Sub­stance with style

Yachting World - - Front Page -

Yes they are and so she is. You could feel it as we rode down the Med swell at 9 knots, and in the so­cia­ble, safe, com­fort­able cock­pit, but it’s down be­low that this yacht re­ally im­presses. The in­te­rior makes this boat unique among pro­duc­tion boats of this size.

She also has the coolest win­dows and light switches I’ve ever seen on a pro­duc­tion yacht – but more of that later. Just from look­ing at the new launches at Boot Düs­sel­dorf in Jan­uary, I had al­ready placed the Wauquiez at the top of my wish­list. The lay­out, the styling and the qual­ity all stood out as a su­pe­rior all-round pack­age. There is no other boat quite like her for styling – not as 40-some­thing foot pro­duc­tion yachts go.

She has style, but a stun­ning look­ing boat is no good if it lacks sub­stance. And the great news is that this is an en­joy­able yacht to sail too; but her per­for­mance and good behaviour on the wa­ter al­most seem to pale be­side the in­te­rior be­cause this is leagues above her ri­vals.

You don’t find many pro­duc­tion yachts with leather-cov­ered wardrobes and that’s just one ex­am­ple of Wauquiez do­ing some­thing new. This is quite a small French yard that can tailor yachts to its own­ers’ re­quire­ments. So if, like me, you aren’t keen on, say, the leather wardrobe pull-han­dles, it can re­place them.

Us­ing leather and painted wood does seem odd for a com­pany that can build good qual­ity wood­work. Take the fore­cabin, for ex­am­ple. Apart from the shelf that runs ei­ther side up to the long bed, the dark lam­i­nate wood sole and the thick lam­i­nated wood sur­round for the mat­tress, no other wood is vis­i­ble. The hull sides are white, the head­lin­ing is white and it is brightly lit with LED lights.

It could be like sleep­ing in­side a fridge, but the style with which Wauquiez has added re­cessed ar­eas around the lights and hull win­dow sur­rounds, and bro­ken it up with a black cove line that makes the space seem longer and wider, is el­e­gant. This cabin has a good-sized en suite with a sep­a­rate shower com­part­ment – with the mast com­pres­sion post for com­pany.

The full beam aft cabin has the same neat semi-min­i­mal­ist feel, but with a swathe of dark grey lead­ing the eye around the cabin un­til it stops at the chaise longue on the star­board side.

There are prac­ti­cal fea­tures too: the for­ward and aft berth cush­ions are split and leecloths are stan­dard.

In the aft cabin, cush­ions not only run cen­trally, but also down the sides. The oc­cu­pants of the for­ward cabin have only one cen­tral leecloth. There is plenty of stowage un­der the berths: the bases lift and are held up by gas struts. In the for­ward cabin there are draw­ers be­neath the aft end and stowage for­ward, but there’s the op­tion of fill­ing this with a 200lt tank for fuel or wa­ter, which would ob­vi­ously re­duce this cabin stowage.

Aft cabin ven­ti­la­tion is ex­cel­lent – all three sides of the cock­pit mould over the berth have open­ing hatches, and there are more in the coachroof. Space over the berth is good too and there’s plenty of stowage be­hind the grey-fronted lock­ers and in the leather-cov­ered wardrobe. An en suite with a sep­a­rate shower com­part­ment of­fers lots of head­room.

White and bright

Th­ese are good cab­ins, but it’s the saloon and gal­ley area that make her ri­vals look, frankly, bland in com­par­i­son.

Many peo­ple like var­nished wood on boats, and I’ll in­clude my­self among them, but with the no­table ex­cep­tion of RM Yachts there hasn’t been a good al­ter­na­tive be­fore or, when there has, it’s mainly been down to sav­ing money or weight. I’m not say­ing I’m a con­vert, but it’s sur­pris­ing how large ar­eas of white can give a pos­i­tive im­pres­sion; and there’s no short­age of it on the Wauquiez.

‘IT’S DOWN BE­LOW THIS YACHT RE­ALLY IM­PRESSES’

Blue-tinted win­dows – which can be made clear at the turn of a switch – help keep the pi­lot saloon cool in sunny climes

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