sail_boat_review-archambault_31-largeWhat a treat to have the owner of the new Archambault 31, Ann Acland, on board with us when we took Anticipation out for a sail in Mahone Bay the day before Chester Race Week started. We were also joined by the North American representative for Archambault and Aigle, Philippe Paturel, and Canadian sailor, Jeff Brock. The boat scooted along in the light breeze without effort and the tiller, mounted with a handle extension, was very responsive to the wind because of the 6'3" spade rudder. The UK sails made out of the San Francisco loft were made of carbon fibre, done with a new heat-sealed process without using glue.

Ann, who sails out of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, scoured the market looking for a 30-foot racer/cruiser that had sleek lines with a clean moulded interior (without a lining) and with no front bulkhead leading into the v-berth so that you could easily store sails flat without bending them. "After spending a lot of money on sails," said Ann, "the last thing you want to do is to have to fold them in half when storing them on the boat." After Ann test sailed her last summer in 35(+) knots of wind, she knew the A31 could go offshore in pretty much any condition.

She sleeps 6 with an aft double-berth, a well-appointed galley, enclosed aft master suite and a spacious head that combines a work/storage area. With the large cockpit with a super-sized aft locker (plenty big enough for a lift raft, fenders, and lifejackets) and 1.82m (6 ft.) headroom below; the A31 rivals any other modern 31-footer in creature comforts. The interior has light warm wood, clean white finishes and modern mircrofibre upholsteries. Handle holds below match the through-hull bolts that hold on the jib tracks. The vacuum-infused, resin glass sandwiched hull, injection infusion structural liner and composite deck is built using an environmentally sound process while eliminating airborne toxins.

The 14 HP Nani diesel with a sail drive option for 20 HP has access from four sides and is a dream for any mechanic should they ever have to work on it. The same holds true for the electronic panel where you don't have to be childsize to work on it. The fuel tank is opaque plastic which allows for easy visibility of fuel consumption. The water tank has a bladder that is easily removable for cleaning. All doors are fabric with zippers for privacy. The ice box is standard as well as the two-burner propane stove. There are options for an oven or refrigerator.

This smaller version of the renowned A35 and A40rc has only been in production for a year and is performing exceptionally well in Europe and Australia. This will be the first A31 to be raced in North America. Once again, the naval architectural team of Joubert, Nivelt & Mercier has designed a thoroughbred IRC Racer-Cruiser. With a 40% ballast ratio – 3050 kg. (6746 lb.) overall – the A31 outperforms in all conditions. It's IRC rating is 0.998, PERF New England 108 and Nova Scotia 99.

All lines are led back to the cockpit and with a 105% jib, it is easy to handle with the Harken self-tailing 46.2 speed winches. From a 'go fast' perspective, the boat has built-in barber haulers so that you can change how the jib is sheeted outboard without having to move the jib car.

There are also Harken 40.2 cabin top winches used for the spinnaker that is launched and taken down through the front hatch. It has a mast head spinnaker, but is also set up to race with an asymmetrical one. The carbon fiber spinnaker pole is also standard in the racing package.

There are teak toe holds for the skipper, especially nice for those of us who are vertically challenged in height. The main trimmer sits aft of the helmsman to handle the 9:1 purchase main, 8:1 backstay and Ronstan traveller. The instruments were Nexus and allowed for GPS/USB from laptop to outside monitor.

One really unique feature that I found fascinating was the swim ladder. It is concealed in a tube off the transom. With one hand you can reach down, turn the lever and release the ladder. It is made out of polypropylene and moulded plastic handles to prevent rusting, and is easy to hang on to for swimming or dragging.

The boat is easily raced with 6 or 7 crew; the sail controls and helm can easily be handled by women or juniors that make it a versatile boat to have a mixed, all-women, or guys only crew. As a J/24 owner, I was very impressed that there was an inspection port hole in the deck for the lifting bridle to come through when hauling.

By Katie Nicoll

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

Destinations

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Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
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Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
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Mediterranean Shakedown: A Summer Cruise in Spain

Mediterranean ShakedownBy Sheryl and Paul Shard

This summer my husband, Paul, and I bought our fourth offshore cruising boat, a new Southerly 480 built by Discovery Yachts in the UK. It’s a unique boat with a retractable variable-draft swing keel giving you the option of sailing with a deep draft of 3.1 metres when the keel is down or just less than a metre with the keel fully retracted. Southerly Yachts are great for bluewater sailing and also for gunkholing in shallow creeks and inland waterways. You can even dry them out at low tide so they are is the perfect boat for the type of exploring we like to do. Our new boat, Distant Shores III, is the third Southerly Yacht that we’ve owned over 29 years of international cruising to destinations in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Middle East, UK, Scandinavia and South America. This boat we plan to sail to the South Pacific.

Read more about the Shards' cruise in Spain...

 

Lifestyle

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Readers give us a bit of feedback on the 60th anniversary of the Shark 24
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This past October we drove to Telegraph Cove with friends and spent a day of wonder cruising the ...
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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” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...

Beneteau Antares 27

Beneteau Antares 27By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

You have to love it when something exceeds your expectations on so many levels; the new Antares 27 from Beneteau looks to me like that sort of all-around overachiever.

This is a brand new express cruiser design. With twin Mercury 200 V6 outboards, it delivers impressive performance, a reassuring and comfortable ride, and a level of versatility that will enable this boat to be your vacation partner for all sorts of adventures.

Read more about the Antares 27...

 

 

 

 

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

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DIY & How to

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In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 

Ask Andrew: Electrical Installations – Part 1: Electrical Connections - basics and how-to’s

Electrical InstallationsBy Andrew McDonald

Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is aboard, areas of improvement and ways to upgrade.

One of the most common jobs that I’m asked to look at are electrical installations and upgrades. Surprisingly, the majority of these types of jobs are to ‘clean up’ the wiring of years past – when electrical standards were more fluid, and jury-rigged upgrades have been added and adapted over multiple owners and contractors.

Read More about Electrical Installations Basics...

 

  

Marine Products

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While the basics of boat hull design hasn’t changed that much over the years, the same cannot be ...
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Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
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Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System