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HYD and Elan Marine is proud to present a completely new entry model in the sailing boats range for year 2010. The new 310 – featuring a unique combination of twin-rudder steering and T-bulb keel, both not-so-often seen on similar sized boats – marks a giant leap forward for Slovenian boat-building company.

It is sometimes presumed that the smallest boat in a range is the least important to a Builder. But then again, it is possible to presume many other things in life that prove to be quite wrong. The new Elan 310 is a case in point – the smallest model of the Elan range it might be but it is one borne out of intense effort and scrutiny. Not only will it serve as first rung of the ladder to the Elan range – a lure to tempt new owners into on-going Elan ownership – but as a boat conceived in the economic turmoil of the global recession it is intended to serve as more than just a so-called ‘starter’ boat.

As such, it is a multi-dimensional project. Researched and developed with the demanding needs in mind, is at one level designed to be sufficiently easy to sail to carry the badge of beginner’s boat, but at another it is sophisticated enough in its sailing qualities to convince passionate sailors that here is an affordable boat that gives them the performance and general scope they might expect to find in a much bigger and more expensive boat. For them it represents an opportunity to meet their desires now without awaiting an economic climate change to unlock their access to the bigger boat they might have thought they needed.

Why so? Well, to begin with the Elan 310 still subscribes to the core Elan ethos of wholesome cruiser/racer with excellent resale potential, so one economic criterion is met; however, on top of that there is a level of simplicity that adds lightness, as the expression goes, reducing build weight relative to the boat’s significant waterline length. And with a hull form that takes advantage of the twin-rudder concept the boat is able to have very powerful aft sections, increasing transverse waterplane inertia and giving the boat the sailing stability, performance and comfort of a much larger boat.

Hand in hand with this, the 310’s T-Bulb keel lowers the ballast centre of gravity significantly, again allowing a reduction of displacement for a given level of stability. Compared, for example, with the Elan 31 which the 310 replaces, the non-dimensionalised ratio of displacement:length shows a marked difference in sailing characteristics – the 310 should clock in at about 158 to the old 31’s 197. And this number is achieved at a similar level of stability to the 31.

So the 310 should offer sparkling performance, but one that can be realised in a short-handed crew context. This is in line with the growing interest in shorthanded events across Europe, but also in line with the reality that user-friendliness has no downside in whatever sense. With a spacious cockpit layout that is designed for sailing efficiency the boat just develops the feel of a larger boat, with still sufficient interior comfort to fly the cruising flag and protect that vital resale value.

We are very excited about the new 310 and feel confident that this boat will fulfil its multidimensional mission and fulfil the needs of experienced sailors as well as newcomers – easy to sail, easy to run and, in due course, easy to move on.