Elan 37 Design Notes
— 24 Dec 2003
In very nearly ten years’ work with Elan our primary concern has been the development of the dual-purpose yacht, where the potentially conflicting characteristics of performance and cruising comfort have to be kept in harmony. The objective clearly is to produce boats that can be competitive on the race track while fulfilling a wholesome parallel existence in the cruising sector.
With the march of time expectations move on, and racing aspirations can become harder to achieve. So the Elan 37, as the latest incarnation of our dual-purpose philosophy, has had an even more determined effort directed towards her race-winning potential. Her fine entry, long waterline, high stability and refined appendages will make her really sparkle upwind, while her clean lines and generous afterbody will make her similarly slippery downwind. And with this hydrodynamic refinement comes an increased emphasis on race-bred ergonomics that will make crew-work a pleasure, for example with mainsail controls comfortably to the trimmer’s hands.
But what of the 37’s cruising attributes? The design of cruiser-racers has been a speciality of ours for twenty years, long before we began our productive relationship with Elan, and we never feel compromised by weight issues that by definition accompany a decent level of interior fit-out. We design weight-tolerant hulls so that there is little need to economise on furniture elements, and the 37 is as lavish in this respect as any other cruising yacht of her size. And in terms of cruising ergonomics, what’s comfortable on the race-course is generally pretty desirable in a cruising environment, except that the 37 has a drop-in transom moulding to close the open transom for increased security and additional deck stowage.
The sales projections for the Elan 37 are very high, and Elan go about their product development in a serious way, with the generation of pre-production prototypes to ensure the formula is right. I am very confident that the production boats that appear for the 2004 season will be winners under both disciplines – racing and cruising.