This Swedish design is a practical family cruiser and formidable racer
I walked out of the grocery store with my cart and headed for my usual parking area and my white SUV. I opened the tailgate and immediately noticed Ruby, my dog and constant companion, was missing. Disaster! Then I noticed there was a large pile of groceries in the car. Cool; free food. Then I noticed there was strange woman sitting in the driver’s seat! It was the wrong white SUV. I apologized to the lady and found my white SUV parked 50 feet away. Senior moment I guess.
To paraphrase Monty Python, “And now for something totally similar.” The new Arcona 435 designed by SQ Yacht Design, headed by Stefan Qviberg, is very much like what we have come to expect from new European production models. This is not necessarily a bad thing but there was a time I could identify each and every new model. Often I could identify the specific designer by the spring of the sheer or the curve of the stem. Today I usually need to see the logo to know what brand I am looking at.
The Arcona is a very nice looking boat. The sheer spring is subtle but perky, with a hint of mint. It’s nice that the SQ crew did not just default to the straight and flat sheers we see so often now.
Freeboard is not overly generous and there is some overhang aft. The plan view of the hull shows a broad stern but there is some taper to it and that suits my eye. The D/L is 139 putting the 435 on the low side of today’s “medium.” The L/B is 3.32 and that is pretty much textbook “normal” beam today. Three draft choices are available: 6 feet 8 inches, 7 feet 6 inches, and for the racing types, 8 feet 6 inches. The keel fin with almost vertical leading edge is the “elephant’s foot” style L keel. I think this boat should sail very well, especially with the deep-draft option.
I like this layout. It’s not novel, but it’s practical. The priority given to the various interior spaces are right in line with what I would do given this design brief. There are twin double quarter cabins aft. There is a head aft to starboard. To port there is a very nice galley with plenty of counter space each side of the sink and the range. (This designer must read my reviews.) I can’t see anything to improve there. The nav station is generous. Settee and dinette look like they could seat six for dining. The owner’s cabin forward has a centerline double and access to the forward head. Someone is probably asking, “Can’t I have a shower stall?” No, you can’t. You would have to give up space in the sleeping cabin and that would cut off access to the port side of the double berth. The way it’s laid out people can get up in the night without disturbing their partner. I like that.
The deck plan shows twin wheels aft with a wide open transom. Designed like this there is no need for a fold-down swim step. The cockpit sole is the swim step. There is a fixed dining table forward of the wheels. Side decks are broad and clean with jib tracks snuggled up against the house sides. All hatches are the flush type for an obstacle clear deck.
The rig is big with a SA/D of 27, with what looks like a 100% working jib. This is plenty of horsepower for light-air performance. I think in balancing the parameters of this design the SQ team was looking hard at this design being a formidable family racer.
This, to my eye, is a well balanced and very handsome design.
Our best estimate of the sail away price: $530,200
LOA 43’4”; LWL 40’; Beam 13’; Draft shoal 6’8”, standard 7’7”, deep 8’6”; Displ. 19,621 lbs.; Ballast 7,055 lbs.; Sail area 1,227 sq. ft.; SA/D 27D/L 139; L/B 3.32; Auxiliary 39-hp saildrive; Fuel 53 gal.; Water 80 gal.