Slovenian boatbuilder Seascape has hit on an award-winning formula for affordable, fun family sportsboats – mini-performance cruisers.

Seascape is a Slovenian company that produces speedy sportsboats inspired by Open class racing yachts – mini performance cruisers that are capable of providing manageable fun in an affordable size range.

The company has had three nominations for European Yacht of the Year and two wins for its first three models – suggesting that it occupies an exciting and popular niche.

In the 2016/17 European Yacht of the Year awards, held in January at Düsseldorf Boat Show, the Seascape 24 was winner of the Special Yacht category. The other nominees: Bihan 650, Easy-To-Fly, Scow FR 18, Spirit 47CR.

The 24 embodies the best of Seascape’s previous 18ft and 27ft models: a versatile, lightweight, powerful yacht with a retractable swing keel that planes easily and sleeps four. It’s the modern ‘people’s boat’ says Seascape.

I can see this being a fun and fast weekender as well as a potent racing class designed around speed reaching.

The 24 is designed to be simple and manageable to broaden its appeal. Designer Sam Manuard has created a slippery hull shape that is easily driven at low heel angles.

Further reading
Seascape 24 review continues below…

On the water I found her superbly balanced, her twin rudders providing fingertip control. The well thought-out control lines make sailing and trimming the boat fun.

It is certainly powerful with a sailplan large enough to significantly raise the pulse of most sailors – a little too aggressive for starters and young families perhaps.

Unfortunately the breeze was very light for my La Rochelle trials – the 24 still slipped along upwind at 5 knots upwind, increasing to 7 knots with the large kite (a gennaker up to 67sq m can be flown).

My European Yacht of the Year jury colleagues report that in 12 knots of wind she planes easily, sailing offwind at 11 knots in flat water (see comments below).

The pronounced coachroof creates seated headroom space for the interior. The use of sliding panels creates four usable berths and there’s space for a chemical heads.

Seascape 24 specifications

LOA: 7.30m (23ft 11in)
Beam: 2.50m (8ft 2in)
Displacement: 890kg (1,962lb)
Draught: 0.3m to 1.9m (12in to 6ft 3in)
Price ex VAT: €43,600 (£38,250)

Toby’s Conclusion

In the 24 Seascape has created proper compact and versatile fast cruiser. The 24 inherits the sporty trailable fun of the 18 with the speed and space of the 27 – which makes for a spicy weekender and a pocket family sports cruiser that is good value for money.

Bert Bosman, Waterkampioen, The Netherlands
It’s hard not to smile while sailing this boat.

Joakim Hermansson, Båtnytt, Sweden
Trailable and affordable with exciting performance, the Seascape 24 opens up new waters for a growing group of sailors.

Roland Duller, YachtRevue, Austria
The perfect compromise between a regatta and a cruising boat. A very special design with a lot of space inside. Fascinating sailing performance and without competition in this size.

Pancho Pi-Suñer Oses, Nautica y Yates, Spain
Offers almost the feeling of a light sailing dinghy but at the same time, the possibility to spend a few nights at anchor. She is also well thought-out for one-design regattas.

Axel Nissen-Lie, Seilas, Norway
It is not just top speed but acceleration that gives you the excitement. The Seascape 24 is large enough to provide safety but small enough for easy handling. Finally everyone can experience modern sailing for a reasonably price.

Jochen Rieker, YACHT, Germany
When it comes to compact fast cruisers, Seascape does stand-out. And the new Seascape 24 just nails it.

About European Yacht of the Year awards

The European Yacht of the Year is judged by journalists from 11 different magazines from 11 different European nations. Each jury member tested every yacht from the five different categories, over two separate weeks in two different locations.

Take a look at last year’s winners and the winners from the year before.

After the decisions were finalised, the five category winners were announced in January at a prizegiving held during the opening night of the Düsseldorf Boat Show.