Elan E6, back to the roots

There’s nothing missing. It is nice to sail, even when there isn’t much wind, and it’s easy to handle, but it has a lot of room both on deck and below. In the best tradition of the Slovene yard

by Niccolò Volpati

The hull isn’t the same one used for the GT6 of a few years back. Elan wanted a cruising hull with a lot of space, but without missing out on performance. The naval architect is a person they know and trust, Rob Humphreys, who has been given the mission of creating a boat that keeps people happy even when there isn’t much wind. And actually, the wind wasn’t very strong during our test at Portorose. The first thing that I noticed is that the E6 gets going quickly.

Just as soon as the sails were raised and set, the boat moved off without being affected by drops in the wind. The way it holds the course is also excellent, something that comes both from the waterlines and the twin rudders. Even with just five or six knots of true wind, when I took my hands from the wheel, the boat just moved on as if it were on automatic pilot. You get the feeling that the sail plan and the hull are very well balanced. The only off-note was how hard the steering was. I wondered how it would have felt with a strong wind blowing because I felt the need for a few extra organisers to soften the wheel and gain in manoeuvrability.

The layout is traditional and rational: it delivers comfort, and makes the best use of the space available, while still leaving a lot of room for getting around without aggravation.

Performance under sail shows that the yard’s goal has been reached. At all points of sail, from upwind to a beam reach, the boat went only just slower than the wind. After tacking a bit along the Slovenia/Croatia border, the true wind fell to three knots, but despite that, the E6 didn’t come to a stop. The GPS showed 2.3 knots which, for a 15 by 4.5-metre boat, is nevertheless a good result. It doesn’t need a lot of wind, and probably doesn’t get much affected by a strong wind, so it is ideal for buyers who don’t see a cruise as being more than just moving to the next bay along to swim.

The engine compartment is well insulated because sound levels outside are never excessive.

The Yanmar 80 hp engine with saildrive delivers a cruising speed of over eight knots and gets to a top speed of nine.

Elan E6 is made for sailing. And this aspect is ensured by a 68 square metre mainsail, a 53 m2genoa and by not having an excessive displacement, despite a large amount of space it provides. The weight is around eleven tonnes, with over three more in ballast. Overall, that is a full two tonnes less than the GT6. The T-keel has a standard draught of 2.80 metres, but some versions range from 2.4 to 2.95 metres. Sailing is a pleasure, not least because of how well the deck is organised.


Danijel Strehovec, sales director at Elan, who accompanied me during the test, explained that the yard has a special team of regatta sailors who try out a mock-up of the cockpit to check that the winches are in the right place. And the results reflect that. Two winches are on the deckhouse, while there are four in the cockpit, all of them close to hand and if you can imagine yourself during a race as you excitedly carry out the manoeuvres, you realise that there is enough room to ensure the tailers never get in each other’s way. There are two wheels, set far apart, with comfortable side seating. The mainsail traveller goes across the cockpit but is encased under the deck. The only thing that sticks out is the main sheet blocks. So basically, everything is rational and functional in assisting helming, including while racing, but without dispensing with aesthetics.

It has a trapezoidal shape that stretches out to the stern, thus leaving more room for the rigging and also ensuring there is more room for getting together. The table is available in two versions: one fixed and the other that can move around, for people who like to have a clear area while underway. Going aft, before the raisable platform, there are two lockers which also work as front-facing seats for the helm. One has the grill and the other a fridge.

It holds course well, and performance under sail is good, even when there isn’t that much wind. At all points of sail, the boat was only slightly slower than the wind.

Below decks, I liked the ease of movement, that comes from the rational layout and not just from the amount of room available. The dinette, for example, has a kind of long corridor to the port that means you can get to the bow cabin, while the starboard side is taken up by the galley and the dining table with its U-shaped sofa. There is also the keel-stepped mast, but that is immediately aft of the bulkhead for the bow cabin. The galley has a large work surface and not one but two fridges, again so as not to disappoint people who set off on a cruise. The accommodation area is traditional but well done: the master cabin is in the bow and uses the entire beam, while in the stern there are a further two mirror-image double rooms.

In conclusion, Elan has shown us that you can have comfortable and rational areas for cruising without dispensing with performance when under sail. Essentially, what the Slovene yard has always done from its foundation, given that it has been around for seventy years. And this project has refreshed our memory because a sailing boat is made to be sailed.

Begunje 1
SI-4275 Begunje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia

Adria Ship srl
Testata Mosconi, 1
I-34073 Grado
T. +39 0431 83504

Humphreys Yacht Design (naval architect) • Pininfarina (interior and exterior design)

LOA 15.30m • Length 14.10m • Length waterline 13.68m • Maximum beam 4.49m • Draft 2.80m • Draft as optional 2.40/2.95m • Displacement 11,250 kg • Ballast 3,267 kg • Water tank volume 370 l • Fuel tank volume 240 l • Main sail 68.56 m2 • Genoa 53.71 m• Gennaker 201.7 m2

Yanmar 4JH80 • Outlet mechanical power 58.8 kW (80 hp) • Swept volume 2 l • Dry weight 229 kg 


402,900€ as standard (September 2022)

(Elan E6, back to the roots – Barchemagazine.com – September 2022)