LINSSEN GS 35.0
It may look elegant as ever, but a new focus on affordability means that famous Dutch build quality is open to an even bigger audience
Though from the outside it may not look like it, the Grand Sturdy 35.0 Sedan is a brand new model in the Linssen range. The idea behind this new Dot Zero brand is to deliver Linssen’s reputation for high-quality steel cruising boats but at a slightly more competitive price point – hence why the 35.0 falls nicely in line with our theoretical £250,000 budget and offers something entirely different from the other two boats on our list. It isn’t a radical departure from previous Linssens, but when Linssen is to inland cruising boats what Hoover is to vacuum cleaners, why would you change it? Its boats define the category, and Linssen is fine with that.
This is the weekend cottage, the home away from home, a boat that will comfortably look after a couple for a two or three-week cruise. The 35.0 comes in Sedan or Aft Cabin variants and we’ve opted for the Sedan as it’s the best-value model in this new range. The two versions are identical from the galley forward but the AC replaces the Sedan’s well-protected aft cockpit with a double ensuite cabin. The two deck layouts make the choice easy depending on whether you need sleeping space or single-level living, and it’s telling that in recent times, the split of AC to Sedan versions sold has balanced up from 75/25 to around 65/35.
It’s a handsome little thing in Sedan form, bristling with traditional charm from the cream hull and full bow sections to the rope fendering draped like a necklace around the boat’s
perimeter. If looks come into the equation at all, the Sedan is the sweeter looking of the two and avoids the top-heavy lines of the AC and its pram-hood-like canopies.
It’s a delightfully easy boat to crew, lending itself to year-round use thanks to wide, safe side decks and handholds everywhere. Its shut-the-door-and-turn-the-key ethos allows the owner to notch up the heating and enjoy a winter picnic just as readily as opening up the cockpit doors and optional manual sunroof on a warm summer’s day. If longer cruises are more your style then the 35.0 is ready for those, too. For its size, it has an extraordinary amount of deck storage, from the usual lockers beneath the cockpit seating to a vast lazarette in the cockpit and an excellent dry storage area beneath the saloon, complete with automatic lighting and built-in trays to organise tools or supplies.
The galley isn’t for show on a boat of this type so there is a three-burner gas hob and fit-out for an oven, so you can retrofit one later even if you don’t think you’ll need it from new. Storage, again, is in abundance with even the shallow cupboard built into the helm seat base adapted into a spice rack.
The Sedan is a single-cabin boat but there is a solution for
occasional guests that sees the dinette table slide out of the way to leave space to extend a reasonably generous bed settee. It would be a bit of a squeeze for adults, and guests have nowhere to store bags or clothes, but for occasional guests it’s useful to have.
The owner’s cabin prioritises a larger, more comfortable bed over floor space in which to get dressed, which, on balance, is probably more valuable on a boat that is most likely to be used by a couple. There isn’t space to include hanging storage in the cabin though, so clothes have to go in a wardrobe just aft of the bathroom – again, not a problem if there’s just the two of you.
The helm station keeps things very simple, the effect even more stark on our test boat, which didn’t even have a chartplotter. Without that, all there is to fill the dash is Raymarine’s simple depth monitor and digital compass and the analogue rev counter oddly mounted on the flat part of the dash adjacent to the throttle.
The leather helm seat has a good amount of adjustment so it’s easy to pull yourself closer to the large steering wheel and tactile Morse throttle. There’s something about clicking that red-topped throttle lever in and out of gear that is so proper and it complements the boat’s timeless charm perfectly. This being a single-screw displacement craft, there is some modern trickery to help you in and out of tight berths, specifically a standard bow thruster and optional stern thruster gutsy enough to extract you from the stickiest close-quarter situations.
The single 75hp Volvo Penta D2 chugs away gamely beneath the saloon, soon melting into the background as you pick up the comfortable cruising speed of around 6 knots. Push the revs and you will top out at just over 8 knots but it’s best to keep them down and enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s not like some of the larger Linssen models where you have to check the cooling ducts to know if the engine is even running, but refinement is still mightily impressive considering the engine is mounted below the saloon floor.
The test boat didn’t have real-time fuel monitoring available and Linssen is yet to take a full set of its own figures, but the yard says that at its 6-knot cruising speed, the 35.0 will consume a miserly 7lph.
It’s not a boat that you buy to blast from point to point; it makes the journey as much a part of the trip as your final destination. You will find yourself using the galley on the move and venturing on to the decks, hence why that safetyfirst attitude to design is so important.
On long, slow passages, the boat’s tidy tracking is welcome as it soon becomes tiresome to make tiny adjustments to the wheel during passages on winding inland routes where you can’t simply set the autopilot.
The Linssen hammers home our point so well as it couldn’t be more different from the other two boats in our group. That is the beauty of buying a boat – the sheer variety. Where the XO and Sea Ray deliver thrills and performance, the Linssen allows you to explore for weeks on end in comfortable surroundings that are more akin to a waterside property than a boat.
Contact Boat Showrooms. Tel: +44 (0)1932 260261. Web: www.linssenyachts.com
You’re unlikely to find more living space on any other 35-footer
All the comforts of home including a gas hob, fridge and domestic-sized kitchen sink
The Linssen has excellent storage facilities
The cockpit is large, extremely safe and well protected from the elements
The forward master cabin is perfect for couples wanting a home from home Even the heads has its own opening porthole and storage lockers