Dusseldorf non-standard: unknown sailboats of the exhibition
Reviews and test drives

Dusseldorf non-standard: unknown sailboats of the exhibition

Sailing yards that you've hardly heard of, but that will conquer your heart.
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Captain of coastal navigation Dmitry Havansky continues his story about interesting sailing boats Boot Dusseldorf 2018.

Having told in the last article about the trends of mass producers and some less popular models, I could have finished the description of most of the shows, but not Boot Dusseldorf. This time I will talk about quite different yachts united by only one - their names are not on the list at all. These are experimenters that I want to know more about. Some are focused on design, others on speed, others on affordability. Give them time, and they will conquer you, as they have already conquered my heart.

Compact and modern retro.

The British brand Swallow builds small yachts with classic design, but using modern materials. The size of the largest model on the stand is only 26 feet and the price tag starts at around 80,000 euros. Thanks to their size and lightweight materials, all the company's boats are easily transported in a trailer and ready to sail quickly. Smaller models can be launched like dinghies on their own. If you are attracted by this style and approach to yachting, look out for other British brands as well - Cornish Crabber and Drascombe.

For serious sailing.

In this category I would include Nordship, Faurby and Scalar - yachts of conservative hull form, with an abundance of wood in the interior and slightly less living space to suit the seaworthiness.

«If you go quietly, they're the ones you'll» find next.

Classic shapes cancel out the idea of a spinnaker's planing, but on a long journey it is much more important for the boat to take care of the crew in bad weather. It has a smoother ride, the deck has something to grab on and the interior offers the warmth and comfort of wood.

Danish Nordship 380 DS is an excellent example of the above qualities. The main highlight of this manufacturer's yachts is the raised salon with panoramic windows. Whatever the weather outside, it is priceless to wake up at anchor and admire the surrounding scenery from a comfortable salon. The price tag for it is not small, from 400 thousand euros, but nevertheless it is still much cheaper than a 55-footerly.

Another Danish, the Faurby 363E, looks like a reduced copy of Nordship. No panoramic view from the interior, but all with the same emphasis on seaworthiness, level of finish and plenty of wood inside the cabin. The price is predictably lower - from 230 thousand euros.

The third yacht is local, from Germany.

Here we're talking about a complete exclusive. Scalar builds only 2 or 3 sailing yachts per year, while the production of neoclassical boats is mostly manual.

The smallest in my sample, it will also cost at least 200 thousand euros. For this money you will get an alloy of truly classic shapes and modern equipment. If you've ever wanted a classic yacht, but without age issues, the Scalar 34 (or other models of the shipyard) will probably be the best solution.

Stylish .

The two companies on the show are really into their design, Tofinou and Saffier.

The French Latitude 46, which produces yachts under the Tofinou brand, has models in all sizes from 7 to 16 metres. They are all characterized by fantastic quality of finish, both in cabins and on deck.

Polished wood, teak, even the hull colouring, everything looks very expensive and harmonious. The layout of all the controls - winch and clutch - has been thought out perfectly.

Regardless of size, Tofinou yachts are easy to handle on their own.

The French have brought three models to Dusseldorf.

Tofinou 8 is a day sailing yacht which is best suited for short trips to the lake, whether it's a race or a leisurely stroll. Although her sailing qualities do not prohibit her from going out to sea. The folding keel version allows you to easily «park» right on the beach. The price tag starts at 110 thousand euros.

The Tofinou 10 also offers an open-plan cabin, but it is noticeably more spacious and has a separate toilet. Overall, I would define this yacht as ideal for club racing. At the same time it is a stylish coastal cruiser that will definitely stand you out from the crowd of other sailing yachts even on a summer evening on the Côte d'Azur.

Tofinou 12 is aimed at participation in big regattas, literally now a separate class is being created. Your potential arena - racing in Saint-Tropez and Cannes. At the same time, the yacht is still comfortable to sail alone.

The Dutch at Saffier play roughly the same field, but with a little more emphasis on speed than on paranoid (at best) quality materials. While the 26-footer is just an extremely cute boat for short boat trips, the SE 37 is something very memorable.

The key difference is the rudders in the front of the cockpit, which leave a lot of space at the back.

Of course, taking into account the sporting ambitions of Saffier, it can accommodate a team, but much more annoying is the imagination of turning the aft deck into a real outdoor terrace for leisurely cruises. A table appears between the sofas at the touch of a button. All this could be yours from around 200,000 euros.

Budget choice.

The Polish company Viko presented three models - 21, 26 and 30 feet. They are not distinguished by classical lines or special materials, but easily taken by others - the price. The company is consistently expanding its range of very affordable yachts. In particular, these three models cost 13, 23 and 37 thousand euros respectively.

If you want a new yacht but have a very limited budget, it is definitely worth looking at the Viko.

Interestingly, even the smallest model is a cruiser, not a dayboat.

The yachts are similar in price and style at the exhibition: Focus, Mariner (both from Poland), Sailart (Germany). However, Viko has big future plans - the S35 model is on the way, and 40 and 50 foot models are in the plans!

Home comfort

If there is a sailing yacht on board which you can feel at home - in a bathrobe, soft slippers, with a cat in one hand and a cup of hot coffee in the other - it is Haber Yachts.

The yacht feels 100% British, but it doesn't matter.

Of course, it's not a pure sailing boat, it's a motorbike saloon. Not the most elegant on the outside, Haber yachts give priority to living space, weather protection and comfort. It's a camper under sail. And unlike the three «for serious sailing mentioned earlier», this hero of the story is much cheaper.

The fastest.

Beneteau has brought to Dusseldorf the famous Figaro 3, the first production hydrofoil sailing boat. The 11 metre sports boat was deservedly awarded the title of «European Boat 2018» in a special category.

Surprisingly, the price of such a boat is not so high - 150 thousand euros. But there is one trick - you can buy it only as a member of Figaro Class.

All the boats will be exhibited once in 2019, equalizing the teams before the start of the competition.

If speed is a priority for you, pay attention to trimarans. And although multihull sailing is not my love, I couldn't get past Dragonfly. This Danish manufacturer of trimarans has its own zest, which helps level out one of the main shortcomings of multihulls - huge payments for parking in marinas.

When you enter the port, you can fold the side hulls to the centre in just one minute and place the multihulls in a standard single hull box.

No complicated electronics or hydraulics - simple mechanics. The golden mean of the range is the 28-foot model. She is slightly outperforming the 32-footer in terms of comfort, but can be transported in a trailer and is capable of docking directly at the beach. And yes, it is very, very fast. According to the company representative, it easily develops 10-15 knots in comfort, but is able to accelerate to 20 at 5-6-point wind. There are several modifications, but count on the price from 180 thousand euros.

What can I say, the largest exhibition knows how to surprise with variety. But you're wrong if you think we're done with Boot Dusseldorf. For dessert, sailing boats 6-9 meters. Sporty, technological, stylish.

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