that is one of the reasons I want a Salona. There were virtually no wind but the girl that come with us (a regatta sailor) just motored some 2 miles in direction of the Islands in front and soon we had some weak thermic wind: 2 to 4.5K and that is enough to glide 1K over wind speed.
We had good sails ( the optional cruising carbon sails that you can see on a previous post - same boat) but did not even had a genoa, just a small front gib. Best speed approached 6K and that was truly remarkable for the conditions. Most of the time we were between 4 and 5.5K. With a code 0 we would be sailing well over 6K. That was what I was expecting but sometimes you get disappointed...not this time
Regarding the other boat characteristics I would say that the most remarkable is the size of the central storage space (between the wheels). Trully outstanding. I believe that you can put there the big six fenders and still have space
. That gives two more side lockers on the outside and a dedicated gas storage space for two bottles. That is enough for me in what regards outside storage and I could have the three cabin version if the head was not so small
. Well I am a big guy, perhaps a smaller guy could live with that but not me).
The lateral passage space is good and the boat was equipped with very good hardware that really worked well. The winch for the main is really near the wheel and that makes the boat easy to sail solo.
The interior quality has improved as well as the storage spaces that are very well detailed. They have a very nice teak option that with the port hulls give it a very nice ambiance. They also have an optional second cooler (a vertical one) that we have tried on the 41 and that contrary to what I expected is a very good idea: You can control better your electric consumption (one or two working) and the little one is much more cooler than the big one making it ideal for really cold beer
. It has also a small freezer that can take some fish or meat.
Normally the boats look better in the pictures but I have to say that with this one is just the opposite. I really liked what I saw, including the strong interior stainless still structure and I am very tempted for this boat.
I had asked for some minor alterations and they really try to comply with the client needs. I have asked for a big one, that makes a lot of sense to me, specially in a 38ft cruising boat that will be sailed solo offshore: more ballast and a different keel, one not designed to beat handicaps but for efficiency.
Basically I want a true torpedo keel on the end of a narrow keel and about more 250kg/300kg of ballast. The extra ballast is basically to dispense with the guys on the rail and to make it stiffer and more able to carry sail with stronger winds without reefing. If they can make that without increasing the price too much, I think this will be the one
I will know about that soon.