We usually talk of boats as being soundly built (or not) writes W M Nixon. Yet as the Dehler range has developed down the decades, it’s every bit as likely you’ll hear them being described as “exceptionally well engineered”. There’s something about the way the boats of this efficient German marque have been created, from first concept through to detailed completion, that makes you think of the sort of superb German car in which you can whizz down the autobahn without a care in the world, secure and comfortable even as you keep up with the fact that the big German roads have no speed limit whatever.
We first really became aware of the Dehler range when designer Ricus van der Stadt’s son-in-law and successor Cees van Tongeren created the all-conquering Dehler db range, queens of the offshore racing circuit. Then as unmistakably Dehler cruiser-racers began to make an impact on the wider market, we took notice in a different way.
It has to be confessed that when the hyper-successful Dehler 34 first appeared a long time ago, I’d mixed feeling about the fact that her keel was at its smallest where it was attached to the hull, as it had a sort of “super-Scheel” shape with a hefty bit of hydro-dynamically useful ballast down low where it would do good work, but would surely put a strain in the hull.
We needn’t have worried. An elderly English clergyman took his new Dehler 34 and went far north to make a seemingly effortless circuit of Svalbard in a breezy year when experienced Arctic hands were telling us the place was impassable. While the Dehler 34 has long since been replaced in the range, the fact that 1,200 are still happily sailing the seas speaks volumes for the quality of that Dehler construction, and this Dehler 35 of 1994 vintage is solidly in the same tradition, but she is fitted with extra bells and whistles which were much less common in the era of the pioneering Dehler 34 in the 1980s.
The boat is for sale through Ronan Beirne of Leinster Boats at €43,750 on Afloat boats for sale here. As she’s located afloat in Warrenpoint, she’s within an easy hour’s drive of more than half the total population of Ireland. So if you’re even slightly interested, believe me it’s well worth the journey. All the key details are in the Aloat.ie ad. And if you want to know about the advantages of going for a Dehler cruiser-racer, just have a quiet word with someone who used to own a problematic boat of another type in times past, but has long since settled into the security and reassurance of the best German engineering in a Dehler.