Tested: Tofinou 8 - Sail Magazine

Tested: Tofinou 8

One of the new generation of small boats coming out of Europe, aboard which aesthetics are as important as performance, the Tofinou 8 is also packed with interesting features that allow you to do a lot more than just go for a spin around the harbor.
Author:
Publish date:
Tofinou-8-Opener

Form meets function and then some in this gorgeous design

One of the new generation of small boats coming out of Europe, aboard which aesthetics are as important as performance, the Tofinou 8 is also packed with interesting features that allow you to do a lot more than just go for a spin around the harbor. Like it’s big brother, the Tofinou 9.5, the Joubert and Nivelt-designed also features a look that is modern, without being overly edgy: think a pocket Wally design, with a little bit of old-fashioned New England-style elegance.

First and foremost, he boat is equipped with a high-aspect, cast-iron swing keel that is deployed and retrieved via cleverly engineered hydraulics. (An electrical keel-control system is available as an option.) From a performance standpoint, the heavy cast-iron fin makes the boat feel that much more secure under sail, ensuring your nonsailing friends will enjoy themselves, even when the wind picks up. It also means not only being able to explore thin water, but being able to run the boat up on shore for a little beach combing. A 5ft 6in fixed keel with in impressive-looking ballast bulb, is also available for those interested in maximizing performance.

 The ornate bow of the Tofinou 8

The ornate bow of the Tofinou 8

Topside, the expansive, self-draining cockpit and foredeck are absolutely awash in teak, with mahogany coamings and cabin sides on the cuddy adding yet more elegance. (The mahogany is easily removable for maintenance.) There is a dedicated helm station aft, with sail controls led to a pair of winches and batteries of clutches mounted on a kind of molded in partition. The mainsheet runs from the end of the boom to traveler, which arches over the tiller and separates the cockpit to a small aft deck than includes storage underneath. Access to the small auxiliary is through the cabin sole, and excellent for a boat this size—a nice touch.

The top of the cuddy is hinged and includes a pair of gas struts to hold it up, opening up access via the companionway to a small, but cozy cabin space. Among the features there are a compact V-berth forward, a pair of settee benches and room for a chemical toilet. Not a bad place to get in out of the rain.

The mast and boom on the 7/8 rig are aluminum; the retractable bowsprit is carbon (A carbon mast is also available as an option). The hull and cored deck are hand-laid E-glass, with a series of frames and stringers providing additional stiffness in the hull. Workmanship throughout is nothing less than spectacular. The Tofinou 8 is as much a work of art as it is a sailboat.

Tofinou-8-looking-aft

Under sail, the Tofinou 8 is surprisingly nimble given the somewhat stubby rudder required by its pivoting keel. Short tacking to windward, I had to be careful not to over-steer as we came about in flat seas and about 10 knots of true wind—logging 5-plus knots at a 40 degree apparent wind angle. Deploying the “prodder” and hoisting the kite, our speed immediately jumped to 7-8 knots. Even more important than our boatspeed, though, was the feel of the boat is rushed through the water. Even in the puffs, the helm and heel angle felt comfortingly predictable. No unexpected rounding up aboard the Tofinou 8. At all times he behavior was as refined, elegant and satisfying as her looks. By any standard, the Tofinou8 is quite a boat!

 View from the cockpit looking forward

View from the cockpit looking forward

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA 26ft 2in

LWL 22ft 11in

BEAM 8ft 3in

DRAFT 2ft 10in (keel up); 6ft 2in (keel down)

DISPLACEMENT 4,078lb

BALLAST 1,545lb

SAIL AREA 377 ft²

FUEL/WATER (GAL) 6/12

ENGINE 9hp Yanmar

ELECTRICAL 110AH

DESIGNER Joubert/Nivelt

BUILDER Latitude 46, Ile de Re, France, classic-boats.com

U.S. AGENT R.B. Rodgers Yacht Sales, Noank, CT, rodgersyachtsales.com

BALLAST RATIO 38

SAIL AREA-DISPLACEMENT RATIO 24

DISPLACEMENT-LENGTH RATIO 152

Related

Outremer45

Boat Review: Outremer 45

It’s funny the way things that work right almost inevitably tend to look right as well. Case in point: the Outremer 45, a catamaran that can’t help but turn heads with its large rig, nicely sculpted cabintrunk and narrow, purposeful bows. Better yet, under sail the boat more than ...read more

Sunset-Tyrrel-Bay

Charter: Glorious Grenada

In the wake of the hurricanes that devastated the Virgin Islands last year many charterers ended up going farther south to Grenada and the Grenadines where they found the sailing excellent and the vibe just fine“God must have been a sailor when he created the Caribbean,” a friend ...read more

WaterLinesNov

Waterlines: Tangled Up in Pots

I learned to sail on the Maine coast as a boy, and one of the things my elders taught me was to respect fishing gear. If you got caught up with a lobster pot, you did everything you could to get clear without cutting the pot warp. It represented a family’s livelihood and thus was ...read more

7353

Harken’s Reflex 3 top-down Furler

Furl PowerAre you afraid of flying—spinnakers, that is? Harken’s new Reflex 3 top-down furler will tame A-sails on monohulls from 44-58ft and multis from 39-55ft, and Code 0’s on 39-54ft monos and 36-50ft multis. All you do is heave on the furling line and the sail will roll up ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDitch the stress Owners of high-freeboard yachts best boarded via the stern sugar-scoop like to back them into a slip, but the process can be fraught on a windy day or when there’s a current running, ...read more

Sun-Odyssey-490-Bertrand_DUQUENNE-aft

Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

True innovation in monohull sailboat design can be a bit elusive these days. That’s not to say that there are no more new ideas, but it does seem that many new tweaks and introductions are a bit incremental: let’s say evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Just when it seems ...read more