Shiver me timbers! Varianta-44? Boat of 2012?
The Dutch magazine Zeilen has named the Varianta-44 its ‘Sailboat of 2012’ calling it a value-for-money, no-frills craft for today’s iffy economic times. Its choice riled some readers. How could it pick the Varianta as ‘best boat’ from a lineup that included a J, an X, a Salona and a Waarschip?
“Because of the concept,” Zeilen said of the Hanse Group product. ”Not because of quality or sturdiness, but because of the possibility to buy a lot of boat for little money. It’s a boat that sails well, is basically well built. Others may make a cheap boat by saving on sailing quality and construction. In this case, savings were made in comfort and the interior. We applaud this out-of-the-box thinking.”
“There is much wrong with how the interior is mounted into the boat and its finishing is well below our high standard,” said Zeilen. “It means that when you buy a Varianta-44 you need a different mindset than when you acquire any other fully equipped boat . You buy less luxury, less comfort. But you have space to go sailing with 11 people. Austerity is a choice. A Varianta-44 owner sacrifices much, but not in sailing pleasure. Congratulations Varianta-44.”
Zeilen said it was pleased the Varianta will not be sold online, as first planned. “You are not going to spend 100,000 euros on something you have never seen and cannot discuss in your own language with a sales rep,” it said.
The winner of Zeilen’s best-boat-of-2012 campaign was announced at the Sept. 4-9 HISWA In-Water boat show in Amsterdam. The Xp-44 and Salona-38 finished in shared second place for their ‘’generally high quality.” The Waarschip-700 LD and Elan-210 drew honorable citations for “gall and craftsmanship” and “precociousness” respectively.The magazine selects a winner from the yachts it tests annually.