The Dutch sailboat brand Saffier Yachts is well known to me: Especially their 24 and 27 boats are a formidable adversary for “my” Beneteau First 24 SE and 27/SE (formerly Seascape). I´d say that I have lost as many of my leads to Saffier who were seeking stylish, as if not luxury, daysailing – as much as I have won their leads over to First who were seeking the extreme performance and sailing power over comforts. Especially for inshore sailing, Saffier is a great product to buy.

This is how I know Saffier

In this, I also acknowledged the upsizing of their range, now offering a nice 33-footer and also a large 37-footer. Saffer Yachts are definitely not boats for sailors who seek a bargain: The nice quality of the boats has its price. It was in late December last years when I read their announcement to go a step further in their development – a new flagship is coming.

A giant leap: 46 feet!

A boat as long as 14.90 meters (LOA) is definitely a huge thing. When Seascape in Slovenia went from 27 feet to build the fantastic First 36, I know from many conversations with the guys there what a giant undertaking it is for a shipyard to build boats as big as those. Also, seeing my own new boat being build, which is “just” 42 feet, I can imagine how difficult and challenging it is to put up a notch in terms of craftsmanship, machinery and such for a yard.

Sleek and modern lines

The new Saffier SL 46 comes at the right time, I´d say. In a market that is currently having kind of hard times – shaking off the aftereffects of Covid and the supply-chain apocalypse, now fighting with inflated prices – the focus on bigger units seems logical. Bigger unites means less boats to build, less hustle, less clients, less after sales/warranty and also bigger margin. When the middle-class is struggling and thinking twice before investing their budgets, the way out my be to target the still growing wealthy clients. It may be that Saffier had planned this boat well before this all, but releasing her now is a smart move.

A nice mix of performance and comfort

The yacht´s looks are very nice: A modern negative bow, a powerful rigging with 118 square metres upwind sails area (the new Hanse 460 sports 114 square meters – but weighs in 1.7 tons more) and her sleek, aggressive lines may attract sailors who want a fresh design. She comes with a classic 2-cabin layout and could indeed an interesting range of potential clients.

Interesting concept: “North” and “Med”

This range of potential buyers is enlarged further by an interesting concept: The new Saffier SL 46 is offered in a mediterranean version with an open transom and a more “sporty” approach as well as in a “northern” version. This iteration comes with a small dinghy garage and , a closed transom with large steering-seat area and some aft sunlounging area when at anchor.

“North” and “Med” versions

This flexibility is probably achieved by application of minor changes to the deck-molds which either produce the low cockpit deck or higher transom-coamings with the dinghy garage. The dinghy size, even if the small boat will be stored transversal to the boat, is surely restricted as the common sized dinghies used for serious sailing will have adequate garages starting at 55 feet. Nevertheless, a very nice approach that is certainly gaining some interest.

Fresh interiors, modern and … different

Looking at the interior renderings the boat will be a nice mixture between a classic layout and very modern lines. Regarding the cabin layout, the Saffier SL 46 will have come in the standard 2 aft-cabins and one big fore-cabin for the owner. It´s a bit strange though for a boat that size to see that there is just one bathroom, starboard side aft. For an owner couple one bathroom may be enough but I find it strange anyways. Maybe a second bathroom in the owner´s cabin is planned.

Light, wide and modern interior

The yacht will have portholes in the hull as well as a large skylight hatch and four smaller skylights in the roof – the Hanse 460 comes with staggering four (!) big skylights and even bigger porthole windows. In terms of flooding the salon with natural light this may be sufficient, we should wait and see how it turns out in reality.

I kind of have seen this before …

I quite like this new boat and it´s always exciting to see a project turning into reality, following the shipyard from the renderings to seeing maybe a model or a mock-up and finally being able to walk aboard the real boat. The new new Saffier SL 46 is announced to be present at Boot Duesseldorf this year with a large two meter long model and I will definitely come by the stand to see it. Much more I am keen to see the boat in the water, but this will take some time.

Let´s see her in reality

The pleasant anticipation to see the new yacht live-sized and in reality is one thing. There is another detail. And the more I look at her the more I begin to ponder … something seems odd about her. At first I cannot really formulate it but the more I look the more … familiar these line turn out. And then it finally falls from my eyes like scales: Elan!

Could be her twin: Elan E6

It´s so clear suddenly. Last year I was very impressed by the design approach of the Elan E6 and my article was full of praise. Comparing both interior and exterior designs of both boats I must say, the Saffier SL 46 could be a twin of the E6! I know that design choices in such a limited space and volume like the one available in a boat are really hard for the creative minds in the design bureaus. But there are some many similarities between these two boats, it´s staggering. Well, keep calm – a rendering is not a boat. And maybe it´s just in my eyes. For my part, I look forward to roaming the new Saffier SL 46 in real life, maybe next Cannes Boat Show and then, latest, I will have a definitive answer.

Pictures and Renderings Copyrights © by Saffier and Elan Yachts.


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