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boat_review-sail-delphia_33-largeWhen The Delphia line first came to North America, it did so with little fanfare. Though it managed to win the Import Boat of the Year at Annapolis in 2008. Having sailed it, it's easy to see why. Terribly affordable at about $170,000 Cdn., this boat has a wonderful feel and look – both above and below decks. It's perfectly finished , equipped and boasts two double cabins below.

The hull a layup resin infusion process; the balsa core vacuum bagged deck ensures light ends and the balanced feel underway supports this. The Polish built boat features wonderful deck lines, very pleasing to the eye.

With such a price, one would expect a few surprises but clearly Delphia has understood how to break into this market using high quality products like Harken Bat cars on the main and stainless steel bolts for the keel attachment. Names like Isotherm and Volvo are on the list as well. The woodwork and joinery ares top notch too; it is here the builder really excels.

Aft, the cockpit is welcoming with its centre-mounted steering wheel. Inlaid teak is used for both the seats and cockpit floor. The pedestal offers a standard compass and allows for additional ease to see electronics. Winches are easy to reach and also well-placed. Control lines run aft to above the campionway though the standard stoppers. The aft teak swim platform is well done too.

Moving forward is easy with integrated stainless hand rails on the cabin top; good space here makes one feel comfortable moving about the deck in almost any breeze. The non-skid treatment is excellent and has wonderful traction. Aluminum toe rails are integrated nicely into the deck and the lifeline stanchions are well placed along them – well attached and solid.

Forward, the Furlex furling gear works beautifully. (As a former skeptic, I always check this now.) The Selden mast and its double swept back spreaders set the fractional rig up and match the sail design perfectly. The lazy jack and integrated sail cover systems are perfect for an effortless put away at the dock (or anchor). The sail drive and Volvo engine combination also work well to keep things simple.

Below decks do not disappoint either. The wonderful use of cherry and mahogany complements a well laid out and functional interior. Corian tops, double stainless sink, gimballed stove with oven combo and a large fridge are standard. Aft on the starboard side, there is ample storage and counter space – more than enough for entertaining.

There are two cabins below, one forward, one aft to starboard; both have double berths. The forward cabin has standing head room. Both cabins also have great storage.

The head is aft of the navigation station that's set to port opposite the galley. The main salon is large and welcoming with its dropleaf table that's a breeze to set up.

Sailing this boat was a wonderful experience. Like many of the larger rudder well-balanced European boats we sail, it was right up there. A dream to steer, the sails really fit the rig and the 110% Genoa was not impeded at all by the furling rig. One could easily single-hand this boat. Though I could also see it show up at the starting line as well; while it hass not been rated yet, I am confident it would fare well. When cruising, however, the 120-litre fuel tank allows for tons of motoring range when the summer doldrums kick in.

All in all, this boat must be added to anyone's wish list in the 30-foot plus range; it's affordable and ready to sail it has a lot going for it.

By John Kerr

To see if this boat is available, go to www.boatcan.com to check listings!