MBY’s Alex Smith visits Argo Yachting in Southampton for a test drive of the all-new Galeon 440 Fly...
Very few boat builders in the world can match Galeon for the fun they incorporate into their designs, so it was with a great deal of anticipation that we headed to Southampton for a sea trial of the Galeon 440 Fly at the hands of new UK importer, Argo Yachting.
Even in the shipyard’s most basic GTO line of open dayboats, each Galeon courses through with a tangible sense of innovation. And yet if you’re keen to experience Galeon’s design creativity at its most playful and unconstrained, its multi-award-winning Flybridge and Skydeck models have generally been the place to look.
That all starts at the stern, with a transom-mounted wet bar that runs almost the full width of the bathing platform so you can grill your lunch with your feet still in the water.
But the big wow factor here are the two folding cockpit balconies, which are not only bigger than ever but now feature glass inserts so you still get a view of the water even when they’re in the upright position.
These don’t transform into beach bars or sea lounges like they do on the larger Galeon 500 Fly but the extra space they create is still pretty special. There’s a reversible backrest on the starboard part of the cockpit sofa so you can sit facing out to sea.
And there’s a big sliding door up at the helm so you can make the most of the wide-open sea views. The galley-forward layout also gives a very different feel to the saloon, pushing the dining and lounging areas aft and putting the chef on the same elevated deck level as the helm station on the opposite side.
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With so much packed into a 45ft platform, it does end up feeling quite busy, especially if you opt for the show boat’s three-cabin layout. It’s a great option to have but it means you have to have an offset bed in the forward VIP rather than an island double – and you get no ensuite access to the second heads either.
The full-beam owner’s cabin is another clever piece of packaging that looks fantastic but necessitates multiple changes in floor and ceiling height to fit everything in.
In summary, although the new Galeon 440 offers many of the 500 Fly’s best features in a more affordable package, there is no hiding the fact that it’s a substantially smaller boat.
Galeon 440 Fly specifications
LOA: 45ft 8in (13.97m)
Beam: 13ft 8in (4.2m)
Engines: Twin Volvo Penta 480hp D6/440hp IPS600
Top speed: 30 knots
Starting price: €692,100 (ex. VAT)