ENGLISH HARBOUR 29 OFFSHORE
BU ILT 2017 PR ICE £179 ,950
English Harbour is what happens when two directors of a large motor yacht-building monolith disengage and go off to build boats on their own.
Adam Greenwood was the design director of Fairline and Alan Bowers the finance director, but in 2012 they set up English Harbour Yachts. An exquisite 16ft river launch came first and then in 2015 the company launched its 27ft displacement cruiser, followed by the 29 Offshore with its larger engine and bathing platform.
This 2017 example is a nearly new stock boat and the price includes a year’s free berthing in any of MDL’S Thames-based marinas.
The English Harbour is built up to a standard, not down to a price, and nowhere is that more obvious than the beach-house inspired interior. Take the louvred doors on the hanging lockers – each louvre is handmade and 8mm thick to avoid bowing. But above all there’s a sense of space down here. The layout might be an entirely conventional dinette forward, galley opposite the heads and a double berth in a mid cabin aft, but there are acres of both height and width, the latter created by the boat’s 10ft-plus beam.
That beam makes itself felt on deck, too, where you’ll find side decks that are 9in wide – that’s wider than a Squadron 55, according to someone who should know. The cockpit is a great size, too, and with no need for a transom door the aft seating enjoys almost the full width of the boat. There are plenty of practical touches, such as dedicated fender storage and space for a liferaft.
The 27 has a 75hp motor linked to a sail drive for inland pottering. For the 29 Offshore the boat gets sterndrive power and a range of Volvo Penta D3 engines up to 200hp, which should yield up to about 24 knots.
Andrew Wolstenholme, the guru of semi-displacement hulls, designed the underwater sections. The 27 gets a long keel for low speed directional stability but it’s reduced for the 29. It’s still a semi-displacement boat, though, rather than full planing, which gives great seakeeping, albeit at the expense of a little more spray as it charges through waves rather than bouncing over them.
LENGTH 29ft 6in (9.0m) BEAM 10ft 2in (3.1m) DRAUGHT 2ft 8in (0.8m) DISPLACEMENT 3.7 tonnes FUEL CAPACITY 200 litres ENGINES Twin Volvo Penta D3-200 200hp diesel
The cabin sleeps four and is exceptionally light and spacious for a 29ft open boat The beamy cockpit has a raised helm area to maximise the view forward under way