GALEON 360 FLY
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 www.galeon.pl
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