REVIEW: GREENLINE 39

By: JOHN FORD, Photography by: JOHN FORD & SUPPLIED

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

With the return of Greenline to our shores we sent John Ford to report on the brand’s revival and how an all-new model shapes up.

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HIGHS

  • Simple shaft-driven diesel
  • Twin thrusters allow easy docking
  • Solar power means no generator noise at anchor
  • Stylish design and quality finish

LOWS

  • The second cabin is somewhat confined

REVIEW: GREENLINE 39 priced from $565,000

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Like an indestructible cyborg, Greenline boats are back from the dead. Not that long ago we were extolling the virtues of this revolutionary Slovenian-built, solar-assisted range of hybrid cruisers and within months they disappeared. Honest, it wasn’t my fault.

Parent company Seaway Designs suffered financial difficulties as they attempted expansion into non-marine ventures after losses during the GFC. According to the Slovenia Times, the boating division had firm orders for the brand, but the enduring credit crunch cut off access to financing, and the company faced liquidity problems that continued to deepen to the extent that they closed the doors.

Seeing an opportunity to resurrect the brand, Russian Greenline dealer, Vladimir Zinchenko, negotiated to purchase the production facilities and began a two-year development of new models to fit the clean, green philosophy.

Australian Greenline distributor, eYachts, is headed by Peter Hrones who is notoriously fearless in releasing contemporary and quirky European powerboats into the Australian market. He was understandably disappointed when the Greenline brand ran into trouble but was able to refund buyers who had laid down deposits. eYachts had introduced over 30 happy Australian owners to the name, so when Hrones saw the new 39 and the backing the new owner guaranteed, he re-established relationships. The 39 on test is the first of several boats due to arrive over the next few months.

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The new boat boasts the fifth generation of Greenline hulls and continues the ethos of the original J&J Design team to deliver efficiencies of both fuel and speed.

Tank testing and computer modelling helped develop a hull more efficient both in displacement mode and when planing at speeds up to 25kts.

And while the new model is available with a 220hp Volvo diesel coupled with 10kW Siemens electric auxiliary, the test boat is equipped with a 370hp single-engine Yanmar. So rather than sun-powered propulsion, the hybrid label on the test boat refers to 1300 watt solar capacity on the saloon roof to charges a bank of house batteries, meaning no generator noise at anchor.

Everything on the 39 is new, but the clean lines and low single level design hark back to previous models. Severe reverse chines are visible where they rise to meet the plumb bow, and the high profile forward section sweeps with a classic "gentleman’s motor launch" sheerline yet still manages to look fresh and sporty.

STEP ABOARD

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A foldout transom operating from a small remote simplifies boarding and also serves as a swim platform. Overhead is an extended roof covering the whole cockpit to make a single-level entertaining space through the saloon to the helm. A lounge along one side and a seat in the starboard corner seem a bit light on for the size of the boat but could be augmented with folding chairs stored in a cavernous lazarette.

The asymmetric layout of the saloon leaves a single starboard-side walkway to the bow that is well protected by a high side deck and a rail further forward at the steps up to the bow.

At the entryway to the saloon, a large door slides out of the way and a window to port hinges up to the roof on a gas strut for flow-through access to the galley. A section of the bench can then be opened out to create a useful servery. It’s a neat idea and will make the cockpit a popular entertaining area.

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Inside is a portside L-shaped galley with an all-electric kitchen powered through a 3500-watt inverter and the bank of lithium-ion batteries. All appliances are the Slovenian-made Gorenje brand and include a two-burner induction cooktop, microwave and full-size 240lt compressor refrigerator with separate freezer. Locating the fridge opposite the galley gives a good workflow for meal preparation. It also leaves a reasonable amount of bench space and allows loads of storage in drawers and cupboards.

Joinery looks up to par and the Corian bench and large Corian sink add a touch of class. Timber throughout is a light-coloured white oak and the large windows wrapping around the saloon offer a well-lit interior. Air-conditioning runs from the battery bank but there is an excellent flow-through of air through the back door and a pair of electric Webasto roof hatches.

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Forward of the fridge is an extended storage module with a 32in television rising from within on an electric arm. The dinette, in the front portside corner, is on a raided platform. A grey fabric-covered lounge wraps around an extendable timber table on a monster stainless steel pedestal. There’s generous space for two couples and the table drops to create a double bed for occasional guests.

But the main accommodation is below with innovative twists that turn both cabins from twins into doubles.

DOWN BELOW

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Like the previous Greenlines we have seen, the main cabin in the bow has a row of rooftop windows that drown the space with light, while a set of lower slit windows each side provide views across the water. Here you find the bed can slide into V-berths for two separate singles or join together on a track for a large queen. Head height is almost two metres for a nice roomy feeling and I found plenty of storage in a hanging cupboard and wraparound shelves.

The second cabin has good height at the entrance but is a bit more confined at the bedheads. (I’m told all later models will have lower beds to give more room overhead.) Again the beds slide for twin or queen options. Overhead is a small skylight to the saloon and together with an opening porthole, there’s a flow of natural light. Bright LEDs are well placed for reading and dressing. A single-seat lounge is surprisingly comfortable and a hanging cupboard has room for a few days’ clothing.

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There’s just one head, so although it has direct access from the main cabin, it’s shared with other guests who enter from a second door from the passageway. It’s equipped with a Jabsco pump-out toilet, storage cupboard with mirror and a vanity with floating circular bowl. A Perspex door leads to a roomy shower with a timber base and Euro-style sliding showerhead.

Access to the engine is through a large floor hatch adjacent to the galley and I found a reasonable amount of room for regular engine checks.

THE ENGINE

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Weighing in at 435kg, Yanmar claims its twin-turbo, common rail V8 diesel is lightest in class. A heat exchanger uses raw seawater to cool the fresh water running through the block, to reduce corrosion.

The computer-controlled, common rail, direct injection four-stroke pumps out 370hp (272kW) and gave the Greenline a top speed of 24kts. Engine noise was well suppressed right through the range and there was no sign of smoke even under full load.

Vision at the raised helm is excellent, and the sliding side door gives immediate access to the side deck for easy docking. Front and aft bow thrusters make child’s play of getting into and out of confined pens.

Controls are well placed and the digital shift and throttle lever is smooth and light. Instruments are well laid out in the unusual dash console, which sets the dials and screens in line of sight, without restricting the view.

THE RIDE

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At slow cruising speeds the slippery hull smooched along at sailing speeds around 7kts consuming 4.5lt/h for a range of 630nm from the 700lt tank with 10% reserve. Those opting for the more powerful engine will be more likely to cruise at around 17kts where consumption is 41lt/h and range comes back to 249nm.

We handled a mild Sydney Harbour chop with ease so pointing the nose towards New Zealand we headed a few miles offshore into a more challenging short 1.5m nor’easterly swell. The boat felt comfortable travelling into the sea at around 17kts with a soft motion and sure tracking.

In a following sea, there was some tendency for the stern to want to round up with the swell, until we hooked up the autopilot for a perfectly direct route home.

THE WRAP

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As tested the new Greenline is $599,000, with the bigger engine, which seems good buying for a shaft-driven boat of its size and build quality.

I’m told the brand has a loyal following in Australia and there have been enquiries from Greenline 33 owners looking to upgrade. The 39 should hit the mark for such buyers, but I’d imagine there are also those looking to downsize to something more economical, but with the panache of a weekend entertainer and the performance of a capable cruiser.

SPECIFICATIONS

PRICED FROM

$565,000

OPTIONS FITTED

Engine Upgrade

Price with 220hp Volvo and Hybrid drive $615,000

PRICE AS TESTED

$599,000

GENERAL

MATERIAL GRP

TYPE Monohull cruiser

LENGTH 12m

BEAM 3.75m

DRAFT .09m

WEIGHT 7000kg

CAPACITIES

FUEL 700lt

WATER 400lt

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Yanmar 8LV370

TYPE Turbo-charged V8 diesel

RATED HP 370

DISPLACEMENT 4.46lt

WEIGHT 435kg

GEAR RATIO 2.13:1

PROPELLER Four-blade 22in x 20.7in

MANUFACTURED BY

SVP Yachts Slovenia

SUPPLIED BY

eYachts

D’Albora Marina

The Spit, Mosman NSW 2088

PHONE (02) 9979 6612

WEB www.eyachts.com.au

EMAIL boats@eyachts.com.au

Check out the full review in issue #498 of Trade-a-Boat magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.  

 

 


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