Yachting Monthly - - ADVENTURE -


I was a lit­tle scep­ti­cal that a boat that looks as sleek and mod­ern as the Sun­beam 46.1 could be touted as a blue­wa­ter cruiser, but I was wrong. While she might look ul­tra-mod­ern and sporty, she is also packed with prac­ti­cal fea­tures, in­clud­ing easy-to-ac­cess tech­ni­cal ar­eas, a rig that doesn’t re­quire run­ning back stays, lots of deck stowage and a safe and com­fort­able cock­pit.

She also has ap­peal­ing qual­i­ties that make her stronger, like the sump in the hull and re­cess in the keel, the two crash bulk­heads in the bows and the car­bon-re­in­forced struc­tural grid. There’s lit­tle doubt she’s a solidly built boat.

These sub­tle fea­tures might not be in­stantly ap­par­ent, but they help to set the Sun­beam apart from a reg­u­lar coastal or off­shore cruiser.

I re­ally wanted to take her out in more wind, but it was not meant to be this time. I have sailed her smaller sis­ter, the 40.1, in well over 30 knots and she took it in her stride. I have no rea­son to think the 46.1 would be any less of a boat. If any­thing, ini­tial im­pres­sions sug­gest that she would be bet­ter.


A boat builder in land-locked Aus­tria may not be the first place that many start look­ing for a boat ca­pa­ble of cross­ing oceans. But brothers Ger­hard and Man­fred Schöchl have put their ex­pe­ri­ence into the 46.1 to make her a ca­pa­ble and classy cruiser. She’s a big step up in qual­ity from many mass-pro­duced yachts, but doesn’t com­mand the prices of her Swedish coun­ter­parts. She has a qual­ity and feel that runs deep, show­ing that mod­ern yacht de­sign has pro­gressed faster than tra­di­tional at­ti­tudes to off­shore sail­ing: you don’t need a skeg-hung rud­der or a long fin keel to cross oceans. This boat is more than tough enough.

You don’t need to com­pro­mise com­fort for prac­ti­cal­ity, ei­ther, as this boat has man­aged to de­liver on com­fort while re­tain­ing all the prac­ti­cal fea­tures you need to be self suf­fi­cient. Sun­beam has got things just about right with the 46.1, and be­cause of that she’s a great boat.

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