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New Boat: Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200

2008 October 30

Jeanneaus are known for their graceful lines and fine styling fit for a performance cruiser. In preparation for the new Sun Fast 3200, boat show goers should start by replacing that image in their mind with a tough little racer that's busy tearing up the course in Europe.

Certainly Jeanneau will continue to produce some of the better looking and sailing performance cruisers on the market, but its Sun Fast line has gotten a shot in the arm with the new 33-footer.

The Sun Fast 3200 has been making its mark in Europe for the last year, where among its many accolades it was named European Yacht of the Year. It also recently came off a successful showing in Europe where it took second place in the first leg of the doublehanded Transquadra race. The 3200, one with a fiery red paint job, made its North American debut at the U. S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis in October.

Described as a racer-cruiser, the 3200 was built to the IRC rule and is intended for handicapped and one-design racing, where Jeanneau hopes to build large fleets across the country.

The boat is built using vacuum resin infusion molding, allowing for a light but sturdy construction. In keeping with the one-design nature of the boat, each element of the deck and hull are weighed before assembly. Its twin rudders and sailplan optimized for shorthanded sailing make the boat easy to sail.

"The Sun Fast 3200 is an amazingly stable and simple boat to sail," said Jeanneau America President Paul Fenn, who added that point-to-point races like the Chicago-Mackinac or the Annapolis to Newport race are a natural for the boat.

The boat's most unique feature may be the twin rudders, but other details will enhance the boat's performance, including genoa halyards that double as the topping lift and a main sheet with a fine tune adjustment.

The interior is fitting for a racer-cruiser where the focus is on the racer. A small L-shaped galley is to starboard and has a sink, a small icebox, two-burner stove and some storage space. There are two bunks aft, a head forward, and a table with two settees long enough to double as bunks. The boat also has a dedicated nav station, which is a bonus in a smaller boat.