EXCLUSIVE: Sealine F34
— By Alan Harper
— September 2003
High, Wide and Stable
|Sealine’s F34 proves its small stern-drive flying-bridge boat doesn’t have to be tender.|
Here in the U.K., Sealine is known as the premier producer of entry-level cruising boats. Okay, it’s the only producer of entry-level cruising boats, but still, it has a solid reputation for high quality, sensibly priced boats packed with clever design features that buyers at this end of the market don’t always expect. Although the model range now extends upwards to a 60-footer that’s in the works, there is no shortage of comfort and features at the smaller end. That’s why Sealine has always prided itself on its ability to take a novice boat owner and guide him through four or five purchases.
The new F34 flying-bridge cruiser replaces one of the builder’s most popular models, the F33, of which some 425 were built over its nine-year life. Obviously, the new boat had a lot riding on it—and never more than in June on the day of its introduction to the international press in Alcudia, Mallorca. Its diminutive flying bridge was frequently buried beneath four or five heavyweight journalists—Germans mostly, but some of the American scribes maybe ought to lay off the lard too—and one had to wonder on these occasions just how far above the waterline its center of gravity had strayed.
Stern-drive-powered flying bridge boats in this size range give their designers plenty of challengers when it comes to handling. With the engines at the stern, no shafts or rudders to root the boat in the water and help pull down the center of gravity, and plenty of top hamper, such boats can be hard to keep in a straight line in harbor and alarmingly tender at high speed.
Next page > Part 2: But enough techno-droning—this is a family boat. > Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
This article originally appeared in the October 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.