Django 9.80: technical but easy to handle. Excellent performance in all points of sail, and spaces below deck well designed for cruising
by Niccolò Volpati
You never want to give up at the start. There might not be much wind, but you always hope that, somehow or other, the wind will pick up a bit once you get away from the coast. We untie the mooring ropes, point the bow towards the exit of Genoa’s breakwater, and carefully remove all the fenders.
We scan the horizon, hoping to see choppy water ahead. We lift the mainsail, unroll the genoa, and wait. But it’s no use. All we do is float, tossed around by the wake of the cargo ships entering and exiting the port. Ezio Grillo from F&B Yachting, Marée Haute ’s new Italian dealer, decides to give the gennaker a try.
I admire his tenacity, but, deep down, I think it’s hopeless. But then, as if by magic, his persistence is rewarded. We are about two miles from the coast, and the wind gauge indicates that finally the true wind has gone above seven knots. The Django 9.80 reacts immediately.
It gets into its stride and starts sailing. And it’s like having a bucketful of water poured over you on a sweltering summer afternoon. The Log starts to turn. Abeam we manage five knots, so we try to sail with the wind and, as the wind strengthens, the boat goes well above six knots: 6.6 to be precise, with an angle of 75°. It’s great fun; we feel like two children next to the Christmas tree.
The Django 9.80 is a technical boat; it even comes with 3D genoa adjustment. The rudders are controlled by a tiller, there are two halyard winches on the deck house and another two near the rudders, and the mainsail traveller runs along the very end of the stern. It’s technical, but also very straightforward.
There are two of us, and we manage to handle it without too many problems. Everything can be controlled from the cockpit, even the genoa traveller. There’s work to do, but the effort is immediately rewarded by the boat’s performance. The boat heels, even at close reach, takes advantage of the corner and picks up speed.
It reacts instantaneously at the helm, almost like being on a dinghy. Another thing that really strikes me is its stable course. It’s a sensation I haven’t experienced very often. Even the automatic pilot may be unnecessary, because you can allow yourself the luxury of leaving the tiller, moving to the cockpit, and then resume steering.
The Django 9.80 never rushes windward. It continues on its way as if it were on autopilot. The version we’re testing has a twin rudder and a fixed central fin keel, with a 2.6 metre draught. There are two other versions: one has an ocean-going style twin keel, and the other has a lifting keel ideal for landing on beaches, if the tide allows.
I also really liked the interior. There’s plenty of living space, with 189 cm of height in the dinette. There are three cabins, one at the bow and two at the stern, each with a 150 cm-wide double berth. An unusual solution has been found for the chart table, which is located in the passageway to the left-hand stern cabin.
Although it does feel a little bit like you are in a cave, there is enough space for it to work well. The dinette is filled entirely with a fold-up table and two small, linear sofas at the sides, ensuring it can comfortably house eight people. What, then, has been sacrificed?
The galley is definitely not enormous, but it does have two stoves, a basin and a chest fridge. Another much-appreciated detail is the view you get. In the dinette there are lots of windows and portholes at eye level, giving you an almost complete panorama of the outside world.
The finishes are certainly better than they once were too. You feel like you’re on board a durable boat, designed and built by people who really know what it’s like to sail at sea. You can see this in various details, such as the handrails below deck, designed to ensure you have a good grip even when the boat is heeling.
The Django 9.80 is undoubtedly a boat designed for those who love sailing and, as in times gone by, you need to put a bit of effort in to sail it – you can’t simply press a button or switch on automatic pilot and get the in-built electronic equipment to change direction for you.
The Django 9.80 offers the same enjoyable sailing experience as the numerous daysailers with which the market is packed, but with six berths and a bathroom. And last but not least, it comes at an extremely reasonable price, which is always a bonus.
PROJECT: Pierre Rolland and shipyard technical department
HULL: LOA 9.80m • Waterline length 9.80m • Maximum beam 3.60m • Draft with fixed keel 1.95m • Draft with twin keels 1.55m • Draft with lifting keel 1.10-2.40m • Displacement with fixed keel 3,800 kg • Displacement with twin keel 4,100 kg • Displacement with lifting keel 3,950 kg • Fixed keel ballast 1,200 kg • Twin keel ballast 1,500 kg • Lifting keel ballast 1,350 kg • Main sail 36 m2 • Genoa 32 m2– Solent 21 m2– Gennaker 92 m2 – Code 0 60 m2
MAIN PROPULSION: Yanmar 3YM30AE • Outlet mechanical power 21.3 kW 3 cilinders • Maximum torque 3600/min Alternator 60 A • Dry weight 123 kg – Sail drive
EC CERTIFICAION: Cat. A – 5 people/ Cat. B – 8 people
PRICE: 124,725€, Exclusive VAT (Fixed keel boat) • 134,825€, Exclusive VAT (Lifting keel boat)
Port du Minaouet, ZA de Grignallou
F-29910 Tregunc, Francia
Porto Turistico di Lavagna 7
I- 16033 Lavagna (GE)
Tel. +39 0185 1990856
(Django 9.80 Marzo 2018)