Boat Review By Nim Marsh

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Into the Broadblue Yonder

Want a long distance cruising catamaran ideal for a couple? This British-built 43-footer might be your baby

The Broadblue 435, a refinement of the Broadblue 42 we sailed as part of last fall's Boat of the Year judging, would be a good choice for a bluewater-bound couple joined occasionally by a friend or two.

The Broadblue sailed well in light air (with its full main and large reacher, it beam-reached at 7.7 knots in 11 to 12 knots true), a plus for a passagemaker seeking steady progress over the sea miles. Its 776 square feet of canvas is divided into a seamanlike cutter rig that's easily managed and presents numerous storm-canvas and downwind-sail combinations.

The Broadblue's hulls boast watertight bulkheads fore and aft and solid fiberglass below the waterline; the topsides and deck are glass over endgrain balsa core. They're built to the highest European Union standard, Category A (Ocean), with Lloyd's-approved materials.

The 435's decks are wide, clean, and flat, and its house is low and both aero- and hy-drodynamic, presenting few surfaces for green water and wind to gain a purchase. In the cockpit are three lazarettes; lockers for propane, chain, and other gear are just aft of the trampoline. The only differences between the

Broadblue 435 and the earlier 42 are the 18 inches added to the lower aft steps, above the waterline, and the handrails on the insides of the boarding platforms to help crew step in and out of a dinghy.

The cockpit is relatively narrow, with wide decks on either side, preventing significant volumes of seawater from staying aboard. The curved cockpit table nestles into the starboard settee and is, thus, out of the way. The two-person, cushioned, adjustable-height helm station, to port, has a double-concave backrest that provides a snug perch for driver and crew. Main and spinnaker halyards, plus reefing lines and topping lift, are led aft through jammers to a two-speed electric winch mounted on the housetop to starboard, within easy reach, as are the two-speed manual genoa winches.

To move below is to step into a grated well, over a substantial bridgedeck, through sliding doors, then down into the bright, cheerful saloon. To starboard is the dinette with a folding table that seats eight. To port is an aft-facing corner nav station, with no fiddles and with a round seat on an arm

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