Yacht Class n°33 (june-july-august 2023)
Construction, deck layout, fittings, everything is designed to make life on board the Allures 51.9 safe, practical and comfortable, even during long and difficult voyages.
Written by : Christophe Varène – Photos : DR
Sailors looking for a boat know that it is difficult to make a choice, to find the one that best suits their programme. It is with this in mind – you are never better served than by yourself – that Stephan Constance and Xavier Desmaret created the Allures shipyard in 2003 to build the boat of their dreams. The dream is still alive and, 20 years later, the two friends are at the head of the Grand Large Yachting group, which includes the Allures, Outremer, Garcia Yachts, Gunboat and RM Yachts brands, to which can be added Griffon Marine, specialising in carpentry, Escale Formation Technique (EFT), a training school, Grand Large Services, customer support (delivery, training, maintenance, resale), Alumarine (workboats) and Ocean Voyager (day-charter catamarans). Designed for ocean cruising, the Allures range now includes three models: 40.9, 45.9 and 51.9, all of which are integral dinghies. The latest model, and flagship of the fleet, is designed, like her predecessors, by Berret-Racoupeau Yacht Design, with a mixed construction, aluminium hull and composite deck. The junction between these two materials is perfectly mastered with a gluing operation, then screwing, even if this is more of a psychological dimension to reassure the owners as modern glues are so effective and resistant.
A very protective and practical cockpit
In terms of design, some purists may criticise the imposing superstructures, but one must never lose sight of the offshore character of the Allures 51.9, which is designed to take its crew everywhere, in complete safety and maximum comfort. Thus, the manoeuvring area is advanced and protected on the sides, with two helm stations, whose dashboards are equipped with handrails to facilitate movement, and the winches that manage all manoeuvres. The stern remains a free zone, with storage lockers, and overhangs the transom, which opens out to provide a bathing platform and free up the tender garage. The front of the cockpit, under the protection of the roll bar with cap and the opening windscreen, is occupied by two benches and two tables, which leave a central passage when folded. Access to the foredeck and mast step, for example for reefing, is secured by the rigid balcony around the boat and the handrails on the deckhouse. The deckhouse cap and davits are fitted with solar panels, as energy production is an essential element for autonomy and long crossings.
A full-width owner’s cabin
Six steps, curved for ergonomic heeling, must be descended to discover the saloon. Raised, it provides a good view of the outside, through the deckhouse and hull portholes, with numerous openings making this space light and bright. The zones are well defined according to their uses. On the starboard side, a table accommodates five people with ease thanks to an L-shaped bench and benches. Opposite, the chart table is located between the navigator’s comfortable swivel chair, with its back to the road, and a small sofa that allows a crew member to share strategic choices. Below, still on the port side, the galley is ergonomically designed in a U-shape, making it comfortable and safe at sea, whatever the weather or the list. The galley is generously equipped with a sink, cooker, microwave oven, fridge and freezer, dishwasher and a large worktop with ledges and fiddles. Forward is a beautiful guest cabin with double bed and plenty of natural light with deck and hull portholes. Next to it, the cabin with two bunk beds has to make do with a single Zenith porthole. There is a comfortably sized toilet to share. At the rear, the owner’s cabin takes up the entire width of the boat with a double bed in a central island, a sofa, storage and hanging space, and some handrails. The bathroom is pleasant with a washbasin, toilet and shower cubicle. In the passageway leading to this cabin, there is plenty of storage space and a long work surface that can be transformed into a workshop if required. The decoration plays on a certain purity, but with careful finishing, refined indirect lighting and interesting contrasts of colours and materials. A real soothing cocoon when the conditions are tougher outside.