Recently, Elan Yachts started teasing the world of yachting with a new project. Pininfarina, the legendary design studio from Turin, Italy, joined the project team, along with nautical architecture studio Humphreys Yacht Design and composite specialists, Gurit. The yacht was now announced to be the largest addition to Elan’s performance range, the 47 ft Elan E6.
Elan E line is on the performance side of Elan’s range. The yachts were among the first in industry to introduce off-shore short-handed racing features into the cruising segment. Recognised by the active chine design, twin rudders and t-shaped keels, these performance cruisers are the go-to choice for serious sailors who also expect high levels of comfort and cruising amenities for their friends and family. The E6 is the latest iteration of this ethos, taking all elements of this complicated dance to the next level. It is a fusion of Italian aesthetics, exceptional nautical architecture, and high-tech composite technology.
“The E6 challenged our capabilities and pushed the boundaries in terms of technology and design”, explained Marko Škrbin, director of Elan’s nautical division. “However, in concept and spirit, this yacht represents more of a return to our roots; it is a yacht for demanding sailors that also provides comfortable living aboard”.
The yacht’s aesthetics were designed by Pininfarina
Pininfarina is the reason behind the E6’s head-turning looks. It is, after all, the design powerhouse studio that designed some of Ferrari’s most iconic cars – and more than 600 projects in industrial and transportation design, winning more than 50 awards in the last 10 years. They are no strangers to the nautical world either, as they are responsible for the Wally 101 and Tango Wallycento yachts, among others. For Elan, Pininfarina focused on reinterpreting the E Line’s recognizable looks in their own legendary style and nautical tradition. They gave the E6 a strong sportive connotation, using a few fluid lines to give it a unique character.
“The result is a sailboat with pure shapes and a modern style projected towards the future, which is the direction performance lovers must always look at”, explains Daniele Mazzon, Pininfarina’s Chief Transportation Designer.
Not Just a Pretty Thing
Behind its beautiful façade, the E6 is intended to be among the lightest and stiffest 47 ft fitted production performance cruisers on the market with a fully fitted interior. A significant contributor to this is the famed naval architecture of Humphreys Yacht Design. They developed a brand new hull to fit the needs of the E6. A lot of effort has gone into CFD modelling and analysis to choose the E6’s sailing performance and handling. Results were assessed and compared through the VPP (velocity prediction programs) to fine-tune the hull’s performance. Elan’s E-Line yachts are renowned for their excellent performance in a fresh breeze, especially downwind, but the results of this new-generation hull is also expected to be quick in light airs, due to its notably high sail area to displacement ratio. At the same time, the hulls versatility covers a range of displacements to cater to people requiring greater load carrying capabilities.
Technology With Gurit
Elan was one of the first shipyards to introduce vacuum assisted infusion lamination technology to the word of sailing yachts and had continuously led the charge in this area. However for this project, Elan’s internal composite specialists challenged their know-how and pushed it to the next level by cooperating with composite industry-leaders, Gurit. Their structural engineering expertise gave the Elan team confidence to push the laminate plan a lot further. The E6 utilizes 3D VAIL process (an advanced version of infusion lamination), enabling significant weight gains on the composite parts and considerable improvements of the hull’s mechanical properties.
Its VAIL vacuum infusion process was already one of the brand’s key strengths, but all hull and deck materials have been comprehensively upgraded and the E6’s performance potential has been given a significant boost by the structural engineering expertise of Gurit. ‘The laminate plan and geometry have been pushed a lot further,’ Rajapakse says. ‘In plain terms, Gurit’s know-how and calculations have given us confidence and courage. They analyse every nook and cranny to calculate what we should reinforce, what we can remove, where we can shift focus. Also we have upgraded the hull/deck joint, especially at the stern, moving closer to a monolithic structure and thus creating a stronger, safer yacht.’
While the yacht has been designed to be easily sailed by an experienced couple, the E6 is meant to be sailed with a good crew. Three pairs of Harken winches, ideally positioned for precision trimming and fast unobstructed movements, are the result of 1:1 scale model in-house testing with a former Olympic sailing team. For more cruising minded sailors, optional storage boxes with a grill, sink and a refrigerator are available, as well as two sizes of bathing platforms.
Designed for the perfect blend of aesthetics and functionality by Pininfarina, the enticing and practical interior invites perfect living at sea. The creative form is brought alive by the natural oak veneered interior and enriched with solid wood finish. Elan also provides an option of performance okoume furniture that keeps the weight down, while not hindering the boat’s luxurious look and feel. The E6 also comes with a fully equipped galley with a front-opening fridge and optional microwave or coffee machine that will provide the comfort of home.
Construction of the prototype E6 is about to commence, and the yachts boat show début is due to be at Boot Düsseldorf in January. Sea trials will start in March on the Adriatic. Potential buyers will be able to sail the E6 at Portorož in Slovenia from April next year and delivery slots are available (at the time of writing) from the end of May onwards.