BOAT REVIEW Elan E6

April 2023 Yacht Reviews
Words by Sarah Ell. Photography and video by Roger Mills & Elan.
OUR RATING
4 STARS
Performance
Economy
Handling
Value
Build Quality
Specification
MODEL DETAILS
MODEL Elan E6
DESIGNER Humphreys Yacht Design/Pininfarina
BUILDER Elan Yachts
CONSTRUCTION Vacuum-assisted infusion lamination
PRICE AS TESTED $1,195,000
SPECIFICATIONS
LOA 14.30M
LENGTH (Waterline) 13.68M
BEAM 4.49M
DRAFT 2.80M
DISPLACEMENT 11250kg
ENGINE 1 x Yanmar 57hp/this boat 1 x Yanmar 80hp
FUEL CAPACITY 240L
WATER CAPACITY 370L
Mast & Rigging Selden
Sail Area 324 SqM
ACCOMMODATION Three cabins
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spacious saloon, roomy cabins
  • Easy transition between cruising and racing
OBSERVATIONS
  • Stylish and fast
  • Large, uncluttered cockpit

With the launch of the E6 — the new flagship of Elan Yachts’ E-Line range, and the largest and most high-performance cruiser the yard has produced to date — the Slovenian builder has set its sights firmly on owners who want speed as well as style.


Elan has brought in the big guns for this 47-footer: next-generation hull design by Humphreys Yacht Design (HYD), high-tech construction engineered by composite gurus Gurit, and styling by Italian designers Pininfarina. The result is a yacht designed to be powerful yet easy to handle, with a significantly lighter displacement than similar yachts in its class — and one which will turn heads.

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The designers took a strict approach to weight-saving, using Elan’s VAIL (vacuum-assisted infusion lamination) process for the hull and the yacht’s internal structure. This system basically creates a one-piece laminated structure out of all the load-bearing elements of the yacht, increasing stiffness and lightness and creating improved performance. Tom Humphreys of HYD says with the lighter displacement the design team were able to be ‘a bit more aggressive’ with the hull shape: relatively slender at the waterline but with broad and powerful aft sections just above the waterline, and active hard chines to boost form stability It’s also got less rocker than previous E-Line models, to promote planing, and twin rudders to maximise helm control.


That’s all very well from a technical point of view, but zhuzhing it up is the exterior styling by Pininfarina, giving the E6 more of a purposeful look than your average performance cruiser. It has an ultra-low-profile cabintop with sleek, linear portlights wrapping across the aft corners of the coachroof. Below the line of the deck, streamlined through-hull windows are inset into a horizontal panel with angled ends, which gives the yacht a distinctive, sharp look.
It’s certainly a lot of boat viewed from the dock, with its 4.49m max beam and high topsides. The large boarding platform folds right down to open up the transom and allow for easy access on board. The artificial teak flooring in the cockpit breaks up all the white and gives a nicely nautical look.
The large cockpit is open and uncluttered, with plenty of room to move forward between the outward-raking seats. When not racing, a sturdy outdoor table with fold-out side leaves can be mounted in the centre. At the transom are two large ‘cockpit boxes’, which double as seats and storage. A barbecue and fridge can also be fitted into these if desired.


From a sailing point of view, the cockpit and deck are designed to be practical and easy to use, with Elan working with a team of former Olympic sailors to get the ergonomics right. There’s a proper old-school traveller (first time in ages I’ve been on a production boat with one of those) running across the cockpit just forward of the pair of racing-style wheels, but its nicely recessed into the cockpit floor so you don’t stub your toe on it.
There are a pair of decent-sized Harken winches on the cockpit coamings on each side for main, jib and genoa sheets, and up on the low-profile cabintop are another pair of winches (one powered) for the control lines running back from the bank of clutches each side. These lines run back from the mast in a channel under the deck, keeping the cabintop smooth and clear of hazards. On this boat, this keyboards area is all neatly enclosed with a full dodger, but you can take this canvas off to get into full racing configuration.


The cockpit on this boat is entirely shaded from the sun by this massive dodger and a multi-part bimini. The central section can be zipped out for better visibility of the main when sailing, while still retaining plenty of shade in the cockpit.
Even with the dodger and back of the bimini up, visibility is good for the helmsperson, both forward and up to the main. By the starboard helm station there’s a good-sized Raymarine MFD built into the pedestal, along with the autohelm controls and other digital instruments.


The charcoal-coloured sails are supplied by OneSails Slovenia, and the standing rigging by Selden. This boat came with a main (which sits nicely on the boom in a stack-pack), a furling jib and a gennaker, flown off the purposeful-looking shiny black fixed prod on the bow. Most things can be sorted from the cockpit, but if you do need to go forward it’s easy to get up on the bow along the wide side decks, with their solid toe-rail and moulded non-skid.


The interior is a study in pale timber and light-coloured upholstery. While being styled for aesthetics and built for comfort, it’s also got practical features for when the boat is in race mode: a chart table with a lifting top which flips up out of the seating on the port side, adjacent to the VHF, and sleek but sturdy grab rails on the ceiling to make it easier and safer to move about down below when the boat is heeled.
When the spacious saloon is not being used to stack racing sails, the central drop-leaf table folds out on both sides to create a large dining surface, with a panel in the central console which lifts to reveal a handy bottle-storage area. An extra double berth can also be created in this area if required.


The galley is to starboard, with a very large Isotherm underbench fridge, a top-loading fridge-freezer compartment, two burner gas stove, and a double sink with a very stylish black mixer tap.
In this configuration, there are a mirrored pair of double cabins aft, running under the cockpit, each with ample headroom, hanging space and plenty of light through exterior windows and openable hatches into the cockpit. Forward of the port cabin is the day head, which has a full, separate shower compartment.


The furnishings in this head and the en suite in the bow make it look more like a hotel than a yacht, with curvaceous cabinetry and stylish circular bench-mounted basins. The owners’ head, in the bow, has a smaller shower area with its own screen and a duckboard-style timber area for drainage.
The master cabin itself has plenty of headroom, and space to move around the bed on its raised plinth. Here, as in the main saloon, recessed LED lighting in the ceiling makes for a touch of glamour.


On the day of our sail, the boat is literally new out of the box: it’s its first-ever sea trial, and the whole thing has a delightful ‘new boat’ smell.
Getting off the dock is straightforward, with a bow thruster taking care of manoeuvrability, and the upgraded 80hp Yanmar providing more than enough power to get us out of the marina. It’s pre-cyclone, on one of those rare windows in the weather which is providing sunshine and no wind, so having plenty of mechanical power to get us down the harbour in good time is a bonus. The Yanmar lives under the curvaceous stairs down into the saloon, and both is easy to access for maintenance and blissfully quiet.


Team New Zealand is waiting for a bit of wind too, so we briefly line up with them at Bean Rock before getting on with our own sail. The main is hoisted easily from its stack-pack, thanks to the electric cabintop winch, and the jib unfurled.
We manage to find ourselves just a bit of wind to get going under sail, but not enough to really get her pressed up. However, from the bit of sailing we can do it’s easy to see the boat is well set up, with the equipment well-positioned and specified, and plenty of potential for good performance. That she is stylish goes without saying; you can only imagine what she’d be like in a breeze. What’s more, she’s for sale and available to view at Westhaven.

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Sessa Yacht Line C47

Sessa vessels have a CE CLASS B rating – certified offshore to 200 miles, for winds up to force 8, and waves up to up to four metres high. Very capable, therefore.

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