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Saffier 23

2011 July 19


I  t's possible that the Hunter is too sedate for you and the Shaw is bit too hot for you and you would prefer a boat that is in between those two. Then the Saffier 23 designed by Dean Hennevanger might just be the perfect boat. I like this boat a lot. It has a nice classic line to it but it is a thoroughly modern design, and telling from the well-prepared promotional package it appears to be exquisitely built by Saffier Maritiem b.v. in the Netherlands.

I do not have a set of lines for this design so I will have to rely upon the photos and drawings to get an indication of the hull shape. At first glance I thought the sheer was too flat. But in the photos it looks just right. The ends are short and the entry is fine. The D/L is 128 and the L/B is 3.18. Draft is only 3 feet, 3 inches with a low-aspect-ratio fin weighing 1,122 pounds with a bulb at the keel tip. In contrast to many new boats the stern is not broad. The transom is attractive and I think I am seeing some deadrise aft. This is a very attractive hull. The promo material says the boat is "unsinkable." Beam is only 7 feet, 4 inches, so trailering will be easy.

There is room under the foredeck to sleep two. But that's about it for "accommodations." An interesting feature of the Saffier is that it comes with a Bellman 8-horsepower electric engine and a folding prop. With one 24-volt, 40-amp-hour lithium battery the engine can run for approximately an hour and a half at three-quarter throttle. There is an option for a second battery.

The cockpit can seat six adults but four would be better. The seat backs are high so you will be comfortable. The self-tacking jib track allows a 10-degree sheeting angle. I'd like to see more but this is one of my pet peeves. Halyards and lines from the mast base run aft under a cover and emerge port and starboard at banks of clutches and winches. It's a very clean set up. The jib sheet runs up the mast then comes back down to split under the deck in a "German" system so that it can be adjusted from either side of the cockpit. There is an anchor well in the bow. The deck and cockpit sole and seats are either teak or something that looks a lot like teak. Either way, it imparts a nice traditional look.

The rig has aluminum spars, outboard chainplates, single swept spreaders and a standing backstay. There is a short sprit and I assume it is retractable. The mainsheet sheets to a pad eye on the cockpit sole. The SA/D is 25.38, and that's plenty for some exciting sailing.

If you are looking for a daysailer with discreet auxiliary power, traditional good looks and good performance, the Saffier deserves a long look.

LOA 23'4"; LWL 20'4"; Beam 7'4"; Draft 3'3"; Displacement 2,425; Ballast 1,124 lbs.; Sail area 286 sq. ft.; SA/D 25.38; D/L 128; L/B 3.18; Auxiliary Bellman 2.4kw electric (8-hp).

Saffier Maritiem b.v.
Rondweg 20, 1976 BW IJmuiden, The Netherlands

Our Best Estimate of the sail-away price
o.b.e. $54,200