Ocean A Classification?
The Elling E4 has a European Conformity certificate for "Ocean A" operation. Vessels meeting this high level of Europeancertification can safely operate in conditions exceeding Beaufort Force 8 conditions (34- to 40-knot winds and seas exceeding 13' (4 m), a "fresh gale.) In the Elling’s case, meeting this standard carries with it an inherent stability that is equally impressive. She is reported by the builders to have full righting capability. Now, certainly ocean going lifeboats carry this rating, but there aren’t many yachts in the trawler or distance cruiser market that do.
Integrity as Well
The safety level of the Elling E4 didn’t end with her ocean rating. She’s also a tough as nails cruiser thanks to her materials. Elling went with Twaron (a productmade by AKZO that is similiar to DuPont Kevlar), a high-strength fabric sandwiched within all Elling hulls. Elling’s builder and chief engineer, Anton van den Bos, chose Twaron because its impact resistance is greater than that of equivalent laminates that use Kevlar or Carbon Fiber. In effect, Elling has created a hull that can, in theory, withstand an impact with a partially submerged container. Although this hasn’t been tested, the theory is sound.
Her semi displacement hull form serves both the distance cruising set as well as the local touristas. With a single 425-hp Volvo D6 engine, top speed will be in the neighborhood of 20kts. That sort of speed can get you to a lot of places. You could be cruising the InsidePassage from Seattle before a full displacement boat has crossed the border. Then throttle back and you can cruise for days taking in the serene beauty before speeding back at the end of the week. Conversely, you can slow-cruise to the Bahamas andthen speed your way from one island to another with plenty of time to explore. With the throttle pulled back to best economy, Elling says their E4 can achieve 1,500 nautical miles at 7.5kts. Not enough to make a straight run across the Atlantic, but certainly enough to take the scenic route around, via Greenland and Iceland.
But is it Comfortable?
Therein lies the question, and it’s that very question that separates the capable from the wannabe’s. In the E4’s case, Elling seemed to have their act together. The aft cockpit is roomy and spacious enough to house a party in and of itself. A bimini covers the entire area and protects from sun. Railings run the full circumference of the yacht and are fabricated from 316L stainless steel and set 31.5” (80 cm) off the deck. The foredeck features a rumble style flip-up seat that tucks neatly out of the way when not in use.
Ellings don’t have flying bridges as they... well... fly, in the face of the builder’s safety philosophy. A yacht that gets tossed on its beam ends, or broaches and rolls over will spell disaster to a bridge crew. However, still realizing that fresh air and a view of the stars while operating are paramount to ones comfort level, a convertible overhead can be retracted at the push of a button. Closed, its watertight seal keeps the salon dry when plunging through a head sea. Also of interest is the collapsible antennae array that reduces the E4’s bridge clearance to a mere 12' (3.7 m), a pivotal feature in the canals of Europe.
Entering the main salon one can’t help but be awed by the fit and finish that is evident in the E4.
While there is a 36,000 BTU air handling system that vents to all rooms, the E4 is no stranger to natural ventilation. Nine opening hull ports, two hatches and an overhead retractable roof allow for all but the most temperate latitudes to keep the interior of the yacht comfortable. An L-shaped settee faces the helm station and makes for an ideal gathering location while underway. The helm allows for 360-degree visibility and leaves enough room for laying out charts that get stored in a dedicated compartment in the salon. The instrument panel is well equipped with a full array of Raymarine instrumentation, and Elling responded to a frequent customer complaint that the panel was not viewable from the helm seat and angled the instrumentation cluster up enough for easy viewing.
The rest of the salon features beautiful cherry woodwork with fiddles on all the level surfaces, with the notable exception of the dining table. We’d like to see all the deck hatches be hinged, rather than lift out, and an overhead handrail running the length of the salon would also be a welcome addition, especially considering the vessels Ocean A rating.
Elling went with a galley down layout and it serves this yacht well. Not only is the galley as roomy as the one in your home, it’s also equally well equipped. Just two steps down and abaft of the main salon, the galley contains large work surfaces on both sides of the companionway. In the deck is a convenient “wine cellar” that features the same lift out hatches we’ve seen elsewhere that we feel should be hinged. A cooktop range and stove, as well as a microwave oven handle the cooking for extended cruises. A full sized refrigerator/freezer handles the stores. A combination washer/dryer saves space while providing functionality.
The main salon is accessed by an open center stairway from the helm deck which gives the feeling of an open atrium. C-shaped seating lies to starboard and faces two separate seats with a table between them. A guest head that doubles as a day head lies to port just forward of the salon. Fully forward is a guest cabin. Abaft the salon, and lying to starboard is the second guest cabin, both allow for double berths.
The master stateroom lies aft and is accessible by walking through the galley. This is a comfortable arrangement for those who are prone to getting up in the middle of the night for a drink and then heading back to bed. Both the guest and master heads feature first rate fixtures, Corian countertops, and heated towel racks.
Silence is Golden
Elling spares no effort when it comes to noise suppression. A lot of it has to do with the Twaron used in the construction process. It has a surprisingly effective sound reducing quality, and the engine room is further insulated to keep the stateroom occupants sufficiently comforted. Further, Elling utilizes Volvo Penta’s Aquadrive thrust-bearing system, which absorbs the thrust from the propeller in addition to much of the vibration, resulting in a smooth, quiet ride.
As with any single engine cruiser, an extended keel runs under the running gear and rudder offering full protection in the event of a soft grounding. An emergency tiller is fitted for use in the event of a hydraulic or steering component failure. While on the subject of redundancy, the E4’s single engine is backed up with a 30-hp auxiliary engine with saildrive, folding prop and separate fuel tank. Should the main engine fail, this complete, and separate, propulsion system can move the E4 along at up to 6 KTS. If the failure of the main engine is for reasons other than fuel contamination, a simple ball valve will have the wing engine feeding off the main tank. All said, this is quite an impressive yacht, and one that we would look forward to testing. Given her Ocean Class rating, it would be an easy choice to continue on with a passage when others are left waiting out the weather and wasting time. More often than not, the go/no go decision is based on the level that not only the boat can take, but the passengers as well. Based on the stability parameters that accompany this yacht, chances are, both the passengers and the boat will be able to take much more than they would on other yachts of this size. Price of a new Elling E4 is under $1 million.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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