Author : Chris Beattie
Galeon has got people talking with its stylish and innovative range of cruisers now available Down Under.
The name Galeon might not ring too many bells in Australia and New Zealand at the moment, but I’m betting that won’t be for too much longer. The striking lines and distinctive looks of the Polish-made high-end cruisers certainly set them apart in a market packed full of high quality competition, but there is a lot more to these boats than meets the eye.
I was introduced to the Galeon brand by Todd Holzapfel, Dealer Principal of official Australasian importer, Alexander Marine Australia. Holzapfel explained that while Galeon has not had a high profile here, it has definitely captured more than its fair share of laurels in the northern hemisphere. And it’s no newcomer as he explains.
“Galeon has been around for more than 35 years. It’s a private company owned and run by a father and son whose focus is on innovation,” he explained. “They’ve won numerous awards over the years and they’re currently the number one selling brand in the US in the 40 to 70ft category.”
A walk through the sleekly-styled Galeon reveals the 460 is very much a social boat, with various areas for guests to congregate and enjoy a day, or days on the water.
Aft is the large optional hydraulic rear swim platform, with folding steps that emerge as the platform submerges, making entry and exit a breeze, while observers can relax on a seat that folds out from the transom. Next to the seat is a deep storage locker where all the water toys can be stowed after a day of fun and games.
Meanwhile, those inclined towards more relaxing pursuits might want to lay back on the U-shaped, forward-facing cockpit lounge, which still affords a great view of proceedings, while also somewhat sheltered from the sun and elements by the flybridge overhang. It’s serviced by a sturdy drop-down table that converts into a sunbed.
From here guests can access one of my favourite features of the Galeon 460 – and other selected larger models in the range. At the touch of a button sections of the gunwales either side of the aft side decks fold flat to form balconies, extending the rear side walkways into social areas for a quiet read or a drink and a snack. It takes a few seconds for the balconies to fold down, and a couple of minutes to rig the stainless steel poles and ropes and slot in the bar stools. Then, voila, you’ve added a bunch of extra entertaining space for guests to enjoy. Galeon calls the feature “Beach Mode” and I’d imagine the kids, in particular, would quickly discover the joys of using the balconies as dive platforms.
Enhancing the experience even more, the balconies extend the inner saloon living area and already wide 4.37m beam. On the portside, a door folds back to allow serving directly from the rear galley, while opposite a two-person reversible bench seat gives guests the option to recline with superb outdoors views.
While optional, the balconies really do bring another dimension to the 460 and I’d imagine there’d be few buyers who wouldn’t tick the box.
Another Galeon feature is the large bi-fold saloon door which, when opened, creates one large in- and outdoors living area. Directly to port as you enter is the open galley, with plenty of bench space, a fridge, dishwasher, two-element bench top electric stove and a fold-up wing that extends the bench out to the port side balcony.
Directly opposite the galley is the reversible bench seat and moving forward, you step up into the dining and helm area. A small lounge on the starboard side directly behind the helm conceals a pop-up 40in TV, which faces the dining lounge and table opposite.
There’s plenty of luxuriously padded cream-coloured suede upholstery everywhere you sit and the dark matt walnut option on the test boat really complemented the layout and interior feel.
WORTH A LOOK
It’s once inside the saloon that you begin to appreciate another great Galeon feature. Everywhere you look, there are places to look – glazed windows in every direction from the full-width, one-piece windscreen to the saloon windows afford expansive views to the great outdoors.
The helm occupies the forward starboard corner and has seating for two, with a sports wheel for the skipper. It boasts a clean, typically European layout, with twin Raymarine Axiom 12in touchscreens and Volvo Penta controls within easy reach. There are also bow and stern thrusters to make things easier for berthing and a Fusion sound system for entertaining.
The only criticism I had here was a lack of cupholders or anywhere else to securely stow phones and wallets. Again, there’s great visibility in all directions, so it’s easy to keep an eye on things when you need to know what’s about you.
A central and well-lit carpeted companionway leads down to the living quarters for the three cabin/two head craft.
Directly ahead is the VIP guest cabin, complete with a wide double bed, lots of overhead and side natural lighting, small opening portholes, a decent-sized hanging locker and shelving. It’s directly serviced by a reasonably sized shower and head, which can also be accessed via the companionway.
Aft on the starboard side is a smaller bunk cabin, with an over and under bunk layout.
The full-beam master cabin is a welcoming space indeed, enjoying large picture windows with small inset portholes and a wide central bed with subtle lighting blended into the bed head. There are hanging lockers and drawers aplenty, a small lounge under the portside window, a 32in HD TV and direct access to a large and beautifully tiled toilet and shower. There’s also enough headroom for average height guests.
The overall finish, quality of fittings and ambience of the living spaces is certainly above-average and would be one of the 460’s prime selling points. Speaking of which, while there are more than enough living and entertaining spaces aboard this 46-footer, a climb up the teak-lined stairs on the port side of the cockpit reveals yet another expansive outdoor living option in the form of the fly deck, complete with upper port side helm. Its more basic instrumentation still allows the skipper adequate oversight and control, with the twin bow thrusters and engine controls all handy, although yet again, no cupholders or pockets to stow sunnies and phones when seas are running.
Opposite the helm is a large, forward-facing sunpad, backing onto an expansive circumferential lounge which I’d estimate could accommodate up to 13 or more adults in comfort. It’s serviced by a fold-down table and a wetbar with a fridge and freezer.
Protection is available in the form of a large bimini and an extended bulwark at the rear houses a Raymarine radar dome. Views are, not surprisingly, uninterrupted, including down to the foredeck, which accommodates even more socialising in the form of a large sundeck, with seating for half a dozen or so. A stowable sunshade can be erected if needed.
Beneath the aft deck is a pair of 600hp Volvo Penta D8 diesels hooked up to vee-drives redirecting power rearward to the twin shafts. The electrical system is augmented by a Fischer Panda genset.
Thirty-plus knot (55km/h) performance was more than adequate during our day on a very flat Gold Coast Broadwater, with the 460 Fly very responsive to the helm, although you do get a sense of the boat’s considerable near-17,000kg weight. Holzapfel suggested a good cruising speed of around 21 knots (39km/h), at which speed it’s supping around 178lt/hr from its 1500lt fuel tank.
Other features on our heavily-optioned review boat worth a mention include underwater lighting, air-conditioning and teak decking. There are also a number of colour and material options available on the interior.
For the $Aud1.8m price, buyers can enjoy a lot of living and socialising on the Galeon 460 Fly. It is a boat uniquely suited to the Australasian boating lifestyle, and exudes quality and attention to detail above and below decks. With Beach Mode thrown in, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a lot more boaties opting for balcony living on local waters.
- Boat Design Name: Galeon 460 Fly
- Year Launched: 2019
- Builder: Galeon Yachts
- Designer: Tony Castro
- LOA: 14.35m
- LOH: 12.90m
- Beam: 4.37m
- Displacement (dry): 16,700kg
- Max Speed: 30 knots +
- Construction: GRP
- Fuel Cap: 1500 litres
- Water Cap: 650 litres
- Engine Make: 2 x Volvo D8 Volvo Penta 550hp
- Priced from: $Aud1,599,000
- Price as tested: $Aud1.8m