Danish yard Faurby custom-build each interior to every owner’s requirements, Graham Snook heads to Denmark to test the first two boats of its new flagship model.
As yachts go, few cruising yachts sail as well as the narrow Faurbys, in particular this new 460E; a boat that will sail at 24° to the apparent wind at around 7 knots in 16 knots over the deck is little short of witchcraft.
But her shining performance on the water is only part of the story. Imagine being given a blank piece of paper and told you could design your ideal interior. What would you do?
How many cabins would you want?
How many heads compartments?
What kind of galley, and would you sacrifice saloon space for a chart table, or go without?
Most boat owners never get the chance to make such decisions; then again most sailors don’t buy a Faurby.
For some, being given carte blanche might send them into a mild panic, but Faurby’s joint owner Thomas Dan Hougaard is on hand to walk new owners through the process, and given that 60% of new Faurbys go to existing Faurby owners it’s obviously a process that many are more than happy to repeat.
It does, however, make the job of a boat tester particularly difficult as each Faurby is built to her owner’s requirements, everything is a movable feast; you can do what you like within the confines of the hull with the caveat that it has to be safe and comply with the Recreational Craft Directive.
YM was able to test not just one but the first two yachts in Faurby’s new range and, while on the outside they are similar, inside they are worlds apart.
Given the modern trend of wide-transomed yachts with interior volume maximised by wide beam and hull chines, Faurby stand out for resolutely bucking the trend with its use of narrow hulls.
To put that in figures, the 460E has a beam of 3.90m (12ft 10in), whereas the equivalent size Bavaria and Beneteau both are around 4.50m (14ft 9in) or 15% wider.
They also cost a lot more than your normal production cruiser. Yes, you have understood that correctly, they are smaller and cost more, so why should you buy one?
Two things: uncompromising sailing performance and bespoke quality.
THE TEST VERDICT
The 460E is an incredible boat, both in the way she sails and the way she’s built.
Yes, the build process could be simplified, and the boat could be made cheaper, but a boat like a Faurby isn’t about saving money, it’s about building boats using traditional methods and craftsmanship.
Faurby’s employees create boats, they don’t just assemble them, as might be found in more streamlined boatyards today.
There are areas on board where it’s clear that those who built the boat want to produce the best hand-built boat possible.
But as good as they are you can still tell she’s hand built, so she doesn’t have the faultless, sterile precision of a machine.
All this talk of quality could easily overshadow the 460E’s performance, which is a shame because it really is as good as the build quality.
The angles she can sail upwind are nothing short of remarkable, though the gentle breeze and flat water during the test will have helped show this in the best light.
She is a refined sailing machine, and my only quibble is that a slightly freer helm would be the finishing touch.
WOULD SHE SUIT YOU AND YOUR CREW?
This is a boat for sailing purists who prefer not to put the engine on when faced with an upwind leg.
She’s more than capable of racing, but for refined cruising she will make your sailing experience one of pure pleasure.
As long as you’re happy to have a narrow yacht that sails to windward like few others, you can also have the interior that best suits you, built for you.
You can go out and buy a similar sized boat for a third of the price of the Faurby, but it won’t be made by hand or to your whims and wishes.
Faurby has been helping owners for the last 40 years, and it’s testament to the quality and ethos that of the last eight yachts sold, only two went to non-Faurby owners.
I would truly love to go through the process of designing the details of my dream yacht.
Sadly, unless I find £750,000 down the back of my sofa, it will have to remain a dream.
Maybe for you, though, it could become a reality.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Price as tested: €882,000 (approx. £787,560 inc VAT)
LOA: 14.70m (48ft 3in)
Hull Length: 14.03m (46ft 0in)
LWL: 12.70m (41ft 8in)
Beam: 3.90m (12ft 10in)
Draught: 2.25m (7ft 5in)
Displacement: 10,500kg (23,149 lb)
Ballast: 4,200kg (9,259 lb)
Ballast ratio: 40%
Displacement / Length: 142.5
Sail area: 110m2 (1,184sq ft)
SA/D ratio: 23.3
Diesel: 190 litres (41gal)
Water: 300 litres (65gal)
Engine: 75 hp
RCD category: A
Designer: CDE Danish Marine Design APS
Builder: Faurby Yachts (True Boat Builders)
Tel: +45 7556 4522