Do the best things come in small packages? If they’re pocket cruisers like the Saffier Sc 8m, the answer is yes
Not normally known for gushing praise, I found myself describing my day out with Saffier as ‘one of the most enjoyable sails I’ve had in a long time.’
She’s not big, she doesn’t cost half a million, she hasn’t even got a separate heads compartment, but I could imagine myself having wonderful sailing adventures in her; exploring the quiet reaches of the Fal, pottering around Poole Harbour, hiding away up the Kyles of Bute or exploring the creeks of the River Roach.
Dutch brand Saffier might not be a familiar name in UK marinas but given our coastline, with its many harbours, inlets and estuaries, the builder has a lot to offer the cruising sailor.
Family business Saffier make two distinct ranges: the Se range of long- cockpit, lounging-friendly dayboats and weekenders for warmer waters, and the classic Sc range, designed for longer weekends with the possibility to stay on board for a little longer.
The Scs are ideal for those who want to day sail easily, with as little fuss as possible.
They can easily be singlehanded, and the sails – and the loads from them – are easily manageable, more so with the addition of one electric winch.
THE TEST VERDICT
I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the water in the Saffier. She was a delightful boat to sail, even in the North Sea in January – albeit the last two days of the month.
To my eyes she’s an attractive boat, and while she doesn’t have the accommodation of larger boats, I would relish the opportunity to have one if I lived close enough to her to pop out for evening sails, maybe to anchor in a quiet creek, relax for a while before the sunset and it was time to head home.
She’s perfectly suited for singlehanded sailing; everything on board is easy to operate.
She’s a rewarding boat to sail and obeys the helm, which gives a great connection to the boat and the water.
The tiller could be handled with just fingertips, and a solid grip round it was rarely needed.
One only has to rest a hand on top to feel in effortless control of this great little cruiser and in a way, that typifies this boat; she’s set up and designed to be easy and enjoyable to sail.
WOULD SHE SUIT YOU AND YOUR CREW?
She’s best used for weekends or nights away but there is little stopping someone coastal cruising or even sailing her across the Channel.
If you’re luckily enough to live near a harbour or estuary, you could get so much use out of a boat like this if you are on your own or with a partner. Hop on, unzip the stack pack, connect the code zero and away you go.
She could port-hop your way around most of Great Britain or Ireland or, if you have a car with enough grunt, she can be towed, which opens up another level of cruising options.
Blending quality and performance with a lower price tag than you might expect, the Saare 38 challenges the established order
Hallberg-Rassy’s new 340 has a bowsprit, twin rudders, twin helms and no chart table. Have the quintessential Swedish boat builders…
She might not be cheap for her size but well-built small boats rarely are, although it’s rare to find such a well-rounded boat as this.
The Sc 8m doesn’t have stacks of complex systems and that’s one of her many charms, as there’s less to go wrong, but she has just enough to be comfortable to stay on while retaining her eager-to-please nature under sail.
FACTS AND FIGURES
Price as tested: £88,690
LOA: 8.60m (28ft 3in)
Hull Length: 8m (26ft 3in)
LWL: 6.90m (22ft 8in)
Beam: 2.45m (8ft)
Draught: 1.3m (4ft 3in)
Displacement: 1,800kg (3,968lb)
Ballast : 760kg (1,675lb)
Ballast ratio: 42.2%
Displacement / Length: 155.3
Sail area: 36m2 (387sq ft)
SA/D ratio: 24.8
Diesel: 40 litres (8.8 gal)
Water: 60 litres (13 gal)
RCD: category C
Designer: Dean Hennevanger
Builder : Saffier Yachts
UK Agent: Imperial International Yacht Brokers
Tel: 01202 826800