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

Related Articles

 

 

X Shore Eelex 8000By Andy Adams

100% Electric performance available now

When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex 8000 for the June 2021 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine, it was on the understanding that we always prefer to actually drive and experience the boats we write about, and we were especially keen to drive the X Shore when BCI Marine here in Canada, got their first boat from Sweden.

There has been a lot of media attention around everything electric lately, especially electric vehicles, but so far, most electric boats are a concept, not yet a reality. The X Shore Eelex 8000 is a reality and a very impressive one at that.

Read More

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis 34.1

 

Beneteau Oceanis 34.1By Zuzana Prochazka

Boats have been in high demand for the past two years and there’s no sign of this easing. Sailboats, that can move with the power of the wind, have made an especially significant comeback probably because of the high prices of fuel.

Even more interesting is the increased interest in smaller models that have been doing well at recent boat shows. These compact cruisers have definitely held their own even among the 50-foot behemoths at the docks. A good example of this is Beneteau’s new Oceanis 34.1, the second smallest in the line. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...
St Vincent and the Grenadines is open to tourists and Horizon Yacht Charters are looking forward to ...

Cowichan BayText and Photos by Marianne Scott

Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a variety of places to eat. It also has a delightful Maritime Centre. You can easily spend a day or more here at one of three marinas hosting transient moorage. The place feels like an old-fashioned fishing village.

We arrived at this quaint hamlet on a calm day when the sun burned off twists of mist and created undulating oval diamonds on the wavelets. From the water, the village looks enticing with its dense jumble of colourful character buildings, float homes and houses-on-stilts lining the coast.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...
A study on water levels projects an unprecedented drop of water levels on Lakes Michigan-Huron and ...
Ahoy me hearties. June is Sailpast month, so Keelly and her pal Tracey were themed out as (not ...
Last month, Canadian Country Singer Brian John Hardwood, released his new single “Rich”, featuring ...
Things are busy on the Trent already and it’s barely June. Mike Gridley sent us this shot last ...
From cottage boats to luxury cruisers, there have been a host of major design changes over the past ...
Thanks to Louise from Gyles Sails and Marine for catching us up on this weekend’s massive parts ...
The marine industry provides exciting opportunities for Canadians. Every month CYOB will introduce ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Unlike a car that moves (and requires control) left and right (and perhaps, if you’re an ...
Our boats are now on the water after a couple of really unusual years – if we did get out it was ...
Last issue of CYOB, we discussed stay and shroud tension and how these adjustments can affect ...
I was recently reading a number of Facebook posts from sailboat owners’ groups, wondering why their ...
Sails are attached to the sailboat rig using several different systems. Let’s begin with mainsail. ...
I’ve always thought that where safety is concerned aboard, it should be the same whether the boat ...
It seems like everyone has their “guy”, usually a marine surveyor they either know personally or ...
Mechanics use a lot of strange terms when describing problems aboard. An engine may be skipping or ...
Full disclosure and confession: I enjoy watching boat failures and crashes on YouTube! As long as ...
As I write this, boat yards are checking over systems, and re-familiarizing themselves with the ...

Marine SurveyingStory and photos by Timothy J.S. Martin

It seems like everyone has their “guy”, usually a marine surveyor they either know personally or have been referred to by another boater (or someone in the marine or insurance industries). Marine surveyors are often hired based on this type of referral, rather than on the merits of their qualifications and skills.

I often hear boaters express their displeasure about an experience where a marine surveyor “condemned” a boat, or the surveyor was viewed as unreasonable in relation to their recommendations. As a result, surveyors known to be less thorough and less detailed in their work tend to be favoured by boaters, especially for insurance surveys. 

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Words of exasperation wafting across a marina often signal a boat owner fighting with a jammed ...
Chatting at the club bar last week, the subject of current boat projects popped up. One boater ...
Books to read while you’re semi-snoozing in the cockpit on a lazy summer afternoon. Some diversion, ...
With Albin Group Marine's new line of Cartridge Submersible Bilge Pumps, Aerator Pumps and Twinport ...
The Freedom LTE-A is a Dual Band MU-MIMO 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz WiFi transceiver with a built-in universal ...
Three books in a series of books by Canadian author Erik Skovgaard. These three books, as the ...
The little darlings can’t wait to get on the boat. Just make sure they have properly fitting PFDs ...
With a bold, fresh look and key features, the new JBL-R4500 is the latest in the WAKE Series of ...
When the twist-type connector was invented in 1938, production boats were made of wood and didn't ...
Luxor Marine & RV products offer boat owners an innovative architecturally pleasing range of ...

News

  • Prev
As bonus of my journalistic responsibilities here at CY Media, I occasionally get called upon to do ...
Professor Charles Spence, from Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory, has researched ...
Cut out for adventure and marine activities, the NC 895 Sport offers seriously convincing arguments ...
The Canada Games, held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, are the largest ...
The Monaco Energy Boat Challenge (MEBC) took place in the principality July 8 to 13 and shows how ...
Parks Canada has just released an Up-to-Date Big Chute Marine Railway Status Webpage with weekly ...
Groupe Beneteau is launching a partnership with Quebec-based Vision Marine Technologies to develop ...
Portsmouth Harbour in Kingston was the site of this weekend’s Canadian Waszp Class Championship ...
A resistance force has mobilised in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Threats of crowds egging Jeff ...
For more than 18 years since the launch of the first model, the Elan Impression line was one of the ...

RS Electric BoatsSailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is partnering with RS Electric Boats – sister brand of sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing – to use the Pulse 63 electric RIB as chase, coach and support boats.

RS Electric Boats will supply SailGP with four Pulse 63s, which were designed to be electric boats from the outset. The unique aerodynamic hull form is designed to support the weight of the batteries while allowing rapid acceleration, functional speeds up to 23 knots and ample range.

 

 

Read More