The 27’s sibling, the English Harbour 29 Offshore, now has the newfound pace to match its amazing grace
The English Harbour 29 Offshore is the British company’s new high speed incarnation of its more sedate English Harbour 27.
It’s no surprise that English Harbour always had a faster version in mind; when you have such a sturdy and beautifully built Andrew Wolstenholme semi-displacement hull design lurking beneath your topsides, it could be considered almost impertinent to limit it to single figure speeds.
To cope with the higher speeds, the size of the long deep keel was reduced by about 50% and a bathing platform added to protect the new Volvo sterndrives (single 140hp, 170hp or 200hp) that give the 29 its newfound alacrity.
The result is a boat that is a delight to drive. No surprise that adding a sterndrive to a small-keel semi-displacement form produces an incredibly agile boat.
But that doesn’t mean the 29 is flighty; leave the wheel alone and the 29 tracks well at typical cruising speeds between 10 and 20 knots, albeit that at inland waterways speeds it doesn’t have the same directional stability as its slower, deeper-keeled sibling.
Although our test conditions were undemanding, I got the impression that the fine forward sections would cut through far rougher water than we encountered in a similarly serene and bump-free way.
English Harbour has fine tuned the wonderful accommodation (for much more detail, please see our full February 2015 report on the 27, and the wheelhouse walkaround section of this website).
Outside, the driving position is more comfortable thanks to a repositioned wheel, extra foot space and a modified backrest.
Despite the extra speed – 23.6 knots flat out with our test boat’s 200hp sterndrive – the boat still trims well and leaves helmsman always able to see the horizon clearly without any help from the trim tabs.
Other improvements include increasing the already generous saloon headroom to a whopping 6ft 5in (1.96m), but the biggest beneficiary is the aft cabin.
This has more free space around and above the double berth and yet more useful storage in the form of a pair of open lockers.
What remains unchanged down below is the boat’s bright and breezy décor and its generous proportions and dimensions.
Contact See English Harbour Yachts website for dealers
Not so long ago, wafting past mansions on the Thames was this beautiful boat’s forte, now it can also hurtle around the coast at up to 24 knots. Either way, its exceptional, bright interior remains a delight to retreat to