What’s she like to sail?
She's an interesting boat to sail. While she is available with a wheel, our test boat had a tiller – and what a tiller it is! More than 6ft long, it sweeps forward, enabling the helmsman to hunker down and shelter under the overhanging coachroof or sit up on the coaming. Although she is 45ft long and tiller-steered, the length of the tiller made her really light on the helm. With the sails balanced it was finger-light and she was reasonably responsive. Her twin rudders maintained her composure at all angles of heel, even when pushed beyond what was prudent.
All lines are led back to the cockpit and with the help of six winches on the coamings, she can easily be sailed short-handed. With the tiller, and four crew on board, moving around the cockpit was a bit cumbersome at times. If you do opt for a wheel, be aware that it will make the helm more exposed, further aft.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
Manoeuvring her with the long tiller, it’s a bit awkward if you need to step from one side of it to the other. And unless you use your foot on the engine control, when you bend down to use the throttle or bow thruster switch, the deckhouse obstructs your view forward. Also, with your head down and the thruster switch mounted fore-and-aft, it’s easy to press the wrong end and find her spinning in the opposite direction to what you intended. To avoid this, her builders are trying other locations for the switch.
Like any twin-rudder boat, there's no propwash over the rudders so you need to get some way on before you can steer. In gusty conditions the wind can catch her high topsides, so I'd say the optional bow thruster is a necessity, rather than a luxury. With it, manoeuvring is easy.
She has a substantial, high-cheeked double bow roller that houses the removable bowsprit on its starboard side and the bower anchor to port.
Living aboard was good, made better by the 25cm (10in) diameter portholes in the forecabin, saloon and aft cabin, which all give a useful view out. With plenty of white surfaces, her interior is bright. The J-shaped galley offers lots of work surface and useful stowage.
Would she suit you and your crew?
She’s a purposeful, go-anywhere cruiser that will put fear in the heart of any GRP boat owner you choose to point her at. Below decks, the single heads is a little small and lacks a separate shower compartment. She does however have a wonderful deckhouse that provides total shelter and a commanding view. Even when a biting north wind blows, you can be tucked up in the warmth keeping watch.
It was strange to find her engine access limited. I'd opt for a cockpit sole hatch so I could service the engine without having to remove the contents of both lockers.
There’s a lot to like about the Bestevaer 45 Pure. She’s an eminently practical and comfortable long-distance cruiser that's also rewarding to sail. Her starting price is £554,000, but it would be hard not to spend a bit more.