Boats

How Swede It Is

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Many of the world’s most desirable sailboats come from Scandinavia. Hallberg-Rassy, Najad, Mal, X-Yachts and Swan are just a few of the excellent brands built around the Baltic. One name that doesn’t resonate with American sailors is Arcona, for the simple reason that until recently, this young Swedish yard has not had an importer in the United States. It has, however, established a good name for itself in Europe, where its line of performance cruisers, which run from 34ft to 46ft, have won various boat-of-the-year awards.

Now Gunnar Vagenius, of Gunnar’s Yacht & Ship in Old Creek, Wisconsin, has brought the first Arcona 340 into the country. A number of exciting new boats in this size range have been introduced in the last year or two, and this looks as potent a performer as any of them.

Styling is fairly conservative, with a typically Scandinavian cabintop that lacks the windscreen seen on most Swedish boats. The hull has short overhangs and a shallow underbody and carries a choice of medium (5ft 11in) or deep (6ft 6in) draft lead-bulbed keels; displacement is a moderate 11,440 pounds. The Scandinavian love of hardwood trim belowdecks accounts for some of this heft, and the rest is down to robust construction. The solid hull laminate is resin-infused, and a massive steel framework bonded into the hull takes care of rig and keel loads.

The tall, bendy fractional rig features a large mainsail and a 110 percent blade jib, an increasingly common configuration that works well in all conditions except downwind in light air. You can also specify a self-tacking jib, to which the same comments apply.

The Arcona 340 looks like a useful PHRF racer-cum-all-round cruiser, and I look forward to seeing some of its bigger sisters make their way across the Atlantic.

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