BUYER'S GUIDE - SAILBOATS

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We can’t recall a time when new and used yachts were such good value for money. Bargain hunter ALLAN WHITING finds the bargain blow-ins from abroad…

BUYER'S GUIDE - SAILBOATS
BUYER'S GUIDE — SAILBOATS

At a time when everything seems to be climbing steadily in price (checked your electricity bill lately?) boat prices have fallen. It’s tough on those of us who bought our imported yachts when the Aussie dollar lacked international appeal, but it’s good news for first-time buyers who aren’t facing a 20-per cent drop in trade-in value.

Although a buyer wanting to move up in yacht size may focus on the fact that trade-in value is much less than expected, the fact is that the changeover figure into a new yacht is probably less than two years ago. In contrast, used car prices have generally gone down, while the prices of new machines have gone up. Boat makers and distributors seem happy to pass on currency fluctuations to their customers, but the auto industry is greedier.

We’ve selected some of the top yacht brands and sifted through their price lists and specification sheets to come up with suggestions for new-yacht bargain hunting. Our criteria are based on sail-away basic-boat specifications, but some distributors include extras in their prices.

Before acting on our shortlist you’ll need to read the fine print. That said, the basics we reckon everyone wants include a head, sleeping room for four people in comfort, galley, storage etc.

Happy hunting among today’s new-yacht bargains. It really is a buyer’s market.

BEST OF THE BRANDS

BAVARIA CRUISER 32
Bavarias have carried something of a stigma. They were always roomy but not necessarily great performers in club racing, while the better-performing Match series was plagued by reliability issues. All that has changed with the new-generation Bavaria yacht range that was launched in Europe in late 2009. The new boats are clean-sheet-of-paper designs, penned by Farr Yacht Design in conjunction with BMW Group DesignworksUSA and Bavaria’s own design team.
The new Bavaria Cruiser 32 has a powerful rig that promises good club racing, while the cruising accents, including a drop-down transom that becomes a huge swimplatform, should make family cruising very pleasant.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
This baby Bavaria is a fine dual-purpose craft that’s a bargain at the introductory price of $159,424.

(QUICK SPECS)
MATERIAL: Handlaid fibreglass
LENGTH OVERALL: 9.75m
BEAM: 3.42m
DRAFT: 1.95m (standard); 1.5m (optional)
WEIGHT: 5200kg
ENGINE: 18hp Volvo Penta D1-20 diesel
SAIL AREA: 51m² (total)
FUEL: 150lt
WATER: 150lt
DETAILS: North South Yachting,
The Quays Marina,
1856 Pittwater Road,
Church Point, NSW, 2105
Phone: (02) 9998 9600
Fax: (02) 9979 3244
Web: www.northsouthyachting.com.au

BENETEAU FIRST 25.7
Beneteau’s babies, the First 21.7 and 25.7, are trailerable thanks to cast-iron swing keels, but mast raising and lowering is a somewhat laborious job and isn’t something a small family would want to do every weekend. Also, the 25.7 is 25mm over legal width for road transport and needs a permit.

However, a swing keel allows shallow-water anchoring in depths to 850mm.

The 25.7 has a good turn of speed that can be improved by fitting an optional asymmetric spinnaker and telescopic bow pole. A high-freeboard hull ensures 1.8m headroom below decks and there’s room to sleep a family of four. Beneteau fit and finish is very good.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
Entry-level pricing of only $84,000 RRP is hard to beat.

(QUICK SPECS)
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 7.9m
BEAM: 2.75m
DRAFT: 1.85m to 0.85m (retractable keel); 1.45m (shallow draft)
WEIGHT: 2150kg (dry)
ENGINE: 14hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 19.8m² (standard mainsail); 16.7m² (standard 100 per cent genoa); 51.53m² (standard symmetric spinnaker); 46.1m² (standard asymmetric spinnaker).
FUEL: 30lt
WATER: 40lt
DETAILS: Vicsail Beneteau Sydney (Head Office),
D’Albora Marina,
New Beach Road,
Rushcutters Bay, NSW, 2027
Phone: (02) 9327 2088
Fax: (02) 9362 4516
Email: info@vicsail.com
Website: vicsailsydney.com.au

BENETEAU FIRST 30
Beneteau’s First 27.7 has been discontinued and the market is anxiously awaiting the arrival here of the brand-new First 30.
The First 30 designer is Juan Kouyoumdjain — ‘Juan K’ for short — who’s best known for designing BMW Oracle Racing’s America’s Cup monohulls and the two most recent winners of the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race. This heritage is immediately evident in the drawings of the Beneteau First 30.

The hull is a ‘dart’ in plan view, with wide, flat stern sections, twin rudders and a 1.9m draft keel with torpedo-shaped bulb. A steeply aft-raked, deck-stepped mast is set well back on the hull leaving space for large, non-overlapping headsails and a square-topped main set on a long boom that overhangs the stern. Thankfully, there are no runners, with aft mast support coming from wide, swept-back spreaders.

Although the design priority has been performance, the First 30 is well laid out below for cruising. The set-back mast means the compression post is at the aft end of the dining table, rather than forward of it.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
Introductory pricing for the First 30 is $162,000, which should result in a longish queue.

(QUICK SPECS)
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 9.81m
BEAM: 3.2m
DRAFT: 1.55m (min shallow option); 1.9m (min standard deep option)
WEIGHT: 3750kg (dry, standard deep draft)
ENGINE: 20hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 34.11m² (standard mainsail); 28.8m² (standard 105 per cent genoa); 87m² (standard symmetric spinnaker)
FUEL: 30lt
WATER: 160lt
DETAILS:
Vicsail Beneteau Sydney (Head Office),
D’Albora Marina,
New Beach Road,
Rushcutters Bay, NSW, 2027
Phone: (02) 9327 2088
Fax: (02) 9362 4516
Email: info@vicsail.com
Website: vicsailsydney.com.au

BENETEAU OCEANIS 31 & 34
This pair is part of the new Beneteau Oceanis generation that began in 2008 and was immediately rewarded with the 31’s European Yacht of the Year Award.

As denoted by the Oceanis tag, these yachts have been aimed at the cruising life but can manage some club racing. If dual-purpose yachting is your aim the 34 is a better bet than the 31, because the rig and ballast are much larger and there’s more cockpit space for a working crew.

The Oceanis 31 can be specified with deep- or shallow-draft fixed keels, or with a flat-bottomed keel that’s designed to take the ground and houses a swing-down centreboard. This latter configuration can anchor in water only 950mm deep.

Both mini-Oceanis yachts have a surprising amount of lounging space in their cockpits and accommodation below decks that would have been commonplace in yesterday’s 40-footers. Nice design touches include twin, slim compression posts, with the aft one of the pair being grabrail section and optionally leather wrapped.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
Pricing is keen, with the base-boat Oceanis 31 available for $143,000 and the more powerful and spacious 34 for $172,000. If our price criteria are stretched a little the Oceanis 37 comes in at $205,000.

(QUICK SPECS)

OCEANIS 31
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 9.66m
BEAM: 3.39m
DRAFT: 1.8m (standard deep draft); 1.3m (shallow draft)
WEIGHT: 4620kg (dry)
ENGINE: 21hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 24.6m² (standard mainsail); 24.6m² (standard 105 per cent genoa); 59.7m² (standard asymmetric spinnaker)
FUEL: 130lt
WATER: 130lt
DETAILS:
Vicsail Beneteau Sydney (Head Office),
D’Albora Marina,
New Beach Road,
Rushcutters Bay, NSW, 2027
Phone: (02) 9327 2088
Fax: (02) 9362 4516
Email: info@vicsail.com
Website: vicsailsydney.com.au

OCEANIS 34
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 10.34m
BEAM: 3.65m
WEIGHT: 5620kg (dry)
DRAFT: 1.82m (standard deep draft); 1.37m (shallow draft)
ENGINE: 21hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 30m² (standard mainsail); 32m² (standard 105 per cent genoa); 68.3m² (asymmetric spinnaker)
FUEL: 130lt
WATER: 290lt
DETAILS:
See Vicsail Beneteau Sydney opposite

DEHLER 29
Dehler yachts are synonymous with quality build and performance and the latest 29 is no exception. Features not found in most boats this size include full sandwich construction, 21hp auxiliary, a keel-stepped mast, Dyform rigging and below-deck jib furling.

Although designed for speed the Dehler 29 is well appointed below decks, with a stove/oven and roomy head.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
Only a few months ago, the distributors were quoting a RRP of $145,000, but currency movements have meant a drop to $129,000. If you’re quick you can enjoy a first-boat bonus and pick up a Dehler 29 for a mere $119,000.

(QUICK SPECS)
MATERIAL: Handlaid GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 8.75m
BEAM: 2.99m
DRAFT: 1.58m (standard); 1.8m (racing); 1.22m (shallow)
WEIGHT: 3000kg (standard); 2850kg (racing); 3150kg (shallow)
ENGINE: 12hp Volvo D1-13 diesel
SAIL AREA: 43m² (total)
FUEL: 60lt
WATER: 100lt
DETAILS: Windcraft,
Waterfront Office 2,
1714 Pittwater Road,
Bayview, NSW, 2104
Phone: (02) 9979 1709
Fax: (02) 9979 2027
Email: boats@windcraft.com.au
Website: www.windcraft.com.au

DUFOUR GRAND LARGE 325 & 375
These Dufour cruising yacht twins are beautifully designed and made boats that are aimed at family fun, yet won’t be disgraced twilight racing. The 375 was launched late last year and sports twin wheels and an optional three-double-cabin layout: features normally seen in larger boats.

Both yachts have deck-stepped masts with cruising-oriented mid-boom sheeting from their cabin tops, but the 375 has a traveller, in contrast to the 325’s two-point sheeting. Both systems minimise rope clutter in the cockpits.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
For a family of four, the entry-level Dufour 325 is a ‘steal’ at $155,000. A comprehensive on-water package
including a wheel in place of the standard tiller; dodger, bimini and awning; anchor chain and electric windlass; VHF; wind, depth and speed instrumentation; folding prop; fully-battened mainsail; convertible saloon table and leatherette saloon cushions can be had for an additional $30K. Not bad.
The more voluminous 375 base boat is excellent buying at $199,000.

(QUICK SPECS)

Grand Large 325
MATERIAL: Handlaid GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 10.08m
BEAM: 3.4m
DRAFT: 1.55m
WEIGHT: 4700kg
ENGINE: 19hp Volvo diesel
SAIL AREA: 26.3m² (mainsail); 27.8m (130 per cent genoa)
FUEL: 90lt
WATER: 160lt
DETAILS: Dufour Yachts Australia,
Antill Marine,
Unit 2, Suite 4-5,
Princes Street Marina,
Newport, NSW, 2106
Phone: (02) 8004 2035; 0410 765 245
Fax: (02) 8210 5175
Email: info@dufour.com.au
Website: www.dufour.com.au

Grand Large 375
MATERIAL: Handlaid GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 11.19m
BEAM: 3.85m
DRAFT: 1.9m (deep keel); 1.6m (shoal keel)
WEIGHT: Approx 6700kg
ENGINE: 30hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 67m² (total)
FUEL: 200lt
WATER: 380lt
DETAILS: See Dufour Yachts Australia opposite

DUFOUR GRAND LARGE 34e
The Dufour 34e was the first performance model and is a worthy successor to the very successful 34 version that was introduced in 2003 and has racked up numerous race wins around the world.

The latest 34e is lighter than its predecessor, has a more open cockpit layout and a completely revised interior with beautiful appointments and enviable fit and finish.

Although unashamedly designed with racing in mind the 34e has generous below-deck accommodation and dining area, making it a true dual-purpose yacht.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
Currency swings currently bring it in at a RRP of only $198,000 in a package that includes a fully-battened mainsail, electric windlass, VHF, and leatherette saloon cushions.

(QUICK SPECS)
MATERIAL: Handlaid GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 10.6m
BEAM: 3.48m
DRAFT: 1.9m (deep keel); 1.5m (shoal keel)
WEIGHT: 5400kg
ENGINE: 20hp Volvo diesel; 30hp (optional)
SAIL AREA: 65m² (mainsail)
FUEL: 90lt
WATER: 265lt
DETAILS: Dufour Yachts Australia,
Antill Marine,
Unit 2, Suite 4-5,
Princes Street Marina,
Newport, NSW, 2106
Phone: (02) 8004 2035; 0410 765 245
Fax: (02) 8210 5175
Email: info@dufour.com.au
Website: www.dufour.com.au

HANSE 325 & 355
These two yachts are redesigns of the previous 320 and 350 models, with changes to hulls, decks, cockpits and interiors. The masts and rigs, with Hanse’s trademark self-tacking jibs, are as before, with the concentration on performance combined with the easiest possible sail handling.

The 325 is lighter than its predecessor and features lower cockpit coamings and a redesigned transom with walkthrough access to the swimplatform. A fully-battened North mainsail is standard on the 325 and 355. The latter’s redesigned transom incorporates a swimplatform.

Both boats have stylish interiors with curved-front overhead cupboard doors.

The 355 can be ordered as a two-cabin boat, with massive storage space to port under the cockpit, or as a three-double-cabin layout. This model could be popular with charter boat owners.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
Pricing is excellent, with the base-boat Hanse 325 retailing at $158,000 and the Hanse 355 from $199,000.

(QUICK SPECS)

Hanse 325
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH: 9.6m
BEAM: 3.3m
DRAFT: 1.84m
WEIGHT: 5200kg
ENGINE: 20hp Volvo diesel
SAIL AREA: 51.35m² (total)
FUEL: 90lt
WATER: 240lt
DETAILS: Windcraft,
Waterfront Office 2,
1714 Pittwater Road,
Bayview, NSW, 2104
Phone: (02) 9979 1709
Fax: (02) 9979 2027
Email: boats@windcraft.com.au
Website: www.windcraft.com.au

Hanse 355
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH: 10.6m
BEAM: 3.55m
DRAFT: 1.92m
WEIGHT: 6360kg
ENGINE: 20hp Volvo diesel
SAIL AREA: 64.86m² (total)
FUEL: 90lt
WATER: 240lt
DETAILS: See Windcraft opposite

HUNTER 27
The 27 is the baby of Hunter’s cruising-oriented lineup of yachts and offers much more cabin space than its LOA suggests. A forward vee-berth can be a kids’ haven or can be extended to suit adults, while beneath the cockpit is a queen-sized berth.

The original design considered that most buyers would be inexperienced yacht handlers, so ergonomics are biased towards the wheeled helm station. Shallow headsail overlap and aft-mounted sheet winches allow one-person control and a high-set boom ensures novice heads don’t get whacked.

The basic hull design of the Hunter 27 allows safe, comfortable sailing, but the cruising rig doesn’t exploit lines that can do more. In the performance version, the Hunter 27X, X-factors include a taller mast, deck-sweeping headsails, a lower boom setting, telescopic carbon bowsprit, deeper (1.6m draft), heavier keel, 3:1/6:1 mainsheet blocks, tiller steering, two spinnaker halyards, split-purchase vang and a removable engine control lever on the cockpit side.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
Hunter 27s start selling from $95,000 RRP.

(QUICK SPECS)
MATERIAL: FRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 8.33m
BEAM: 3.02m
DRAFT: 1.52m (deep keel); 1.07m (shoal draft)
WEIGHT: 3476kg (shoal draft)
ENGINE: 14hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 35.86m² (total standard); 34.28m² (total furling)
FUEL: 56.8lt
WATER: 75.7lt
DETAILS: US Yachts,
Sydney By Sail,
Festival Pontoon,
Darling Harbour
Phone: (02) 9281 4422
Fax: (02) 9280 1119
Website: www.usyachts.com.au

HUNTER 31 & 33
These Hunters are unashamedly cruising yachts, with medium-draft or shoal-draft keels and high-volume, broad-beamed hulls that offer more volume than most boats of this length.

Both yachts have Hunter’s patented traveller arch that locates mainsheet blocks and provides a bimini mounting and both have B&R backstayless rigs. This design keeps main-related controls out of the cockpit area and the sheet winches are also located aft, where they’re easily handled by the helmsperson. An optional folding wheel further improves useful cockpit space.

Below decks these pocket cruisers have a big-boat feel and traditional touches such as the durable laminate cabin sole that apes teak and holly strip planking. These boats are designed with American-market luxuries in mind, so it’s not surprising to find Corian bench tops and air-conditioning an option.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
The haggling starts at $149,000 for the Hunter 31 and $187,000 for the 33.

(QUICK SPECS)

Hunter 31
MATERIAL: FRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 9.39m
BEAM: 3.38m
DRAFT: 1.68m (deep keel); 1.19m (shoal draft)
WEIGHT: 3858kg (shoal draft)
ENGINE: 21hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 39.14m² (total standard): 39.21m² (total furling)
FUEL: 75.7lt
WATER: 189.3lt
DETAILS: US Yachts,
Sydney By Sail,
Festival Pontoon,
Darling Harbour
Phone: (02) 9281 4422
Fax: (02) 9280 1119
Website: www.usyachts.com.au

Hunter 33
MATERIAL: FRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 10.21m
BEAM: 3.51m
DRAFT: 1.67m (deep keel); 1.37m (shoal draft)
WEIGHT: 2722kg (shoal draft)
ENGINE: 21hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 58.1m² (total standard); 50.4m² (total furling)
FUEL: 95lt
WATER: 189lt
DETAIL: See US Yachts opposite

JEANNEAU SUN FAST 3200
Jeanneau is best known for its cruising boats, but the Sun Fast line-up has many dedicated followers in racing circles and the 3200 is a fine example of the breed. Originally aimed at the shorthanded European racing circuit, the 3200 has wider appeal as a family-style racer that goes well and is easily controlled, with an asymmetric spinnaker option.

The 3200 is distinguished by having not only twin rudders, but twin tillers. Port and starboard helming positions have comfortable seating outboard and the aft-set sheet winches are also within easy reach of the helmsman. When on the wind the crew can rail-sit, while the skipper steers and adjusts mainsail trim.

The layout below decks is French-minimalist, but quite comfortable for racing or cruising crews. Forward of the saloon is the head/shower recess, behind a lightweight, vestigial sliding door. The head opens onto a huge sail storage area.

Two cabins are set aft and come with double bunks and lined interiors. Instead of wooden doors are zip-open fabric panels, much like tent doorways and the ‘wardrobes’ in the cabins are also made from zip-up fabric.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
Jeanneau 3200 pricing starts at $154,708 sans sails.

(QUICK SPECS)
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 10.1m
BEAM: 3.48m
DRAFT: 1.9m
WEIGHT: 3400kg
ENGINE: 15hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 33.5m² (mainsail); 28.5m² (genoa); 83m² (spinnaker)
FUEL: 75lt
WATER: 80lt
DETAILS: Jeanneau Australia,
Performance Boating Sales,
1710 Pittwater Road,
Bayview, NSW, 2104
Phone: (02) 9979 9755
Email: info@performanceboating.com.au
Website: www.performanceboating.com.au; www.jeanneauaustralia.com

JEANNEAU SUN ODYSSEY 30i
This small cruising yacht is available in a number of guises, to suit different owner requirements. Wheel or tiller steering is available. A fixed-keel version draws 1.75m and comes with a single rudder, but the optional swing-centreboard model has twin rudders. On the latter version, the flat-bottomed stub keel and the rudders are load bearing, so the boat can safely take the ground in dry-out tidal areas. Shaft drive means there’s no saildrive leg clearance problem and the swimladder extends to keel depth, so boarding is easy.

Accommodation suits four people, with a drop-side dinette table, double vee-berth and an athwartships double aft.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
It’s a lot of very flexible yacht for a RRP of $127,126.

(QUICK SPECS)
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 8.99m
BEAM: 3.18m
DRAFT: 1.75m (standard keel)
WEIGHT: 3945kg (dry)
ENGINE: 21hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 43m² (total standard)
FUEL: 50lt
WATER: 160lt
DETAILS: Jeanneau Australia,
Performance Boating Sales,
1710 Pittwater Road,
Bayview, NSW, 2104
Phone: (02) 9979 9755
Email: info@performanceboating.com.au
Website: www.performanceboating.com.au; www.jeanneauaustralia.com

JEANNEAU SUN ODYSSEY 33i & 36i
These mid-sized yachts are beautifully appointed and have been designed with ease of sailing in mind. Wheel steering, with sheet winches close by the helmsperson and cabin-top mainsheet traveller allow shorthanded cruising. However, the rigs are powerful, so club racing is well within their province, with ample cockpit room for four crew.

The 33i is a two-cabin yacht, with an athwartships aft double bed, but the 36i can be specified with two fore and aft sleeping cabins and a giant storage space to port, or as a three-cabin boat with double beds.

Jeanneau’s very clever chart table maximises dinette space, by sliding aft when not in use.

TRADEABOAT SAYS…
The 33i RRP is currently $152,529 and the 36i $196,175.

(QUICK SPECS)

SUN ODYSSEY 33i
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 9.96m
BEAM: 3.34m
DRAFT: 1.9m (standard keel); 1.47m (shoal draft); 0.85m to 2.2m (lift keel)
WEIGHT: 4645kg (dry)
ENGINE: 21hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 51.5m² (total standard)
FUEL: 140lt
WATER: 160lt
DETAILS: Jeanneau Australia,
Performance Boating Sales,
1710 Pittwater Road,
Bayview, NSW, 2104
Phone: (02) 9979 9755
Email: info@performanceboating.com.au
Website: www.performanceboating.com.au; www.jeanneauaustralia.com

SUN ODYSSEY 36i
MATERIAL: GRP
LENGTH OVERALL: 10.94m
BEAM: 3.59m
DRAFT: 2.1m (standard keel)
WEIGHT: 5700kg (dry)
ENGINE: 29hp Yanmar diesel
SAIL AREA: 63.7m²
FUEL: 130lt
WATER: 355lt
DETAILS: See Jeanneau Australia opposite

Photo: Beneteau Oceanis 34.




 


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