Three New Performance Cruisers from Salona

The Croatia-built Salona range now has a new importer in the United States, who showed three boats at the Miami Strictly Sail show last month: a powerful-looking 44-foot sports cruiser, and a 38-footer and 33-footer along the same lines.  

The Croatia-built Salona range now has a new importer in the United States, who showed three boats at the Miami Strictly Sail show last month: a powerful-looking 44-foot sports cruiser, and a 38-footer and 33-footer along the same lines.

I’ve had soft spot for this young company—it’s only 12 years old—since a brief sail on their 45 (forerunner of the 44) a few years ago. The European market is packed with high-quality performance cruisers, and it takes perseverance to break into that niche.

Salona’s emphasis is on speed combined with precise handling, much like J/Boats but with more concessions to cruising comfort than most of the current J line. A comparison with bigger C&Cs or Denmark’s X-Yachts would not go astray. The boats are designed by veterans J&J Design, who also hail from Croatia and have many successful production designs to their name.

Each of these Salona models bristles with functional and clever little design features, such as transom seats that lift off to become passarelles for boarding, and a recessed mainsheet traveller that can be covered over while in port. The boats are strongly built, with vacuum-infused layups of triaxial cloth and vinylester resins and a stainless steel frame laminated into an inner strengthening grid to distribute keel and rig stresses. They are beefy boats, relying on generous sail area and sleek underwater lines for their speed.

The 44 slots right into the sweet spot for cruisers of this ilk. She can carry a big racing crew, but at the same time a couple can easily handle her, as most sail controls are convenient to the helms. Cruisers will love the U-shaped galley and big nav station in the standard three-cabin, two-heads layout, with a spacious owner’s suite forward. Displacing a hair over 20,000lb and displaying a hull form that’s neither too beamy nor too shallow, the 44 is moderate in all respects, which indicates a seakindly disposition and predictable handling.

The Salona 38 on show at Miami had more of an edge to it. It’s also a J&J design but its keel has been optimized by hotshot IRC maven Jason Ker. In the old idiom it would be called a racer-cruiser, but these days the lines between racer and cruiser have blurred to the extent that boats like this perform both functions successfully. Take a peek belowdecks and you know this is no stripped-out racer, though; there is an abundance of attractive teak trim, a generous amount of stowage space and comfortable accommodations for a family of six. 

The newest model at Miami was the Salona 33, introduced last year. Complete with retracting sprit and a deck layout that would suit a savvy singlehander as well as a full racing crew, this is more of an obvious race toy than either of its sisters. Down below, a simple but functional layout, sparsely trimmed in teak, will serve perfectly well for weekend or longer cruises with a couple or a young family. It looks like a lot of fun. Hopefully it will do well; there is no obvious direct competitor in this size range, save the slightly shorter J/97.

There have been other attempts to bring Salonas into the U.S., but with a determined importer and a strong, distinctive model range, this Croatian company ought to meet with success. 



Prada Cup: Brits Take First Two Races

Who saw that coming? After getting skunked in December, INEOS Team UK has swept the first two races in the Prada Cup elimination series of the 36th America’s Cup  Racing took place on racecourse “C,” sheltered between Auckland’s North Head and Bastion Point to take advantage of more


Hutchinson: 36th America’s Cup will be a Close On

On the eve of the Prada Cup challenger series, the official start of the 36th America’s Cup, New York Yacht Club American Magic skipper Terry Hutchinson says it’s anyone’s game. "As we've seen in the last week, everyone's gotten faster," said Hutchinson said at the event’s more


Sailing Docuseries Released Online

Endless Media's Reaching Reality is the story of three friends, a 24-foot sailboat and 1,200 miles. With candor and humor, this series proves that you don't need to be an expert or a millionaire to cast off on the journey of a lifetime. Produced by Emmy-award winner Barry more


Prepping for a Transatlantic

Growing up on the coast of northern England, I dreamed about crossing oceans on my own boat. Like most of us, though, education, a family and a career took precedence, and before I knew it, we had mortgages, young children and endless work obligations. We also became landlocked, more


Vendée Update: Josche Forced to Abandon

A week ago, the canting keel on Isabelle Jocshe's IMOCA 60, MACSF, failed. She managed a jury rig with a replacement ram, which held the keel centerline and allowed her to keep sailing, but with a major hit to her speed potential. Jocshe had been in 8th at the time and remained more


Vendee Update: Emergency Rudder Replacement

A devastated Hare talks about the breakage Pip Hare (Medallia) is back in the game after an emergency rudder repair deep in the Southern Ocean. “Every part of my body aches. I have bloody knuckles on every finger, bruises all down my legs and muscles I didn't know I had that more


PRADA Cup Pairings Announced

The schedule for the PRADA Cup has been revealed as a multitiered extravaganza featuring over a month of racing, stretching from January 15 through February 22. First, the three teams—American Magic, INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli—will face off in a 12-race, six-day more


The 36th America's Cup

A Superbowl is a Superbowl, and a World Series is a World Series. Sure, the names of the players and the teams change from year-to-year, but otherwise, the game pretty much remains the same. Not so the America’s Cup. Still, in many ways a hot mess left over from the days of Queen more