Easy to handle and very responsive. It has got everything that you need to enjoy sailing. And there is the 4 kW electric pod for when there isn’t enough wind
by Niccolò Volpati – photos by Jasper van Staveren and Bertel Kolthof
Fun is guaranteed – you just need a finger, which is required to activate the winches, given that they are electric and can both raise and lower the sails. The latest creation of the Dutch yard Saffier is the SE 27, which we saw for the first time in Düsseldorf, in 2020. The pandemic delayed the boat’s launch, but not its success. And so it was that at La Spezia, and thanks to Settemari Yacht who are the official importers, that I managed to try it out. The wind was fairly weak, which allowed me to appreciate one of its qualities straight away. It only needs three knots of wind to get moving. As we went to the opening of the bay, the wind picked up and rose to around seven knots, and even though close-hauled, the Saffier SE 27 sailed happily at 5.5 knots. After tacking and gybing a bit, we decided to unfurl the Code Zero and the speed increased.
Two bunks and a chemical head, which are functional for daytime use. It is difficult to see yourself spending the weekend onboard.
It is the quintessence of a daysailer. Easy to handle, even if you are alone and very responsive. You just need a hint of stronger wind and the boat immediately reacts and starts to accelerate. The deck set-up has been designed so that it is easy for a single person to sail the boat. The mainsail traveller is outside the cockpit, the mainsail has a German rig, the jib is self-tacking jib and the winches are electric. You just need a few minutes to get the hang of it.
At the start, I have to say that the concept of never taking the sheet from the self-tailing winch didn’t come to me instinctively. I needed to tack up and down a bit to get used to it. Once I had gotten through the initial hesitation, I started to appreciate how easy it was to use. You really just need a finger to tack and gybe. The buttons are there to hand at the helm. The cockpit layout was designed so that one person does the helming and the other doesn’t have to do anything, and can simply enjoy the ride. And steering isn’t exactly going to kill you from exhaustion. It is beautiful to sail. The pleasure of a responsive boat, which is easy to handle, understand and accompany. Anyone who wants a more traditional sail plan can go for an 18-square metre 108% genoa, rather than the fifteen square metre self-tacking jib. And as well as the Code Zero, you can also have a 66 m2 gennaker. So Saffier SE 27 can easily be changed into a racing boat.
The cockpit area has been designed to take four people in comfort and, if required, the stern part can be changed into a sun pad. All of Saffier Yachts’ output follows the idea of a daysailer, but the 27 has something different from the earlier models. This doesn’t involve the sail plan, and not even the deck equipment, but rather the engine. On this occasion, the yard has opted for an electric pod – the Torqeedo Cruise, which produces 4 kW of power. The four lithium batteries in the pack weigh 37 kilos, and the pod itself is just over fifteen. What this all means is a propulsion system that is a lot lighter than its diesel equivalent, but which nevertheless has five hours of battery life which, for a day trip, are more than enough.
THIS IS EASY SAILING TAKEN TO AS FAR AS IT CAN GO, BUT WITHOUT LOSING THE PLEASURE OF SAILING. THE SQUARE-SHAPED COCKPIT
IS LARGE ENOUGH TO TAKE FOUR PEOPLE AND CAN EVEN
BE ADAPTED INTO A SUN PAD.
The advantages of being lighter also affect its performance under sail. Enrico Podestà from Settemari Yacht states that with the gennaker up and fifteen knots of wind, the boat planes easily and keeps the hull out of the water for a good amount of time. I looked all over the place for more wind, and close to Fezzano it was actually blowing a bit stronger, but still not enough to try planning.
The SE 27 also has some below decks space. Not enough to think you might go for a cruise, nor even enough for a weekend. It can be thought of as a small cabin to have a bit of privacy, or as a shelter, if the weather turns bad, or basically to store anything that you want to take with you when you set out. The only choice which didn’t really convince me was that the chemical head is located in the bow area, in the middle of the two bunks, because the headroom there is really limited, and using it becomes a bit uncomfortable. To sum up I would say Saffier Yachts’ new boat is the best reflection of the idea of a daysailer. And the yard has been producing this kind of boat, with growing success, for years. They have recently acquired a 4,000 square metre new facility, again in the IJmuiden area in The Netherlands. They currently make ninety boats a year, but they have requests for up to 120. The growth of the yard means they can increase output. They haven’t stopped building new boats, of course. Indeed, they have just launched a 33.
It is very easy to helm thanks to the self-tacking jib and the electric winches to haul home or slacken the sheets. It is a very responsive boat, you need very little wind to get it moving.
Saffier SE 27 is the first boat from the Dutch yard with a 4 kW electric pod. The battery pack weighs 37 kilos, and the pod itself is just over fifteen. The battery lasts five hours.
SAFFIER MARITIEM B.V.
LOA 8.20m • Length 7.50m • Maximum beam 2.60m • Dry displacement 1,900 kg • Draft 1.40 m • Ballast 900 kg • Sailing surface 39 m2 • Mainsail 24 m2 • Self-tacking jib 15 m2 • Code Zero 51 m2
Torqeedo Cruise Pod 4.0 FP • Outlet mechanical power 4 kW • Weight 15.8 kg • Battery pack weight 37 kg • Voltage 48V
83,500 €, Excl. VAT (March 2022)
(Saffier SE 27 Leisure, it’s a beautiful day – Barchemagazine.com – March 2022)