She's designed to take the place of two boats in Arcona's stable of performance cruisers, but is she that good? Chris Beeson finds out
What’s she like to sail?
If the 380 were a car, she would be an Aston Martin: a beautifully-engineered, luxurious and refined sports tourer, purring with power and control. Torgny ‘Arcona’ Jansson says he’s not entering her for the European Yacht of the Year 2015 because two 38-footers won this year (Dehler and Bénéteau Océanis). This is news that will delight other manufacturers of performance cruisers. For anyone who actively and genuinely enjoys the business of sailing, this boat is the benchmark. Drape an arm over the lifelines, check your position on the binnacle plotter, and luxuriate in a peerless helming experience, unrivalled among production boats. I defy anyone to sail this boat and not smile as she leans gently on a gust and surges forward. It’s pure sailing pleasure.
She positively flies upwind. Her structural stiffness and ballast distribution allow her to carry full canvas when others will be reefing. Off the wind she glided across the water regally, accelerating with each extra knot, once again with the helmsman in total control. We didn’t have an offwind sail aboard but I would love to see her pick up her skirts and fly.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
The galley is a fine example, well laid-out with good stowage and thoughtful light and ventilation, and works as well in port as it does at sea. The saloon hullports are sized and positioned to blend in with the hull stripe so they’re not tremendously useful as windows but they do add more light.
The table is simple but works well, though the mast is a little intrusive. If there is a negative, it’s stowage, which is limited to lockers outboard and the slender space below the sole. However, she has been designed with performance in mind so, where you might usually find stowage under the settees and the tankage pushed out to the ends, Arcona have opted to keep the weight central. Stowage in the forward cabin is good but it’s a bit limited in the two aft cabins.
On deck, there’s a simple walk-through to a bathing step with a ladder. There’s enough stowage for most kit. Order the two-cabin version and you’ll have more stowage than you know how to fill.
Would she suit you and your crew?
She’s not a boat for beginners. For a start, she’s got plenty of power – easily controlled if you know what you’re doing but she might scare newbies. With a cockpit traveller, the falls of the mainsheet could catch the unwary during a gybe, too. Plus, if you’re new to sailing, you should sail something else for a few years just so you can appreciate how good the 380 is.
If you’re a dinghy-sailing couple looking for a classy, sporty cruiser then she could be right up your alley, likewise a couple with a more sedate cruising yacht looking to get a bit more excitement out of their time afloat as well as expanding their cruising range thanks to her effortless speed. I wouldn’t say she’s unsuited to families but the kids need to be savvy sailors to make sure there are no mainsheet incidents. As a tweaky sort of sailor myself, I would treasure the thrills she delivers but sadly she’s out of my price range. That said, the pound is strong against the Swedish krona at the moment so, if I did have the money, I know where I’d spend it. Take a test sail and tell me I’m wrong.
Fact and figures
LOA – 11.28m (37ft)
LWL – 10.6m (34ft 9in)
Beam – 3.8m (12ft 6in)
Draught – 2.1m (6ft 11in)
Displacement – 6,850kg (15,101 lb)
Ballast – 2,400kg (5,291 lb)
Sail area – 81.52m2 (877sq ft)
Engine – 30hp
Diesel – 150 litres (33gal)
Water – 200 litres (44 gal)
D/L ratio – 159.4
SA/D ratio – 23
Ballast ratio – 35 %
RCD – Category A
STIX – 37
Designer – Stefan Qviberg
Builder – Arcona Yachts
Tel – 02380 457770
Website – www.arconayachts.com
The Arcona 380 is not for beginners. For a start, she’s powerful – easily controlled if you know how, but she might scare newbies. Plus, if you’re new to sailing, you should sail something else for a few years to appreciate how good the 380 is. As a tweaky sort of sailor myself, I would treasure the thrills she delivers but sadly she’s out of my price range. That said, the pound is strong against the Swedish krona at the moment so, if I did have the money, I know where I would spend it. Take a test sail and tell me I’m wrong.