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:
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

arc18-3981

Stories from the Cruisers of the ARC

Each December, the docks at Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia are abuzz as the fleet of the ARC—the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers—arrives to much fanfare. No matter what time of day or night, the staff of the World Cruising Club, organizers of the 33-year-old rally, are there to ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A sign from outside the box  Rev counters on modern engines are driven electronically from a terminal on the alternator. If all is well, as soon as the engine fires up the revs will read true. If, ...read more

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more