Reporting from the Southampton Boat Show show, Hugo Andrae takes a look around the Piper 12C, a steel cruiser from an established British yard
It’s always a treat to discover a new brand of boat at the Southampton show, especially when it’s from an established British yard.
Piper Boats is best known for building Dutch-style liveaboard barges but now it has turned its hand to a smaller, more leisure oriented steel yacht called the Piper 12C Cruiser. Measuring a whisker shy of 40ft and featuring a solid steel hull and superstructure, it’s a full displacement craft weighing 16.5 tonnes that looks ideally suited to life on UK and European waterways.
Powered by a single diesel shaft-drive engine with the option of hybrid electric power, it will chug along for days on end at 6-8 knots sipping fuel from its 650-litre fuel tank or for 4-5 hours at slightly slower speeds in silent electric mode.
The motor is fully integrated into the driveline with a single Morse style throttle lever controlling both power sources and a big 40kWh bank of 12V lead acid batteries with solar panels on the roof to keep things as simple and affordable as possible.
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Two different layouts are offered, one with a galley up and two cabins, the other with a galley down and a single owner’s cabin in the bow. The show boat had the latter and benefited from a feeling space to spare, especially in the generously proportioned heads with its large shower compartment and two separate ensuite and day access doors.
A full length wheelhouse overhang with zip-in canopies means the cockpit can be used all year round, while bi-fold wooden doors into the saloon create a seamless link between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Big windows, opening sunroofs and a helm door allow plenty of light and air into the saloon and galley, while two vast storage voids in the engineroom and under the lifting companionway stairs will prove catnip to liveaboard cruisers. The latter would actually be big enough for a pair of children’s berths were it not for the lack of natural light and ventilation.
While the fit and finish may not be quite as refined as similar offerings from production yards like Linssen, the robust build, handcrafted interior and sheer value for money this British built newcomer offers make this a very welcome addition to the fold.
Enjoy the tour…
Piper 12C specifications
LOA: 39ft 3in (11.98m)
Beam: 13ft 1in (4.02m)
Engine: Beta Marine 85hp diesel
Top speed: 8 knots
Price: from £360,000 inc VAT