Cruising without any restrictions: space, comfort, safety under way and a lot of range, the Euphoria 68 is a 21-metre boat designed by German Frers to sail anywhere. The interiors are by Design Unlimited
by Niccolò Volpati – photo by Jeff Brown, Breed Media
COMFORT AND SAFETY. THE MEDITERRANEAN, BUT ALSO THE OCEAN. That seems tobe the aim of the project by German Frers. That was my initial feeling as soon as I stepped on board, when the boat was still moored at the quay. The gangways are notably large. They average 90 cm wide, and only at the narrowest part, where the genoa traveller is located, do they go down to 77 cm. It is easy to get from bow to stern and vice versa.
And the cockpit works together with the main part of the deck. There is plenty of room, the level of comfort is high, and we are on board a 68-foot cruiser, butnot just that. The designer has also created the possibility of moving around on board safely. Moreover, doing cruises doesn’t actually mean staying put in just one part of the boat. The cockpit could have been bigger. And that’s not a criticism, in fact it is laudable that the deck hasn’t been designed just focussing on measurements.
Euphoria 68 doesn’t seem to want to take part in some obsessive battle over measurements with other models of a similar size that are on the market. In this case they have based things on cruising, in terms of room and comfort, but also in relation to safety. Safety while sailing, and safety while on board. Indeed, the cockpit actually seems well protected and, if you imagine sailing in a rough sea, you get the feeling that while you are in it you aren’t in any danger at all.
There is nothing to climb over to get out of it, so moving from the cockpit to the gangways is simple and safe. The conditions on the day of the test weren’t going to allow me to put that feeling to the test, because there wasn’t much wind and the sea was flat. We slipped moorings trusting and hoping that the breeze would at least allow us to try out the performance under sail.
The deck gear is aimed at ease of handling. Sheets and halyards are not a hindrance, because they are hidden under the deckhouse but, even with that I don’t find the easy sailing approach exasperating. As well as the winches close to the wheel, there are two at the foot of the mast. It is a logical decision, because it is very improbable that you would sail a 68-footer on your own, so there is nothing wrong with somebody having to go to the mast for the halyards.
The mainsail furls in the boom, and two sails are housed in the sternhead: the genoa and the Code 0. The winches are all electric, and so is the movement of the raisable stern, which can transform into a bathing platform. The mainsail doesn’t have a traveller, but a hoist in the middle of the cockpit, close to another large winch.
While we raised and unfurled the sails, I noticed the unusual, but at the same time functional, design of the pods and the helmsman’s seat. They are “hanging” in the sense that they stick out at the ends. It made me wonder how strong it was, but having put my ninety-plus kilos down right on the edge innone too delicate a fashion, these doubts were quickly dispelled. I felt the instrument pods were a bit too horizontal, however, and with direct light on them the displays weren’t easy to see.
We started out with the genoa up, even though there wasn’t much more than six knots of wind. The good news is that, despite the 32-tonne displacement, the Euphoria 68 can move and certainly not too slowly. We travelled at nearly five knots, but you shouldn’t think you can sail too close to the wind, otherwise you will come to a stop.
With the Code 0 raised, performance increased notably and we gained at least a knot with the same wind speed. The wind fell further as we moved away from the harbour, so we decided to go back into the Turkish coast. Our perseverance was rewarded, because the wind increased to over eight knots and, again with the Code 0, we sailed at 7.5 to 8.5 knots, between sailing close to the wind and with a beam wind. The boat definitely performs best at a 90-degree angle, because it travels at more orless the same speed as the wind.
But it also behaves well sailing a close reach, especially if we bear in mind that we are on board a boat that is for cruising and not a racing cruiser, and one that has also been designed to be safe and dependable in any kind of weather conditions. It isn’t super quick when turning, and was also a little bit unresponsive during the small increases in wind strength that we came across. But it doesn’t react nervously. It is made to sail calmly. Unfortunately, our test was carried out with some really unfavourable weather conditions.
With so little wind you could be forgiven for thinking that we were going to be moving in slow motion. But that wasn’t the case, and the Euphoria 68 can sail without much wind and we were only left with the regret that we weren’t able to test it with any more. We consoled ourselves with the engine, a straight-shaft 160 hp Yanmar, fitted with a four-bladed propeller. It really pushes the boat along, and top speed even exceeds ten knots. Without forcing the engine, you can do 9.6 knots cruising speed, at 2500 rpm.
That means that the boat doesn’t fear long powered crossings, and the total fuel tank capacity is a full 900 litres. The acoustic insulation is also good, despite having such a powerful engine. In the owner’s cabin in the stern, noise readings were low, between 60 and 70 decibels. Only when you open the throttle right up does the noise rise to 74 decibels.
The interiors, by Design Unlimited, are semi-custom with three layout options. There are also three Euphoria 68 boats that have thus far been launched. No owner has yet chosen the standard set-up, which has the owner’s cabin in the bow. And for this, the third of the boats in the series, the choice has been made to have the owner’s cabin inthe stern, where it enjoys the entire five-metre beam. There is a lot of natural light and ventilation from the portholes, skylights and windows, and – above all – a lot of room in the dinette.
The dinette really has a lot of space, I would even say it was bigger and more spacious than the cockpit from my first look at it. And you get all that despite the deckhouse not being excessively large, because – as I said – the gangways on deck are very wide. This is also because of some expedients like, for example, the cabinets that are located out on the back of the sofas. That is a solution that means you can have the seats under the deckhouse and thus get a lot of space above your head, but without sacrificing precious area. Also, having further room beyond thesofa backs both left and right gives the visual idea of finding yourself in an area that is actually bigger than it really is. And it actually definitely isn’t too small.
PROJECT: Frers Naval Architecture (hull design, naval architecture, exterior styling & concept), Design Unlimited (interior styling & design)
HULL: LOA 21.04m • Waterline length 19.53m Maximum beam 5.84m • Draft (as stamdard) 3.80m • Light mass displacement 32,000 kg • Ballast 10,000 kg • Fuel tank volume 900 l • Water tank volume 950 l • Mainsail surface 150 m2 Genoa surface 117 m2
MAIN PROPULSION: Yanmar 6BY3 • Outlet mechanical power 117 kW (160 hp) • 6 cylinders in line • swept volume 2.99 l • Bore&Stroke 84mm x90mm – Maximum rotational speed 2800/min – Weight 328 kg
EC CERTIFICATION: CAT A -12 people
Tel. 0 212 2197474
Via Ottavio Ravel 5
Torino, T. +39 011 7640192
(Euphoria 68, Balance is the key feature – Barchemagazine.com – Settembre 2019)