Having seen the new Sly43 at the Pittwater Marine Expo, at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, I thought “wow something different from Italy.”
She is a little less beamy than the current range of new boats and has some serious new styling.
Brendan from Vicsail asked if I would like to join them for the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club Wednesday afternoon race. I arrived at the CYCA to a good 20 to 25 knot southerly. Sydney was in one of the wettest periods in history but fortunately we had no rain for the afternoon.
Stepping on board you notice two large hatches for stowage and just forward are pop up steering chocks. The twin steering wheels protrude from the cockpit sides keeping the teak cockpit floor clear.
The wheels have different multi function displays, compasses and switches for a variety of gear, including a removable plotter.
The pop up cockpit table is a great design and so easy to use. The frame is similar to an ironing board and opens up to a large, carbon fibre table top – it is very handy for a relaxing debrief.
The deck is very clean with all lines concealed through to the cockpit head winches, the jib tracks are also installed on the cabin top.
When going down below, the first thing you notice is the light and airy feeling. There are only a four steps down, which allows good visibility out the windows.
There are three double cabins with the master forward complete with en suite. The port and starboard aft cabins are very well appointed in typical Italian style, sharing a second head/shower. All three cabins have ample storage space and are superbly finished.
The main saloon is very efficient and space saving and even has a slide in and out Navigation stool.
The cover on the cook top slides back and becomes a splash back and the galley is complete with both a wine and spice rack. The layout is good for entertaining with well-appointed sink, cook top and oven and fridge/freezer along the starboard side. The port side has a large lounge and table for up to eight people.
The navigation area and table are a good design with the electronics broad and impressive. There is an Italian power point, I would like to see a universal one, it also had 12 volt and USB outlets. The navigation station also housed the VHF radio and sound system.
Now time to race and see how she goes. With ten minutes to go we get the main up. This boat didn’t have an electric winch, which we all decided was a must and can be chosen from the extensive list of options. With the main up we rolled the lazy jacks away and were ready to race in four minutes.
With two minutes to go we unfurled the jib and were off with nice speed and response. We reached to Kirribilli and while most of our fleet were using number four head sails, we were quite happy using the full sized jib – except for a couple of bullets.
The boat tracked very straight in the gusty conditions and was very light and responsive on the helm. We had a great sail, relaxing but with good speed and finished a credible fourth.
Once back in the pen we were able to fully relax in the roomy cockpit and discuss the Sly43’s performance. The model we sailed had the short keel draft of 2.25 against 2.55, which is another option and would give even more speed.
The Sly43 has an IRC rating of 1.153, which is similar to a Swan 42. It would be interesting to set an A sail and see the performance.
The Sly43 is built by Sly Marine in Cesena, Italy, whose range has 38ft to 61ft yachts including the award-winning Sly42. It was designed by Marco Lostuzzi with Nauta Yachts contributing to the design of the interior. She is a stylish, sleek, well-built boat with a superb Italian fit out.
After a very pleasant sail on Sydney Harbour in this fantastic Racer/Cruiser, I decided she would be an excellent boat for Hamilton Island Race Week. She has the advantage of being easily sailed with a minimum crew.
When driving home I was reminded of a question I was recently asked by an American visitor, “Is Australia the only country in the world that runs Wednesday afternoon races?”
The Sly43 will be on display at the Sydney International Boat Show in August.
Designer : Marco Lostuzzi
Overall length : 12.97 m
Waterline length : 11.21 m
Maximum beam : 3.96 m
Light displacement (approx.) : 7,880 Kg
Draught : 2.55 m
Reduced Draught : 2.25 m
Keel weight : 2,520 Kg
Fuel tank capacity : 170 L
Water tank capacity : 20L
Engine : 40HP
Base Price : $AU650,000
This article was originally published in the June-July 2014 issue of Australian Sailing + Yachting.