New Boats: Kraken 50, Grand Large 520 & F101

Author:
Publish date:
jLaunchedNov

Kraken Yachts is not well known in the United States—yet. The British-based company has three yachts in its portfolio, the latest of which, the Kraken 50, is a center-cockpit bluewater cruiser aimed squarely at the niche dominated by the likes of Hallberg-Rassy.

Built in China and designed by New Zealander Kevin Dibley, who has drawn a host of successful racers and cruising boats, the Kraken 50 is a purposeful-looking boat whose form follows its intended function—to carry a cruising crew and a sizeable payload across oceans in all weathers. There are no concessions to fashion here, just well-proven design features and construction, all packaged in a good-looking hull.

A shorthanded crew can handle the double headsails and in-boom reefing without the need to leave the security of the deep central cockpit. In foul weather, they can retreat belowdecks to keep watch from a raised nav station. Raised bulwarks and wide side decks are useful safety features, as is what the company calls the “Zero Keel”—a long fin with its lead ballast encapsulated within layers of fiberglass and Kevlar (and zero keel bolts). The bow sections are reinforced with Kevlar for impact resistance. Unusually in this day and age, the rudder is skeg-hung, a feature that will delight traditionalists.

A boat with similar aspirations but vastly different execution, Dufour’s Grand Large 520 is a refinement of the 512 introduced last year as the new standard-bearer for the GL range. The sweet-sailing hull by Umberto Felci and the powerful sailplan remain untouched, but the cockpit layout and interior accommodations have both been revamped.

It’s been fun watching the big production builders try to one-up each other over cockpit design ever since Dufour introduced a built-in grill, fridge and wet bar with its GL 500 in 2013; these ideas have been widely imitated, but with the 520 Dufour has again upped the ante with an extended split-level swim platform that greatly increases the playing/sunbathing/swimming area. “Mine’s bigger than yours…” A 39-liter fridge is housed within the cockpit table, and the barbecue and wet bar under the helm seats are even more generously proportioned than before. Another new touch is the generously upholstered, curved helm seat-backs, along with a central helm bench that rotates to provide an extra seat at the cockpit dining table. How will Beneteau, Bavaria and Hanse respond? Watch this space.

Meanwhile, the cavernous interior has been restyled to make even better use of the impressive volume; there is a choice of four layouts, with up to four cabins/four heads. The new Dufour made its European debut in the fall and will appear at the Newport and Annapolis shows in 2018.

If you’re up for a touch of foiling fun, the new F101 could be just the boat for you. The little tri was developed by Ron Price, who designed the foiling Whisper cat that won a SAIL Best Boats award for 2016. Like the Whisper, the F101 is a foiler for non-foiling sailors—as long as you’ve got some decent sailing skills, you should be able to get airborne on this boat in next to no time.

It’s being built in the UK by White Formula, and the price tag is expected to be in the region of $20,000. At the time of writing, the search was on for a U.S. distributor. 

CONTACTS

Kraken Yachts krakenyachts.com

Dufour Yachts dufour-yachts.com

Foiling 101 Foiling101.com

November 2017

Related

CONNECTING-SHROUD-2048

Experience: Wild Ride

My Hartley 38, Moet, is pounding into massive Pacific Ocean seas. One week of continuous storm conditions has taken me 700 miles south of Fiji, heading for New Zealand. Every few seconds the bow lifts out of the water and hangs in midair for a moment while I tense my muscles, ...read more

01-LEAD-nSterling-ProCombi-S-2

Know-how: Inverter, Charger Combos Offshore

With solid-state inverters and domestic AC devices becoming increasingly efficient, it only makes sense for many sailors to install the necessary 120V AC power for the many appliances now finding their way onboard: including washing machines, TVs, microwave, laptops, chargers ...read more

IMG_5308

Chartering in the British Virgin Islands

Not for nothing are the BVI known as the “nursery slopes” of sailing charters. There simply is no better place to ease yourself into a first-time sailing vacation; for that matter, such is the appeal of these islands that many charterers return year after year. The islands ...read more

IMG_7831

Racing and Bareboat Chartering in the BVI

If not all who wander are lost, then not all who charter are content with sailing between snorkeling spots and sinking a few Painkillers at beach bars. Some want a dose of hard-sailing action blended in with their sunshine and warmth—the kind of action you can only get from ...read more

01-GMR19FP45_1194

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Elba 45

With new catamaran brands springing up like mushrooms, France’s Fountaine Pajot is something of an oak tree in the market, with a story that goes back to its founding in 1976. It is also one of the largest cat builders out there, sending some 600 boats down the ways in 2018. The ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Take no Chances This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a ...read more

190910_ROSS_PORTSMOUTH_0187-2048x2048

Cup Boats Hit the Water

Emirates Team New Zealand may have been the first to launch a new-generation America’s Cup boat, but it was the New York Yacht Club’s challenger, American Magic, that had the last (first?) laugh. Just a few days after ETNZ’s radical-looking AC75 hit the water in mid-September, ...read more