Yachting Monthly tests the Dehler 35SQ
What’s she like to sail?
She’s quite powerful, stiff and will lend herself well to both club racing and lively cruising, set up as she is with the mainsheet winches within reasonable reach of the wheels. The test conditions were a bit much for her – in fact, for cruising full-stop – but without a third reef we were out of options. However, in general, she felt fantastic, responding with alacrity to every tweak of a sheet, every degree of helm, every inch of backstay, and I felt I was really plugged into the boat. I also felt I was hanging on to her at times, and it was a long way down to the leeward side if I’d lost my footing – but overall she was tremendous fun to sail.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
She looks great on the water but down below she’s less thrilling, nothing fancy at all. She covers all the basics pretty well in that you can cook, eat, sleep and wash on board but there’s no question of doing so in any great style. Dehler has carefully moved weight out of the ends and into the middle of the boat, so the bulk of the stowage is in positions that will hit her performance. You’d need to be careful about loading her up with heavy cruising kit.
Would she suit you and your crew?
You’ll be a sporty couple, perhaps with a dinghy-racing past, who enjoy active sailing and the odd club race. For you, sailing is about actually making the boat go faster, rather than just raising sail and pointing her in the right direction. You won’t be at all bothered that she’s less than palatial below decks because you’ll be on deck most of the time, and you won’t mind depriving yourself of a few of the comforts offered by better appointed but less fun boats.