The Cranchi Eco Trawler 43 won European Powerboat of the Year in 2015 and comes to market with a host of layout options and IPS engine choices. Jack Haines gets to grips with it in Italy
Not content with tackling just the 50ft trawler market, the Cranchi Eco Trawler 43 is the Italian yard’s attempt on the 40-45ft sector, inhabited by the likes of Bénéteau’s Swift Trawler 44 and Azimut Magellano 43.
Launched at last year’s Cannes Boat Show it has already picked up a European Powerboat of the Year award, so surely it must be doing something right?
Like its larger sibling the 43 is an IPS boat, available with IPS350, 400 or 450. Personally I think the D4 260hp-powered IPS350 version would be utterly overwhelmed by the weight of the boat so it’s the larger two engine choices that should get the tick on the options list.
Our test boat had the twin 330hp IPS450 motors and, though it heaved itself up to 21 knots in admittedly rough conditions, with a family’s cruising stores and some fouling on the hull these motors could struggle a bit.
The handling is as laid back as the performance, with the IPS tuned to its most docile setting the 43 swings from side to side slowly with minimum lean and very little fuss. It’s not exciting but then I don’t suppose it’s meant to be.
What it is, is relaxing. The hull is smooth, quiet and soft-riding and the IPS engines, being tucked out back like they are, are hushed and refined. From the lower helm or the flybridge it is a relaxing boat to drive.
An issue on our test boat was trim angle. It had Humpree’s trim blades fitted and no matter how I manipulated them I found myself craning to see from the lower helm.
Of course, some adjustment on the lower helm seat would help here but Cranchi still needs to investigate whether the particular blades fitted to the test boat are best suited to the 43.
Life on the inside
The layout of the 43’s saloon is one of its strong suits, with a galley-aft layout and top hinged window that works well on a boat of this size and opens the interior up to the cockpit.
The large, square windows that are so striking from the outside fire plenty of natural light into the main living spaces and deliver fine views out from the galley and seating area.
Below decks there are three different guest cabin layout options; you can either have a double that occupies the boat’s full beam, two identical twin cabins that can be made into doubles with infill cushions or – like we had on test – a twin to starboard and then a single berth to port with a triple wardrobe inboard of the bed and space for a washer/drier.
For me, unless you really want that wardrobe space, the layout of our test boat was the least intelligent use of space and if you think you’re unlikely to have more than two guests at a time the two-cabin version will deliver the most luxurious sleeping spaces for all occupants.
No matter what the guest cabin layout is, the forward cabin is a spacious double blessed with bags of floorspace, headroom and a really generous ensuite.
On deck, though you feel quite vulnerable on the low-sided flybridge this will improve with the bimini in place and it’s a well designed space with plenty of comfortable table seating and a dedicated double sun pad aft.
The stand out area on deck is the foredeck, which has a small bench right forward as well as a double sun pad and lots of neat storage solutions for lines and fenders.
More information on the Cranchi website.
Take a guided tour of the Cranchi 43 Eco Trawler, as seen at the 2014 Cannes Boat Show
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The Cranchi Eco Trawler 43 is doing things its own way with stand out looks, a variety of cabin layouts and a choice of three different IPS engine options. The particular layout on our test boat didn't work for us but that's down to personal choice and there is a lot to like about the 43's comfortable and practical deck spaces. Questions remain over the effectiveness of the trim blades, though, and how performance will hold up mid-season.