Singapore Yacht Show 2017 (DAY 3) – more economical on the waterline Published: 05.05.2017
Day 3 was all about supersized superyachts, and although they are very eye catching they are not the only boats on display at the Singapore Yacht Show. Here’s a sample:
If you’re not in the market for US$300m of sybaritic luxury, you might be more interested in 33ft of sailing boat – a more ‘hands on’ sort of boating. The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349, presented here by Boat Lagoon Yachting, attracted a good deal of interest despite being positioned in between two motoryachts! Actually, that may not have been a bad thing at all, since at US$155,000 the SO349 is definitely at the more affordable end of the boating market. Said one interested visitor, “That’s cheaper than my car!”
Quite evidently, designer Marc Lombard has borrowed some ideas from Jeanneau’s Sun Fast racing designs – hard chine hull, twin wheels and rudders – and has slotted them into a 35’ cruiser that (we are reliably informed) performs well and stands up to her canvas in a 10kts+ breeze. A reversed sheer compensates for a lowered coachroof, and provides 6’2” headroom down below. Moving lockers from above the saloon berths to behind allows for an extra level of glazing (windows) and therefore – another marketing mantra – lots and lots of interior light.
This boat was named Boat of the Year, Best Pocket Cruiser, by Cruising World in 2015. This is exacly the sort of boat that would suit newcomers to family sailing, and Jeanneau at SYS reported that “There seem to be plenty of people keen get into sailing in Singapore, but don’t know much about the logistics of owning a boat, some education can be done there! Affordability is important – we really believe that there is a potential for smaller boats in this market if some more communication is done about affordable boating. It's all about showing the way, but the will is there.” Speak to the Marketing Dept!
On deck, the SO349 has done away done away with the main sheet traveller in favour of a bridle (less obstruction on deck) and also ditched the genoa track/cars and replaced them with friction rings. There’s no backstay, and a drop down transom that can be used as a boarding point or swim platform helps to make the boat substantially family-friendly. If only we could have whisked her out of the marina for a test drive...
If you’re more inclined toward motorboats, the all-new Galeon 500 Fly was on display, and offers an equally family-friendly vehicle for getting into boating. Take a 50’ boat (or 46’ if you prefer her baby sister the Galeon 460) and make it feel like something a great deal bigger: the Galeons do this very cleverly with drop-down gunwhales on either side of the cockpit, creating side decks the size of which you’d only otherwise find on an 80-footer. Add on a 360 degree revolving seating-and- table unit at the aft end of the cockpit and a lifting stern platform that can carry a small tender and becomes a swim platform with an auto-extending swim ladder - and your outdoor activity space becomes even bigger. Lastly, drop down the side windows at the rear end of the saloon, and you have a straight-through indoor/outdoor space from side deck to side deck that includes a bar counter.
In the saloon, the helm seat reverses to face aft and becomes part of the interior seating. But wait – there’s more. Hiding underneath the usual lounging cushions on the bow there are three elevated seating sections with a central table. An electrically operated system enables this deck equipment to close ranks at the press of a button and while it takes a few seconds, what this does is transform the communal bow unit from a seven-man dining station into a raised two or three-person sun lounger.
Seriously, this is a grand piece of design, a real marine ‘Transformer’. In fact, it’s such an obvious concept that you wonder why it hasn’t been done it before. Someone will be copying this in a heartbeat – count on it. The Galeon 500 on show was completely ‘run in’ too, having cruised from Hong Kong down to Singapore at an average of 12 kts all the way, and behaved herself perfectly.
Back to sailing boats, and there are plenty of multihulls on display at the Singapore Yacht Show. If you feel that two hulls are more stable and comfortable than one, then this is where you should be looking. The name ‘Lagoon’ has practically become synonymous with ‘catamaran’ in this part of the world, and certainly for maximum living space in relation to length, multihulls are the way to go.
The smallest cat on show at SYS is the Lagoon 400S2. Actually, it is a Lagoon 400 with a redesigned interior. Now you have a 40’ catamaran with ample accommodation for eight adults, additional internal storage, and (remarkably) even more usable space. On the Lagoon 4002S you get wide side decks, a raised helm position, more-than- adequate sun protection, huge amounts of basking space, an expansive cockpit and plenty of room to hang a small tender of the stern davits. It’s a cruising-sailing- lounging platform, and it does what it does, very well.
Here’s another smaller-sized motor yacht: the Beneteau GT46, which comes across as a near-perfect 46-footer. It’s always interesting to see how the designers manage to package more and more into less and less space, and Nuvolari & Lenard who also design the range of Monte Carlo Yachts have managed particularly well here. Down below there’s a full beam owner’s cabin with en suite, and either one or two guest cabins – you choose. But the real eye-opener is the main deck, on which the saloon can be either completely enclosed, or entirely open thanks to the foldaway door system, making the inside (if that’s what you still call it) a straight- through space from swim deck to helm station. Don’t be surprised that the stern platform can carry a tender.
However, do be surprised at the thoroughly versatile electrically- operated aft seating unit. Hit a couple of buttons, and it configures as either a bench seat, a pair of adjustable loungers, one huge sunpad with a backrest facing forwards or two smaller pairs of aft- and-forward facing recliners. It’s smart, and it’s sexy, and it works.
The GT46 also features Beneteau’s ‘Air Step’ hull design, which involves feeding water from the bow wave back under the hull to create a cushion of aerated water under the stern of the boat that allows for a softer ride and less drag (not forgetting reduced fuel consumption).
Boat shows are all about having a look. You can do all the research online these days, and have a very good idea of what you are looking for, but nothing is as good as seeing the real thing, getting on board, moving around the space and finding out whether you like it. The Singapore Yacht Show provides the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with sailing boats, motor boats, and even some seriously big superyachts – there’s something here for practically every visitor, and it’s just one of the reasons that SYS is the premier boat show in Asia. When you’ve had a look at the boats, sidle off to one of the restaurants and bars surrounding One˚15 Marina for some refreshment, pause for a moment, think about what you have just seen – and then go back for another look.