Having sailed for 4 years in Orana
, having a 450 in our fleet that I occasionally sailed with ,I just want to give you my impressions on the new Helia (as objective as I can be..) vis a vis these two medels. I couldn't yet sail the Helia but talked in Cannes to the skipper
who brought her to here and to various people in FP.
To say the last word at first; Helia is sitting just in beetween 450 and Orana
. She is faster than 450 but not quite as Orana. She has more space than Orana but not quite as 450. She has a fly bridge that Orana doesn't, but, this is not comparable to the 450' one.
Most of the Orana's problems have been addressed to in this model. To name a few:
is much better ventilated thanks to two relatively large windows in front and takes lot of lights inside.
-the bridge height didn't look any better than Orana but the protrusions underneath the bridge that Orana was suffering have been eliminated.
-the reef lines are now back to helm
station with a small extra. (I always hated the strange locks of Orana underneath the boom at the mast
-front cabins are almost as big as aft cabins and all of the four heads are almost equal and larger than Orana.(Orana had a decent head
for the owner side but both heads on port side were very crampy for a 44 ft cat.)
Helia's front cabins are not only better than Orana but even better than 450. Nonetheless, the owner cabin
of Orana was better and larger than Helia. (the model displayed in Cannes was a four cabin
and I don't know if the owner version will be different)
-In Orana the kitchen was on the starboard side with the winches on top. Therefore there was no window in the kitchen. Helia has the kitchen moved to port side and finally got this window.
-The connection beetween the kitchen and the cockpit
also is Lagoonised with a desk and small sliding window in beetween. This will also solve another problem of Orana; the sliding large doors which were opening even falling down in the Ocean..
-The finish seemed to me about the same or slightly better than Orana and 450.
-Since Orana's bank aft in the cockpit
has been removed (this was being used for installing the genset and the life raft) there is now second and quite large compartment underneath the mast
(next to anchore one). FP says that this is better because the genset is closer to the center of gravity the boat and far from the owner cabin..
Overall,Helia is a well thought and very elegant boat and I am sure will have a lot of success. However, I will give my final verdict once I sail her.
This boat will come to Istanbul
and be exhibited in boat show
in September 29 and I am promissed to have a ride
If someone who missed Cannes would like do it, just let me know.