We tried out the new Austin Parker 44 Sedan, designed by Fulvio De Simoni, and equipped with two Volvo Penta IPS 500s for a top speed of 34 knots
by Angelo Colombo photo by Maurizio Baldi and Martino Motti
The Pisa-based yard has recently added this new 44’ to its range, bringing its number of models, from 36 to 72 feet, to seven in total. These highly attractive and practical boats guarantee comfort and safety, while boasting a classic design, destined to retain its appeal over time, and a variety of original and up-to-date particulars. We were extremely curious to get our hands on the latest Austin Parker 44 Sedan and to have a chat with its owner, who accompanied us on the trial run, explaining, with justified pride, the reasons for his choice.
«My wife and I have been boating for many years, first sailing, and then motor-boating with an American boat we were very satisfied with. But the arrival of our grandchildren made it too small for us, leading us to look for something a little more comfortable. A friend with whom we had already bought the previous boat, suggested us to consider the new Austin Parker 44’, and, although my wife was particularly fond of the previous boat, when she saw it, she immediately accepted the idea of the change. Here, we’ve got more space for the night, but also more space to enjoy our days at sea”.
“Our grandchildren can play safely, and we can all have just the right amount of our own space. Both my wife and I were fascinated by the great aesthetic attention to detail the boat has to show off. The only thing that worried me a little was the maintenance of the wood on deck, but then the yard reassured me on the modern treatments. Today, after making a few short cruises between Tuscan islands and having stayed aboard a few nights, I can say that I am fully satisfied with its performance, even with a rougher sea, just as much as with its consumption and comfort».
Our test confirmed the impressions of the owner, and we can add that this is a well-conceived 44-footer in which fine materials and refined workmanship can be perceived both on the outside and the inside. Furthermore, the combination of the Volvo Penta IPS 500 engines with Garmin electronics, for the management and monitoring of engines, systems and sensors on board, makes the owner’s life managing the craft a piece of cake and extremely safe.
On the outside, the Austin Parker 44 Sedan deck offers plenty of space for relaxation, well-protected by perfectly-sized and safe side railings with wood and steel handrails. The walkways are also well-sized. The cockpit is very practical, and accessible from the stern swim platform via a small steel door to starboard. On the left, we find a U-shaped sofa with central table for up to eight people.
Inside and towards the bow, we find the galley on the left with a handy opening window directly overlooking the outdoor dining area, allowing even those who are busy cooking to socialize with the others on board. On the starboard, there is a piece of furniture that contains a retractable TV and stereo system, then a two-seater sofa and the helm station, ergonomically designed to offer full visibility over the horizon during navigation. On the left, there is the dinette with a C-shaped sofa and central table. Between the dinette and the deck, there is access to the lower deck, where two large cabins with two large bathrooms, complete with separate showers, ensure just the right comfort for four people, even on extended cruises.
Austin Parker 44 Sedan – Our test
We went out into the Gulf of Follonica in a stiff north-westerly wind, whipping up short, steep waves of about three-quarters to one metre, of the kind that tend to bother many pleasure boats. Starting from the assumption that every boat is the result of design compromise, because, and we’ll say it again, the perfect design can only exist to the extent that it suits the typical conditions of its specific intended use, we found that the Austin Parker is a distinguished success in guaranteeing balance between performance, comfort and sea-keeping.
We discovered a craft that was easy to manoeuvre, both in tight cornering and at speed, able to glide softly along without ever breaking down on the wave. Additionally, consumption remained admirably in check in relation to overall dimensions, weight and speed. The balanced boat was well capable of sailing in optimal trim conditions, also thanks to the Trim-Assist and Interceptor system.
There was excellent visibility from the bridge at all speeds over the entire horizon. The helm position was also comfortable both standing and seated, and instrumentation was complete, easy to use and clear in all details. It all makes it a very beautiful and practical boat, in which Fulvio De Simoni has sought the right balance between form and function, managing to keep the first endowed with a classic styling and the second with all the benefits of cutting-edge design.
We liked it a lot for its liveability, for its performance, and, above all, for its consumption on a cruise, since you can navigate at almost 34 knots, if you are in a hurry, or just over 16, in very high comfort conditions, with a total consumption of 69 liters per hour, certainly a good result for a 14 meters.
AUSTIN PARKER 44 SEDAN
Austin Parker (interiors) • Fulvio De Simoni (exteriors and naval architecture)
HULL LOA 13.46m • Maximum beam 4.21m • Draft 1.18m • Ligh mass displacement 13700 kg • Full mass displacement 16500 kg • Fuel tank volumes 1600 l • Water tank volume 450 l • Waste water tank volume 150 l
MAIN PROPULSION 2 Volvo Penta IPS 500 • Outlet mechanical power 272 kW • Number of cylinders 6 • Total swept volume 5500 l • Maximal rotational speed 6150/mon • Weight 601 kg
EC CERTIFICATION CAT A
PRICE 680,000€ (Excl.VAT)
(Austin Parker 44 Sedan, beautiful and functional – Barchemagazine.com – Novembre 2018)