Dale Classic 35 driven

Bespoke boat building at its best, we get behind the helm of the Dale Classic 35

At the 2010 Southampton Boat Show Dale, quietly, launched its 23 Tender. It was based on the famed Arthur Mursell TT hull design but at a diminutive 23ft and packing a 265hp VW diesel engine it was quite a different proposition to the boats it shared a hull with.

It turned out to be one of the most exciting and enjoyable boats we have ever tested, with a hull that was as solid and soft-ridng as it was agile and sheer good fun. Now, Dale has made a 35ft version dubbed the Dale Classic 35.

It has the exact same set-up as the little 23 but the VW lump is replaced by a Volvo Penta D6 400hp and, crucially, the yard has stayed loyal to the single sterndrive.

Hull number one is a rather special boat because it has been designed from the keel up by owner Bill Slee, alongside Arthur Mursell and Dale itself.

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It has been tuned to his exact taste as a comfortable launch for him and his wife to enjoy the Solent with the odd longer jaunt down to the West Country. This means the interior has a large sleeping area in the bow plus a spacious heads and compact yet beautifully designed galley.

Bill wanted there to be enough room below for him and his son (both well over 6ft), which explains the height of the coachroof.

The design on board will not be for everyone but then it hasn’t been built for mass appeal, it’s been built for Bill to his exacting requirements.

It’s safe to say that no matter what you think of the layout you can’t help but be utterly smitten with the way this boat handles. It’s joyous, sure to put a smile on your face during every trip.

You can find out more about the boat in the October 2014 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.

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