Saga 35By Heather Ormerod

The Annapolis Boat Show is a popular Thanksgiving destination for Canadian sailors. For many of us, it is our last chance to eat, breathe and sleep sailing until spring, but it is also one of the best places to inspect the newest and hottest boats on the market. For the last three years, one of the boats that have garnered a significant amount of attention and praise is the Saga 43. This vessel is the flagship boat for Saga Marine, which was formed in 1995. With its distinctive styling, superb performance and sturdy offshore credentials, this cruiser created quite a buzz at the 1996 Annapolis show. Many show-goers actively sought out this new boat in hopes of seeing for themselves what all of the fuss was about and learning more about this new boat-building company. Many Canadians, who had just made the long trek south for the weekend, were among the curious. Imagine their surprise when they discovered that this hot new boat was actually built right in their own backyard.

Saga Marine, which is based in St. Catharines, Ontario and is comprised of a handful of past C&C Yachts and Hinterhoeller Yachts employees, not the least of which is Allan Poole, a former president of Hinterhoeller, continues to be one of Canada's best-kept boat-building secrets.

But with the recent addition of the Saga 35, to its product line, this home-grown company is undoubtedly going to be attracting a lot more attention this side of the border.

Saga 35 - SalonThe need for speed
The Saga 35 was designed by Bob Perry, who is well-known for another performance cruiser - the Valiant 40 - but there is no mistaking the Saga 35 for a Valiant. An extremely beefy looking bowsprit that supports the furling genoa and anchor rollers extends well beyond the plumb bow. Looking at the hull head-on, reveals that the bow flares as it comes up to meet the deck. The hull is slender by modern standards, with the beam carried over the length of the 34-foot water­line, but aft of the midships there is little reduction in the beam, which provides for a roomy cockpit.

Although the design percentages are slightly different, the Saga 35 runs with many of the Saga 43's winning concepts - it is a low­ maintenance cruiser that is built for people who want a boat that sails well and fast. "Speed is important," says Poole. "We wanted to build a boat that focused on the pleasure of sailing, the ease of sailing, but could also get you where you are going fast." If you are looking to make comparisons with other boats on the market, the depth of craftsmanship and quality puts this boat in direct competition with Tartan, Pacific or Seacraft. Performance wise, it is similar to a CS 36 in the fact that it is comfortable and fast, but there is more space in the cockpit and aft cabin, and sufficient buoyancy to carry much more weight.

On deck
The Saga 35 may be built for speed, but it is cruiser through and through. There is ample storage in the cockpit. To port of the helm is a propane locker that will hold two 20-pound tanks, as opposed to the usual 10-pound provisioning. The cockpit lazarette is about five and a half feet deep, affording massive amounts of storage, and there are steps to get in and out. To starboard, there is a vented locker for carrying a gasoline can.

Saga 35 - InteriorThe wheel isn't very big for a boat of this size, but it is a tight squeeze past wheel as it is, and the Whitlock steering gives the wheel a tiller-like responsiveness, so size shouldn't be a problem. A narrow seat panel flips up behind the helm, to provide for a walk-through transom.

The deck layout is definitely for those who would rather be out sailing than stuck at the dock. There is no teak or wood used on the exterior and the two­ tone, diamond-patterned non skid is not only comfortable, but also easy to clean. Stainless steel grab rails run the length of the coach house, another low maintenance bonus, but also an important safety feature. As are the 28-inch lifelines (24-inch is standard) and safety harness padeyes in the cockpit. There are six opening ports and two fixed ports, all of which are stainless steel, and four over­head hatches. Harken gear is used throughout the deck. The genoa/jib winches are located back beside the cock­pit, and there are two more winches on the coach house roof, alongside banks of Spinlock stoppers. Rope lockers, located in the cockpit coaming below the genoa winches, help keep things tidy in the cockpit.

Down below
Below decks, this boat is nothing like its hose­it-off-and-go exterior. The interior is soft and cozy. Ample use of cherry wood and soft fabrics give the cabin a luxurious feel. Both settees have slightly backward -angled back rests that make sitting and relaxing down below lovely. The chainplates are hidden behind cherry panels and ash strips line the hull interior. The mast is located forward of the bulk­head, which does wonders to open up the cabin. Halogen lights provide gentle, natural lighting after dark.

The navigation table is situated at the end of the starboard settee. It is a good­ sized charttable, but it is the electrical panel beside it that really impresses. Behind the fold-down panel the wiring is immaculate, and each wire is numbered to correspond with a maintenance reference sheet that identifies it and describes its function.

Saga 35 - WiringThe galley is U-shaped with three burner stove in centre. There is good counter area, an ice box with an optional freezer/refrigerator, and plenty of shelves and drawers for storage. The freezer lid has a lip that wraps down into the front of the cabinet face below, so that when you want to get something out of the fridge, you don't have the hang over a high counter edge to reach the very bottom. Hot and cold pressure water is standard, but there is a foot pump, should you need it. The galley comes complete with a chef's belt for offshore cooks.

The aft cabin is the smaller of the two sleeping quarters. Located on the starboard side of the boat, this cabin offers great standing headroom in the area immediately in front of the bunk and two hanging lockers side by side; both are cedar-lined. The bunk itself is large and comfortable, but it is primarily tucked under the cockpit sole, so it isn't terribly bright, although Saga reports that this will be remedied with the addition of a port in the cockpit side of subsequent boats. Despite the fact that the V-berth shares the front end of the boat with the head, it is roomy. The 52- inch-wide bunk is 6'4" at its shortest point and 7'6" at its longest point.

Deep, long shelves run along the hull and there is a large cedar-lined hanging locker. A small cushioned bench, tucked in beside the bunk and slightly lower, is stylish and a good seat for those getting dressed. The head can be accessed through the salon or the V­ berth, which helps maintain some privacy when there are guests on board. There is the standard sink, shower and toilet, as well as a large mirror installed at eye-level and a roomy cupboard for storage. Overall, the level of finish down below is fantastic. The woodwork is flawless and there is a number of small touches, such as brass accents, attractive trim and covered screw heads - even the door for the valves in the head is finished beautifully - that bespeak a high level of craftsmanship.

Under way
Our test boat was equipped with an optional folding prop and a naturally aspirated, 38-horsepower Yanmar diesel. This engine has a lot of gusto. With 60 gallons of fuel the Saga 35 will motor at seven knots for more than 400 miles. It also has an electric oil-change pump and can be removed from the boat without any structural alterations.

The unique Variable Geometry RigTM of the Saga 35 mean s that your full sail inventory is only a furling line away. The genoa and jib are each set on their own roller-furling stay - both furling units are standard equipment - but unlike a cutter rig, the two headsails are not meant to be set at the same time. The self-tacking jib is for upwind sailing and heavy winds, and the larger genoa is for off-wind angles. With the self-tacking jib, you can tack upwind without touching the sheets. This is a huge advantage for sailing couples and ideal for single-handers. As is the simple furling and the single-line reefing that is led back to the cockpit. The luff-track system from Tides Marine that shuttles the main up and down the mast is incredibly smooth; once released, the heavily roached main sail drops in less than two seconds. Hood built all sails on our test boat.

The wind was less than favourable - almost nonexistent, in fact - for our test sail. But we were all eager to see this brand new boat out on the lake (hull number one, test sail number one), so we headed out regardless. From what little wind we did have, it was clear that the boat is extremely well balanced. The long, narrow hull gives the boat its great tracking ability and makes it a rocket on water. In the small puffs the boat accelerated noticeably and quickly. With the 130 percent genoa fastened to the tip of the bowsprit, it is more like having a 140 percent sail up front. Tests under power and sail revealed that the boat had a tight turning radius and a responsive helm.

According to the Saga Marine crew, since our test sail the boat sailed the 26 miles from St. Catherines to Port Credit, Ontario in three and a half hours. While sailing from New port, Rhode Island to Norwalk, Connecticut, the boat balanced so well that it steered itself for three hours-no autopilot required.

While the Saga 35 is completely set up for off shore cruising, Poole hopes that the concepts that made the Saga 43 so successful, will have greater appeal to lake sailors, now that they are in a smaller package. With one Saga 35 completed and two more on order, things appear to be going as planned.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting’s fall 1999 issue.

Specifications
L.O.A 35' 6"
L.W.L 33' 7"
Beam 10' 3"
Draft -deep 6' 6"
        -shoal 4' 11"
Displacement 13,700 lb.
Sail Area 696 sq. ft.

SAGA Marine
423 Lakeshore Road
St. Catharines, Ont. L2R 7K6 1-800-560-SAGA

Destinations

  • Prev
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...

Thornbury on Georgian BayJennifer Harker

To borrow a line from Monty Python, “and now, for something completely different”.

Normally, our boating adventures are spent weaving our way amongst the picturesque backdrop of the 30,000 Islands of eastern Georgian Bay aboard our Sea Ray Sundancer 268. This time we’ve traded power for sail as friends welcome us aboard their 38-foot Irwin for the Canada Day long weekend.

We’ve set our sights on a decidedly different destination for this journey, charting a course for Thornbury. This small town, located in the southern reaches of Nottawasaga Bay, is an oft-overlooked area of Georgian Bay - but it shouldn’t be. Although we’ve explored this shoreline on countless road trips, this will be our first visit from the waterside.

Read more about the Thornbury on Georgian Bay...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...
Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
We are home for Christmas this year. Soon we will be heading back to Adamant 1 for another winter ...
This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
We have kept our subscription to Canadian Yacht Onboard as we have traveled the South Pacific over ...
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 46The Cantius 46 is the latest evolution of Cruisers Yachts’ Cantius line – now there are five models from 42 to 60 feet. The new Cantius 46 is a great example of “easy boating” the way Volvo Penta imagined it and how Cruisers Yachts has executed it. The idea is that you just come on board, unlock the glass doors, fire it up, cast off, and enjoy - alone, with a spouse, or with a huge group.

Since the first Cantius model was introduced, Cruisers Yachts has continued to refine the concept for ever-greater convenience, more clever and innovative features, and also greater performance.

Read more about the Cantius 46...

 

 

 

 

Sun Odyssey 410By, Zuzana Prochazka

The revolution continues – with a twist

The Jeanneau 410 is the eighth generation of the Sun Odyssey line, but even with that long history and umpteen years of tweaks and iterations, what the French builder has done in the latest revamp will make you say, “Wait, what?”

 Last year, Jeanneau turned the sailboat deck layout on its ear with the introduction of their Sun Odyssey 490 and 440, and the concept of the ‘walk-around deck’.

Read More about the Odyssey 410...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Electrical ground is a term used to describe the reference point in an electrical circuit from ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...
When a boat is in the water, the bilge will often collect water that enters the boat from weather, ...
Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my ...
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...

Ask AndrewAndrew McDonald

Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods needed to make connections between components and wiring.

When planning out electrical work, one of the more common questions that I address is on the set-up, installation and sizing of breakers and fuses.

Fuses and breakers are collectively called ‘overcurrent protection’ – and these come in many different shapes, styles and sizes. Their purpose is the same: to prevent a situation where a larger than intended electrical current is running through the circuit, which puts the circuit at risk of overheating, fire and damage to equipment. 

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...
Making it’s global debut at the Toronto International Boat Show the new Mercury 5hp Propane ...
Most of us have heard of fuel additives, whether it be for gasoline or diesel. But which one to ...
While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
Yamaha targets the Canadian big-water market with its high-torque 425 horsepower V8 XTO outboard, ...
Looking for a great Christmas gift for the Offshore sailor on your list? This being a Marblehead to ...
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...