TES 678BT - European DesignBy Thomas Kjaersgaard

Making Waves Far from Home

Relatively new, this European designed TES 678BT proves that good things still come in small packages! Relatively new to Canada–by way of Poland–the TES 678BT is an incredibly comfortable, friendly and stylish pocket cruiser, with an inviting layout for a couple or a small family.

Packed with features and details usually found on boats much larger, the TES (24’ LOA) looks clean and inviting. It has a well-designed deck plan, and can sleep four people comfortably, in two permanent double berths. The overall design and functionality provides a level of enjoyment for beginners and for advanced sailors that is unmatched by most boats in its size range.

The TES sailboat features a retractable swing centreboard, a very functional cockpit and an array of amenities typically reserved for boats much larger. The TES sells for approximately $35,000 CDN and it’s easily trailerable.

Beautiful glasswork and excellent quality hardware all contribute to the quality feel of this boat. The boat features attractive trim work and has an offset step in the companionway– a decidedly European touch.

The galley is beautiful, and so much friendlier than on any boat in this size range. While the head is simple and functional, just the fact that there is an enclosed head with a sink (and not a porta-potty under the step) tells you something about what to expect with this boat.

Expect the unexpected! For starters, how about 5’9" headroom!

TES 678BT - InteriorWhen it comes to storage, there’s an incredible amount of room in the cockpit lockers. The designers of this boat have crafted space where typically there is none. Using a raised cockpit locker configuration means there is more than enough storage space for everyday items like fenders and lifejackets; that’s not something you hear everyday from boat owners of any size!

The boat we tested featured Harken winches and EasyLock clutches with all lines led aft. Good quality hardware is standard on this boat–and high-quality hardware is often the first sacrifice in a long list of compromises where value is the goal–but not here.

The centreboard in this boat is hinged, with no pin. This means better safety should "the shallows" appear suddenly. The rudder is also free to swing up in an emergency that is a great feature. With the centerboard and rudder raised, 12" of water is all you need to get close to the beach. The transom also features swing open benches allowing for easy access to the water or beach. 

At the bow, there’s a huge anchor well, a big forward hatch, and a very friendly stainless pulpit with an integrated step that is perfect for "nose-in" docking, or as a seat for the adventure seeker aboard. The large anchor well is cross-ventilated making it a perfect place to store propane.

The mast is easily adjusted and features a simple system for lowering it. There is no traditional bilge in this boat due to the hull construction method; instead–in the area typically occupied by the bilge–you will find positive flotation. The boat is virtually unsinkable by design.

In the main cabin we counted no less than fourteen storage spaces. We admired the really good interior lighting system that features four interior lights. The cockpit table disassembles and stores right alongside the interior table in the main cabin. The system is really well thought out–especially since it’s so easy to reach out and securely set up the cockpit table in about three seconds from within the cabin.

This centerboard trunk inside the cabin is relatively unobtrusive, and the dining/chart table below deck is integrated with the centerboard trunk. 

Sailing the boat with one other person, or single-handed is a pleasure. The asymmetrical spinnaker is easy to launch, easy to handle and provided us with a good bit of speed; we reached 6.1 knots in just over 10 knots of wind.


The TES 678BT features a mainsail and 100% jib. In my opinion, the boat could handle a little more headsail on a light wind day without any difficulty. The sheeting angle for the headsail might also be looked at in future model years, while not a significant problem–it could be improved with better positioning of the deck hardware.

TES 678BT - Main Cabin

For "ease of use", the mainsail features a lazy-jack mainsail stacker system which affords the skipper lots of on-deck freedom and room to maneuver when taking the sails down. Lazy jacks are the sort of feature that makes taking less experienced, or novice sailors out for a sail a real pleasure.

All in all, the TES is a very well-constructed and uniquely designed boat that can’t be beat in its size range for attractiveness, ease of handling, safety and comfort. The boat is now available with an optional fixed keel, which would be our choice for upwind performance and efficiency–and for the added interior space. It’s easy to picture sunny days, and having lots of fun on the TES–either by yourself or with friends – all at an affordable price. There are very, very few other boats that even come close. 

 

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s June 2006 issue.

 

Specifications

Length 22.5’

LOA 24’

Beam 8'4"

Head Room 5'9"

Draft (Board Up) 12"

TES 678BT - Under sailDraft (Board Down) 4'8"

Weight / Displacement 3,350 lbs.

Internal ballast 990 lbs.

Sail area 249 sq. ft.

Auxiliary Horsepower: 4 to 8 HP

Contact:

Bridge Yachts Ltd.

49 Harbour Street

Port Dover, Ontario N0A 1N0

519-583-3199

www.bridgeyachts.com

 

Photo Captions

Photo 1 - Relatively new, this European designed TES 678BT proves that good things still come in small packages!

Photo 2 – A well designed interior.

Photo 3 – The Main Cabin

Photo 4 – The TES 678BT is a pleasure to sail single-handed or with another person.

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