Yacht & Coast

NL Excel

Fareast-26: Dutch design, by way of China

July 1, 2012 by robert in NL Excel with 0 Comments

The Fareast-26 is designed by Simonis Voogd Design _ Dutch naval architects with 26 years of experience _ and built in Shanghai by Far East Boats. Founded in 2002, the company made  230 boats in 2003 which rose to 1,200 by 2005. Today it is the world’s biggest Optimist builder, also licensed by ISAF to build the 420 racer. Far East Boats is steadily moving up the scale. It is making the Fareast-11, the Freefly-15, the Fareast-18 and 19 and 3 rib models _ the Fareast-480, 580 and 680. It has lately ventured into the more complex and  competitive world of cabin cruisers: the Fareast-26 and _ still on the drawing board _ the Fareast-33 and 36 (a catamaran).

Can China take on Jeanneau, Beneteau, Hanse, Dehler, Moody etc? Not yet, really, according to Holland’s Zeilen Magazine. In July, 2012, it tested the Fareast 26 on a day of little wind. Its  findings:

“The Fareast 26 is an unorthodox model. Her LOA is 8.38 m, but her beam only 2.56 m. This is done on purpose, says the factory, to make the boat fit neatly into a standard cargo container. The 26 has an outboard rudder and helm, both of carbon fiber. The helm extender reaches well into the cockpit and requires no more than two fingers. Like all Simonis Voogd designs, the Far East 26 sails well. We tested her on a day of little wind and found that 6 to 10-know winds sufficed to fill the large, symmetrical spinnaker. Close-hauled, we did 5.3 knots and, on a beam reach, 6 knots.”

“The Fareast-26 is elegant , nimble and reacts well to the rudder. She carries good rigging and sails. At a base price of only 34,900 euros she has few rivals. On the inside we found much to be critical of: the backs of the carbon benches are unuseable. The lift-out cooker fits poorly. We found no locking valve on the water drain. The engine runs well but is not built-in. Or even covered, for that matter. We measured a noise level in the cabin of 95db. The hull construction is basically alright and the yard clearly has experience in making composite materials. The Fareast 26 will be a promising yacht if a number of improvements are carried out below deck. We liked the overall concept and are pleased to see that beautiful and reasonably-priced yachts of this length still appear on the market. Both the builder and  the designer said they’d welcome an independent review adding they will use that feedback to improve future products.”

Far East Boats has sales points in Brazil, Chile, USA, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden and New Zealand.

The Dutch supplier: Far East Boats Holland / iinfo@fareastboats.nl



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