EXCLUSIVE: Sealine F34
— By Alan Harper
— September 2003
High, Wide and Stable
|Part 2: But enough techno-droning—this is a family boat.|
But it didn’t work out like that with the F34. Sealine has a lot of experience with boats like this, and it shows. At idle speeds the F34 was docile and predictable—she’s a ton heavier than her predecessor, and far from overpowered with a pair of 220-hp Volvo Penta diesels—and even without the bow thruster she mostly does what she’s told. From the flying bridge, the bow didn’t feature very prominently in my view forward—the F34 is tall for her length, and I really felt like I was perched up high. So when at 30 knots I cranked the wheel hardover for the first time, I got quite a sensation. The F34 didn’t so much lean into turns, as topple—but only to about 11 degrees (with four big Scandinavians and me on top), and then she not only gets on with the turn, she feels quite sporty. The next time I made such a turn things didn’t seem so nearly dramatic, and after that I was totally used to it and started to have fun. But you might want to warn friends and family to stay seated up on the flying bridge, at least until they’re used to it.
Our test boat’s acceleration was leisurely—about 14 seconds to 20 knots and 21 seconds to 25—as it’s not until 3000rpm that the turbos kick in and the boat really takes off. Test day saw a northerly swell in Alcudia Bay, nothing major, but the F34’s hull coped with the head seas better than I was expecting, giving a confident and fairly soft ride once I’d trimmed the drives down to suit the conditions. Beam on and downwind the F34 was equally happy.
But enough techno-droning—this is a family boat. What does she offer? In a word, lots. The F34 feels big down below. Headroom throughout is around 6'3". The forward cabin has a central double berth and all the stowage you’d expect of a 37-footer. The galley, which Sealine points out is more likely to be used on a boat like this than on a 50-footer, has an ingenious sliding worktop that adds around 30 percent more workspace to its useable surface, and plenty of stowage, too. The guest cabin berth is huge, with more than adequate sitting headroom excavated from under the helm seat and a good standing area by the door. The saloon seats six comfortably, with the small two-seater sofa sliding across to the table, unfolding cleverly into a three-seater.
The cockpit extends, too. Sealine introduced a system of its 42/5 that electrically moves the transom and swim platform aft to increase cockpit space, and the F34’s version enlarges her cockpit by 19 inches. Best of all, you can safely leave it extended underway. There are also those clever touches that we’ve come to expect from Sealine: enclosure stowage in the cockpit overhead, for example, and a big sliding locker in the galley that uses the dead space in the corner.
In short the F34 is an affordable, feature-packed cruising machine. No one is introducing more big-boat features into smaller packages than Sealine, which is why I think this boat will be a success on both sides of the Atlantic.
Global Yachts International Phone: (305) 371-26228. www.globalyachts.com.
This article originally appeared in the October 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.