Having seen the Delphia 40 at the Seattle Boats Afloat Show and another at Strictly Sail in Oakland, we were anxious to sail this new import. The factory in Poland, where the boats are built, has been building yachts under other names under contract for twenty years, but this is the first they’ve put out under their own name.
The boat we sailed was from Admiralty Yacht Sales of Seattle/Tacoma, and was actually a Delphia 40 GT, the difference being a taller mast, giving it 938 square feet of sail area, and the deep 7’11" keel. The Volvo Penta 55 Saildrive manuevered us quietly and easily out of a tight spot in the marina and we headed out into Commencement Bay with Michael Jameson and Jerry Stephenson of Admiralty and long time sailing buddy Pat Waters.
Most boats of this size that we’ve been sailing lately have had electric winches and furling mains, but this Delphia was all manual. We hoisted the Ocean Sails (Poland) and unfurled the jib to see what kind of way we could make in the very light wind. Everything we’d heard how nice the boat handled was in heavy air, but this truly was a test for typical Puget Sound summer conditions. For being touted as a strong boat, built for the challenges of the Baltic Sea, the Delpia moved quite nicely in the light breeze. As the wind picked up, the rack and pinion steering remained very light (the rudder is on bearings) without losing touch. Our boat had a dodger but visibility was very good. Some practical features we liked about the boat were; the rubber rim around the stern, protecting it from dinghy damage, hefty cleats, stern rail that almost completely encloses the back, stays are set well inside for close sheeting, and the anchor windless (standard) is set down in the well so as not to interfere with sailing. I’ve always liked an aluminum "holy rail" because of the options it presents for tying things on, whether sailing or at the dock.
The cockpit was deep with high comfortable coamings. A raised "bump" in the center of the sole is a nice footrest while heeling. We had the two cabin version which meant the starboard lazarette is over the aft cabin so it is shallow, but the port lazerette is cavernous. Smartly, it is broken up with shelves so everything won’t be in a big pile. It can also be accessed through a door in the bulkhead aft of the galley.
The working jib was handled easily with the Lewmar 48 ST. The traveler on the cabin and is only about three feet long, somewhat limiting control. The jib was on roller furling and the main went into a "stack pack." Basically it was jacklines that guided the main into canvas that you then zipped over the top of the sail as the cover.
As you decend into the cabin, you notice the ends of the steps are curved up for easy use even while heeled. Again, we were in the two cabin version, but, with two, three, even four cabin versions available, there is quite a bit of flexibility for prospective owners. Our boat had the stateroom aft on the starboard side. Moving forward there’s the head then a navigation station. The settee end acts as the seat for the navigator.
On the port side there is the humungous storage area where another aft cabin can be, then the galley, then the U-shaped settee. It’s a nice layout, very practical for one or two couples cruising. Of course, there’s only so much room on a boat, so if you opt for more cabins, you’ll loose storage space, but there is plenty for a three cabin setup for summer vacations with family and guests.
Forward of the main salon to port is another head. Neither head has a separate shower area, but both are the shower areas with a fold down seat. The boat has two holding tanks, valves for which are accessed behind a panel in the head which is dressed up by molding or a mirror. Across from the head is a hanging locker, with a standard v-berth up forward.
Engine access is under stairs and through doors in the galley and aft cabin. It takes a key to open them which I can imagine being easily misplaced. I’d rather see a simple latch.
The whole boat is done nicely in mahogany. The "cat eye" ports in the cabin give the boat quite a modern look and provide good light into the main salon. There are a lot of ports but I think a few more opening up would be nice to have in hot weather.
There’s nothing overly fancy about the Delphia 40, but then it doesn’t come with a "fancy" price. It’s a nicely done, well thought out boat that should serve cruisers very well. Of course there’s nothing to keep you from adding the electric winches, hydraulic backstays, etc., to the boat, but even right out of the box it should be a delight to cruise. It may be a new name on the water but shows the company’s many years of experience.
Thanks to Admiralty Yachts for the ride. For more info visit: www.Delphiayachts.comusa.com
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