New yachts from Rustler don't come along very often, so when they do we tend to get a bit excited. Graham Snook travelled to the Fal estuary to test the new Rustler 37
What’s she like to sail?
As her looks and underwater profile suggest, the Rustler 37 has a very solid, firm feel on the water. She also has a very relaxed motion, greeting each wave like slowly falling back into a deep feather duvet; her hull gradually slowing down any impact with the wet stuff. She does take a little time to accelerate in the gusts, but also carries her way and little slows her. During a gust, she’ll gently lean then carry on regardless. It’s a lovely, reassuring feeling.
The gearing of the linkage and therefore sensitivity of the Jefa steering can be varied, so the helm was light, but still one and three quarter turns lock-to-lock. Such was the sensitivity of the wheel that I could feel a little turbulence on the rudder. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was there – maybe from the feathering propeller.
Visibility from the helm is good. From leeward there’s a clear line of sight to the tell tales, to windward sitting on the coaming is both comfortable and secure. Life in the cockpit is good and a cockpit-based mainsheet is an option. It might not be the biggest of cockpits, but as she’s not the sort of boat that you’ll be sailing with a vast crew, it is comfortably cosy with good bracing.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
Below decks the quality of the woodwork shines, every radius is smooth and rounded – it’s like sitting in the heart of a varnished oak tree. Without the prolific hull ports and windows commonly found nowadays I thought she might be dark and gloomy, but I was wrong. During a grey morning there was no need to reach for the light switches, dimmable or otherwise.
She has space to entertain, for both cooking and serving. The galley is large and safe with lots of stowage, bracing and handholds. The large C-shaped saloon is very sociably laid out; two people could sprawl on forward and aft seats, while reading and sharing a bowl of crisps or bottle of wine. The aft cabin is small, dark and easily forgotten, but it would make it a great space for the off-watch crew to sleep during the midday sun (it’s usable on both tacks). The heads is a little confined for showering in port, but the grating has a good sump beneath.
On the bows sits a suitably robust and sizable twin bow roller. The bower stows to starboard and would have to be raised if you were lying to a mooring. With no bathing platform, boarding from a dinghy is from aft of amidships, where there’s less movement, via a beautiful, removable stainless steel boarding ladder.
Would she suit you and your crew?
This versatile boat suits a broad church of cruising sailors, but you may well be getting your breath back after seeing the price. She does cost a lot, but sadly – for myself at least – many of the desirable things in life do. Rustler knows the type of people who buy its yachts: typically a couple in their 50s or 60s, who perhaps drive a Range Rover, or an Aston Martin. They sail as a couple, entertain in port and spend (or want to) long periods on board. Quality and service is their prime consideration, cost isn’t. That’s not to say they have more money than sense, but why buy an off- the-shelf suit when you can have one tailored to fit?
The 37 isn’t a custom-built boat, but there is enough that can be tailored to an owner to make her feel bespoke, even shaping the stowage to suit your crockery. She is a lovely yacht and if her bigger sisters, the 42 and 44, seem too big, you now have an option.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Price £355,800 (as tested, inc VAT)
LOA 11.28m (37ft 0in)
LWL 9.07m (29ft 9in)
Beam 3.76m (12ft 4in)
Draught 1.91m (6ft 3in)
Displ 8,845kg (19,500 lb)
Ballast 3,175kg (7,000 lb)
Sail area 77.2m2 (831sq ft)
Diesel 318lit (70 gal)
Water 500lit (110 gal)
D/L ratio 330.4
SA/D ratio 18.4
Ballast ratio 35.9(%)
RCD category A
Designer Stephen Jones
Builder Rustler Yachts
Tel 01326 310120
The Rustler 37 does take a little time to accelerate in the gusts, but also carries her way and little slows her. During a gust, she'll gently lean then carry on regardless. It's a lovely, reassuring feeling. She is a lovely yacht and if her bigger sisters, the 42 and 44, seem too big, you now have an option.