Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Boats Seen at Burnham – Part 4 – Sunset 27

Sunset 27

MG Spring

Until seeing this less than enchanting twin keel yacht I had never heard of a Sunset 27. (‘Less than enchanting’ is from the point of view of aesthetics, which is always subjective.)  On looking up her pedigree I was surprised to find that she was designed by Tony Castro, who also was the author of the MG Spring that was launched in 1986. She was an immediate success, being sporty, and at the same time, very practical for typical club racing and for a spot of cruising.

This particular Sunset 27 was built in the year 2000 - fourteen years after the MG Spring, but you can see similarities, in that both yachts have almost identical interior layouts and their external streamlined profiles resemble one another. However, in terms of appearance to my mind, the Sunset 27 lacks character. She has nothing that significantly proclaims, “I’ve got it, and "I’ll flaunt it!” There’s nothing you can latch onto that says, “She’s the boat for me.” At least, that’s the way I feel about her, but a cold, pure analysis of what she offers paints a different picture:

Feelings apart, from a practical point of view the Sunset 27 has useful attributes, especially for the sailor who wants a yacht for a drying mooring. Her twin keels make her admirably suited to this.  I like her transom platform that gives easy access for those getting in and out of a tender. She also has a boarding ladder that doubles as a pushpit gate. She has high, sensible guardrails, and her side decks are wide enough for people to walk on without being restricted. Hand rails along the cabin top are a helpful in this respect, especially if one has to move along a lee deck when the boat is heeling.  Her high boom reduces the chances of being hit on the head by it, and a high boom means a high sail which does not restrict ones vision, as can be the case with some yachts.

Her open-plan layout is functional by having things sensibly located; for example, the cooker is almost in the centre of the boat where there is least movement. Likewise, the navigation station is on the opposite side – both of them are by the companionway where there is light and fresh air. A double bunk under her cockpit floor gives privacy, and there’s an excellent layout for the saloon with wrap-around seating and an offset folding table. Almost 6’ headroom adds to the sense of space.  Plenty of light enters the cabin through the side windows and forward hatch; even the separate heads has its own port. A 9hp Yanmar diesel engine located aft of the companionway can propel the yacht at 5 knots , and in this day and age an engine is essential for getting in and out of marinas.


Sunset 27 for Sale £19,750

MG Spring – designed by Tony Castro in 1986

MG Spring Cruiser Racer Yacht

Some boats designed by Tony Castro

Tony Castro

Tony Castro

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