How is the shipbuilding industry across the Channel? England, home of great sailors, is not very renowned on the “continent” when it comes to standard cruising boats (an exception, of course, is Oyster: but this is a very high target market). Yet, reveals an article in Yachting World, demand from British and non-British boat owners for “Made in England” hulls is growing: demand is expanding and supply is not slow to adapt: new realities are emerging, both in terms of boats and yards.
GT35, AN ENGLISH-STYLE BLUE WATER
For example, the GT35 represents the first creation of the newly formed GT Yachts, a Norfolk-based company that aims to produce a range of family cruisers designed by Stephen Jones and made in the Windboats factory, which has churned out so many Oyster boats in recent years. The yard’s mission is to fill a gap in the 35- to 50-foot boat market by going out and “capturing” discerning buyers looking for high-quality pure cruising boats. Seaworthiness, safety and comfort are the three keywords of the GT35: equipped with two double cabins, fore and aft, and a spacious, well-designed interior, this 10.7-meter boat (maximum beam 3.6 m) weighs 7,200 kg and it is possible to have it built with a double keel (the draft, which with a single keel is 1.95 m, is reduced to 1.5 with the two-keel solution). The mainsail is 36 sq m, the furling genie is 31. The shipyard also plans to build a 39-footer and a 45-footer. www.gtyachts.com
RAPIER 550, THE CAT FROM ACROSS THE POND.
The Broadblue Rapier 550, on the other hand, is a creation of the Dazcat design team headed by Darren Newton and was built by the Multimarine shipyard, located in Cornwall. Featuring “faceted” profiles worthy of the best 1980s design, it is a catamaran that the shipyard says is capable of developing high performance, especially in long-range sailing. Technologically advanced, it features solutions that allow it to be driven solo from the inside, with a dedicated wheelhouse in the large deck with smoked glass windows that can provide excellent visibility and gogò light.
A sail load monitoring system is designed to reduce sails automatically based on the load on the mast using two-way winches, also near the inner wheelhouse. At 16.76 meters long and 8 meters wide, the Rapier 550 weighs 9,500 kg and fishes 1.3 meters. The sail plan is 160 square meters with gennaker of 120 square meters and spii of 200. www.broadblue.com