First test

Brand new from the lead keel up, Na­jad’s new 395 and her cen­tre-cock­pit sis­ter are billed as ‘mini-su­pery­achts’. At 40ft, that’s a big prom­ise, but do they live up to it? Graham Snook finds out...

Yachting Monthly - - CONTENTS - Words Graham Snook Pic­tures Graham Snook and Axel Nis­sen-lie

Na­jad 395. Your new dream boat. Does the ‘mini-su­pery­acht’ live up to her hype? We get an ex­clu­sive first test

The 395 is Na­jad’s first all-new boat for some time, but not the first to of­fer both aft cock­pit and cen­tre cock­pit on the same hull. There have been re­vamps of mod­els with the changes of the com­pany’s own­er­ship, but the ea­gerly awaited 395 is not only new from her lead keel up, she’s the first Na­jad de­signed by Farr Yacht De­sign with a Ken Frei­vokh De­sign in­te­rior. Both these de­sign com­pa­nies have a vast port­fo­lio of work from the su­pery­acht mar­ket – one rea­son that she’s touted as a ‘mini-su­pery­acht’.

The moniker has much to back it up, though, on the in­te­rior es­pe­cially. Few pro­duc­tion yachts have as many styling de­tails, car­ried off as well as they have on the 395. Of course this de­tail­ing and work­man­ship doesn’t come cheap, even if she is vo­lu­mi­nous for her length.

PER­FOR­MANCE

Sun­shine eas­ing its way though the hull win­dows and 9-14 knots of breeze rock­ing the boat woke me on the day of the test sail; bet­ter than the 20-30 knots the day be­fore. On the wind she’ll point to around 28-30º, but she was more com­fort­able, and sailed faster, a lit­tle freer. She was soon mak­ing speeds of 6-7 knots, and was feel­ing more alive.

She has a re­gal air to her, and feels solid and grace­ful – rather than large and lum­ber­ing. She car­ries her way though tacks the re­as­sur­ing way that mod­er­ate dis­place­ment yachts do. I was wor­ried how she would feel, given her 1.32m (4ft 4in) high top­sides and raised cock­pit, but you still feel like you’re in the boat rather than sail­ing on her.

Close-hauled out into the less-shel­tered wa­ters – where a swell was run­ning from the wind the day be­fore – she han­dled it with ease and gave a won­der­fully comfy ride; her rounded for­ward sec­tions cush­ion­ing the way ahead. Bear­ing away and eas­ing sheets, she picked up her skirt and jogged along nicely. Speed and com­fort don’t make good bed­fel­lows, but she showed re­spectable fig­ures while re­tain­ing her grace and com­po­sure through­out. Her 80hp en­gine made 7.1 knots at 1800rpm – 57hp is stan­dard.

DECK LAY­OUT

Seat­ing in the cock­pit is a gen­er­ous 2.13m (7ft) long, and the large cock­pit ta­ble gives solid brac­ing in the mid­dle. There are also plenty of hand­holds: on the bin­na­cles and at the for­ward end of the cock­pit. The top of the 28cm-high coam­ings is also nar­row enough to get a grip on. Genoa sheets are led through the long coachroof handrails and sub­stan­tial wind­screen sup­port to the An­der­son 52 ST elec­tric self-tail­ing genoa winches. Just in­side the sup­port on each side are a bank of rope clutches; the lines from which can be led to the winches or stowed in the rope bins. There’s no way to lock the genoa sheet off on this boat, but Na­jad are look­ing into ways to do this on fu­ture boats.

Ac­cess to the deck is eas­i­est by step­ping out of the aft end of the cock­pit; the coam­ings are quite wide and the studs for the cock­pit tent pro­trude along their out­board length. Mov­ing for­ward is a dod­dle; the in­ner shrouds are set in­board while the outer shrouds are taken to the thick, teak-capped to­erail.

The an­chor locker is deep with a split lid to cre­ate ease of ac­cess. There’s also a sub­stan­tial stain­less steel fixed bowsprit, but if you’re on a moor­ing you’ll have to take lines through it and the elec­tric furl­ing doesn’t leave a great deal of room to ac­cess the sec­ond bow roller.

Be­tween the twin wheels is a deep, lined locker for fend­ers, there’s also a deep lazarette locker to star­board and stowage for gas in the lazarette locker to port. This twin aft cabin lay­out didn’t have a great deal of deck locker space; some­thing I’d miss if I were ex­tended cruis­ing.

AT THE HELM

She has twin wheels, both were achingly stiff, a prob­lem Na­jad is work­ing with Lew­mar to rec­tify. Sadly the stiff­ness robbed the helm of much of its feel­ing and en­joy­ment of sail­ing her.

Rather than a seat in the cock­pit, the helm is treated to a seat made from the raised coam­ings. Also atop of these coam­ing seats are the An­der­sen 40ST winches, next to the helm, to tend the Ger­man main­sheet sys­tem. The genoa winches are lo­cated within easy reach for­ward and can be tended with­out hav­ing to leave the helm.

DE­SIGN & CON­STRUC­TION

Fol­low­ing a re­cent re­struc­ture, Na­jad’s yachts will now be built at Sail Yard AB in Ud­de­valla. Sail Yard fit­ted out this boat (hull No.1) and has been build­ing Ar­cona’s larger mod­els (465 and new 435). Both Ar­cona and Na­jad are owned by Orust Qual­ity Yachts AB, and this Na­jad was as nicely built as any I’ve sailed be­fore.

The hull and deck mould­ings are out­sourced; they are vac­uum-in­fused with vinylester resin with a Diviny­cell foam core run­ning from around 50cm out­board from the cen­tre­line up­wards, ex­cept where there are skin fit­tings. She has a sub­stan­tial in­ter­nal grid, bonded and lam­i­nated where nec­es­sary. Bulk­heads are lam­i­nated to both the hull and deck.

Un­like the mod­ern trend of wide aft sec­tions and twin rud­ders, Farr/na­jad have opted for a sin­gle deep spade rud­der. This kept her in con­trol – not that the con­di­tions re­ally tested her met­tle.

RIG & SAILPLAN

She has a twin-spreader Seldén rig with lam­i­nate sails as stan­dard. This boat also had op­tional elec­tric furl­ing on the main­sail and genoa, which worked a treat. One neat fea­ture was the use of Seldén me­chan­i­cal back­stay ten­sion­ers to take the genoa and main­sail hal­yards – these do away with me­tres of un­wanted rope and are sim­ply ad­justed us­ing a winch han­dle on ei­ther side of the mast.

The main­sheet trav­eller was orig­i­nally de­signed to be aft of the helm, how­ever, this has now been moved to the aft end of the cock­pit ta­ble. There is also the op­tion of a main­sheet arch to keep it clear of the cock­pit seat­ing – some­thing it doesn’t do at the mo­ment when sail­ing off the wind.

AC­COM­MO­DA­TION

On de­scend­ing the lam­i­nated solid teak steps, the build qual­ity is plain to see. The in­te­rior uses a va­ri­ety of tex­tures and colours to make it a very pleas­ant place to be; helped by at least 1.95m (6ft 5in)

She has a re­gal air, and feels solid and grace­ful

of head­room in all ar­eas ex­cept the aft cab­ins where it drops to 1.81m (5ft 11in).

Ini­tially I wasn’t over­whelmed by the use of black, but by the end of my two days on board I’d warmed to it. She is avail­able with a teak or light oak in­te­rior, although I sus­pect most will opt for Na­jad’s usual warm-coloured ma­hogany. In the sa­loon, above the seats, the lower part of the hull sides has a light cream-coloured fabric-cov­ered panel, which breaks up the area above it that is cov­ered in a sil­ver fabric with a lightly ribbed tex­ture. Oceanair blinds are hid­den in the win­dow re­cesses – it’s all very neat. There’s stowage be­hind the seat backs, ac­cessed by lift­ing them up – de­light­fully Velcro-free. Un­der the seats on both sides is the tank­age.

The sa­loon ta­ble is 1.19m (3ft 11in) long in­side the 5mm high fid­dles that sur­round each leaf. It butts up against the for­ward bulk­head, so if the star­board leaf is raised it stops ac­cess to the for­ward cabin. In its cen­tre is stor­age for 12 bot­tles while be­neath is an ac­cess panel to the bilge. The aft end has 90º cor­ners, so not ex­actly hip-friendly.

The star­board seat is 2.10m long and, be­cause it’s straight, would make an ex­cel­lent sea berth. The seat­ing to port has an an­gled aft end but it’s straight for 1.55m (5ft 1in) and can still be used as a sea berth while on a star­board tack – as long as you en­sure you lie fac­ing in­board. This boat had the op­tion to have the vee berth for­ward and en suite heads, but you can also have an off­set berth to port, and/or a walk-in stor­age area where the heads is. The mat­tresses on board are soft, sprung and very com­fort­able, and there are cur­tains that cover the win­dows and en­tire hull sides. Ini­tially I wasn’t a fan, but once they are closed they change the feel on board to some­thing fa­mil­iar and homely.

Aft of the for­ward berth, to port, is the en suite heads with grey Co­rian work top and a white Co­rian bowl blended into it. There’s a full-length mir­ror on the back of the door, fac­ing the toi­let – not ideal.

The aft heads is to star­board at the base of the com­pan­ion­way, and the toi­let is for­ward-fac­ing. It’s not the big­gest of heads, and leg space is a lit­tle lim­ited, but it’s the price you pay for the ex­tra aft

She re­ally does set her­self apart in both styling and qual­ity

cabin. She is avail­able with one cabin to port and a larger heads and vast cock­pit locker to star­board; with ac­cess from deck and the heads. Both aft cab­ins mir­ror each other – out­board is a siz­able locker, which has a hanging locker above a shelved locker in the port cabin, and a wash­ing ma­chine in the star­board cabin. While the cor­ri­dor to the star­board aft cabin is a good width, it’s re­duced to just 35cm (1ft 2in) by the door han­dles, mak­ing the sin­gle aft-cabin lay­out more ap­peal­ing.

CHART TA­BLE

The chart ta­ble can take space from the heads and be for­ward-fac­ing, but this boat had the smaller, but per­fectly crafted, aft-fac­ing ta­ble. The fid­dles sur­round­ing the ta­ble are too low to use as hand­holds, but the ta­ble it­self is 8cm (3in) deep – enough to lose most of the gub­bins that find their way into chart ta­bles. I’d have pre­ferred it to be 6/7cm lower, for com­fort. The workspace is 42cm x 76cm (1ft 4in x 2ft 6in).

Out­board is a switch panel hid­den be­hind a dark Per­spex door, il­lu­mi­nated by in­ter­nal lights as it opens – it would have been bet­ter if the lights had been aft-fac­ing, so they don’t blind the per­son sit­ting at the ta­ble at night, but at least you can clearly see the switches.

GAL­LEY

The lin­ear gal­ley is out­board of the cor­ri­dor lead­ing to the aft cabin, it’s Co­rian-topped and over 2m (6ft 7in) long. Out­board is di­vided stowage, but with­out a fid­dle it’s a lit­tle point­less. There is, how­ever, a handy shelf above it with 3cm (1in) high fid­dles. There are two large lock­ers above this with pegged stowage on the lower shelf and a fid­dled shelf above it. Sur­round­ing the gal­ley work sur­face is a sleekly curved Co­rian edge, mak­ing it easy to clean.

MAIN­TE­NANCE

Ac­cess to the front and port side of the en­gine is good, but sadly there aren’t any ac­cess pan­els on the star­board side. There is, how­ever, room aft of the en­gine to fit a gen­er­a­tor for those re­quir­ing more power and in­de­pen­dence.

The line of black glass hides the flush hatches that help make the in­te­rior feel light and mod­ern

The decks are wide, safe and sur­rounded by a teak cap­ping rail. Handrails on the coachroof are led well aft too

ABOVE LEFT: The main­sheet was aft of the helm, but has been moved for­ward.ABOVE RIGHT: Ac­cess to the en­gine is ex­cel­lentBE­LOW: The Na­jad has a com­mand­ing feel on the wa­ter

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