Originally Posted by daviid
Continuing our discussion on performance cruisers and their stability, Rob Humphreys who designs the Élan range amongst others clearly took a decision when he introduced the Élan 350 which would,definitely be on my short list of performance cruisers.
The Élan 350 has a B/D ratio of 25.9% but it has a deep torpedo keel and a chine. The Élan 340 which was European Yacht of the Year in 2007 and which the Élan 350 replaces has a B/D of 29.8% also with a torpedo but no chine. At first, I had serious reservations about the reserve stability of the Élan 350 but on reflection Humphreys has chosen to make his performance range lighter including the amount of keel the boats are dragging around. I have NO doubt that the increased beam, the torpedo keel and the chine were factors in introducing this paradigm shift in design of the performance range. As you know the Élan 350 also one European Yacht of the Year in 2011.
The other boats in my short list by the way would be the Salona 35/38, the First 35, the Dufour 36P, the still to be introduced Jeanneau 3600 and the Dehler 35CR. I have deliberately not included the likes of Pogo 10.50, X yachts, Solaris 37, Opium 39 because this is not a dream list
You have to decide what kind of performances and comfort you want to favor in a boat. I like very much the Elan 350 but in what regards sailing the choices are different from the Dehler or the Salona that have a similar design conception even if the Dehler offer a bigger B/D ratio. Of course with Salona you can always talk with them to put more weight on the keel and they will design one for you.
I guess that for a definitive choice a week sailing on each boat would be the ideal and will not bring the price of the boat much higher. You can say that you are testing the boat to eventually buy it and if the charter is the builder or the dealer to whom you are eventually going to buy the boat they will make you very special prices especially if you do it out of season. It is also good fun and good for this thread since you would post your coments
I would leave the Dufour out of that choice but that is just me. That weight is just too much for a 36ft. Jesus my 2002 Bavaria 36 weighted less than that
If you can afford a Salona 38, even a low spec boats will be faster and a better cruising boat that any other of those boats. The difference in interior space is really big as the seaworthiness but I am suspect in what regards that boat