Elan 310

2010 May 3
The new Elan 310 was designed by Rob Humphreys. This is an exciting, good-looking little boat with some features not usually found on small, multipurpose boats.

I like the look of this design. I like the truncated ends, the almost flat sheerline and the chine. Yes, this hull has a chine that is about 42-percent of the freeboard above DWL and starting around the mast. The sectional shape aft shows a very firm but not hard turn to the bilge up to the chine, then dead flat topsides to the deck. Pulling volume outboard with the chine results in a very powerful section aft for good stability. And guess what? You also get more interior volume. Photos show quite a bit of the broad transom, with its 92-percent beam-to-max-beam ratio, dragging in the water. This is not good for light-air boat speed. Big, broad sterns like this also have a lot of wetted surface. Note that this transom is dead flat with no camber. The D/L is 158 and the L/B is 2.87, indicating a very beamy boat. This design uses twin rudders so that at least one of them will stay immersed when the boat begins to heel.

The layout of the Elan is almost identical to that of the Dehler, but the Elan is two feet shorter so you lose the hanging lockers in the V-berth area. The only hanging locker on this design is in the quarterberth area. On my small boat finding places to hang wet gear is pretty much impossible the way it's laid out. I just drape my wet foulies all over the "main cabin" so they can dry at night. It doesn't do much for my decor. On this boat I suppose you could put some hooks in the head area to hang wet gear. This Basic A layout obviously works but I would prefer to see the quarterberth left open to the rest of the interior. Getting in and out of that double berth would either be a lot of fun or really awkward depending upon whom you were sailing with. I'll take the V-berth.

The rig is also very similar to that of the Dehler. It's fractional with the headstay pulled aft off the stem about eight inches. The spreaders are swept 26 degrees and the standard jib has a LP of 107 percent. There is a retractable bowsprit on the port side.

The deck layouts of the Dehler and the Elan are also similar but it looks to me like the Elan's cockpit is slightly longer. In this cockpit the helmsman sits aft of the coaming so he can get well outboard with a hiking stick. With a wide-open transom like this you do lose some lazarette volume but you gain the convenience and a foul-proof scupper. I like the way the deck structures are integrated into this design better than I like the Dehler's. I find this a very good-looking boat in a blocky, purposeful way.

My main attraction to this design is that it is different. It uses race boat trickle-down features to optimize its purpose as a cruiser/racer for a small family. Mom and the kids will be comfortable while Dad dreams about exotic sailing machines with twin rudders and chines. Sailing is often about more than fractions of a knot. Sometimes the appeal of sailing is subjective. The word "romance" comes to mind but I don't think I'll use it. Whatever that subjective word is I think this Humphrey's design would provide it for me.
LOA 33'5"; LOD 30'4"; LWL 28'7"; Beam 10'7"; Draft 6'3"; Displacement 7,275 lbs.; Ballast 2,530 lbs.; Sail area 504 sq. ft.; SA/D 21.48; D/L 158; L/B 2.87; Auxiliary Volvo D1-20 18-hp; Fuel 13 gals.; Water 40 gals.

Elan Marine, Begunje 1, SI-4275 Begunje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia, www.elan-yachts.com. In the U.S., contact Marine Service Center, 2442 Westlake Ave., Seattle, WA 98109, (206) 323-2405, www.marinesc.com.

OBE: $87,000
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