Tofi­nou 10

A car­bon clas­sic that’s an ab­so­lute blast to sail

SAIL - - New Boats - By Sam Fortes­cue

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.

2 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. s

LOW COACHROOF IN­FUSED HULL FINE BOW EN­TRY

FIXED KEEL

SWING KEEL

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