Rupert Holmes will take the helm of Boréal's newest aluminum cruiser - Boréal 47.2.
Boréal is not afraid to forge its own path and its unique aluminum cruising yachts have built a solid reputation over the past 15 years.
The latest model, the Boréal 47.2, is a low draft expedition yacht that can take you anywhere in the world, but as we have found, she is also responsive and fun to sail in fairly limited waters.
The success of the Breton shipyard is based on a wealth of experience.
Its founder, naval architect Jean-François Delvoye, created the Boréal concept based on the experience gained during a six-year circumnavigation with four children, as well as expeditions to South Georgia and Antarctica.
General manager and co-owner Jean-François Heman's extensive experience includes two trips on his own boats to Patagonia and Antarctica.
First-hand knowledge is evident in this new Boreal 47.2, which won the European Yacht of the Year 2021 competition.
The robust design includes an icebreaker stem, watertight bulkheads and 8-10mm bottom plating on a sturdy frame to allow safe access to shore.
Good driving performance is equally important.
Both the centerboard and rudder have effective hydrodynamic profiles, while heavy objects, including the anchor chain, tanks and batteries, are low and centered.
Sailing Boréal 47.2
Our test took place in a residual strong wave after the weather system, which forced Clarissa Kremer to postpone the finish at the Vendée Globe.
Full backstay was blowing, and we installed an additional asymmetrical general purpose spinnaker, in which the boat maintains light movement despite the wave.
Even when the true wind dropped to 8-9 knots, the boat's speed rarely dropped below 6 knots.
Our best speed in the test was 8.7 knots with a true wind of 145 ° and 17 knots.
After a certain roll, the boat becomes very strong and stable, while gusts of wind do not lead to noticeable additional roll, and the leeward side remained above the water even when we deliberately pressed on it.
I've always wondered how a boat behaves when overloaded with sails.
Anchored sheets during above average wind gusts, when we carried the spinnaker in 80-85 ° relative winds, gave us a good opportunity to test this aspect of handling.
The rudder gave many warnings before finally stalling at a much wider angle than those used to sailing high performance boats with deep rudders with high aspect ratio.
But, unlike many flying light boats, the Boréal 47.2 did not go in a circle, and the bank angle hardly increased.
Resetting the mainsheet and centering the rudder to restore laminar flow was enough to quickly regain control, and the boat happily took a more comfortable course.
While the owners are unlikely to plan to push their boats to their limits, it is good to know that the vessel must deal with a hurricane taken by surprise without unnecessary drama.
A pair of centerboards on either side of the rudder are used to adjust the handling characteristics of the boat.
With the centerboards up, she is more responsive and behaves more like a smaller and lighter yacht - ideal for sailing in more limited waters and for maneuvering.
With the centerboards lowered, directional stability is noticeably improved.
At full hauled under the mainsail and genoa, the Boréal 47.2 was like a traditional boat with a long keel, and you could leave the helm for a minute or so without using the pilot.
Shortly after the spinnaker was dropped to gain momentum against the current, the wind dropped again to 8-9 knots.
Sailing in this wind is relatively calm, but above 10 knots the yacht starts to come alive, and at 12-14 knots it becomes more powerful.
Unsurprisingly, a boat of this style is not as heavily driven as cruise yachts.
In this case, there is a risk of quickly losing speed, but speeds over 6 knots can be achieved stably.
For example, at 15 knots true wind we recorded a boat speed of 6.5 knots at 55 ° TWA.
Change of equipment
As soon as we returned to the breeze blowing from the mouth of the Trieux, the cloud band created gusts of up to 22 knots.
As the wind picks up, the concept behind the sailing plan is to swap out the slightly overlapping genoa for an additional staysail with a twist at around 17-20 knots, a transition that has proven to be smooth and easy.
Alternatively, a removable inner forestay with a clip-on staysail can be provided.
The powerful boom haul allows good control of the mainsail twist, despite the absence of a boom-sheet shoulder strap, and the lines of the towed headsail return to the working area of the cockpit for easy adjustment.
On the strongest gusts, a slight weakening of the mainsail helped to hold the boat, and if the wind continued to rise, the reef on the mainsail would be useful.
When the sky cleared and the wind died down, we returned to Genoa.
Then we went up the lower course of the Trieux River under the tail-haul, despite the low tide, and the electric winch removed all efforts from the mainsail in the gusts of wind.
The boat behaved impeccably, without worrying about the lack of control even in a relatively confined space, and it did not require much physical effort.
In this respect, despite the obvious long-range capabilities of the Boréal 47.2, it felt like a smaller and more maneuverable vessel.
This exercise also demonstrated that in the event of engine failure or propeller contamination, we can easily anchor safely.
However, as soon as the channel turned so that the wind was blowing from the bow and the width of the river decreased to less than 150 m, we turned to the engine.
Our test Boréal 47.2 was powered by an optional, more powerful 75hp Volvo Penta D2 engine coupled to a fixed three-blade propeller.
This provides a lot of power - even at 1,700 rpm, we sprinted to 6.25 knots.
Warm and dry
We used the doghouse during a heavy rain storm as we approached Treguier's marina.
The deep safety bucket seat on the port side has good visibility, although a full 360 ° view is difficult due to blind spots on each side.
The Doghouse offers plenty of room for opening paper maps, as well as room for a decent-sized monitor for a navigation computer.
For those of us who have to keep working while cruising, doghouse is a great office with plenty of work space and a stunning view.
A full-height waterproof door insulates the doghouse from the cockpit.
This allows easy access but leaves the sill low, making the interior potentially vulnerable to large waves in the rear.
The wheelhouse roof rises above the two front cab seats, creating additional dry and protected space.
This area can also be fitted with a clear plastic cover that helps protect the boat's interior in very cold weather.
Overall, this is a brilliant location, although it does not provide cover for trimming sails and setting reefs.
Boréal 47.2 Cockpit Areas
Additional space in the rear of the boat, created by a more modern hull shape, was used to divide the cockpit into separate areas for rest and work.
The twin steering wheels also provide a seamless transition from the fold-out bathing platform to the gangway, even when four people are seated around the same cockpit table fold.
Many ropes leading directly to the center winch must go through two 90 ° bends, which inevitably increases friction and loads.
However, the layout looks well executed, with quality deck equipment of an appropriate size.
Mainsail, headsail sheets and spinnaker sheets are usually handled by their own regular size winches located at the stern of each helm station.
However, they are arranged in such a way that they can be directed towards the central winch when additional force is required. On the mast there is a haul-off winch for spinnakers.
Although most sail work, especially in bad weather, can be done from the working area of the cockpit, there are sturdy rungs on each side of the mast.
The painted, non-slip deck of our test boat provided excellent traction. There is also a high bow rail and metal railings welded to the boat structure.
A heavy, combined double bow roller and sprit are standard equipment for this style of boat. However, the location of the windlass is not determined by anything.
The anchor rope is routed aft through a hidden channel under the bow deck to the windlass and chain locker directly in front of the mast.
The main advantage of this method is that 100m of 12mm chain weighs almost a third of a ton, so this weight is moved aft from the bow.
In addition, the windlass located under the opening hatch is not affected by the elements and therefore must be more reliable than those located at the stem.
Stacking and placement
The main deck storage includes a huge sail locker in the bow and a massive infirmary aft with double openings.
It also gives access to the quadrant and other components of the steering system.
Liferaft storage is built into the starboard side of the infirmary and includes a special transom door. There is room on the bow for a decent sized fully inflated tender.
Light steps from the wheelhouse lead to the passenger compartment. It is offset to the port side, while the inner sofa is neatly positioned on top of the centerboard body, which therefore does not appear to encroach on the living area.
Once you start looking around, one of the most striking aspects is the mass of things found throughout Boréal 47.2.
Due to the fact that the batteries and the reservoir are located low in the center of the boat, there are lockers under all bunks, under and outside the seats in the saloon, under the sole of the cabin, and so on.
It is clear that this is a boat that can easily swallow a huge amount of goods, provisions and spare parts needed for long-term self-sufficiency in remote areas.
The galley is on the starboard side, with ample countertop space. They are made of Corian as standard, although our test boat used stainless steel instead.
A large refrigerator with two drawers can be supplemented, if necessary, with a freezer in the aft cabin on the starboard side.
Our test boat was equipped with two foot pumps in the galley - one for salt water and the other as a backup for the pressurized water system.
Two large 13 kg gas cylinders in a special locker, which can be accessed from the cockpit, will provide even avid users with several months of battery life.
The extra volume in the front of the hull makes the owner's stateroom more spacious than the previous generation Boréal 47.
In particular, the bed is wider and the large bathroom includes a spacious separate walk-in shower.
There is also plenty of storage space here, and the base of the bed rises to reveal a huge amount of extra storage.
Aft cabins can be equipped as either twin or double.
In addition, the smaller starboard space can be configured as a larger technical and storage area.
The aft cabins have a full-beam Dorada style air vent for superior airflow.
It is a boat built on considerable experience and attention to detail that takes a proven concept to the next level.
There are many small but clever details that may not be immediately apparent, but that do make a difference to life on board.
It thus represents a major step forward from the first generation Boréal 47.
In particular, the large owner's cabin makes life on board for a long time more civilized, and the large cabin will work both in the tropics and in high latitudes.
This is a superbly capable yacht that can easily make good daily miles across the oceans, yet enjoyable sailing in home waters.
However, what is truly unique is the combination of Boréal's three hallmarks: a robust aluminum construction, a shallow draft that can be dried and the protection provided by a kennel.
The latest Vendée Globe has no doubt demonstrated the importance of effective shelter in difficult conditions, but in the cruise yacht market, this topic is rarely seen as well as Boréal.
Length: 14.39m / 47ft 3in,
Hull length: 13.79 m / 45 ft 3 in,
LWL: 12.73 m / 41 ft 9 in,
Width: 4.39m / 14ft 5in,
Draft: 1.08-2.48 m / 3 ft 7 in - 8 ft 2 in,
Light Offset: 13.650kg / 30.093lb,
Ballast: 3,850 kg / 8,488 lb
Sail area (100% forward triangle): 93.8 m2 / 1010 ft2,
Sail area to displacement ratio: 16.7,
Water: 638 L / 140 gallons,
Fuel: 600 l / 132 gallons
Displacement / LWL ratio: 184,
Base model price excluding VAT: 541,650 euros. Builder: www.boreal-yachts.com
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