One-of-a-kind, the Elling E6 forces us to re-examine what it is that we want from our boating
The Elling E6 is so different to any other boat you are likely to encounter that it’s difficult establishing an independent frame of reference to judge it by.
So as a starting point, let’s use one of Elling’s own edicts, “to make the safest boat in the world” – an audacious claim indeed. But then Elling is a pretty bold outfit.
Although the Dutch company has not yet done so with this new flagship E6, under controlled conditions it did (spectacularly and successfully) purposely roll one of its smaller E4 models through 360 degrees, just to prove its self-righting claim.
Like the E4, the E6’s hull is constructed from Kevlar and Twaron, two high strength aramid fibres which in practical boating terms are nigh on indestructible.
With its single engine and 5,000 litre fuel tanks, as long as you slow down to single figure speeds it’s capable of crossing the Atlantic without refuelling.
And yet its 900hp Volvo is also capable of pushing it at over 20 knots, giving it a cruising speed in the high teens – fast enough to ignore adverse tides and bad weather on shorter and less demanding coastal passages like, say, Dartmouth to Gibraltar. So far, so very very safe.
Of course, a jump in size from the E4’s 49ft to the E6’s 65ft is bound to provide a lot more space inside.
So in the case of the E6, the three cabins are all larger than the E4’s trio, and all en-suite too. The lower saloon is in the same place – located behind the forward VIP – but it’s also a lot roomier.
The real transformation though, and the main reason you would buy the E6 instead of the E4 – is the pilothouse. With safety in mind, Elling refused to sacrifice the generous sidedecks on its E4, so the pilothouse felt unavoidably cosy.
The wide side decks have been retained on the E6, but with 25% more beam and so much extra length to play with, the pilothouse feels as though as it has trebled in size. That’s partly down to exceptionally deep windows (double glazed, mind) that are unobstructed by exuberant stylists adornments.
Elling has also resisted the temptation to cram the space to capacity, instead preferring to leave plenty of free floor space to move around in. This light-filled space now provides a real alternative eating and drinking and socialising area to the lower saloon.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the smaller E4 also has three cabins and a lower saloon – the pilothouse on the E6 is transformational.
You can find other Category A boats that will happily cross the Atlantic. Plus a few with equally tough hulls. Others too which are as quiet. But you’re unlikely to find all these things and a 21.5 knot top speed as well