Salona 45

The Salona 45 is a modern racer/cruiser. It’s a new design from a new company—the first of this Croatian builder’s line to enter the U.S. market. On deckIt’s obvious that this plumb-bowed craft is firmly situated at the performance end of the design spectrum, especially when the deck-box stern seat is removed to expose an open transom and make space for a racing crew. My
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
0406-NB1

The Salona 45 is a modern racer/cruiser. It’s a new design from a new company—the first of this Croatian builder’s line to enter the U.S. market.

On deck
It’s obvious that this plumb-bowed craft is firmly situated at the performance end of the design spectrum, especially when the deck-box stern seat is removed to expose an open transom and make space for a racing crew. My test boat had the optional dual wheels, plus a tall triple-spreader rig, a Spectra backstay, and a high sail area-to-displacement ratio. Speed is the priority on this boat.

Racers, cruisers, and daysailers will all appreciate the handy grabrails, deep diamond-pattern antiskid surfaces, a removable anchor fitting, and plenty of padeyes in the deck. The cockpit is comfortable on a cruise and uncluttered for efficient crew work while racing. J&J Design is known for designing fast, comfortable boats. While our test boat carried Victory sails from a Croatian loft, future boats will have U.S.-made sails. Serious racers will want to talk to their own sailmakers.

Belowdecks
The Salona 45 has three different layouts suitable for racing, cruising, or charter service. Our test boat had the standard three-cabin configuration, with an offset queen-size berth forward and two matching cabins aft. There’s an unusually large shower in the head, handy not only for keeping the crew smelling clean but also as a place to hang dripping foulies. The galley is efficient. The joinery is of good quality, and the white overhead and satin-varnished mahogany bulkheads and trim create a pleasant, livable, unobtrusive interior.
Like many European boats, the Salona has a stepover through the passageways between the cabins. This makes the bulkhead stronger and lends a nautical flavor to the doorways, but I dislike it. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ll trip over that bottom flange or rap my scalp on the overhead every time I go through.

The through-hulls are the usual European bronze type with silver-colored shutoffs, and all the drains carry legible tags to identify them. The wiring is similarly neat and well shielded (it runs atop the longitudinal stringers), but, conforming to European practice, the wires are not tinned. Salona makes the electrical panel, and it is clear and easy to use. Our test boat was set up for butane, but future U.S. models will have propane systems instead.

I appreciated the excellent access to the engine through its front panel. While the side access is only average, routine engine maintenance will be easy. There’s plenty of soundproofing, but the noise level at cruising speed suggests there may be air leaks or other paths for sound to escape the compartment.

Under way
A 2,800-rpm cruise setting yielded 6.5 knots of speed under power as we motored out of Oxford, Maryland, into the Choptank River. There had been little time to prep the test boat before I sailed it, so there were some small glitches in the systems. The steering felt springy instead of positive and smooth; an adjustment will probably cure that. It is also possible that the engine could be quieted by seating some of the existing gaskets more firmly into place.

I also think that the prop we had for our test was not well matched to the engine. The engine seemed to have plenty of power but needed more torque to control stopping and backing effectively. It was difficult to hold the bow squarely into the wind when backing as it tended to fall away more than it should. The optional bow thruster neatly solved this problem at the marina.

In 8 knots of wind, the Salona accelerated smoothly to 4 knots and tacked through less than 90 degrees. The helmsman can easily trim the mainsheet and traveller, which is mounted directly in front of the helm, as well as the jibsheets, which run to coaming-mounted primaries. We set the spinnaker as the wind dropped, and the boat kept moving well. The hull was stiff, and a few hours of tweaking should make this boat really come alive; all the good basic sailing traits are there.

Stability comes from the standard 6-foot, 11-inch-draft narrow bulb keel. I sailed the standard version, but the optional 8-foot, 4-inch-draft racing keel should make the boat even stiffer.

Conclusion
The Salona 45 is a pretty boat with attractive accommodations, good speed potential, and substantial, neat construction. The builder is new and eager to please, and feedback to the factory from the knowledgeable American importer should rapidly
improve the boat. It’s a welcome addition to the field of mid-size racer/cruisers.

Boat Review
Salona 45

Price: $360,928 (base, FOB Oxford, MD); sails and
instruments not included
Builder: AD Boats, Solin, Croatia; www.adboats.hr
U.S. importer: Bollard Yachts, LLC, Oxford, MD;
tel. 410-226-0390, www.bollardyachts.com
Designer: J&J Design
Construction: Hull is built of fiberglass cloth and isopthalic resin and is cored with PVC foam above the waterline. Hull-to-deck joint is an inward facing flange glued and bolted through the teak toerail. Deck hardware mounting points are reinforced with plywood.
Pros: High performance potential, good-quality hardware, uncluttered deck and cockpit
Cons: Untinned wiring, engine noise, backing under power, steering feel

LOA 44’6”
LWL 40’6”
Beam 13’9”
Draft 6’11” or 8’4”
Displacement 22,046 lb
Sail Area 1,092 sq ft
Power 54-hp Yanmar 4JH4 diesel
Tankage Fuel/water/waste 71/106/11 gal
Electrical
100-Ah start battery (1)
170-Ah service batteries (2)
60-amp alternator
Displacement-Length ratio 148
Sail Area/Displacement ratio 20.2
Ballast ratio 34%

Related

Pestilence

Sailor-Punk and the State of Cruising

Back when I was a young man, sailing back and forth across the North Atlantic in an old fiberglass sailboat, it seemed fairly obvious to me how all that was wrong in the world might be set right. Everyone should be issued a boat at birth! Or so I declared to any who would listen ...read more

promoOnTheHorizon600x

Cats On The Horizon

Dragonfly 32 Evolution Denmark’s Quorning Boats has been systematically upgrading its line of folding, performance-cruiser trimarans in recent years as part of a long-term effort to incorporate the latest developments in yacht design, with the latest to receive this treatment ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The double range  Every skipper knows about ranging two objects in line to keep the boat on track in a cross-current. What’s less obvious is monitoring both sides of a gap such as a harbor entrance. ...read more

FamilyCruise

Bareboating on Puget Sound

Depending on where you are, Puget Sound can look no bigger than a mountainous version of the Intracoastal Waterway. That’s what I thought when I first laid eyes on it from the lighthouse at Mukilteo Park on a sunny day last July. Then I went to the top of the iconic Space Needle ...read more

Bali4point1

Boat Review: Bali 4.1

Coming fast on the heels of its predecessor, the Bali 4.0, the Bali 4.1 adds a number of improvements, many of them inspired by feedback from owners and charterers. She’s an evolution of a concept that has already proven popular and very many benefits from its builder’s ...read more

Headsail

Ask Sail: Silencing A Rattling Headsail

Q: Our Pearson 26 has a 110-percent jib that tends to rattle very noisily at the top hank. We only bought the old boat recently, but it must have been happening for a long time, since there’s a deep groove worn inside that bronze hank. The jib has an unusually large and wide ...read more

Alerion2048x

Alerion Yachts 33, the 90 Minute Get Away

Easy to sail, luxurious, and swift; the Alerion 33 is the solution to your busy life. The intuitive, simple rig design, easy set-up, and put-away mean there’s no need to wait for crew to enjoy a weekend, a day, or an hour out sailing. Her beauty and comfort are evident in the ...read more