Cruising guru Jimmy Cornell had the Garcia Exploration 45 built especially for his transit of the North West Passage. This 52ft version is now available
Jimmy Cornell is a prolific cruising author, who founded multiple cruising rallies, including the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC). He has sailed over 200,000nm on his three previous bluewater yachts. When looking for a new yacht to take him through the North-West Passage, he helped develop his definitive go-anywhere yacht – see his story of the transit here.
“My requirements were very clear: a strong, fast, comfortable, functional and easily handled boat perfectly suited for both high latitudes and tropical sailing,” he said.
Together with Garcia Yachting and designer Olivier Racoupeau, he created the Exploration 45. “When you need to batten down the hatches, this is a tank of a boat,” read Matthew Sheahan’s test report of this yacht in 2014.
Garcia Yachting unveiled the Garcia Exploration 52, the first of the 45’s follow-up models, at the Düsseldorf boat show in January. Again from the board of Berret-Racoupeau, this yacht looks rugged and muscular. She retains that heavy-duty coachroof that looks as if borrowed from the bridge of a warship, which is key to providing good visibility at the internal steering position.
The hard roof that worked so well at providing shelter on the 45 has increased in size and height for the 52. Her 7ft extra LOA gives her an extra 600lt tank capacity. She is, however, nearly five tonnes heavier and €250,000 more expensive than the 45.
A yacht designed for high latitudes should feel secure and comfortable inside or out. The Exploration 52 has double-glazed forward-facing windows in the decksaloon, providing 270° visibility. Her build spec reads more like that of a rescue vessel than a cruiser, including a watertight companionway door, watertight forward and aft bulkheads and watertight hatches to the stern compartments.
The tanks are mounted centrally and the chain locker is located at the foot of the mast for optimal weight distribution. Other key features are the integral aluminium centreboard and twin rudders with protective skegs for cruising in shoal waters. My favourite, however, is a “forefoot chainplate for towing and ice-breaking”.
Owners can choose options of two, three or four cabins, sleeping from four to eight crew. If chosen the fourth cabin would be in place of a practical workshop below the decksaloon.
Garcia Yachting is part of Grand Large Yachting, which includes Allures Yachting (see page 72) and Outremer catamarans.
Price ex VAT €699,000 (£504,280).
LOA 16.65m/54ft 8in
LWL 14.59m/47ft 10in
Beam 4.80m/15ft 9in