Thursday, December 11, 2014

Arcona 410 Review

Arcona is a name we seldom see in the USA, which is unfortunate because this Swedish company builds a line of nice looking and fast boats that I think could do well in this country. All of their current products were designed by Stefan Qviberg, another name that is pretty much unknown in the USA but I must say his firm's work is impressive. The 410 is the latest collaboration between Qviberg and Arcona.
Simplicity and balance are main elements of the Arcona 410 design

As I studied the drawings and photos of the 410, the theme that came to mind was simplicity and balance efficiently combined. In the profile view above, notice the delicately sprung sheer and balanced bow and stern profiles. The cabin trunk is low and blends perfectly with the subtly sprung sheerline. Simple designs are often the most difficult to execute well.
The 410 is fitted with a tall fractional rig with non-overlapping headsails. Notice the oversize spinnaker pole.
This boat will be a serious competitor on the race course.

The Arcona 410 is intended as a racer/cruiser and I would place it on the racier end of that spectrum. With a displacement of 17,200 pounds on a 36.75' waterline, it has a displacement/length ratio of 155 and a sail area/displacement ratio of 22.0. These numbers are indicative of a light and fairly powerful sailing yacht. By comparison, my Beneteau 423 has a D/L of 152 and a SA/D of 16.0. While the two boats have similar D/L ratios, the Arcona has roughly 33% more power in the rig. It's going to be a lot quicker in light air, and have higher speed potential in a breeze. The Arcona will be a the more interesting boat to sail. 

Wide side decks, non overlapping jibs and an Admirals Cup style mainsheet system show the 410's emphasis on performance.
I like the distribution of volume in the plan view below. The overall beam is 11.48 feet and the bow is relatively fine. Notice that the stern is not as wide as you find on some other recently designed cruiser/racers. There has been a faddish trend toward extremely wide sterns on this type of boat in recent years, and while that hullform has obvious advantages when a boat is in planing mode, I think a more balanced hullform offers better handling characteristics in a seaway.

The decks of the 410 are wide and uncluttered, perfect for racing. The cockpit is a good compromise for both racing and cruising, with big seats and plenty of space for working the boat or lounging. The open transom and twin helms are convenient for boarding from the dinghy and enable the helmsman to sit well outboard.

Notice that there is no provision for anchor storage on the bow. This is great for racing but you'll want to order your 410 with a bow roller and windlass if you plan to anchor. I like the recess for the dodger that is molded into the cabin top. The way we cruise, there is never a time when we want the dodger put away, but if you race as much as you cruise, a fold-away dodger makes a lot of sense.
Notice the recesses for sheet and halyard tails, and the mainsheet traveler mounted on the sole. Another nice feature is the block and tackle backstay adjuster, which is lighter and faster than a hydraulic unit would be. This boat has teak toe rails that are smaller than I would like for cruising.
Near perfect accommodations plan.

Arcona offers the 410 in two and three cabin layouts, and I could live with either, but the two cabin version would be ideal for a cruising couple. The aft stateroom incorporates a huge berth, a large hanging/stowage locker and plenty of shelf space.  

The small deadlight in the hull will provide a surprising amount of light in the aft stateroom. 

The aft head is just large enough to incorporate a shower. The three cabin version of the 410 offers a single head, located aft, while the two cabin includes an additional small head in the forecabin. In the main salon you find a large galley to port, with lots of counter space. Notice that the lockers above the stove are raised a few inches above the counter. This cuts into locker space a bit but creates more counter space.

Scandinavian styling: simple lines and high quality woodwork.
The arrangement of the galley wouldn't be very convenient to work in when the boat is under sail. This is probably a reasonable compromise if you don't do a lot of cooking at sea. Once in the slip or on the anchor, I think the cook would like this wide open arrangement. the nav station, opposite the galley would be a nice place to work anytime. The chart table is an ample size and there is plenty of storage space.

 The main salon includes a large dropleaf table and plenty of seating space, but the settee to starboard doesn't look quite long enough to be a good sea berth. We have the same basic arrangement aboard Finisterra and I added a lee board in the quarterberth to convert it to a usable sea berth when we're underway.

The forward cabin includes the aforementioned head, a large v-berth and smallish hanging locker. The accommodations plan shows that the berth has been pushed aft a bit to allow for storage room aft of the anchor locker but I don't see an access hatch in the photo below. Aside from that, the forward cabin looks bright and airy.

V-berth in the 3 cabin version of the 410

The styling of the interior of the Arcona 410 fits nicely with the overall theme of clean, simple lines. While some might appreciate fancier design elements in the accommodations, I think this approach will wear well over time. The corners and edges are softer than we see in the latest designs from competitors like Beneteau and Hanse, yet it is a thoroughly modern looking interior. I like it a lot.

Overall I give this boat high marks for design and it should be a worthy competitor in the marketplace as well as on the race course. Add a few amenities such as lazy jacks and an anchor windlass and you'll have a fine cruising yacht. I encourage you to visit the Arcona web site, which is where I found the information on this boat:

1 comment:

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