This summer will see the launch of a new 44ft model from Grand Soleil that’s available in both Performance and Racing versions
With 4,500 yachts built to date, this Italian brand has recently increased capacity to 200 builds a year across its three model ranges. Turnover has also grown sharply, increasing from just €2.5 million in 2014 to €41.5 million last year.
Its latest model is a sporty 44-footer that’s offered in performance cruising and racing formats. Both of which benefit from generous interior volumes, with the latter having a taller carbon rig, with a race-optimised deck layout and sail plan. In both cases cockpit space is significantly improved compared to earlier models.
Designer Matteo Polli tested four different hull shapes using CFD (computational fluid dynamics) technology originally developed for the Prada America’s Cup team. The final version offers a good performance to rating ratio for those who want to race, together with a low centre of gravity which also benefits cruisers.
Maximum beam is carried well aft at deck level, but is narrower at the waterline, which reduces drag and suits a single rudder configuration.
Polli also evaluated three different mast positions, finding that maximising the J measurement benefitted both racing and cruising use. This makes the foretriangle sufficiently large for a self-tacking jib to be fitted as standard to the cruising version, and allows for plenty of flexibility for furling staysails, Code sails and asymmetric spinnakers.
Despite a sleek, low-profile coachroof, the extra space outside is achieved without compromising space below decks. The standard arrangement is for three cabins and two heads, both of which have separate shower stalls.
The first Grand Soleil 44 is scheduled to launched before the end of the summer.
Hull length: 13.4m (44ft 0in)
Beam: 4.3m (14ft 0in)
Draught (std keel): 2.5m (8ft 2in)
Displacement: 9,500kg (19,850lb)
Price: €319,000 (ex. VAT)