It has been quite a while since my last post, I know. But when Cannes is calling, one has to adhere. And like every year, the boat show season starts with Yachting Festival Cannes, the most important boat show in Europe when it comes to starting the new boat season, showing off new yachts and teasing clients-to-be. I was there all the time and again, like in 2016, also found some time to roam about and get some inspiration.
This year – I think it was because I myself was in the mood to do so – I was laying my focus on the real big deals when it comes to high seas sailing and blue water adventure. I tried to let my Baltic Sea-perspective at home and instead try to look at the yachts citing my Atlantic Ocean sailing experiences (read about it by clicking on this hashtag). It´s not about dream yachts (well, it is apparently), but on what would the best blue water yacht look like? I also tried to find some new things, something really yummie.
Nice yachts and not so nice yachts
Well, to be honest, there haven´t been too many awe inspiring yachts from my point of view. I was very happy to see the RM 13.70 in the water (the very model I was discovering when it was still a secret during my yard visit) and I will post an article on the finished boat later. I also found the ICE 52 one of the more exciting yachts to look at: A pure Italian sleek and fast looking boat which I liked much. I also discovered THE FIFTY, a brand new yacht by a new company called Eleva Yachts.
THE FIFTY has a very, very modern and tempting design, a racy feel in the looks and a sheerline not seen to date. The hull is traditional GRP but with a large carbon made structural frame from bow to stern. Also, a huge cage of 4 structural bulkheads and stringers, fully epoxy infused and glued to the hull together with a very strong shroud-plate construction promise to make THE FITY a stiff and fast boat. I really regret of not having found the time to inspect the boat thoroughly and talk to the yard, but I will make up for this in the time to come.
A true disappointment – I regretfully must say – was the utterly ugly look of the new Amel 50 sloop rigged yacht. This boat caused me a headache and it was really a shame seeing this bulky, massive, angle-overloaded unlovely boat mooring and desperately trying to catch up with the unmatched legacy of the ketch-rigged titans of seafaring like the Amel Maramu and Super Maramu. I was so shocked that I didn´t even gave her interiors a shot and didn´t set a foot aboard. I guess this is a bit unfair and I promise to also make up for this and maybe look at the Amel 50 during Boot Düsseldorf boat show.
Perfect blue water sailing yachts?
Ah, that is different – after three (!) attempts to persuade the Oyster staff to let me aboard the “smaller” of the two moored yachts, I finally got my feet on the deck of the holy grail of blue water seafaring in yachting: The Oyster. Although “just” the 575 and thus the second-smallest of the range, this yacht just blew my mind and took my conception of blue water yacht design, interior yacht design and material quality to a whole new level. This yacht is pure sex.
As the two Oysters where owner-yachts not everything was possible to take pictures of but I think I´ve managed to shoot quite a nice collection of pictures and to gain an intimate insight not just of this unbelievably comfortable and mindblowing ship but also to scratch on top of the Oyster cult and why this boat is making people all over the world turning their heads and whispering: “… there comes an Oyster …”, when another lucky owner proudly steams up the jetty to land his beauty. Speaking of beauty …
I was very happy to again meet Magnus Rassy who – as he always does so charming and sympathetically – welcomed me aboard the Hallberg-Rassy to even widen my new gained insight in perfect blue water yachting. The HR 64 really takes ocean going yacht design and the pretence of making the most reliable, durable, stable and comfortable blue water yacht to the extremes. Now I even more understand, why a Hallberg-Rassy became a sononym for long haul cruising and the wet dream of all circumnavigators. You may expect both about the Oyster 575 and the Hallberg-Rassy long reports in the coming weeks here on no-frills-sailing.
Speaking of yacht design …
There are also some news from the large production companies. Hanse did show up with their fleet laminated in shrill colours, Dufour Yachts presented the new old 520 and that was virtually it. Really? No, the long anticipated Beneteau Oceanis 51.1 was first shown at Cannes and it drew a lot of attention from both the sailing press people as well as by the general crowd. I was later talking to Damien Jacob from the Beneteau yard about the new interesting hull design with massive chines beginning right at the boat´s bow. There´s another article upcoming about this specific feature.
Speaking of design, Flemming Ancher from X-Yachts was also very cheerful and welcoming when I was knocking at his booth. The new XP-55, the new flagship of X´s performance range, was mooring at the jetty and I was so joyful when he instantly joined me in touring the boat and spent an hour on board with me pointing to several very interesting details, explaining the connection between design, choice of material and proper craftsmanship. I again was reassured why an X-Yacht is also among the top brands of my favourite sailing yachts. Another detailed article on the XP-55 is coming soon on no-frills-sailing.com.
All in all, the Yachting Festival Cannes again proved that it was worth the trip from Germany – not just because the weather was perfectly warm but also in terms of gaining an overview on the top-notch yachts of the top-notch brands. I tried to stick to my “no frills”-policy and didn´t looked at the super-expensive-all-carbon-hulks, though I admit, an “entry level” Oyster with a price tag of 1.3 Million Euros is far from being “no frills” for sure. I hope you will also enjoy my Cannes Yachting Festival-articles to come in the upcoming days.
Other interesting articles on this topic:
At the Hanseboot 2016
Is 60 the new 40? Why yachts grow ever so bigger.
What if … a day at Cranchi Yachts