Fjord boats originated in the Scandinavian peninsula, which has a great sailing culture and a deep-rooted respect for the sea, as demonstrated by the hull of the Fjord 36 Xpress that performs well with two 300-HP engines. It can reach speeds of more than 40 knots and offers a broad cruising range that makes it possible to choose the perfect pace
by Niccolò Volpati
These boats were developed in the Norwegian fjords, although the yard has been part of the German Hanse group for some years now. Nationality aside, they are renowned as seafaring vessels, designed to tackle the choppy waters of the North Sea in safety. However, we will be trying them out in the much calmer waters of the Ligurian Sea.
There are no crossed waves or strong winds, but just macaja, as it is known locally, that is to say very low clouds, a sea as smooth as a mill pond and no breeze. We don’t feel discouraged as we push the throttle down. There are two 300-HP Verado outboard engines in the stern. However, one could opt for a pair of 350-hp engines.
Nevertheless, the 600 hp is certainly sufficient for our needs. The thrust is good, because in the space of five seconds the hull rises up out of the water and it only takes 30 seconds more to reach top speed. Our two 300-hp outboard engines are quite frugal in terms of fuel consumption. They burn around 125 litres/hour when travelling at 30 knots, while at lower cruising speeds such as 25 knots the two engines consume just 97 litres.
The top speed is very respectable, given that the GPS indicates that we reached a speed of more than 40 knots when using the trim. The sensation at the helm is very comfortable. The boat is reactive, but not nervous. This can be attributed to the waterlines, but also to the steering gear.
The Mercury Verado engines offer an optional joystick for manoeuvring, as well as an auto trim system. All these instruments push the price up, but they’re so useful that it’s difficult to leave them out. They’re some of those things that if you’ve tried them, there’s no going back. We look around desperately for the wake of a larger vessel travelling past, but the rain has evidently put everyone off going to sea.
I have to settle for creating it on my own and, although they’re not ocean waves, I try to get the water moving as much as possible. Our passage over these waves is almost imperceptible. The very vertical bow – typical of Fjords – and the deep V of the hull cut through the water perfectly without causing the boat to jolt. Meanwhile, the angle of the deadrise to the stern provides added stability. This is apparent when performing turns and counterturns one after the other, even when they’re as tight as possible.
The hull never hesitates. It responds promptly to all changes of course without ever breaking free from the water. It’s enjoyable to steer and so we continue along the coast towards France. I have the opportunity to appreciate the ergonomic design of the control panel. Everything is within easy reach, at the right distance and in the right place. Even the helmsman’s seat is comfortable both when sitting and when standing, using it as a sort of backrest.
The Fjord 36 Xpress windscreen is quite high and provides good protection from the wind and splashes of water when travelling through a moderate sea and strong winds. It almost reaches the top, which protects the central area of the boat. The solution used here is different from usual. It consists of a stainless steel structure covered by a perforated canvas section. It doesn’t provide great protection from heavy rain, but I’m sure it would be appreciated on hot sunny days.
What’s more, the canvas is certainly lighter than fibreglass and less expensive than carbon. When stopping in the harbour or port, four poles can be added to extend the awning developed by the yard along the entire length of the boat, providing protection from the sun from the end of the bow to the stern.
The deck has three layouts. The bow zone does not change, with the living area comprised of seats and a small table. However, the cockpit can be rearranged. There is a very open version, lacking in almost everything, which makes the Fjord 36 Xpress ideal as a tender for a large yacht, or two better equipped versions. One with a fixed table and two small sofas and a more versatile version with a table that can be lowered to become a large sun deck.
The backs of the sofas can be moved so that they either form part of the living area or provide a forward-facing seat, which is more comfortable when travelling. Abaft from the seats of the helmsman and co-helmsman, there is a kitchen unit with two hobs, the sink and a fridge.
Inside there is a second fridge, a double berth and a separate bathroom. In fact, the Fjord 36 Xpress is not just suitable for day trips, but can also accommodate two people for a weekend.
Blu Service of Sanremo, Fjord distributor for central and northern Italy and Sardinia, provided the boat for the test run.
Blu Service Srl
Via del Castillo 17, Portosole
T. +39 0184 524288
FJORD – HANSEGROUP
Ladebower Chaussee 11
D-17493 Greifswald, Germany
Fjord 36 Xpress
Project: Allseas design and Shipyard technical department
Hull: LOA 11.32m • Length 10.78m • Maximum beam 3.64m • Draft 0.94m • Displacement 6,060 kg • Fuel tank volume 758 l • Water tank volume 160 l
Main propulsion: 2×300 hp Verado • Outlet mechanical power 221 kW • 6 cylinders in line • Maximal rotational speed 5800/min • 6400/min • Gear ratio 1.75:1 • Dry weight 228 kg
EC Certification: CAT B – 12 people
Price: 133,000 €, Exclusive VAT, Bare boat as standard (July 2018)
(Fjord 36 Xpress, from the land of the Sami – Barchemagazine.com – July 2018)