By Zuzana Prochazka
Eagle 44: Yacht Club Eye-Candy
The Eagle 44 from Leonardo Yachts is a daysailer with classic lines and a modern underbody.
There are daysailers and then there are daysailers. The Eagle 44 is from the drawing boards of the Dutch design firm of Gerard Dykstra & Partners, and now she’s making a splash in the United States. Her retro lines are reminiscent of J-Class boats of the 1930s but a modern underbody (fin and bulb keel) and contemporary hardware make her an easy boat to daysail, even single-handed.
The Dutch builder, Leonardo Yachts, gleaned some lessons from their Eagle 36 daysailer before launching her bigger sister—which is just as likely to turn heads at the yacht club. With long graceful overhangs and a tall, fractional deck-stepped rig, the Eagle 44 looks like a boat from 80 years ago but sails like the latest designs of today.
Besides its obvious beauty, this boat is all about the deep cockpit. A large wheel aft is within reach of a recessed (below decks) mainsheet winch. From here you can also reach the primaries (electric is an option) and hydraulic backstay adjuster. One winch near the companionway handles the halyards and sits atop its own protruding pedestal. Instruments can be mounted on the forward bulkhead or on the centerline drop-leaf table, where they can share space with the chartplotter. The table serves as a galley of sorts because it holds a sink with a fold-away faucet and running water, and also wine bottle and glass stowage.
Below, there are just enough amenities to make for a pleasant day on the water. A double berth forward will let you rest if you take an afternoon nap at anchor, and the electric toilet is hidden in a box in the saloon, visible only when in use. The high-gloss finish of the mahogany surfaces is topnotch.
|Fuel capacity||15.8 gal.|
To keep the design clean and classic there are no lifelines and the jib furler is below deck, as is the bow roller, which is designed to be lifted up and out over the port side. The decks are teak and the trim everywhere is high-gloss. Auxiliary power is provided by a Volvo 20 hp diesel with Saildrive.
A long list of options (which will raise the price over the starting point of about $355,000) includes electric winches, hybrid propulsion, a carbon mast and boom with rod rigging, a deep or shallow draft keel, and Simrad electronics including an autopilot and a chartplotter. And you can also get a 1600 watt inverter to run the Nespresso machine, because a cold daysail without a hot cup of coffee is just uncivilized.
Other Choices: A daysailer that’s significantly smaller but shares the same lofty ideals is the C. W. Hood 32.
For more information, visit Leonardo Yachts.
- Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and skippered flotillas in many parts of the world and serves as a presenter on charter destinations and topics. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. She contributes to Boats.com and YachtWorld.com, and also blogs regularly on her boat review site, TalkoftheDock.com.
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