Has anyone had anything to do with Kiriacoulis and more specifically their yacht management program? They offer various schemes that allow you purchase a yacht from an approved yacht list. In exchange for the yacht being used in their yacht charter fleet for the duration of the agreement - 3.5 years or 5.5 years - you are given personal use rights that are season dependent but can add up to our required 12 weeks and they cover all expenses including marina charges and maintenance. At the end of period, the yacht is surveyed before being removed from the charter fleet or alternatively a new deal can be negotaited. In addition, you are able to use a similar yacht at any of their bases in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. The scheme has some attraction for those that will only be able to use their yacht for 3 months a year. The downside is that you are restricted in the choice of boat which brings me to my second question.
The yachts that are available in the 35 to 38 foot range are the following - Jeanneau 36i, Beneteau Oceanis 37 (the First range is not available), Bavaria Cruiser 36, Dufour 375 and believe it or not the Dufour 34e. I have asked Kiriacoulis if they would allow for some level of customisation on the yachts to improve their performance including opting for the performance version of the Jeanneau and upgrading the standard specs to suit performance cruising on the others. I have also enquired whether they would consider a Salona 37 or an Elan 350 but I am afraid not.
We would be using the yacht for coastal cruising and would prefer to have a yacht that gets us from A to B fast
We have no intention of racing or entering regattas but who knows.
After looking at all the usual performance and safety ratios, my take is as follows:
Jeanneau 36i - definitely would prefer the perfomance package, like the looks, seem to have a solid reputation for build quality and resale value. Still not sure about the weight (load bearing capability) particularly if we want to do the ARC one day and re-locate the yacht to the Caribbean. Separate shower below decks in 2 cabin version a definite plus for liveaboard. We are chartering one in September in Croatia. Could always wait for that Jeanneau 379
Beneteau 37 - seems to be a good compromise between performance, safety, comfort and price. The polar charts actually show that the yacht is quicker than the Jeanneau 36iP! With a LOA at 11.48, beam at 3.92 and weight at approx 6350 kg, there will be more tankage and load bearing capability than the Jeanneau and the Dufour 34e. Loads of comments in the forums about poor quality finishes and most worrying that the hull is not as good as it should be though.Anyone know the STIX rating?
Bavaria Cruiser 36 - seems to have a hull that is really well built and with the right options could be a quick boat BUT I personally don't like the look that much - yachting monthly have just described it as a bloated whale and scored it 77/100 pts. Also the interior doesn't do it for me. I like contemporary but the Ikea look could get to you eventually. At 7,000 kg's the yacht is the heaviest by far which can't help in light winds. Really good value though. Anyone have the polar chart for this yacht?
Dufour 375 - great looker IMO, seems to be very beamy though and the SA/D at 18.5, although not bad, is quite a bit lower than the others. I have really struggled to find the polar charts for this yacht as well as the STIX and AVS ratings but to no avail, so I don't have the full picture yet. Also it is the most expensive - about 7% more than the Beneteau and the Jeanneau. Polar chart, STiX and AVS would be most welcome
Dufour 34e - Again a great looker (IMO), has a racing pedigree with great comfort thrown in but it also the smallest and lightest and therefore not sure about its cruising capability. With a mast height of 15.1m, it is also possibly a little under sheeted - seems to be confirmed by comments in the forums - unless you opt for a taller rig but this requires a visit to your sailmaker which is not going to work in a yacht management program. I am thinking of chartering this boat for a week in October in Croatia for a first hand experience. Again polar chart, STIX and AVS would be most welcome.
You folks out there are way more experienced than I am and I am always keen to hear the views of the experts so any help and comments would be useful.
All the best