When 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.
Just when you did not expect it, a surprise comes along that reminds you that underlying yacht design and building, there is a constant evolution. I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived to sail test the Delphia 37; a new brand and a new builder enter the Canadian market. Now Polish craftsmanship is evident in many boats we see now; the Delphia is a great example of the complete package.
This Polish-built performance cruiser is an honest boat that’s comfortable, easy to sail and an impressive performer. The sky was overcast, the breeze was steady at 10 knots, and the gunmetal-grey seas were flat during my test sail of the Delphia 47. But after countless boat tests I’ve conducted in similar conditions off Toronto, or Annapolis, Maryland, or Newport, Rhode Island, this one was different: we were sailing on the Baltic Sea, off the Polish city of Gdansk. Poland may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of sailboat-building traditions, and Delphia Yachts may not be a household name in North America, but as I learned during a fact-finding/boat-testing trip in Poland,
If you have been a faithful reader of Canadian Yachting, this boat will not appear new to you. I reviewed it in June, 1989, and Paul Howard sailed it across our pages in a performance review in January, 1990. Since my review, over 50 boats have been built. The reason the Dragonfly returns to CY is a very significant design change.
There’s a really good reason that production boat builders strive to strike the perfect balance between sailing performance and cruising comfort. A boat that looks sexy, sails fast and easily, and is comfortable on deck and below is, in fact, exactly what many of us want. I took the new Dufour 36P for a test drive on Narragansett Bay off Portsmouth, Rhode Island, to learn how designer Umberto Felci and the Dufour Design Team deliver sailing performance and cruising comfort in a 36’ package.
If winning the European boat of the year in the Family Cruising category was not enough, the reaction to the prelaunch of Dufour and the pent up demand for these boats in North America must have been a nice surprise. That, coupled with the fact that the team at True North Yachts and Bosuns Yachts in Canada were named dealers, means that Dufour will once again sell it great boats in Canada with solid backup and a strong dealer support.