Boat tests are to sailors what a box of chocolates is to Forrest Gump: you never really know what you're going to get. This is especially true for used boat tests. Is it the owner's jewel - well cared for and in top condition - or a workhorse that should be gone after a long and exhausting charter life? Or is it even about a community of heirs who want to launch the ship, to which there is no longer any reference, and see the test as a free advertising measure?
A comparison of used boats in the 30-foot class
Just like a potential buyer, the testers also approach the property. And in the present comparison, the subjects were quite heterogeneous. The Winner had been used intensively by the owner and should now quickly find a new owner before major investments are pending; they are the responsibility of the buyer. From a sailing point of view, she showed briefly but convincingly what she is made of, despite no longer any new cloths.
5 used boats show whether they still have it under sail
The X-342 had very good laminate sails on it, and the machine had already been renewed. Still, a fair amount of work and investment is required, such as upholstery and deck hardware.
The Dufour was ready to go. There wasn't much equipment on board anyway; what dwar worked. New sails are due, otherwise the Frenchwoman was good at it.
At Dehler, investments were made in parts, but a common thread was not discernible in the renewal attempts. She also has expenses to do, something in the area of electrics and navigation.
The Dehler 31 during test sailing in Holland.
The most glaring example was the Bavaria. Inside, it looked really good, and had probably already received new upholstery. But on deck there was a picture of devastation. The new owner must first invest heavily in order to achieve an adequate level.
Off on the water
On the day of the test, it was blowing at around 18 knots - ideal conditions to test the ships at or above their reef limit. Because old used boats are not spared any more than their brand-new counterparts.
Dufour, Bavari and Dehler start with full gear, X and Winner start reefed. As the shortest ship in the test, the Dufour is, as expected, the slowest. The crew really doesn't care - the boat is just fun. If there were a little more trim options on board, you could go on with full gear without annoying sun shots.
Charterers love them
The Bavari balances all gusts with the rudder. Sunshot? Not with 18 knots of wind. And that despite sails that are so blown out that they cause 10 degrees more heeling than would be healthy. That sure works. Probably one of the reasons that the little one is so popular with charterers.
The Bavari30 under sail.
The Dehler does not convey the precise control feeling that it offers with a tiller, but sails well in a convoy. She's just a pretty fast boat. With the long keel, she also wants to drive properly into the wind.
At the head of the field, X and Winner are in a head-to-head race. Of course, the X would have to stay ahead in terms of vital signs - and it does. The advantage of the winners, however, is the unspectacular availability of the good speed. Go up and be quick, of course, with some knowledge of trimming, that works even with a small crew.
Not so with the X, it is a complicated boat. Back and check days plus back day, everything can be trimmed and adjusted - the crew and the skipper need to know what they are doing. If she knows, the X is a real fun machine, but not for everyone. Every ship has its own character. You have the choice for less than 40,000 euros.