The Galeon 420 Fly is a spacious, stylish import that has proved herself overseas and is determined to win over the U.S. crowd.
July 30, 2013
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Galeon? What’s a Galeon? While the company’s name isn’t familiar to most American yachtsmen, this Polish builder has successfully created and sold yachts from 32 feet to 78 feet in Europe. And its boats are now crossing the pond.Courtesy of Galeon Yachts
The Gdansk-area company started by building powerboats under contract for Jeanneau. About 10 years ago, the builder launched the Galeon line. On the Mediterranean yacht scene, its models are viewed as a viable competitor to Azimut and Ferretti builds out of Italy, and to Fairline, Sunseeker and Princess brands from the U.K. Recent design awards at major European shows like Cannes and Düsseldorf have given Galeon an even higher international profile.
The company entered the North American market with its 420 HT last February at the Miami International Boat Show and is now beefing up its U.S. lineup for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Yachting recently tested one of the first models to hit American shores, the 420 Fly, on the Bay of Gdansk, a few miles from Galeon’s production facility on the Baltic Sea.
At first glance, the flybridge dominates this 42-footer’s profile, extending all the way over the aft cockpit, with a sharply angled radar arch that owns the space above the long, dark, juxtaposed windows of the salon and curves of the hull.
Every flybridge motoryacht under 60 feet is fighting the same design battle: maximizing the interior space and ambient light without designing topsides that look overly boxy. It’s a challenge to balance form and function, but this Galeon has hit the mark.
The 420 Fly effectively uses almost every square inch of space, both in the salon and in the optional three-stateroom lower deck (a two-cabin, galley-down version is standard), simultaneously besting many competitors in the flybridge-layout category.
Her designer Tony Castro, who has created designs for Tiara, Oceanco and Jongert, to name a few, told Yachting that this boat is the first to make use of a full-beam bridge that extends all the way to the transom. Some of Galeon’s competitors integrate the upper helm and aft portions into one open platform, while others reduce square footage by a third for a lower profile.
This builder instead divided the oversized area into a forward helm with companion lounges (and a sun pad next to the helm station), with the aft section separated by the lounges, an optional Isotherm fridge and a two-burner stove on one side, and a wet bar on the other.
What feels like a separate social area aft is dominated by an L-shaped lounge (7 feet 10 inches by 7 feet 8 inches) that is quite comfortable, with an oval table in the center.
Even in the short, stacked, 2- to 3-foot waves in the Bay of Gdansk, this 420 offered a comfortable ride up top. A family or large group of friends could happily spend a day on the hook up here, especially with the stove and fridge, or just enjoy a sunset cruise.
Overall, the boat has a nice sense of space for a 42-footer, from features like the 23-inch-wide stairs from the bridge to the cockpit lounge, measuring 7 feet 8 inches across. The cockpit is connected to the salon by three glass doors that fold completely open, so the space is seamless.
Big-yacht elements are found throughout the salon, where a reversible-back lounge can be flipped to view the cockpit too. This lounge also converts to a double berth. A TV slides up from the back of another settee, while exterior LED lights provide energy-saving, nighttime illumination.
Fit and finish across the interior is yacht-caliber, with near-flawless light oak matte on the walls and light-color teak floors. The decor plus the straight line of sight from cockpit to helm, combined with the banks of windows, make the interior feel much larger than one would expect on a 42-footer.
Galeon does just about everything in-house, including the joinery, furniture and even the stainless-steel door frames, windows and showers. Grains match, drawers feel solid, and the stainless-steel door handles have heft. Galeon offers a long list of options for the 420 Fly. Her interior, for instance, is available in wenge, walnut, mahogany and oak of different shades and finishes. And there are nine engine/drive options, including Volvo Penta Duoprops, IPS and inboards.
She handles well on the go too. My test boat was powered with twin 370 hp Volvo Penta D6 Duoprop stern-drives, with an Aquamatic joystick. The D6s helped the yacht deliver a top end of 34.6 knots. She performed well, made tight turns without excessive heel and tracked true in the chop. My test boat backed down easily with the joystick control, which was a big asset when coming into the marina, with a dozen or so small kids in sailboats passing just feet away. Visibility from the lower helm is good and aided by a dark-brown rubber console color, which reduces glare. This area also features a tilt wheel and sliding double-helm seat. Galeon inserted a nook into the chair’s armrest to keep an iPhone handy — a nice touch. The helm station offered an easy view of the Raymarine electronics suite. There was also a rearview and engine-compartment camera.
Castro’s team did a nice job on the lower deck layout, squeezing precious space out of the hull length without creating cramped quarters. At the base of the stairs is a mini atrium with almost 9 feet of headroom. Natural light spills in from the windshield above into the area leading to the master stateroom and two double-bed cabins aft. Like the salon, the lower deck is notable for its solid fit and finish. The master head, for instance, has a rectangular porcelain sink with designer fixtures, oak trim, electric Jabsco toilet, marble accents and a separate shower stall with custom showerhead. The head directly across the companionway is smaller, but with similar attention to detail. Natural light from the hull-side windows and skylights adds to the sense of openness here.
None of the staterooms are huge, but the space is adequate, especially the master stateroom, which also provides good stowage in lockers, drawers and under the island berth. A pop-up vanity and the two-tone wood/leather door add a luxe touch. Headroom in the starboard-side stateroom is limited, so it should be a dedicated kids’ space. The portside stateroom offers adult-size headroom and, naturally, feels larger.
Clean access to the engine compartment comes via a hatch in the aft cockpit. (There are also hatches throughout the boat to get to the bilge.) The engine space is quite workable, and you can crawl around to get to the engines, oil filters or optional 12,000 kW Fischer-Panda generator. Our 420 also had the optional extended teak platform, which accommodates a small tender or PWC.
Simply put, the Galeon 420 Fly is a well-designed midsize boat that will likely appeal to both live-aboard/cruising couples and the growing boating family. This yard’s semicustom approach to Castro’s design should put the Galeon 420 Fly up there with the other European builders as well as its U.S. competitors. And a little competition is good for everyone. _Galeon Yachts, 954-921-4911; galeonyachts.us _
LOA: 43’6” BEAM: 13’7” DRAFT: 2’6” DISPL.: 26,100 lbs. (dry weight) FUEL: 290 gal. WATER: 120 gal. ENGINES (tested): 2 x 370 hp Volvo Penta Duoprop D6 diesels w/ Aquamatic joystick BASE PRICE: $618,439 PRICE AS TESTED: $765,968