The new Grand Soleil 44 Performance was unveiled during Boot Dusseldorf 2020. This new 44-footer completes the Grand Soleil Yachts Performance range, dedicated to the more sporty owners in search of a boat that offers high performance able to give results also in regattas, inserting itself among the GS 34, GS 48 and GS 58.
As already seen on board the GS 48, the Grand Soleil 44 Performance will also be available in a double version: one layout will be more indicated for cruising, with a different sail plan set-up and deck to simplify manoeuvres, the other will be more suited to racing to give the best in regattas.
The double spirit
The soul of the new Grand Soleil 44 is that of a performance cruiser which knows how to be competitive on the IRC and ORC regattas: a boat that is easy to use for both cruising and racing in regattas.
To rise to this challenge, the Italian yard has turned to the designer who, in recent years, more than anyone has known how to interpret the concept of performing hull: Matteo Polli. Many call him the “Wizard of ORC” thanks to the numerous titles won in recent years with the boats he has designed: three world championships and two Italian championships in the ORC category from 2015 to date. We asked him three questions.
Replacing a successful model like the Grand Soleil 43 is a great challenge. What is the idea behind this project?
“Yes… a real challenge! The yard felt it was the right time to replace the 43 with a new model that could complete the new performance line following the very good looking family feeling and performance profile.“
Matteo, we have defined the Grand Soleil 44 Performance a model with two souls. Can you tell us about them?
“The concept is about creating a performance cruiser able to get good results on international handicap racing fields. The owner will have the possibility to choose how to configure the boat selecting between different deck layouts and sail plans.“
What are the strengths of the new Grand Soleil 44 Performance?
“Well, I think one of the most important parts on a sailing boat, is the hull and in this case the shape has been optimized using the latest CFD softwares available. I was really pleased with the result which not only ensured a fast geometry but also a very good performance vs rating ratio. The aft longitudinal mast position is also another important strength of this project which will give benefits both when cruising and when racing!“
A real teamwork
The lines of the hull are modern with no particular forcing. The distinctive features of the boat include the positioning of the mast further to the rear to allow a greater sail area for the bow sails to maximise performance. This choice has also allowed to move the position of the cabins forward and have a larger cockpit compared to preceding models.
As always, the protagonists of this new project also include Nauta Design (Exterior and Interior Design) and the Technical Department of Cantiere del Pardo.
Massimo Gino of Nauta Design speaks of this new hull as follows: “The collaboration between Nauta (Exterior and Interior Design), the Technical Department of Cantiere del Pardo and Matteo Polli (Naval Architecture) has led to the development of the 44 Performance, the most performance oriented model of the entire Grand Soleil range.”
“The deck, with resumes the family feeling of the big sisters is, if possible, even more streamlined and sporty with the addition of several important new touches of styles on the geometries of the deckhouse, on the sheer line and on the transom.”
“Following the trend of the latest Grand Soleil Performance models, the on-deck space available on the 44’ to race in a regatta and to enjoy the boat in cruise mode is truly remarkable, with cockpit dimensions increased significantly, compared to previous models.”
Appendages and sail plan
As already seen on board the GS 48, the Grand Soleil 44 Performance also foresees the possibility of choosing between two different sail plans: standard, with aluminium mast intended more for the cruise sector and race, in carbon (larger) for the competitive sector.
As regards the appendages, there is the possibility to choose between three different drafts: the standard one of 2.50 metres while options are available with drafts at 2.40 metres and 2.80 metres.
Three cabins, two bathrooms
The interior layout includes three cabins and two bathrooms (both with separate walk-in shower). The space below deck enjoys a generous beam which provides large and comfortable volumes: the L-shaped kitchen is positioned to the left.
The dinette includes a U-shaped sofa with a dining table at the centre which can seat up to 8 people and, on the right, of the walled in sofa for three with chart table positioned against the bow bulkhead.
The master cabin, with a comfortable double bed, small sofa and dedicated bathroom is generous in size for a sporty 44-foot hull.
The new Grand Soleil 44 Performance will make the World debut at 2020 Cannes Yachting Festival (September 8-13).