The success of the new generation of French motor cruisers cannot be denied as they offer fantastic value for money as well as innovative design features, but as with the their sailing yachts, they still carry certain stigmas with some purists.
Built to a price? Most certainly but that’s what makes them such good value. Compromises include relatively thin mouldings, which can be prone to stress cracking, particularly around deck fittings, rather basic cabinetry, plastic water and fuel tanks (sometimes inadequately secured by webbing straps) and sloppy electrical wiring, but rarely will any of these factors limit the craft’s designed coastal usage.
My biggest concern is the method used to bond the inner accommodation shell to the hull. There is nothing wrong with the bonding process, if done correctly it is immensely strong, but the point where the two shells meet is often impossible for the surveyor to access, other than using expensive infrared scanning, and I have seen cases where the bonding has not made proper contact between the two shells. My advice is to allow a contingency sum for additional investigations if the survey begs any questions about that particular example’s structural integrity.
The single engine on a shaft drive should prove tough, reliable and easy to maintain. However, I would pay particular attention to the D6 intercooler and glassed in P-bracket over and above the usual array of check points, which should be covered in a pre-purchase survey.
Tony Mcgrail, yacht surveyor Tel: +44 (0)7711 329314.
Lazarette useful for bulky items like the liferaft