Sunshine, three-metre swells, 25-knots of wind and spray lashing the decks - we couldn't have asked for better conditions for testing the all-new Dale 40
Anyone who has driven a boat in a decent following swell will know the feeling. That moment when the boat is right in the sea’s pocket, manipulating the conditions for a natural boost as Mother Nature provides her own shove of forced induction.
The speed jumps up momentarily before the conveyer belt begins to slide in the other direction and the hard slog up the back of the next wave begins. This is where I find myself aboard the Dale 40, thundering down the face of a rolling 3m swell with the satisfying whoosh that comes as 16 tonnes of Welsh beef throws great sheets of water from its heavily flared hull.
Oh what a hull. It doesn’t matter how many times you drive an Arthur Mursell hull it always surprises with its sea kindliness and preposterous refinement, particularly in such challenging conditions.
This latest iteration is a little fuller of bow to improve interior volume but you won’t find Mursell – or Dale – compromising sea keeping to quench the market’s insatiable thirst for interior space.
With the red cliffs of St Annes Head bearing down on us I look aft to check the coast is clear and prepare to turn upwind, into the teeth of the swell we had just been surfing down.
Mike Reynolds, owner of Dale Sailing Company, standing next to me at the helm, gives me the look of a man with thousands of hours aboard Mursell-hulled boats under his belt and deadpans: “This could get wet.”
Read the full review in the July 2019 edition of Motor Boat & Yachting.