Najad 380 - Sail Magazine

Najad 380

I finally figured out what Swedes do on those dark northern-winter days. They have contests. Varnishing contests. Woodworking contests. Bolt-tightening contests. At least, that’s what I thought after a close examination of the new center-cockpit Najad 380 from Sweden. On deckThe in-mast furling mainsail was beautifully made by UK-Syverson. Thanks to its vertical battens, and
Author:
Publish date:
najed.interior1

I finally figured out what Swedes do on those dark northern-winter days. They have contests. Varnishing contests. Woodworking contests. Bolt-tightening contests. At least, that’s what I thought after a close examination of the new center-cockpit Najad 380 from Sweden.

On deck


The in-mast furling mainsail was beautifully made by UK-Syverson. Thanks to its vertical battens, and after a bit of tweaking, it set perfectly. Lines from the mast magically lead to places that keep them organized in the cockpit.

The deck and cockpit reveal no big surprises, but show more fine detailing. The tachometer, an item designers often overlook, is angled upward for readability. The teak deck is an elegant and efficient anti-skid surface, grabrails fall to hand perfectly, the foredeck is user-friendly, and I could reach about half the length of the boom while standing on the cabintop.

I’ve always liked the European-style low wrap-around windshield on a cruiser. It provides just enough shelter from wind and spray, yet doesn’t interfere with either sight lines or the sensations of sailing. It’s also a perfect attachment point for a dodger or full cockpit enclosure.

Najad380saloon.interio2

Belowdecks


There are well-placed overhead grabrails, and the companionway steps are easy to negotiate. The head has a separate wet locker for dripping foulies.

The medium-light wood in the cabins is beautifully crafted African mahogany. The overhead is traditional-looking but thoroughly modern. Hull ceilings are paneled, with a dead-air space between the wood and the hull providing both sound and heat insulation. Lockers are attractively paneled inside with mahogany slats.

I like having the galley in the passageway to the aft cabin. Sure, the cook can be in the way of people going aft, but it’s easy to brace yourself there while doing culinary chores. The layout is large and linear, and there’s no interference with traffic through the saloon. Incidentally, the fridge on this boat is huge.

The aft cabin is quite large, especially in light of the low profile (this boat doesn’t even look like a center-cockpit boat when seen from outside). There isn’t quite full headroom, though. The aft berth could probably accommodate two adults, and it can be subdivided with leecloths for offshore sailing. Typical of Najad’s attention to detail, even the hidden supports under the berth are varnished mahogany.

The engine compartment is nearly worthy of being called an engine room. It’s a large, tidy place to sit and work on the engine. The mast steps on deck, with its support post inside the cabin enclosed in nicely finished wood. Rig loads are transferred to the bulkheads, which are substantially glassed to the hull, and stringers stiffen the structure. Everything is finished neatly, and the glasswork appears to be top notch.

The wiring runs through full raceways, so none of it is exposed. It’s not tinned, because European standards don’t call for this. The graphic panel’s circuits connect to hull wires through modular plugs; this will speed up tracing problems and effecting repairs. Instead of the usual 1-2-BOTH switch, battery selection is through a remote solenoid. Both the plumbing and the wiring carry clear labels to identify each conduit’s function. Drains from the cockpit and shower lead to a single large standpipe, consolidating several through-hull openings.

The joinery is well detailed. For example, there are no exposed wood edges. Instead, each edge has a finish strip glued in place. This is a little thing few will notice, but it’s indicative of the high level of craftsmanship throughout the boat.

Under way


As soon as we began motoring out of Annapolis and into Chesapeake Bay, I knew the Najad was a notch above the usual 38-foot production boat. It had perfect manners under power, smooth responsiveness to the helm in close quarters, a tight, solid feel, and, most markedly, quiet propulsion.

It isn’t easy to mute a sailboat’s diesel engine. The power plant’s mounting must be carefully executed, the enclosure must be soundproofed and tightly gasketed, the air inlet must be designed carefully, and the essential wires and hoses must not conduct sound out of the engine compartment. It takes a lot of attention to detail to get the ultra-low sound reading (73 db) I found in the saloon at 71/2 knots. For comparison, that’s about the noise level of a Mercedes sedan at highway speed on smooth pavement.

There are two underwater configurations; I sailed the standard-draft version. The boat tacked through 70 degrees apparent in 12 to 15 knots of wind while delivering a smooth, easy ride through the light chop. Helm feel was excellent and the 380 showed an impressive turn of speed.

Conclusion


The Najad 380 faces price competition from other builders, but it equals or surpasses any other semicustom boat its size in a quality comparison. It’s fast, responsive, spacious, and beautifully detailed. If you’re a sailor who wants to know that everything aboard is just so, look at this boat.

Price: $315,000 base (FOB sailaway East Coast) includes sails, teak decks, diesel heater, roller-furling jib, dodger, ground tackle, fenders, lines, bottom paint, water heater, and fridge.


Builder: Najad Yachts, Ourst, Sweden; www.najad.com


U.S. importer: Scandinavian Yachts, Newport, RI; www.scandinavianyachts.com; 401-846-8404


Designer: Judel/Vrolijk


Construction: Hull is built of hand-laid triaxial fiberglass and OSO polyester resin. Bulkheads and chainplates are laminated directly onto the hull. Aluminum two-spreader mast is deck-stepped. Rudder is semi-balanced and built with a solid stainless-steel post.


Pros: Excellent soundproofing, exceptional craftsmanship, solid feel.


Cons: Potential adverse currency exchange rate; limited headroom in the aft cabin.

Specifications


LOA - 37’9”


LWL - 32’5”

Beam -12’


Draft -5’4”


Displacement -18,298 lbs


Ballast - 6,000 lbs


Sail Area - 810 sq ft (100% foretriangle)


Power- 54-hp Yanmar


Tankage Fuel/water/waste - 86/106/15 gal


Electrical - (1) 75-Ah start battery; (2) 140-Ah service batteries; 80-amp alternator


Displacement-Length ratio - 238


Sail Area-Displacement ratio -16


Ballast-displacement ratio - 37%

Related

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more

albinheaters

Albin Pump Marine: Marine Water Heaters

IN HOT WATERSweden’s Albin Pump Marine has introduced its line of marine water heaters to the United States. Complete with 130V or 230V AC electric elements, the heaters can be plumbed into the engine cooling system. They feature ceramic-lined cylindrical tanks in 5, 8, 12 and ...read more

03-squalls4

Squall Strategies

Our first encounter with a big squall was sailing from San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico. We left at 0200 to ensure we’d get into Ensenada before our 1300 haulout time. The National Weather Service had forecast consistent 15-20 knot winds from the northwest, which was perfect for the ...read more