Inshore Elegance – Offshore Attitude
Elandra Yachts first foray into the market is a refreshing approach to the already well-subscribed luxury sports yacht market that comes with a down under twist.
Right from the start, Luke Durman and Tom Barry-Cotter, the founders of Elandra Yachts had a very specific vision for their brand: “We recognised a niche in the local market for a dedicated sports boat manufacturer that offered a product that was the best of British and European styling and fit out, but with all the performance attributes of an Australian built boat”.
The design and layout of the Elandra 53 is a collaboration if ideas and thoughts between both Durman and Barry-Cotter, but also Kiwi designer, Grant Senior.
The result is all new Elandra 53, which was designed and built in a small factory on the Gold Coast, Australia over a two-year period. According to Managing Director Durman, the Elandra 53 “Is everything we envisioned back in late 2012 and began building in March last year.”
“We wanted a name that is quintessentially Australian,” said Durman. “I began with a search of place names along our coastline for ideas and inspiration. One or two kept appearing, but I wanted something that was associated with the ocean, with Australia and was a little intriguing.
“Elandra stood out and its general translation from the indigenous language as ‘home by the sea’ has a beautiful connection with our vision.
“We also needed to celebrate the trans-Tasman make-up of our team. Senior and Bill Cranston both hail from the land of the long white cloud and they are vital to the development of Elandra. So the logo incorporates a subtle New Zealand Maori fish scale pattern.”
As a semi-custom builder, Durman says that they listen closely to their clients’ requirements and have designed and built the Elandra 53 to a high level of quality and performance.
Certain aspects of the Elandra 53 stand out, that gives the brand a point of difference over many of its competitors. For example there’s the 10-year hull warranty, 4-year limited warranty on workmanship, a level of customisation normally seen only with high-cost custom boat builders and more especially a revolutionary hull design that delivers better performance and fuel economy.
Senior says that one of the reasons they were confident in giving the boat a 10 year warranty was the fact they had had Gurit in New Zealand impact test 16 different laminates, before deciding on the final layup. This comprises a solid hand laid monolithic running surface, with a laminate schedule that includes four layers of quadraxial E-glass reinforced with two layers of Kevlar to ensure a stronger and lighter result.
Elandra General Manager, Operations, and hull designer Grant Senior has come up with a hull designed for maximum efficiency. It has a fine entry, with a convex-shaped variable deadrise running to the transom, with a wide beam of 5.19m that runs parallel chines from forward of the centre line to the transom. Double chines running the full length of the hull are slightly reverse angle – higher on the inside than outside – to better lift the boat out of the hole under acceleration and to deflect spray at speed.
“Together, the design and construction deliver a range of significant benefits,” said Senior. “The convex shape and width at the transom help with stability and mean we can carry the weight of engine options, jet tenders, water-makers and other equipment around the stern area without affecting performance. It is especially efficient in the 20-25 knot range.
“Carrying the beam to the transom provides a massive cockpit entertaining area as well as large volume below the deck for our tender garage plus the cavernous lazarettes for stowing gear.
“Our system will also ensure a quieter and softer ride and a more durable hull than standard fibreglass constructions,” said Senior.
The Elandra 53 comes standard with a pair of Scania DI13 750hp engines with alternative engine options being offered by MAN, Volvo, CAT and MTU.
Power for the first boat is provided by a pair of MAN R6-800 six-cylinder turbo diesel engines with common rail fuel injection. The engines deliver up to a rated 588kW (800hp) of power and 2,700Nm of torque. A pair of ZF 3351A gearboxes with custom ratios deliver the power through conventional shafts set at a shallow 7-deg angle to ZF four-blade NIBRAL fixed-pitch propellers housed in hull pockets.
“This package sets the boat up for exceptional performance all the way from 18 to 30 knots,” said Senior.
“Our initial calculations indicate that the Elandra 53 would be between 8-9% more fuel efficient than rival boats of the same size and horsepower, but in fact in some cases it’s as high as 16% better.”
Commenting on the engine choices, Senior said he and Durman have spoken with a number of boat owners who were sold 30-knot boats (all over 15m) that once loaded with people, fuel, water, owner’s gear and optional equipment, tenders and a bit of growth on the props and hull, struggled to break 24 knots.
“Our requirement was for a minimum 30-knot boat fully loaded with all the bells and whistles,” said Senior. “We’re confident it will exceed that expectation.”
During my sea trials off the Gold Coast in reasonably confused 2m short seas and inside on the calmer waters of The Broadwater, the Elandra 53 performed outstandingly and achieving 30 knots was not an issue. In fact, I had the GPS nudging 34 knots @ 2250 rpm and that was prior to the props being altered. Top speed is now a tad over 35 knots @ 2350 rpm, with an optimum cruise range of 1500-1700 rpm at 21-23 knots.
The big boat loved the following sea and I found I was running at 30 knots coming back into the seaway. One eye on the water and one looking for surfers paddling across to the surf break at South Stradbrook island. Punching into the swells, I still managed to maintain a comfortable 20 knots.
I got to experience first hand the ease of which the Elandra 53 climbs onto the plane, with very little bow lift during the transitional stage from off the plane to 12 knots and planning. Very smooth and very slick.
Contemporary and Elegant
Being something of a bespoke builder, Elandra Yachts are offering a variety of layout options for the 53. Boat number one has been created with a traditional open plan feel and one that would appeal to the local Australian and Kiwi market. According to Durman, there is virtually no limit to layout options, albeit that everything has to fit within the constraints of structural bulkheads.
With a beam of 5.19m, the Elandra 53 is one of the beamiest in its class and the benefit is obvious inside. The double chine hull configuration also helps to create the extra real estate for the walk-around side decks, without compromising the internal beam.
Her styling is sleek, contemporary and elegant. A wrap-around curved glass windscreen complements the panoramic hull side windows that bathe the master stateroom in natural light. Elliptical windows forward provide natural light for the VIP guest stateroom.
“We have embraced the single-level entertainment concept, from our exceptionally spacious cockpit through glass bi-fold doors to the convertible saloon lounge/dinette and galley,” said Durman.
Stepping on board, the teak-covered swim platform includes an electric lift centre section designed and built locally by ADC and a concealed swim ladder on the port side.
The garage is designed for a 2.8-metre jet tender and includes a comprehensive launch and retrieve system. The door opens up with gas strut assist.
On either side of the garage there are five teak-covered ‘floating’ steps with ambient lighting, that lead up to an expanse of cockpit that is designed for entertaining. Safety gates on either side of the cockpit entry are slightly curved toughened smoky glass topped with a solid teak cap.
A forward-facing lounge across the transom is behind a teak table mounted on an up-down pedestal that can convert from dining to a coffee table to an extended sunpad.
Hatches in the cockpit floor immediately forward of the access steps conceal large lazarettes and a third hatch forward leads down to the engine room.
The extremely spacious engine room is encased in Rockwell insulation for noise retention. Something that was very obvious when running the boat at high speed on the Broadwater. Silence is golden and the Elandra delivers exactly that.
Another interesting feature of the engine room is the inclusion of the locally manufactured engine room cooling system, by Marine Airflow, which provides both forced air in and out. Something not so common on a boat of this size.
An outdoor galley console on the starboard side includes an electric BBQ and teppanyaki grill, a sink with mixer tap, with an icemaker and storage locker below. There is even more storage in the cockpit, with lockers on either side of the aft cockpit coaming and another locker built into the forward port side pillars.
The secure teak-covered side decks lead forward where a sunbed awaits on the foredeck. Sun lovers can recline in comfort on UV fabric upholstered mattresses. Two drink holders are provided and, for effect on a warm evening, a pop-up LED soft glow light.
The 35kg stainless steel anchor is controlled by a heavy duty Maxwell windlass and an anchor locker with twin hatches contains 80m of chain and another 100m of rode.
Indoor Outdoor Flow
Back in the cockpit, darkened glass trifold saloon doors slide open to reveal the indoor-outdoor design of the boat. The saloon floor is at the same level as the cockpit, with a cleverly concealed drain in the doorway capturing any water from the cockpit.
The large saloon is divided by two steps into lower and upper levels. The lower saloon includes the galley and dinette while the upper area accommodates yet another L-shape lounge and the helm. The skipper and guests can enjoy the journey together in comfort and style with panoramic views through the wide windscreen and side windows. Once at anchor, the party begins in the lower saloon and cockpit.
The entire area is bathed in natural light from panoramic wrap-around windows as well as an integrated custom made Webasto Series 80 panoramic electric sunroof. The lower saloon floor is stylish Knight Tile timber strips.
With the saloon doors opened, the L-shape galley on the starboard side is completely exposed to the entertainer cockpit. The galley includes a two-zone induction cooktop, convection oven/microwave, two drawer refrigerators and two drawer freezers. There is a Corian benchtop and stainless-steel sink with mixer tap. A twin drawer pull-out pantry is above the oven.
All cabinetry in the galley – and throughout the boat – is in American walnut while wall and headliners are vinyl fabric. The timber throughout the boat is presented with a vertical grain pattern, with shadow line reliefs, to break the large flat areas. Oak, Cherry or just about any timber options are available. The dinette is furnished with an L-shape lounge in ultra-leather and a timber dinette table on an up-down pedestal.
The steps and floor of the forward lounge and helm are carpeted. The L-shape lounge on the port side is covered in fabric and affords great visibility through the large side and forward windows. The helm is set on the starboard side with a large opening window and twin 360 deg adjustable Stidd helm chairs. Both the skipper and companion seats face a sports steering wheel and the dashboard with a full complement of controls including joystick control, thruster and engine controls as well as a suite of navigation aids. The dashboard is covered in hand-stitched ultra-leather.
Three Cabin Layout
A central companionway leads forward and down to the accommodation suite, comprising three cabins and two bathrooms. Forward, the guest stateroom is surprisingly spacious, with a queen double bed set at a 45-degree angle. The bed lifts on a gas strut to provide a large storage space.
Two elliptical windows in the hull provide ample natural light and a deck hatch above (with privacy and insect screens) adds both light and fresh air. The wardrobe door doubles as a full-length mirror. A twin-bunk cabin on the starboard side also contains the optional clothes washer and separate dryer. These two cabins share the guest bathroom with its separate shower stall, electric toilet and vanity. This is also used as the dayhead.
Amidships, the full beam master includes a queen double bed, a day bed/lounge on the starboard side, a cavernous studio wardrobe with full-length mirror and an integral ensuite on the port side with twin-tap vanity basin, private toilet and private shower. The ensuite flooring is made up of small and elegant white glass tiles, with satin-finish American Walnut timbers used throughout the master stateroom.
Ticks All The Boxes
The Elandra 53 unquestionably ticks all the boxes, from the fit out and finish to the hull design and efficiency and will appeal to the discerning boat owner who knows what they want. You would be hard to find a production monohull of this size anywhere that could match the boat for performance and efficiency, which when coupled to styling and overall presentation, makes the Elandra 53 a very special Australian built boat.
The builders don’t have plans to mass produce the Elandra, rather stay as a boutique brand with every boat customised to the owners requirements.
Look for a considerably larger version of the Elandra 53 in the future and possibly also a sports flybridge offering.
- Boat Design Name: Elandra 53
- Year Launched: 2014
- Designer: Elandra Yachts
- Interior Designer: Elandra Yachts
- Builder: Elandra Yachts
- LOA: 16.66m
- LOH: 16.15m
- Beam: 5.25m
- Draft: 1.05m
- Displ (dry): 19,500 kgs (approx.)
- Displ (loaded): 23,600 kgs (approx.)
- Max Speed: 35Knots
- Cruise Speed: 30Knots
- Construction: GRP Kevlar Composite
- Fuel Cap: 3000 litres
- Water Cap: 1000 litres
- Engines Make: MAN R6 @ 800hp each
- Base Price of Boat: AUD$1,797,000
- Price As Tested: AUD $1,867,128