The confident and very successful Grand Soleil shipyard gave the brilliant design talent Matteo Polli free rein with their first collaboration. The result is exceptional… in every sense
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. And the old saying holds true for yacht designers and builders too. No matter how much CFD modelling has been done, the first sea trial of a new model is always a nervous occasion. Can it match its polars? Could it even beat them? Whatever the numbers say, when you take the helm does the boat behave, respond and feel like a thoroughbred? When the brand new Grand Soleil 44 Performance set sail for the first time off Portofino, it had a lot to live up to.
The boat’s designer Matteo Polli gave his own verdict. ‘With the helm in my hands, I was able to judge the characteristics of the boat in various different wind conditions,’ he says. ‘The GS44 sailed well at all speeds, both upwind and downwind, confirming my expectations as a pleasant and fun hull to be at sea with, especially thanks to the ability to make careful and precise adjustments to the sails and the well-designed deck layout. Read on.