One might argue that the E3 is like fine European cuisine: familiar ingredients prepared in a different way, producing an extremely satisfying result. Take, for example, her main-deck layout. From stem to stern she’s all one level, giving great views from the cockpit seating area and making it easy to move fore and aft. And the freeboard is quite high: 81 inches at the bow, dropping only slightly to 67 inches at the stern. The pilothouse is a full step down from the cockpit, keeping the E3’s profile low despite her towering sheerline. And so she can sneak under all but the lowest of bridges, the aft section of her hardtop retracts, lowering the radar, antennae, and assorted other top-mounted gear to less than 12-foot air draft.
Admittedly, her pilothouse seems small for a 45-footer, but a wide opening forward of the companionway makes the saloon and pilothouse seem like one space. Opposite the helm station, a table with an L-shape settee will let three or four guests keep the skipper company. To let in sunshine and fresh air, a large panel in the Elling’s pilothouse roof can slide forward electrically; and to keep out water in a driving rain, the panel has a watertight seal, thanks to an automatically inflating gasket.
Even guests choosing to stay below decks can have a chance to enjoy the passing scene, thanks to large elliptical ports in the deckhouse sides. But what really impressed me about the E3’s interior is how spacious it is. Three staterooms, two generous heads, a big saloon, and a full galley; how did Elling do all that in just 45 feet? Then I realized: The engine room occupies just a narrow corridor beneath the pilothouse, on centerline, leaving room outboard for the galley to port and a third stateroom along the starboard side. An easily removable panel in the galley bulkhead affords access to all essential points on the main engine, and a second panel in the master-stateroom bulkhead provides easy access to the oil and fuel filters. Thick thermal and acoustic insulation keeps engine heat and sound out of the accommodation spaces, and to minimize vibration, the engine is soft-mounted, coupled to an Aquadrive thrust-bearing system. Smooth.
In keeping with its European heritage, Elling utilizes every nook and cranny for stowage, including wine racks beneath the galley sole (literally a wine cellar) and stowage bins built into the base of the saloon settee and two upholstered chairs opposite it. In truth, the half-height hanging locker in the master stateroom is limited for extended voyaging, but the yacht offers lots of other places to stash stuff, including a full-height locker in the guest stateroom. And for long-range cruising, the entire third stateroom can be utilized as a giant walk-in closet.
Fit and finish was first-rate, reflecting the superb skills of the Dutch craftsmen who built her. It’s plain to see why the Elling, with her jaunty European air, is so popular overseas. And it’s easy to imagine that she will soon be winning a few hearts and minds here in the United States as well.
American Global Yacht Group (410) 315-8156. www.agyachts.com.
Spotlight on | Safety and Comfort
Almost as well known as the ubiquitous Underwriters Laboratories (UL) labels on electrical appliances sold in this country, the CE mark in Europe signifies that a product meets specific safety requirements. But unlike the UL designation, CE is required on a wide variety of industrial products, including yachts. Moreover, there are four levels of CE designation for yachts. Category A represents the most demanding standard, with criteria ensuring that the yacht is suitable for unrestricted ocean voyaging. Other categories (B, C, and D) are established for yachts intended for offshore, coastal, and sheltered waters, respectively.
In addition to compliance with demanding CE standards for safety, Elling strives to achieve similarly high levels of comfort by reducing sound and vibration underway. For starters, the E3 has a skewed five-blade propeller to reduce one major source of vibration. At the other end of the drive train, thanks to an Aquadrive thrust bearing, the main engine is soft-mounted so engine vibrations will not be transmitted into the hull structure. And as a further measure, there are several layers of sound insulation in the engine room; different combinations of material are used in each layer, to absorb vibration of different frequencies.
Meeting the most demanding standards seems to be standard procedure for Elling.
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