A fixed windshield and teak deck create a familiar Scandinavian look, but the Najad 355 appears sleeker than many offshore cruisers. "It attracts the younger crowd with a little higher performance, contemporary style and interior, and a racy look," said broker Rob Robinson.
The hull carries a flat underbody and a fine entry that flares gracefully into a moderately wide beam. The cast-iron fin terminates in a modern lead bulb. A balanced spade rudder, linked to the wheel by rack-and-pinion gears and a chain loop, completes the underwater foil set. The vacuum-bagged, resin-infused epoxy hull has a closed-cell core extending upward from just below the turn of the bilge. Najad also laminates Divinycell foam into the deck. All the tanks are stainless steel, and the fuel tank has a pumpout from the bottom so you can remove accumulated sludge and keep the engine humming.
You can hoist sails from the helm and reach all the control lines easily, as they lead neatly to just the right spots in the cockpit. When you do need to go forward, excellent grabrails on the windshield lead to others on the cabintop, all well sized and spaced. A molded gutter leads to internal deck drains, so spray neither stands on the teak nor runs down to stain the topsides. The mooring cleats are huge. Mooring lines, a spare anchor, and fenders are all standard equipment.
What many owners call the "dashboard" (Najad calls it the "chart table" to distinguish it from the "nav station" in the cabin) beside the companionway holds sunglasses, sweaters, binoculars, chart kits, and other cruising necessities and incorporates a translucent skylight to brighten the interior. The side decks are easy to navigate, and the antiskid is excellent.
The interior is finished beautifully in African mahogany with just the right amount of fabric and white surface to make it friendly. The saloon is traditional, with two settees facing a square table; the settees expand to become full-width berths.
The L-shaped galley has the usual equipment as well as well-thought-out details. The self-closing drawers are elegantly constructed with unusual mitered joints.
The head compartment is large for a boat this length, and there's a separate wet locker for wet gear.
The V-berth in the forward cabin is wide enough at the bow to reduce foot interference with a sleeping partner, but the bunk is also high enough that you'll do a bit of climbing to get in and out of it.
The aft-cabin berth is queen-size and nearly square. This space has unusually good headroom for a boat this size. As in other cabins, the hanging locker has ventilation slots at the top to prevent mildew. A heating system is standard equipment.
The cockpit proved to be as ergonomically laid out as it appeared to be at the dock. Visibility is excellent in all directions. The wheel feedback was excellent in 5 to 6 knots of breeze on an autumn day in Annapolis, Maryland, with no turbulence or sloppiness about it and a perfect gearing ratio for easy control and feedback. The loads on the genoa cars were light and the sail trim was simple for a singlehander or a shorthanded crew. The 355 is a sailor's boat. It consistently returned better than half the wind velocity in speed through the water. The hull form is quite slick, and the boat seems to coast forever.
The Najad 355 has a tiny turning circle, about ½ boatlength. You'll have to warn your guests before making whiplash turns, but the maneuverability will make you look like a pro at the dock. The electronic throttle lever clicks into forward, neutral, and reverse with fingertip pressure. A cruise setting of 1,900 RPM produced 6.8 knots and was quite quiet down below. Full throttle drives the boat to its displacement hull speed of 7.5 knots. A folding three-blade prop is standard.
HEADROOM: Saloon 6'5", cabins 6' » BUNKS: Forward cabin 6'8"×6'5", aft cabin 6'8"×6'3" » SETTEES: 6'3"×2'4" » COCKPIT SEATS: 7'×21"
Price: $300,000 (subject to currency values, FOB Newport, RI) includes main and jib, basic electronics, ground tackle, commissioning
Builder: Najad, Henån, Sweden; www.najad.com
U.S. Importer: Scandinavian Yachts, Newport, RI; www.scandinavianyachts.com
LOA: 35'10" » LWL: 31'5"
Beam: 11'3" » Draft: 6'3"/5'7"
Displacement: 13,669 lbs
Ballast: 5,604 lbs
Sail Area: 684 sq ft
Power: 28-hp Volvo Penta D1-305 saildrive
Tankage Fuel/Water/Waste: 39/66/15 gal
Electrical: 320-Ah AGM (house), 105-Ah (engine)
Displacement-Length ratio: 197
Sail Area-Displacement ratio: 19.1
Ballast-Displacement ratio: 41%
Certification: CE Category A (Ocean)
- Quality construction
- Excellent, thoughtful detailing
- Responsive sailing
- Limited distribution in U.S.
- High step-up to
CONCLUSION: Edmund Burke's 18th-century aesthetic notion that a large thing may be sublime, but only small things can be beautiful, applies to boats. A beautifully executed small sailboat can be utterly yachtlike. The Najad 355 is a fine example.