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Olympian and Sailing Coach Mark Mansfield runs through the options available for an owner looking to buy a new boat for racing in the 30 to 50-foot range and picks his top 15 from the market

Having sailed in numerous regattas over the last few years, there are clear designs that feature well on the IRC rating system used in Ireland, the UK, France and many other European countries. Some of the 15 that I have selected below are more offshore orientated, some are true cruiser-racers, with nice interiors, and only one is a full-on racing boat.

There are, of course, numerous other designs that are no longer in production, or one-off boats. However, these 15 are yachts that could be purchased now, and in most cases be sailing and racing in Irish waters by the middle of the summer next year.

I have selected the 30 to 50-foot range as that is where the majority of new boats purchased now come from. So here goes, in size order, largest first. The pricing mentioned are the basic prices without Instruments, sails or safety gear.

1: X Yachts Xp 50

XP50 2005XP50 - a proper cruiser-racer with a luxurious interior Photo: Afloat

One of these is already gracefully sailing and racing in Ireland—Freya, owned by Conor Doyle of Kinsale. She has had some flashes of speed so far. Internationally there are a number of them doing well on IRC. A proper cruiser-racer with a very luxurious interior. Takes a bit of handling those large sails though.

Pricing—From €636,000 plus VAT. Available mid-July 2020

2: Grand Soleil 48

Grand Soleil 48 PerformanceGrand Soleil 48 Performance

A new design in 2018. A model designed for both Comfort but also speed. Nearly all Grand Soleil designs perform very well on Irc. The Grand Soleil 43 was an exceptional design, and it is suspected that the 48 will follow along these lines. Very well built yachts, but also with lovely interiors.

Pricing from €459,000 plus VAT. Available mid-July 2020

3: X Yachts Xp 44 

XP44 WOWXP44 - Sovereign's Cup class winner WOW (above) Photo: Bob Bateman

The X Yachts XP 44 has been around for a few years, but in those years, it has acquitted itself very well on the race courses around Europe on IRC. In Dublin, George Sisk's new Wow is an XP 44 and they have already won their class at Sovereign's week. A true dual-purpose yacht with a lovely interior.

Pricing from €358,000 plus VAT. Available mid-July 2020

4: J122e

J122e El Gran Senor 2511J122e - Clyde based El Gran Senor (above) combines comfort and speed Photo: Afloat

The J122e is a development of the very successful J122 design. Technically the e-versions from J Yachts are supposed to relate to cruising comforts, but all three designs with this 'e' designation appear to be extremely competitive and very good on IRC. Jonathan Anderson from the Clyde has been very successful with His J122e—El Gran Senor. A very good 40-footer combining comfort with speed.

Pricing from €296,000 plus VAT. Available Spring 2020 

5: Italia Yachts 11.98

Italia Yachts 11.98Italia Yachts 11.98 - launched in 2019

The brand New Italia Yachts 11.98 was only launched early this season but already has finished very well in some ORC and IRC regattas in the Mediterranean. The smaller sister, Italia Yachts 9.98 finished a close second at the 2018 IRC worlds. These boats would be very able performers on IRC and still have a decent interior.

Pricing from €210,000 plus VAT. Available Spring 2020

6: JPK 11.80

JPK 11.80JPK 11.80 - Cowes Week class winner

The JPK 11.80 is the big sister of the all-conquering JPK 10.80. Built to the same high standards, they are primarily a racing boat but actually have very good levels of comfort below deck. One of these has already won its class over the last two years at Cowes Week

Pricing from €209,000 plus VAT. Available June 2020

7: Melges IC37

IC37IC37 - The latest one design for New York Yacht Club where Royal Cork (above) sailed to podium success in September Photo: Daniel Forster

Designed by County Wicklow yacht designer Mark Mills. This design has become the latest one-design for the New York Yacht Club. Not big on creature comforts, it has however shown itself to be a potent IRC performer and while only recently launched, won its class in Cowes Week this year with a string of firsts.

Pricing from €265,000 plus VAT. Available Spring 2020

8: J112e

J LanceJ112e - IRC Worlds and IRC Europeans winner

The J112e has become one of the most successful IRC boats ever. In 2018, one of these won both the IRC Worlds and IRC Europeans. Built-in France, these designs offer a true compromise between racing and cruising. In Ireland, there are already three of these racing and I would expect more.

Pricing from €199,000 plus VAT. Available Dec 2019

9: JPK 10.80

JPK10.80 2222JPK 10.80 - Paul O'Higgins' Rockabill VI (above) has won the last two Dun Laoghaire to Dingle races Photo: Afloat

The JPK 10.80 is well known in Irish waters, as Paul O'Higgins Rockabill VI has won the last two Dun Laoghaire to Dingle races, and has also been crowned ISORA Champion for 2019. This design has won the Fastnet Race overall and, though a few years old, it is still winning on the world stage. Pretty well-appointed down below, it excels in a breeze, particularly downwind.

Pricing from €142,000 plus VAT. Available Spring 2020

10: Grand Soleil 34

Grand Soleil 34 0846Grand Soleil 34 - Justtina (above) sails on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

All Grand Soleil yachts are built very well, and the 34 is no exception. There is one in Dublin, Justina, and it is clear even from looking at her on the dock that she is a class act. She has shown flashes of brilliance since arriving and clearly there is more potential to be had. Very nicely fitted out down below.

Pricing from €149,000 plus VAT Available Spring 2020

11: J99

J99 2732J99 - excels off the wind Juggerknot 2 (above sailing on Dublin Bay in her 2019 debut season Photo: Afloat

The J99 is the new kid on the J Yachts portfolio. Designed to be able to be crewed by fewer people, there is one in Dublin already, Juggerknot 2 skippered by Andrew Algeo. The jury is out on whether it is going to be as successful as the j109, but there is still more speed to be found in this design. She excels off the wind where her lighter displacement and planing hull show off her abilities. Very well built, like all J boats and very much a premium, high-class product.

Pricing from €114, 000 plus VAT. Available Feb 2020

12: JPK 10.30

JPK 10.30JPK 10.30 - Fastnet class winner

The JPK is a new design from early 2019. It has won its class of 85 entries in the 2019 Fastnet race. It replaces the JPK 10.10. Very much in the mould of all the Other JPK boats, they perform very well offshore and were designed to be crewed shorthanded. However, that is not to say that they cannot be crewed inshore with a full crew. Interior would be simple, but very usable for racing. Expect to see a few of these in the next few years in Ireland.

Pricing from €114,000 Plus VAT. Available Spring 2020

13: Jeanneau Sunfast 3300

Jeanneau Sunfast 3300Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 - water ballast removes the need for a large crew

The Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 is very much along the lines of the JPK 10.30. Similar in size and rating, the two designs have been having a great Battle this year. The Sunfast bested the JPK in the opening event, Spi Ouest, whereas the JPK won her class(with the Sunfast 3300 second) in the Fastnet. Both boats are relatively light allowing them to plane easily and so are very suited for downwind sailing. Rumour is that there is an order being finalised on a Sunfast 3300 as we speak, and it will be sailed very competitively by an experienced owner. The Sunfast 3300 allows water ballast, thus removing the need for a very large crew.

Pricing from €104,000 plus VAT. Available March 2020

14: Italia 9.98

Italia 9.98Italia 9.98 - second in class at the 2018 IRC Worlds

Italian Built, and a wonderful pedigree. None in Ireland yet, and I don’t know why. This design came second in her class in the 2018 IRC Worlds, and was quite close to the excellently well-sailed J112e, j lance. Since then the Italia 9.98 has added a new IRC orientated Keel to make her even a better IRC boat. Very potent all-round boat and well built.

Pricing from €119,000 plus VAT. Available Spring 2020

15: J97E

J97EJ97E - features well under IRC

Like her larger sisters, the J97e comes from a fine pedigree of boats designed to be potent race boats but also having a well fitted out interior. So far none have arrived into Ireland yet but there are a few of the older J97 models around and they feature well under IRC. 

Pricing from €130,000 plus VAT. Available December 2019

So, that is the 15 yachts I have chosen. Should any prospective owner want further details or would like to discuss why I like these models, feel free to contact me below

Useful Irish race boat sales links

Irish Jeanneau agent

Irish X Yachts agent

Irish Beneteau agent

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MGM Boats are promising great deals on early orders for the new Sun Fast 3300 which is entering production this autumn in time for the 2020 sailing season.

This follows the successful introduction of Jeanneau’s new model — “a bold racing boat, without compromise, designed for success” — to racing fleets in Europe this summer.

The Dun Laoghaire yacht brokers have also pledged to provide ongoing technical support and training to help any level of owner and sailing team reach their goals with the Sun Fast 3300.

The existing Sun Fast 3600 fleet benefited tremendously from MGM Boats’ on-the-water and in-the-classroom training programme last autumn and winter, which involved a panel and coaches and the support of North Sails and UK/McWilliam Sailmakers.

The new Sun Fast 3300 will be on display at the Southampton International Boat Show from this Friday 13 September — contact MGM Boats at [email protected] to arrange a viewing appointment and get all the information on the Sun Fast promotion and programme.

Published in MGM Boats
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MGM Boats have a busy September ahead with full sales teams attending the Cannes and Southampton boat shows.

The Dun Laoghaire international yacht brokers will be at the Southampton International Boat Show from next Friday 13 to Sunday 22 September, exhibiting on the Prestige Yachts and Jeanneau’s sail and powerboat stands for the full 10 days.

Interested buyers are invited to book a viewing appointment before you travel — a list of boats on display is available HERE.

MGM Boats will also have their brokerage stand in the usual spot (E096) where they will be exhibiting their full range of brokerage listings.

If you have a boat to sell, get in touch with [email protected] so MGM Boats can prepare the specification for display.

MGM Boats Soton Brokerage Stand

Ahead of Southampton, MGM Boats will attend the Cannes Yachting Festival from next Tuesday 10 to Sunday 15 September for the first show of the yachting season.

The brokers are exhibiting on the Prestige Yachts stand, with Jeanneau’s sail and powerboats, and on the Lagoon Catamarans stand. The full range for viewing can be found HERE.

Gerry Salmon, Ross O’Leary and Joss Walsh will be available to show you over a host of new models for 2020.

Cannes is a very busy event so many making an advance appointment is highly recommended for your choice of boat.

To make a viewing appointment or for further information on the boats displayed, contact [email protected]

Published in MGM Boats

Jeanneau development chief Hervé Piveteau is answering questions in a YouTube live chat today (Monday 27 May) about the new Sun Fast 3300 as its latest video hyping the new craft is premiered.

Described by the French yacht builder as “a bold racing boat, without compromise, designed for success”, the Sun Fast 3300 was launched last December at the Paris Boat Show to great acclaim.

Irish Jeanneau agents MGM Boats were on hand for the unveiling of the new design from naval architechts Daniel Andrieu and Guillaume Verdier, with high-performance features including a double concave hull.

Published in MGM Boats
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Boat owning these days is an increasing challenge, with unavoidable costs and spiralling maintenance charges always needing to be balanced against the hoped-for return in trouble-free sailing pleasure writes W M Nixon.

It’s very easy to be enchanted by the thought of bringing life back to some once-cherished boat which has somehow fallen on hard times. But in times of economic rigor, a feeling of sympathy is not a sound basis on which to be making a very significant purchasing decision.

In other words, the uncertain Autumn of 2016 is not a good time to be taking on someone else’s problems. On the contrary, if you’re on the lookout for a sensible used boat, take account of the fact that a minimum number of owners with the boat in question, and the sense of her having been well-cared for, will provide every expectation of a relatively trouble-free and enjoyable ownership period for yourself.

The above general rules apply in any boat-buying situation. Yet they might have been written after studying the data available on this Sun Odyssey 36i for sale through Crosshaven Boatyard and advertised on Afloat Boats for Sale. Built 2008, she was commissioned in 2009, but has had only one owner from new. And as broker Hugh Mockler’s video eloquently tells us, even after seven years she’s still quite simply as good as new.

She’s an interesting Marc Lombard design of top-end construction – the “i” at the end of her name is to indicate she was injection-moulded under scientific and carefully-controlled conditions. A very manageable size – big enough to be comfortable without being bigger than most folk would require – her asking price of €82,950 reflects the extensive range of equipment and the fact that she’s ready to go. With good weather forecast for this final Bank Holiday weekend before Christmas, you could be sailing her with confidence this Saturday. As they say in the trade, she’s very well presented – details here

Published in Boat Sales

The Leader 30 has received the “Barca Dell’Anno” award, the new award created by the magazine Vela e Motore, with the support of the National Union of the Italian Marine Industry.

Distinguished among four competitors in her class, the Leader 30 has convinced by her distinguished design, her sporty attitude and her livability.

The prize was presented at a gala event at the Genoa Boat Show, on Saturday, September 24th.

The victory highlights the results of the teamwork between Jeanneau and Garroni Design, designer of the Leader 30.

Published in Boat Sales
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You can sample the latest in French yacht design this weekend in Kinsale, County Cork aboard a new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349.

Jeanneau is hosting an Open day in Kinsale on Saturday (23rd July) with Irish dealers MGM Boats and the Marc Lombard designed SO 349 (pictured above) will be on display. 

Between 10am and 3pm at Castlepark Marina, John McDonald of MGM's Kinsale office will be available to discuss special offers on this boat and other Jeanneau models. 

For more details T: 021 4709600 M: 087 7777322


Published in Kinsale
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Following last week’s Afloat report on the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 33i for sale from MGM Boats, the Irish brokerage firm has added new models of Jeanneau's Sun Odyssey 349 and its bigger sister, the Sun Odyssey 449 to Afloat's popular sailing cruisers for sale listings.

The (brand new) Sun Odyssey 349 comes with a very high specification including performance pack, autopilot, fold down transom platform, sprayhood, trim level preference pack, lazybag, electric windlass. Priced at €144,900. Advert is here

Also added is big sister in the Sun Odyssey range, the 449. This well specified boat, according to the advert has three cabins and two heads. Bow thruster, auto pilot, bimini, teak cockpit, electric windlass and electric coachroof winch. The yacht has a fin keel, standard mainsail and furling headsail and priced at €227,500. Advert is here

Jeanneau is one of the most popular sailing cruiser brands in the world. The massive French boatyard has produced yachts since 1957. The marque has been part of the Bénéteau group since 1995. MGM Boats are long time all–Ireland agents for the French brand.

See the full range of sailing cruisers for sale in Ireland through here

Published in Boat Sales
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When Jeanneau’s new Marc Lombard-designed Sun Odyssey 33i made her debut in 2010, the description “modern classic” sprang readily to mind writes W M Nixon. But then it has to be admitted that at the time, with the international yacht-building industry making special efforts to produce something that would tempt a nervous buying public into make a decision as the first tentative signs of economic recovery were hinted, all the major companies were putting in an extra effort in the design department.

Yet six years down the line, the Sun Odyssey 33i has stood the test of time very well indeed. She still looks crisply modern as she rolls off the Jeanneau production line. Here she is in all her stylish practicality, a family performance cruiser which could give a very good showing for herself in local or even national racing. Yet as the photos show, she has very pleasant accommodation with it, providing an admirable fast cruiser.

sun odyssey2
Amidst the many boats of Dun Laoghaire, her looks stand out. Photo MGM Boats

sun odyssey3
The practical accommodation works well through not being over-crowded

Certainly in the years since, new features have been added to new boats in the standard version. But the basic boat is still the same. The difference is that, if you put your name down now for a virtually new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 33i (they ceased production a month ago) with comparable equipment to this 2010 boat, you’d be looking at paying €130,000 all in. So how come this six year old boat is attractively priced at €77,500?

Well, it’s a mixture of realism on the part of the vendor, the fact that modern production boats depreciate in value in much the same way as cars, and beyond that the costs of boat-building have never stopped rising even despite the fall in oil prices.

But one thing which most emphatically isn’t a factor in this case is that the boat has in any way been neglected. On the contrary, the one owner has been beyond fastidious in looking after this boat. And back in 2013, though she didn’t really need it at all, he decided to give her the Christmas present of the underwater hull being stripped and epoxy-coated.

Extra features include an electric windlass, Webasto heater, and – this is one for the connoisseurs – a Brunton autoprop. Were you thinking of buying a new boat, these are features which would be high on the list of requirements. But this well-presented boat has them already installed. Definitely worth a look. She’s right there at the pontoon beside MGM Boats’ office in Dun Laoghaire. See the full advert here.

sun odyssey4
Marc Lombard’s handsome design of 2010 has stood the test of time very well

Published in Boat Sales
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Irish yacht brokerage firm MGM Boats has got 2016 off to a flying start at the London Boat Show this week with an order for five new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 389 yachts. According to John McDonald of MGM, the order for the Marc Lombard designs comes from Gibraltar–based sailing school Allabroad Sailing Academy and expands its Mediterranean fleet from six to 11.

Published in Marine Trade
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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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