At this year’s Sydney International Boat Show, the Elan GT6 really turned heads at the Performance Cruising Yachts stand, and with good reason.
Elan is a quiet achiever, but this Slovenian company should be shouting from the mast tops when it comes to the quality of its yachts, its ethos, values, style and sailability. Elan embodies a true passion for sailing, technological innovations and distinctive design.
Every yacht coming from Elan’s 16,000 sq metre boatyard in Slovenia is the result of 70 years of innovation-oriented quality boatbuilding. The GT6 has won several awards, including the Best Boats 2022 award through Sail Magazine in the United States, a Red Dot: Product Design Award, BIGSEE Product Design Award 2021, and Slovenian Design of the Year 2021, along with several other award nominations.
Matt Hayes, owner and CEO of Performance Cruising Yachts, the Australian distributor for Elan, says the GT6 has been a winner on all fronts. We caught up with Matt to talk about this impeccable Grand Touring yacht.
What are some of the key design signatures of Elan? Elan is known for quality, and design signatures include twin helms, twin rudders, innovative design, wrap around windshields, and beautiful curved lines. Innovation is vital to the brand, which is why Elan brings in outside designers – like Studio F.A. Porsche – to work with them. The outcome is phenomenal.
What is the appeal of the Elan range? What sets it apart from other brands? People love Elan yachts for the quality, right throughout every element from the planning to the construction and the fitting out. The vacuum assisted infusion lamination hull, added to the scientific build method, makes the yachts very light and very stiff, making them a great choice for people who love racing, or just cruising fast.
How would you sum up the Elan GT6 yacht for readers? It is a very attractive sailing yacht, but that is to be expected as this is the first ever sailing yacht designed and styled by Studio F.A. Porsche. It is striking, with a well-balanced combination of sharp, distinctive lines and soft, sculpted curves. It is guaranteed to stand out from the crowd and will turn heads in any harbour.
Its hull and sail plan, carefully created by Humphreys Yacht Design, combines racing features with the ability to carry a full cruising payload. It is a beautiful and easy yacht to sail. The interior comfort is outstanding, and it features state-of-the-art componentry, electrics, lighting and so on. It is a very safe boat. Luxury, quality, refinement and comfort are crucial for a Grand Tourer – they’re just as important as speed and power.
Can you talk to us about the design and build teams behind the GT6? The Elan is a forward thinking, innovative company with the GT6 a collaboration between the world-renowned and UK-based Humphreys Yacht Design – who have been at the forefront of yacht design since Rob Humphreys founded the company in 1972 – as well as Studio F.A. Porsche, and Elan. The boat was designed for very easy short-handed sailing with a high degree of luxury. We call it high-end grand touring.
How long has Performance Cruising Yachts been importing these yachts? What drew you to the Elan range? We started importing Elan yachts in 2013. We were drawn to the quality of the workmanship. It was a premium European brand that was under-represented in Australia – we knew it would be successful here.
Elan has a lot of history building really high quality stylish, cutting-edge boats, and our owners love them. Another huge plus is that the backup support from Elan is exceptional. It is a brand of exceptional quality.
Where does this model sit within, and compare to, the rest of the Elan range? The GT6 is the flagship of the Elan range. Elan produces yachts from 36 to 50 feet. The ranges include the performance cruising E range, the blue water cruising Impression range, and the Grand Touring range.
You showed the GT6 at Sydney International Boat Show. What feedback did you get from customers to this yacht? The response to the GT6 at the show was overwhelming, with people drawn back to it numerous times. We took orders for it within days and interest is not showing any signs of waning. The feedback is that people just love the appearance of the boat and say there is nothing else like it. They loved the beautiful fluid lines and smooth curved surfaces. They love the layout, the lighting, the styling. They can see the quality and can picture themselves onboard. People have been blown away by it.
What are the top 5 key features of the GT6?
- The Porsche design and styling.
- The twin helms.
- The quality.
- The elegance of the boat.
- Safety and comfort.
What type of sailing do you imagine people doing on the GT6? It is very versatile. It could be anything from cruising around the harbour to racing in Hamilton Island Race Week, or even the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – it is certainly strong enough to do that. Or even just as a boat to take out friends and family for fun times on the water.
Talk to us about the living spaces. Is this a great home away from home? The GT6 is very roomy, with lots of headroom, big cabins, and a forward galley that links with the saloon. It is really modern, and very comfortable. There is lots of hanging space, plenty of cold storage for blue water cruising, and ample storage for water toys.
Is this a great boat for entertaining family and friends? Yes, it is. There is plenty of room for an inflatable dinghy, inflatable SUPs, dive gear and so on. There is a sizable storage area in the transom that is easily accessible from the cockpit, and also from the swim deck when lowered. Are there multiple layout configurations available? The GT6 comes in two configurations: either two cabins two heads, or three cabins two heads.
Can you talk to us about the interiors and styling. What are some of the most uniquely appealing elements? Studio F.A. Porsche’s world-class ergonomics create a uniquely stylish, luxurious and practical living space inside the GT6. The sleek panoramic deck saloon gives a wonderful 180° view, and a cleverly inverted layout makes the best possible use of the spacious, broad-beamed hull.
The galley is forward, right on top of the keel where the yacht’s motion at sea is most comfortable. This frees up space further aft for a huge full-beam saloon. A lavish owner’s suite with a king-size island double bed makes best use of the forepeak, and big through-hull windows in every cabin give a great view out.
How well is this boat suited to the Australian and NZ lifestyle and waters? It is perfect. The GT6 is sold all over the world and is popular in all climates.
What are some of the key optional upgrades you anticipate buyers fitting to their boat? Owners can opt for sophisticated B&G instrumentation, audio packs, additional fridges, freezers, air conditioning, an electric lifting system for the swim platform. I also recommend ambient transom and underwater lights as they always look great. And potentially an asymmetrical spinnaker.
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