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European sailboat now available in U.S.

Croation-built Salona offers ‘a lot of boat for your dollar,’ according to the East Coast dealer

Croation-built Salona offers ‘a lot of boat for your dollar,’ according to the East Coast dealer

A Croatian yacht that’s been touted as “the BMW of sailboats” is now available to boaters in the Tri-State area and southern New England.

Salona Yachts, which made its American debut last fall at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., announced in March that McMichael Yacht Brokers, of Mamaroneck, N.Y., will now service Salona boat owners from New York City to Newport, R.I. The company’s 45-foot model will be on display there and will be available for test sails in early May.

“McMichael Yachts will play a key role in debuting and launching Salona Yachts in southern New England,” says Matthew Brunner, director of Salona Yachts. “We wanted an established and very experienced team to represent Salona in this important sailing region.”

Salona Yachts are designed by Slovenia’s J&J Design and built by AD Boats in Croatia. The sloops, which range from 37 to 45 feet, are built to deliver strong performance and reliability in all conditions, says Brunner. “With a Salona yacht you can either cruise fast, race or do a combination of both,” he says. “These are performance cruisers, but can go either way.

“You don’t even need a lot of people to handle the sails,” he continues. “At 25 knots, full sail, these boats sail [are] balanced and fast. I think people will appreciate both the finish down below and the way that they handle.”

The Salona 45, which was on display at the United States Sailboat Show, generated a lot of response from show-goers, according to Brunner. “People were really impressed with its looks,” he says. “I think the overall styling of the boat really catches people’s eyes.”

The Salona 45 is built with multiaxial hand-laminated GRP sandwich construction (AIREX and PVC closed cells). The first layers of laminate are made with vinylester resin, which AD Boats says offers excellent anti-osmosis protection to the hull.

Salonas are designed with true “water tight” bulkheads fore and aft, incorporating waterproof glands to house passing wires.

The Salona 45 offers three- and four-cabin layouts that sleep six to eight, with two heads. Varnished light American cherry wood highlights the finish below.

The boat has a beam of nearly 14 feet and draws nearly 7 feet with a standard keel (8.33 feet with a racing keel).

Salona Yachts’ prototype (the Salona 45) was constructed in 2002. Between 2003 and 2005 the company sold 43 of the 45-foot models, mostly in the Mediterranean. Base prices range from $217,000 (37-foot) to $360,000 (45-foot), Brunner says. In addition to McMichael Yacht Brokers, Salona Yachts are available at Bollard Yachts in Oxford, Md., and Brunner hopes to announce a California dealer sometime this year.

“We’re hoping to establish a significant place in the market here in the United States, and to begin a Salona network of owners worldwide,” Brunner says. “These are high-quality yachts — you get a lot of boat for your dollar.”