The trouble with testing new boats is precisely that – they’re new. Unlike car companies, that happily run entire fleets of brand new vehicles for journalists to abuse (aka road test), boat manufacturers are a little more circumspect. Even hull No 1 is sold to an owner and the last thing he or she wants is scribblers like us crawling all over it, racking up engine hours and trying to find the limits of its ride, handling and performance. As a result a lot of our boat tests are restricted to a few hours pounding up and down a stretch of water, putting it through its paces in the limited time the boat is available to us.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still learn a lot from this but not as much as you can if you use the boat for a more extended period, just like an owner would. After all, what potential buyers want to know is how well it would fit into their lives not just how fast it goes flat out or how many cabins there are.
I had the pleasure of doing just that in a WINDY 27 SOLANO over the course of a lengthy day trip from Lymington to Poole and back that tested very aspect of its remit as the thinking man’s sportsboat, and came away so much better informed about its capabilities and limitations. I hope my story on p80 reflects that.
We’re doing an even more in-depth overnight exercise on the BENETEAU SWIFT TRAWLER 47 next month and plan to publish more of these simulated ownership tests in the months ahead. We trust you agree they are worth the extra time and effort involved.
DON’T M I S S O U T !
If you think the COCKWELLS TITIAN TENDER on p10 looks good on paper, wait until you see it gliding along in the video on our website, Facebook or Youtube channel. You can also enjoy a tour of the solar-powered SILENT 55, check out a secondhand AQUASTAR 45, see the WINDY SOLANO in full flight and learn HOW TO BERTH A BOAT with one broken engine.
SEE MORE mby. com/ w27