Runway models: ranging from lean and fast to more modestly proportioned, just like their human counterparts, our performance-cruiser models reflect many different ways of bringing home the silverware in style.
But if you're going up the coast anyway, from say Sydney to Coffs, why not join the throng with race flags on their beamy transoms? Enjoying the ride while relaxing below afterwards is one of the great pleasures of performance-cruising yachts but as you become more serious, pay heed to the ratings.
IRC continues to dominate the rating game, so compliant designs continue to flow from the pens of top architects such as Judel/Vrolijk, Rob Humphreys and Jason Ker. For those moving up from a modest cruiser, interesting entry-level models include the McConaghy Ker 33 that comes from the well credentialed pen of Englishman Ker and semi-custom made by those masters of composite. Alternatively, and bucking the trend in form stability coming largely from ample beam, the new36-foot J/ii2e may have the legs upwind on some of her fatter competitors and is a derivation of the race winning J/111. Moving up a notch, the European Yacht of the Year for performance cruisers, the French-made JPK 10.80 looks enticing with a slightly unconventional Jacques Valer-designed hull and its sibling, the JPK 1010, won its division in the last Fastnet. But I'm not sure the family would enjoy below decks much.
If comfort is a way of enticing the family aboard at the end of Hamilton Island Race Week, the 40-foot Elan E5 is worth taking for a test sail at Performance Cruising Yachts in Sydney as it has a fully-fitted interior inside an ultra-modern Rob Humphreys infused hull. Comfort is also to the fore on the innovative Oceanis 35 that maybe so comfortable and with modest performance that you're enticed to cruise more than compete. But with this boat you can give yourself a chance on the twilights by choosing the lightest of three interiors then hoisting its Code o for fast running.
At the premium end of this listing of performance-cruisers is an impressive armada of breathtakingly desirable yachts that includes X-Yacht's first twin-ruddered model, the 66-foot X6. Promising a mix of the company's performance and cruising range, you could win the ARC, then pop your tender out of the dinghy garage to take everyone to that favourite West Indian beach bar afterwards.
Not far behind would be the two Italian supermodels, the equally impressive Solaris One 58 that persuaded Sydney dealer Windcraft to import them or the radical Advanced 44 penned by America's Cup designer Roberto Biscontini. Described by my chum Toby Hodges at Yachting World as one of the liveliest performers in the category, the A44's enormous sail area should certainly persuade you to forget the autopilot switch and that extra G&T.
Then again you may throw caution and all your superannuation to the wind and go for one of my favourite contemporary race boats. Many years ago when the very first TP52 was arriving in Australia, I contacted Bob Steel to ask for a look at what I thought would become a major class here. This was confirmed to me after racing on it at Hamilton Island, so the prospect of one that can go faster upwind yet have accommodation is great news indeed. Step forward the Judel/Vrolijk IRC 52 under construction at Premier Composites in Dubai.
Finally, for sheer decadence during that world cruise and a decent shot at prestigious events on the Med circuit, there's Nautor Swan's flagship 105RS--with its carbon hull and a transom opening owner's suite.
The huge sail area and customised interior on this epoxy/carbon hulled 44-footer will reward both the cruising family and performance sailor.
The A44 is the entry level model from specialist performance-cruiser builder Advanced Yachts, that comprises the A60, A66 and the new A80. The young Milan-based builder uses America's Cup naval architect Roberto Biscontini to create fast boats that have customised, and somewhat radical interiors penned by specialists Nauta Design. Biscontini's work on the Volvo 70 Camper shows in this infused epoxy/carbon reinforced 44--footer which has the tall, slab--side V70 shape with deep bow for fast windward performance but with wider aft sections for down-hill sleigh rides. On deck there's more unusual features, with a powered centre mainsheet winch and twin outboard binnacles in the large cockpit. Sail controls are clustered around the binnacles, apart from two halyard winches conventionally placed on the coachroof. The large sail plan includes a big topped mainsail (or smaller cruising version), along with roller headsail and asymmetrical kites flying from a fixed bowsprit.
Down below, among the many custom options is an open plan double berth forward with enclosed double aft, which is similar to the work Nauta Design has done with Oceanis 35. The saloon is dominated by the keel stepped mast which is centralised above the foil, meaning the A44's centre of effort is optimally placed. The small galley with sink and stove confirms the luxury weekender feel of this premium market 44-footer but there is a bathroom with separate shower and modest navigation station.
MODEL Advanced 44 DESIGNER Roberto Biscontini LOA 13.46 metres BEAM 4.25 metres DRAFT 3.0 metres ENGINE 40 HP FUEL 200 litres WATER 300 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 74/64 m.sup.2], Jib 51 m.sup.2], Gennaker 178 m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT (light): 7,100 kg BALLAST 2,700 kg PRICE Euro 650,000 (ex-factory)
BENETEAU OCEANIS 35
An innovative and spacious cruiser with a versatile interior and enough sail options for twilight racing.
Beneteau's Oceanis range continues being remodelled and the new Oceanis 35 encapsulates many of the latest design ideas, including hard chines, full bows, twin rudders and that signature mainsheet arch from older sibling, the Oceanis 38. As with the larger sibling, again three interior layouts are offered. The stripped-out, open-plan Daysailor; the Weekender with up to three cabins and the fully fitted-out traditional Cruiser. Apart from cost savings, weight is also a significantly varying factor in this new Oceanis 35 when performance is wanted. In terms of performance the Oceanis 35 obviously has the emphasis strongly on cruising rather than racing but does come with a versatile sail plan--including a Code o for fast running and genoa for upwind--so should make a comfortable twilight racer.
Beneteau's modular build concept allows upgrades to your Oceanis 35 for items such as stove/oven to the Daysailor version or a cabin conversion to the Weekender so these versatile boats can change to your requirements. Pascal Conq continues his design relationship with Beneteau in this beamy hull which maximises the waterline with a T-keel to support the sailplan. On deck the cockpit has the primary winches near the helm while the GRP arch ensures the main track is out of harms way for those family day sails; and there's a drop-down swim platform.
MODEL Beneteau Oceanis 35 DESIGNER Finot--Conq /Nauta LOA 9.99 metres--(32 feet 9 inches) daysailor. 10.45 metres--(34 feet 3 inches) weekender and cruiser BEAM 3.72 metres DRAFT 1.85 metres ENGINE 20 horsepower saildrive FUEL 130 litres WATER 130 litres SAIL AREA mainsail 27.50 [m.sup.2], genoa (103 percent) 26,72 [m.sup.2], asymmetric spinnaker 83,45 [m.sup.2] Code 0: 50,9 [m.sup.2], jib 25,5 DISPLACEMENT 5,207 kilograms daysailor / 5,533 kilograms cruiser BALLAST (deep): 1,559 kilograms PRICE $221,722,000 (sailaway)
The E5 has the equipment and infused build to be a good performance-cruiser in the competitive 40-foot category.
The Elan E5 is the epitome of the modern sports cruiser thanks to chines, T-keel, twin rudders and a keel stepped performance rig. So this mid-sized model is ideally placed to be competitive in the popular 40-foot IRC cruiser-racer category but see for yourself when the E5 arrives at Performance Cruising Yachts in Sydney. Chief executive officer, Matt Hayes, test sailed the Elan E5 in Slovenia and was very impressed. "The quality of the workmanship was exceptional and the vacuum infused hull and decks ensures that the yachts are very strong, light and exude powerful performance."
Features of the deck include retractable bowsprit, six winches and an integrated GRP toe rail, which lends style to the refined profile of the E5. Designer Rob Humphreys has opted for twin rudders, which allows the 3.87-metre beam to be carried aft to the transom, giving greater directional control and stability plus allowing for a large working cockpit. Below decks is fully fitted-out in Mahogany with folding table, starboard dinette and a sensibly sized navigation station portside. The rounded light wood interior is a complete redesign for the Elan performance range that includes a lower companionway for easy access, with a choice of interior finishes and soft furnishings. For berths there's a two or a three-cabin layout with one or two heads. Sail controls include a German mainsheet system and Harken deck gear on a race orientated deck layout that ensures all is to hand at the twin helms.
MODEL Elan E5 DESIGNER Humphreys Yacht Design & Elan design team LOA 11.96 metres (39 feet 2 inches) BEAM 3.87 metres DRAFT 2.40 metres ENGINE 39 horsepower FUEL 160 litres WATER 277 litres SAIL AREA mainsail: 51.56 [m.sup.2], jib 37.60 [m.sup.2], gennaker: 135 [m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 7,300 kilograms BALLAST 2,700 kilograms PRICE POA
Combining a stiff hull with an IRC friendly sailplan and full accommodation should give this new J/112e wide appeal.
American builder J Boats is in build mode with what local distributor Ray Entwistle describes as a "cruising version of the successful J/111" and the order books are already brimming. This new 36-footer should appeal to a wide variety of markets because both sides of the cruiser-racer equation are well catered for--the J/112e prioritises performance while also including a fully fitted, stylish interior. The fairly traditional layout has the lounge forward with galley on the aft starboard quarter, opposite the full-sized navigation area while accommodation is a double cabin at each end. And unlike some of the mass production competition, J Boats has resisted the urge for a wide hull that can create drag in softer conditions, instead opting for a deeper V-bow and moderate displacement.
On deck, again J Boats has resisted the fashionable (and weighty) use of twin wheels/steering gear, choosing instead a large single wheel and a lighter-weight linkage setup to control the deep spade rudder. The sailplan is high aspect non-overlapping headsails that favours IRC handicapping, but in cruising mode a 105 percent genoa is available, while downwind the asymmetric spinnaker flies from the retractable carbon bowsprit. The alloy mast is keel-stepped but upgrade options include full carbon spars and rod rigging. The keel comprises a lead bulb on a cast iron fin, fixed to the infused GRP hull via an internal grid that should mean the J/112e is a stiff boat that holds her sail area well.
MODEL J/112e DESIGNER J Boats LOA 11.00 metres (36 feet) BEAM 11.75 metres DRAFT 6.90 metres ENGINE 30 horsepower Volvo saildrive with 2 bladed folding propeller FUEL 70 litres WATER 170 litres SAIL AREA 65 [m.sup.2] plus 120 [m.sup.2] asymmetric spinnaker DISPLACEMENT 5,125 kilograms BALLAST 1,903 kilograms PRICE $325,000 (base boat without sails)
An award winning functional racer-cruiser from a small French yard with a reputation for winning IRC designs.
This petite Brittany yard has been synonymous with successful IRC designs for a decade, such as its successful JPK 1010 model, so its not surprising that its newest yacht received instant acclaim. By winning the Performance Cruiser category in the European Yacht of the Year Awards, this 35-footer should attract the attention of club racers who want to bridge the gap between bland production boats and high cost custom yachts.
Looking at the JPK 10.80 the bare statistics show that it's no lightweight performer when compared with some more exotic marques but that is only part of the picture. Designer Jacques Valer--who also designed the Hobie Tiger--is known for his full bodied hull shapes with streamlined but heavy keels. JPK hulls are infused with balsa core and foils are a single deep spade rudder and lead bulbed keel. The keel stepped mast is fractional--to allow smaller kites to be flown for longer--and both symmetricals and assys can be flown. Interestingly, a cut-out in the coachroof means athwartships jib cars are used, allowing greater tuning, and the deep cockpit with benches plus raised coachroof (for keeping watch) gives good protection offshore. Sail controls include the main sheet that is located behind the tiller and primaries near the helmsman. Below decks is fitted-out to a basic standard with minimalist galley, full-sized chart table and double berths to complete what looks like a very functional racer- cruiser.
MODEL JPK 10.80 DESIGNER Jacques Valer LOA 10.80 metres (35 feet 5 Inches) BEAM 3.65 metres DRAFT 2.20 metres ENGINE Volvo Saildrive D1 20 18 horsepower 2-bladed folding propeller FUEL 75 litres WATER 120 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail: 40 [m.sup.2], Genoa: 33 [m.sup.2], Asymmetric/Symmetric spinnakers: 120 [m.sup.2]/105 [m.sup.2]. DISPLACEMENT 4,750 kilograms BALLAST 2,150 kilograms PRICE Euro 132,943.00 (ex-factory)
Better upwind performance than a standard TP52 while having accommodation, this Judel/Vrolijk design looks to be a powerful performer.
Premier Composites has teamed up with designers Judel/Vrolijk to build this new IRC 52 that launches as we go to press. This IRC 52, while being outside the class's box rule, integrates the latest performance and engineering developments from the Super Series TP52 class. So the new boat aims to be a high-performance IRC racer but can also be used in cruising mode, thus widening its appeal to owners who enjoy performance sailing, albeit with a fairly basic interior.
The key features of the IRC 52 is that the displacement and hull performance ratio remains the same as for the minimalist Super Series 52, but instead of internal ballast as on the standard TP52S the new boat uses its interior fit-out and 100mm longer keel for stability. So there's an enclosed head, separate owner's cabin, crew pipecots for offshore racing and a basic galley. On deck the higher coachroof increases headroom below while giving better weather protection on deck. In racing mode she carries a large square-topped mainsail, running backstays, and a wide selection of headsails. In cruising mode a mainsail with conventional roach, roller jib and cruising chute can be utilised. Both aft running stays may be fixed, and the bowsprit can also be removed for deliveries or cruising. In terms of performance, VPP calculations show an upwind improvement of 2 percent and a reaching gain of 3 to 5 percent over standard TP52S.
MODEL IRC 52 DESIGNER Judel/Vrolijk LOA 15.85 metres (52 feet) LWL -- BEAM 4.42 metres DRAFT 3.60 metres ENGINE -- FUEL -- WATER -- SAIL AREA Upwind: 164 [m.sup.2], Cruising: 368 [m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT (LIGHT) 7,290 kilograms BALLAST -- PRICE --
McCONAGHY KER 33
Jason Ker's proven performance design prowess in a pocket sized cruiser is an ideal next step-up from a mass production boat.
The continued dominance of the IRC measurement system has prompted Jason Ker and McConaghy China to build this 33-foot racer-cruiser in E-glass with corecell foam. A beamy wedge-shaped hull has three double cabins, so when not on the race track, six can sleep aboard, which is an ideal crew number for the Ker 33.
Intended as both an inshore and offshore boat, lightweight steering means a tiller is standard and the cockpit looks deep enough to offer protection when offshore. Deck gear is Harken with twin primaries forward and two more on the coach roof where a single bank of jammers locks the halyards directly from the mast, so reducing friction for fast hoists. The standard rig is a Selden tapered alloy, keel-stepped and a symmetrical spinnaker looks the best setup for this size of boat but assys are offered as well with a fixed bowsprit. The backstay uses pulley adjustment and the overall deck looks very clean with conventional inboard jib tracks and a wide main track just ahead of the steerer --so ideal for short-handed sailing. Below decks shows McConaghy's prowess in composite work. The angular components--navigation station bulkhead, galley with stove and even the saloon table are all composite and of a futuristic looking design. The layout has the head forward, behind the forepeak double berth while two doubles maximise the beam at the stern and are open plan, a good weight saving idea on this very interesting model.
MODEL Ker 33 DESIGNER Jason Ker LOA 10.00 metres BEAM 3.36 metres DRAFT 2.00 metres ENGINE 30 horsepower FUEL 40.00 litres WATER 100 litres SAIL AREA Upwind: 48.27 [m.sup.2], Spinnaker 91.77 [m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 3,750 kilograms BALLAST -- PRICE US$186,000.00 (base boat)
SOLARIS ONE 58
Classy design with a quality build that combines performance with premium comforts, all go to make a desirable performance-cruiser.
Solaris has 36 years of experience constructing sailing yachts from 36 to 76-feet, but in recent years the Venice-based yard has changed up a gear to produce fast, mid-sized production cruiser-racers. For this 58 model, the company has collaborated with the prolific Argentinian naval architect Javier Soto Acebal.
So, the 2014-launched Solaris 58 comes with plenty of pedigree--something that attracted Peter Hrones of Windcraft Australia to distribute this premium brand alongside his mainstay Hanse cruisers. The statistics on the Solaris 58 should entice the performance sailor who is a family man because the key ingredients are there: a high ballast ratio thanks to a deep lead bulb, keel-stepped mast and a relatively modest beam in the vacuum infused hull which should give good windward performance. The three-cabin layout is more than comfortable so there's plenty of features fitted in between the plumb bow and open transom.
On deck the teak cladding and hidden halyard runs along with flush hatches that give that Swan-like flavour while the wide and open cockpit is functional with twin binnacles and dinghy garage. In front, the mainsheet track and two sets of winches take care of the foresails and asymmetric when hoisted. Steering gear is quality Jefa linkages attached to a balanced GRP, foam cored spade rudder, so the Solaris should be a performer and classy cruiser.
MODEL Solaris One 58 DESIGNER Javier Soto Acebal LOA 17.40 metres LWL 16.06 metres BEAM 5.05 metres DRAFT 3.20 metres - (2.85 optional) ENGINE Volvo Penta sd 75 horsepower (110 or 150 optional) FUEL 500 litres WATER 700 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 98 [m.sup.2], Genoa 106 percent 90 [m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 19,500 kilograms BALLAST 6,800 kilograms PRICE $1,990,000 base boat
Swan's latest carbon hulled superyacht doesn't compromise on performance or comfort, confirming the 105RS's premium quality.
As the flagship of the Finnish builder's raised saloon range, the 105RS comes with plenty of gear for both sides of the cruiser-racer equation, including a carbon hull which confirms Nautor Swan as a premium brand. This raised saloon model aims to please the serious cruising sailor with good weather protection and that stunning transom opening owner's suite, while the German Frers performance orientated hull means that you will never be last to that coveted anchorage at the day's end.
Accommodation is dominated by the aft owner's suite that allows you to walk straight out onto the hydraulic swim platform (or change it to a 4-metre dinghy garage). There are three guest cabins and two crew cabins forward but Swan offer a fully-customised interior to suite your particular lifestyle. Being a true deck saloon, there are sea views when seated in the lounge and an internal navigation station on the forward port quarter, while the galley is below decks so that crew can prepare food discretely. Above decks, the centre cockpit is protected by a hydraulically operated integrated bimini with seating for eight below it. Behind it are the twin binnacles and sail controls for the cutter rig. An in-boom mainsail is offered for easy handling and electric furlers on the headsails further add to the manageability. Hull number one, Ti-Coyo launched in late 3014, and more are to follow of this 104-foot superyacht.
MODEL Nautor Swan 105RS DESIGNER German Frers LOA 31.69 metres (104 feet) BEAM 7.57 metres DRAFT 4.00 metres ENGINE Cummins QSL 9 FUEL 6,000 litres WATER 3,000 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 356 [m.sup.2], Fore Triangle 296.5 [m.sup.2], Jib 303.8 [m.sup.2], Asymmetric Spinnaker 630 [m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT Empty (approx) 82,000 kilograms BALLAST -- PRICE POA
The first twin rudder yacht from quality Danish builder X-Yachts should be a performer with high stability and interesting raised deck saloon.
The X6 from Danish builder X-Yachts is an exciting looking performance cruiser that will splash in 2015. Overall, the model looks to combine the R&D from both X-Yachts' cruising and performance ranges in a semi-customisable package. The lean build--using vacuum infused epoxy with localised carbon--allows the company to claim a 15 to 20 percent weight saving over similar sized boats.
A three cabin layout is standard with owner's ensuite forward, where a fourth double bunk can be included; along with an enlarged galley. As a bluewater yacht the workshop option is a very useful addition along with a separate crew cabin with its own entrance and heads. In the saloon, high forward facing windows lend a deck-saloon style to the main cabin and create an airy feel. In the cockpit, the offset table lowers into a sunpad and there's even a carbon arch for the mainsheet-sprayhood arrangement, should you opt for the Park Lane boom. The sailplan includes furling headsails with optional hydraulic rams, self-tacking jibs, and an inner forestay plus an asymmetric spinnaker. The standard mast is an alloy keel-stepped one, tapered with three spreaders but there is of course a carbon option to reduce weight aloft and point higher. The rounded hull comes with plenty of volume for comfortable bluewater cruising but with good stability credentials thanks to various deep lead keel options.
MODEL X6 DESIGNER X-Yachts LOA 20.12 metres (66 feet) HULL LENGTH 19.22 metres BEAM 5.40 metres DRAFT L-keel 2.6 metres; T-keel 3.0 metres; T-keel ENGINE 160 horsepower shaft drive FUEL 1,200 litres WATER 1,000 litres SAIL AREA Mainsail 128 [m.sup.2], Genoa 91.4 [m.sup.2] (106 percent), Asymmetric spinnaker 280 [m.sup.2] DISPLACEMENT 11,999 kilograms (3.0-metre T-keel) BALLAST 4,984 kilograms PRICE Euro 1,800,000 (estimated)