Swedish yachts are renowned the world over for their quality, but not necessarily for their speed. Graham Snook tests the Arcona 435 to see why this needs to change
I am not usually one for tearing around the Solent looking for boats to race, but after a delightful sail on the Arcona 435 the Mr Toad in me had thoroughly taken over.
Even though we were just about to return to Lymington and the unsuspecting ‘target’ was some way to weather, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to throw the helm down and go off in pursuit one more time.
It just felt so good, and I would rather be late coming alongside than give up the chance of sailing the Arcona 435 for a little longer.
As much as I enjoy sailing my own boat, she’s not fast, and I can always conjure up a number of excuses why I am being passed by other boats, but the Arcona is quick and sailing a boat like her was a treat I rarely get to enjoy.
I test many yachts, but few match the Arcona for sailing pleasure.
THE TEST VERDICT
There are few boats that offer both speed and a genuinely quality interior, but the Arcona is one of them.
She was a joy to sail for the helm and comfortable for the crew.
The sail handling is well thought out and works whether you’re sailing fully crewed or short-handed.
Arcona are owned by Orust Quality Yachts, the same owner as Najad Yachts and as you’d expect from a company of this pedigree, the quality is very high both in terms of workmanship and the materials used.
The UK spec boat has a host of extras like 3Di sails, a spray hood, sail cover, an electric halyard winch, asymmetric spinnaker and is very close to the boat that was tested.
It’s not necessary to have all of these, and any owner can of course spec the boat to suit.
This doesn’t do much to reduce her price, but you don’t buy a Ferrari to put on cloth seats and remould tyres.
WOULD SHE SUIT YOU AND YOUR CREW?
While one might expect passage times to be reduced in a yacht like the Arcona 435, I fear, however, that won’t be the case, and why would you want that?
Anyone buying such a boat will be sailing her further, faster and make any trip last as long as possible — just for the sheer pleasure of sailing her. She really is a delight.
Where many performance cruisers try to save weight with the quality of the interior fit-out, no such economies are visible on the 435, except, perhaps for the lack of locker door supports.
If you want even better performance there’s the option for her hull and deck to be built in carbon with a carbon rig, and you can also have a deeper keel too, but you’ll have to find an extra £96,000 for that luxury.
Even without these, the Arcona 435 is a performance-cruiser in every sense.
If you want to cruise with speed and style, she delivers.
But should you wish to throw her around the race course, then relax in comfort afterwards, the Arcona will take it all in her stride — she is all you could want her to be, and more.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Price as tested: £440,000
LOA: 13.80m (45ft 3in)
Hull Length: 13.20m (43ft 4in)
LWL: 12.20m (40ft)
Beam: 3.98m (13ft 1in)
Draught: 2.30m (7ft 7in)
Displacement: 8,900kg (19,621 lb)
Ballast: 3,400kg (7,495 lb)
Ballast ratio: 38.2%
Sail area: 111m2 (1,195sq ft)
SA/D ratio: 26.3
Diesel: 180 litres (40 gal)
Water: 300 litres (66 gal)
RCD category: A
Designer: Stefan Qviberg
Builder: Arcona Yachts AB
UK Agent: Arcona Yachts UK
Tel: 023 8045 7770