Motorboat & Yachting - - CONTENTS - Nick Burn­ham

TESTED A fly­bridge of this size is a rare beast but Galeon has done a great job with this one

LOA 37ft 4in (11.37m) BEAM 11ft 3in (3.43m) EN­GINES Twin Volvo Penta D4-260 TOP SPEED ON TEST 31 knots FUEL CON­SUMP­TION AT 20 KNOTS 50lph PRICE FROM £274,379 inc VAT PRICE AS TESTED £395,940 inc VAT CON­TACT

Galeon seems to have come out of nowhere. With lit­tle fan­fare or flour­ish, the Pol­ish yard has de­vel­oped a stag­ger­ing 28-strong range of sportscruis­ers and fly­bridge boats that span 30ft to 80ft. And you can add an­other 14 out­board en­gine pow­ered boats to that in the form of the com­pany’s Galia range. Founded in 1982, the com­pany was never go­ing to com­pete on a ‘me too’ ba­sis with es­tab­lished play­ers like Princess Yachts, which had been build­ing boats for al­most 20 years at that point. In­stead, Galeon cham­pi­ons clever think­ing and in­no­va­tion to pro­duce boats chock full of sur­prise and de­light.

It starts right at the bow of the 360 Fly. The slop­ing cabin top fea­tures sunbed cush­ions like ev­ery other mid-30ft cruiser, but what sets this boat apart is the large sec­tion of fore­deck that lifts, re­veal­ing an up­hol­stered un­der­side, and swings back to form a back­rest, turn­ing the for­ward part of those cush­ions into a com­fort­able for­ward fac­ing seat. Head aft along the star­board deck and the in­no­va­tion keeps com­ing. Two steps drop you down to a deep safe bul­warked deck where you’ll find a slid­ing side door next to the helm (in fact the decks are asym­met­ric, the port one is still use­able, but is nar­rower and re­mains flush to the gun­wale its whole length). Head aft and you’ll find a con­ven­tional look­ing cock­pit, but with an aft seat that con­verts to a large sun­lounger. The fly­bridge above is fairly con­ven­tional and a good size, if a lit­tle low sided.

But head in­side and that in­no­va­tion comes thick and fast. In fact, it starts as you head in­side. In­stead of the usual slid­ing sa­loon door, on this boat it hinges back on it­self. The re­sult is the whole bi-fold door folds back against the cock­pit side, link­ing the sa­loon and cock­pit com­pletely and al­low­ing the back­rest of the sa­loon set­tee to hinge for­ward cre­at­ing aft fac­ing seat­ing into the cock­pit. Galeon has cheated slightly by putting the gal­ley up in the sa­loon, where it oc­cu­pies the star­board side aft of the helm. Huge win­dows gift plenty of light to this area, and a prac­ti­cal touch is a slid­ing sec­tion in the star­board pane – with that and the helm and cock­pit doors all open there’s a tremen­dous free flow of fresh air, some­thing that’s not a given th­ese days.

There’s one more ob­vi­ous com­pro­mise, and that’s on the lower deck. The vee sec­tions of the bows of any plan­ing boat mean that there’s a trade-off be­tween bed height and space. Ba­si­cally, the higher the bed, the fur­ther for­ward in the hull you can squeeze it and the bed in the

360 Fly fore cabin is very high – high enough that you re­ally do need to use the steps at the side, ei­ther that or a pole vault. The trade-off is ob­vi­ous, how­ever. Swivel 180° from those bed steps and you’ll be gaz­ing into what must be the largest en­suite of any mid-30ft aft cock­pit boat. It’s vast! As big as a third cabin in fact, which is ex­actly what it is. A sec­ond lay­out op­tion swaps this en­suite for a bunk bed­ded cabin, leav­ing the sin­gle smaller day heads op­po­site as the sole fa­cil­i­ties. In fact, there’s a third lay­out that keeps the en­suite, adds a door to turn it into the day heads and then loses the ex­ist­ing day head to a walk-in wardrobe for the mas­ter cabin. Deca­dent.

But whichever lay­out you se­lect, the guest cabin re­mains the same, a lobby area with masses of stor­age, a small set­tee and then a dou­ble berth with a low deck­head that stretches be­neath the sa­loon above. Like the for­ward cabin, it ben­e­fits from yet more mas­sive glaz­ing in the form of hull win­dows that rather too closely mir­ror those of Princess.

With the guest crib be­neath the sa­loon, the only place left for en­gines is un­der the cock­pit floor, mak­ing stern­drives an in­evitabil­ity. Great for in­te­rior pack­ag­ing and run­ning ef­fi­ciency but po­ten­tially a com­pro­mise com­pared to shafts for low-speed ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity, weight dis­tri­bu­tion and ad­di­tional ser­vic­ing. There’s not much you can do about the lat­ter (ex­cept pay up), but a pow­er­ful bow thruster aids close­quar­ters han­dling (plus there’s merit in be­ing able to di­rect the prop thrust). Away from the har­bour, you no­tice the weight of the twin Volvo Penta D4-260 mo­tors back aft via plenty of bow lift climb­ing on to the plane, but once up it runs level, winds out to just past 30 knots and cruises qui­etly be­tween 20 and 25 knots, an­other bonus of the en­gine’s lo­ca­tion.

To get this level of ac­com­mo­da­tion into a sub-40ft boat re­quires com­pro­mise, but Galeon has jug­gled the trade-offs deftly, cre­at­ing a boat with in­cred­i­ble amounts of space all round.

Galeon 360 Fly: a beau­ti­fully crafted com­pro­mise

HELM Airy helm and cock­pit a con­duit for free flow­ing sea air

L E F T Guest cabin fea­tures small set­tee and dou­bles as a stor­age area R IGHT Am­ple room has been cre­ated both in­side and out due to Galeon’s canny de­sign

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