Dehler 46

2014 December 1

This svelte-looking performance cruiser has some speedy options


This great looking boat is a Judel/Vrolijk design built by Dehler Yachts. The vertical stem and transom give the boat a very strong look. Of course we see this in almost all the new boats but with 46 feet of LOA to work with, the relative freeboard height is lowered and the proportions begin to work better to my eye. I really like the look of this boat. I suppose you could call this boat a cruiser-racer but Dehler prefers to call it a “performance cruiser.” I wonder who came up with that term 40 years ago? With the Judel/Vrolijk pedigree I’m sure it will be fast, but I’m not sure that labels are that important anymore for today’s production boats. The target seems to be to make the boat do everything well. 

Not only does this hull have no chine, but there is a lot of flare to the topsides aft. This takes away from the boxy look of so many modern hulls and gives this hull a very svelte look. The designers have most certainly opted for speed over volume in this feature. This design will not drag its transom and dig a hole in the water.

The D/L is 140 using the standard displacement and the L/B is a moderate 3.2. The “competition” version weighs 770 pounds less than the standard version. You can choose from three draft options: deep draft at 8 feet 2 inches, moderate draft at 7 feet 4 inches and shoal draft at 6 feet 1 inch. The two keels shown on the drawings are both T keels. One rudder is enough for this design.  

It’s kind of funny that the layout of this 46-footer is pretty much the same as the layout of the Beneteau Oceanis 35. But with 46 feet of LOA you get more elbow room.  

You also get an additional head, a usable fo’c’sle and a large lazarette. You have the option of having mirror-image double staterooms aft or a double to starboard and a single to port. 

The saloon looks really big. This will be a nice place to sit and visit, although given the fancy finishing details of the joinery I can’t see it being a place for old men smoking pipes with holes in their sweaters. I could be very comfortable in this interior. I’m sure I have a sweater that doesn’t have holes somewhere. 

There are two rigs available for the 46. If you go with the competition rig you get 70 square feet more sail area than the standard model. The standard SA/D is 21.4. The competition SA/D is 23.24. That sounds better when you figure in the 700 fewer pounds in the competition model. 

I love the look of this deck. There are angled ramps that start aft, at the transom corner and extend forward outboard of the cockpit coaming and cabintrunk. Eventually they fair into the cabintrunk sides right about even with the mast. They get the primary winches up a bit off the deck level, and they look great. In sloping down as they extend forward they manage to reduce the apparent height of the cabintrunk. All hatches are flush. Lines are led aft on the cabintop under a cover to exit at the winches at the companionway. Jib tracks are inboard right up against the cabintrunk. Chainplates are outboard. Back in the old days chainplates were often right in the middle of the side deck. That was a nuisance. 

The cockpit is huge with a mainsheet traveler spanning the sole forward of the twin wheels. Of course the transom opens up to provide a large swim platform. It’s just a standard feature these days and my knees like it. 

I pretty much like everything about this boat.


LOA 45’8”; LWL 42’3”; Beam 14’3”; Draft 6’1” (shoal), 7’4” (moderate), 8’2” (deep); Displ. 24,691 lbs.; Ballast 7,716 lbs; Sail area 1,127 sq. ft.; SA/D 23.24; D/L 140; L/B 3.2; Auxiliary 75-hp diesel saildrive; Fuel 55 gal.; Water 119 gal.

Dehler Yachts

29 Towbridge Cr. Rowley, MA 01969


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