Tofinou 10

Author:
Publish date:
A carbon classic that’s an absolute blast to sail

A carbon classic that’s an absolute blast to sail

Surfing down a short wave, we’re suddenly doing over 9 knots toward the muddy shallows off La Rochelle in western France. As I gaze down the long, gleaming curves that characterize the lines of the new Tofinou 10, gripping the lifelines for dear life, it’s suddenly plain why people will part with nearly half a million dollars to own her. This boat not only turns heads with her looks, she is also seriously good fun.

Designers Joubert-Nivelt have stuck to the refined look found across all seven of the boats in the Tofinou line. Being a dayboat-cum-weekender, the Tofinou 10 doesn’t need great volume below, and the result is a lithe, fast hull with sleek, classic lines and a large, open cockpit. Her low coachroof sweeps out of the teak deck to create a blend of deeply-varnished, curved mahogany, elegant gray fiberglass and flush hatches. This pattern is repeated in the short cockpit coaming, which gives way to teak side decking where the helmsman can perch on a beat.

Of course, it takes many layers of varnish to achieve this finish, and it is the mark of the yard’s attention to detail that the exterior wooden panels can be removed for refinishing. If you buy a boat that looks like this, you want to ensure she keeps her looks.

Beyond that, the Tofinou may have classic lines, but she is bang up-to-date technically, with a hull that is vacuum-infused and a range of keel options, including a 7ft 8in deep electrically operated swing keel.

My test boat—hull #2—was also highly specced, with a carbon mast and a Park Avenue boom molded specially for the Tofinou 10 by Axxon. This carbon option doesn’t come cheap, but it packs a punch aesthetically and makes it fantastically easy to drop the main.

In blustery, sunny conditions we beat up and down the alluvial waters of the Pertuis Breton at 7-plus knots with a reef in. In gusts up to 35 knots, we heeled well over 40 degrees, but the balanced twin rudders dug in well, and it took very little effort to helm. In fact, a touch more feel might have been useful, as I had the wheel hard over before I realized there was any weather helm at all. The boat is also available with a tiller.

The sail controls have been reduced to simplicity itself. You can upgrade to electric winches if you choose, but the standard is Harken self-tailers, which are more than adequate. There is a snappy 240ft self-tacking jib on a manual furler and a Code 0 can be flown on a beautifully engineered belowdeck furler, also by Harken. With her fine entry, little of the silty, brown chop of these waters came on deck and even less made it as far back as the cockpit.

Below, the Tofinou has a moderate amount of volume, but the designers have resisted the urge to cram in too much wizardry. There’s a head, stove, sink and small fridge, as well as pressurized water. Three couples could find a berth below, but you’d be better off with just two or three people.

The joinery is well executed—as you’d expect of a boat in this price range—in a very pleasing dark matte teak, with lots of good storage tucked away behind panels and bulkheads. Lights are all LED, and the electrics are on a clever digital switching system, so there’s no distribution panel crowded with buttons.

As we returned to port, we received yet another thumbs-up from a passing sailor—the Tofinou is that sort of boat—comfirming once again the kind of picture we made: of a sailing thoroughbred too classy for all-out speed ride, but too lean to be slow; easy to singlehande and able to effortlessly get you 50 miles down the coast in a fast daysail. 

Fix Keel (top); Swing Keel (bottom)

Fix Keel (top); Swing Keel (bottom)

Specifications

LOA 32ft 6in Beam 11ft 2in

Draft 6ft 7in; 3ft 4in to 7ft 8in (swing keel)

Displacement 9,260lb

Ballast 2,866lb

Sail area 605ft

Engine Yanmar 20hp saildrive

Ballast Ratio 31

D/L Ratio 120 SA/D Ratio 22

What do these ratios mean? Visit sailmagazine.com/ratios

Designer Joubert-Nivelt

Builder Latitude 46, La Rochelle, France, tofinou.com

US Distributor Rodgers Yacht Sales, Mystic, CT, rodgersyachtsales.com

Price $480,000 (as sailed) at time of publication

August 2018

Related

01-LEAD-IMG_1002

Cyclone Season in Polynesia

Thinking of spending cyclone season in the South Pacific? Plenty of sailors take the chance every year, with the recent travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic making this an especially popular option in 2020. Cyclone season in this part of the world runs from November to ...read more

01b-LEAD-INSET-Kirby-IMG_0077

Eight Bells: Bruce Kirby, Creator of the Laser

With 2021 drawing to a close, Laser sailors find themselves reflecting on both their class’s 50th anniversary and the passing of the man who made it all possible: Canadian designer, sailor and sailing journalist, Bruce Kirby. Kirby, who died this past July at the age of 92, ...read more

2021ROLEXIC_DF_0061

Southern Yacht Club Wins Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup

Newport, R.I. -- The 7th Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup wrapped up on Saturday after five days of highly competitive racing in an international fleet that saw the Southern Yacht Club (SYC) of New Orleans best a fleet of 19 teams from Europe, Canada, Bermuda and ...read more

DUFOUR-530_NAVIGATION_009

Boat Review: Dufour 530

Dufour Yachts seems to have shifted its strategy with the introduction of the new 530. Previously, the French builder maintained two lines: Performance and Grand Large, with the latter targeted at the cruising crowd. With the Dufour 530, however, Dufour decided to combine the ...read more

210913-11HRT-SKIPPER-PORTRAITS-VC-122

11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

01-LEAD-DSCF3091

Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

Nigel

SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more

5ae5b8ce-3113-4236-927b-f795be4ae091

Bitter End Yacht Club Announces Reopening

Four years after being decimated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Bitter End Yacht Club is set to reopen for the Winter 2022 season. Hailed as one of the best anchorages in the Caribbean and built by sailors, for sailors, this island outpost in the BVI has been a favorite with ...read more