I had a look around the Slyder 49 at the Cannes Yachting Festival and it was one of my favourite catamarans at the show. It´s a clever design that seems to have successfully filled a market gap – this is the kind of design that the Catana Group might have come up with to replace their ageing 47. But they seem to be focused more on the charter market at the moment with their successful Bali brand. It is a sporty, cruising catamaran that is great value for money. She sits higher up the speed scale than boats like the St Francis 50 catamaran from South Africa.
Let´s hop onboard and take a look!
The Slyder 49 evolved from an earlier 47 footer designed by Yacht Design Collective (François Perus-Romain Scolari), the team behind the ITA 14.99. Perus´ first commission was the Slyder 47 – and it was very well reviewed by the sailing press, but unfortunately the German-Italian parent company went into administration in 2016
Luckily, the Slyder brand has been brought back to life by a new owner: Markus Kuhner who we met at Cannes. He has taken the brand on and has developed the 49 building on its DNA. This seems to be a popular size for the performance cruising market with boats like the new Outremer 55 and the Balance 526 all close to this length.
- Those aft helms open up the aft cockpit and salon into one big living space.
- Very well organised running rigging means that this yacht is well suited to short-handed and even single-handed sailing
- This German designed yacht is built in Quindao in China by Mazarin German Yachts. It´s good value for money
- The Slyder is light, stiff and fast – comparable to the best performance cruisers on the market.
- Curved daggerboards give you more space in the hulls compared to many of its competitors.
- She´s easy to dock with those aft helms.
- With those aft helms comes reduced visibility to the opposite bow. However, the aft cockpit is very well designed making it easy to switch sides. There is good visibility through the salon windows.
- The helm position is not well protected. In bad weather, you´ll be helming from the nav station. You might need to wear your oilies coming into a marina in the rain.
- With low production runs, you won´t have the same back up as you would do with a higher volume manufacturer. She´s almost a semi-custom boat at this stage.
- Could do with better positioned ventilation in the salon. Those roof windows are great for seeing the sails, but it will get hot in here in the sun.
The yacht is German designed and built in China at Mazarin German Yachts in in Qingdao, home of Tsingtao, the famous Anglo-German beer. You can´t go wrong there! The factory delivered all of the 70-foot Clipper Round the World Race yachts. They have built the Slyder using a 100% VENYLESTER composite vacuum process. All load lines have been reinforced by unidirectional carbon fabric and the bow area has been reinforced for impact protection with Kevlar. This is a light, stiff boat. She´s not as performance orientated as something like the Dazcat 1495 which is an out and out cruiser racer. The Slyder has been designed with one eye on the comfort meter.
The Slyder 49, like the 47, is a pretty catamaran with lovely lines, a high bridgedeck and a powerful sailplan. The low boom is tucked right into the coachroof giving her a low centre of effort. Access to the mainsail is super easy.
It uses the Open concept so successfully employed on yachts like the new Nautitechs designed by Marc Lombard, with an eye on speed achieved with her low weight, slim hulls, powerful rig and asymmetrical boards. In fact, if Nautitech were to introduce an even sportier line, it might look a lot like this.
Once you hop up the sugar scoops, you start to appreciate the living space on offer on this yacht. Those aft helms open up a huge interconnected space between the covered aft cockpit and the salon.
With a lounger to starboard, and a table to port for 6-7 people, there is ample room for the sailors and non-sailors alike. And everyone will have plenty of space to spread out on this boat at anchor. I like the way the coachroof doesn´t extend all the way back to the transom giving you a really good view of the mainsail from the back of the boat.
The traveler runs along the length of the aft beam and she has 2 central winches (like a Catana) with all the mainsail lines running tidily back through channels under the boat. Here you can see Peru´s influence – no surprise there he worked with Christophe Barreau for many years. The running rigging is as tidy on the Slyder as it is on the ITA 14.99.
The great thing about the design is that everything is to hand- it looks to have been well thought out. Need to adjust the traveller if you are reefing? It´s right there. Loosen the mainsheet? Easy.
All the lines are fed through an array of clutches in between the winches and the tails are stored in handy line bags underneath.
Additionally, you have your winches at the helms for your headsails. The whole space has been well thought out for short-handed or even single-handed sailing, the whole set up smacks of German efficiency.
The quality of the finish felt high- she´s light and simple, but Markus has kept the boat feeling warm. Down below, the curved daggerboards hug the outside of the hulls so she feels spacious compared to many other performance cruising cats.
Step inside into the salon, and the first thing you will notice is how light it is in here. If you like to look at your sails, you´ll be happy as there are no fewer than 6 windows and 2 hatches in the roof in safety glass. The windows wrap around the salon giving good views all around from the nav station to port. It could maybe do with more ventilation though. The roof windows forward would be better off as hatches in my opinion. There are blinds on all of the roof windows to block out the sun, but it´ll get hot quickly in here.
Behind the nav station on the port side is a nice looking U-shaped galley that you can wedge your self into if the going gets rough. The sliding window opens up to connect to the aft cockpit like any decent modern cat.
To starboard is a big dining area that looks like it could seat 8 at a push when the table has been extended. And all around there are cupboards and plenty of space for fridges and freezer.
The hulls feel more spacious than many performance catamarans that we have seen, and that´s because of those curved daggerboards that follow the curve of the hull. Slender hulls mean narrower berths – that´s your trade off – but they´ve done a great job of maximising the space down here.
In the Owner´s version, there´s a separate shower and the head is positioned athwartships with plenty of space around it. There´s less space in the starboard hull of course, as this has 2 cabins with a head and shower inbetween.
The forward cabin can either fit a queen or a bunk bed. We like the simplicity of the design.
Well, this is where the Slyder 49 scores top marks. The punchy sail plan should power you along in double figures in decent conditions, and she feels well balanced for such a sporty cat. Those slender hulls slice nicely through the water with a smooth motion and above average speed.
We´d say they are aiming for that same positioning as Balance Catamarans – an optimium mix of speed and comfort, and while they haven´t quite matched the South African brand, they have got a long way there at a much lower price point.
The Jefa rigid steering transmission at those aft helms means that the sailing feel is excellent- you are right by the rudders after all, and those curved daggerboards will leave cruising catamarans in your wake when you are heading upwind and off the wind.
The Slyder 49 has a green option too. Instead of trin 39 HP engines, you can opt for an electric drive that is built in Germany. The electric propulsion system, generator and the complete electrical system come from one supplier. This “full integration” minimises any issues as all of the electrical system components synch well.
Well, we are a big fan of this boat. The Slyder 49 achieves a very nice mix of performance and comfort, and is a real sailor´s boat. It´s good value for money – I think she fills a real gap in the market, and should do very well.
How much is a Slyder 49?
This will depend on the options: base price ex-tax: € 699,000, carbon mast: 79,500, all-carbon construction: 129,000, electric winches: 5,900 each, electric traveler: 3,900, 138 m² (1,485 sq ft) Gennaker with deck hardware: 9,800, staysail: 6,500, fiber rigging: 6,500
Do Slyder make any other models?
They are working on a 59 footer. There is also a Slyder 47. This earlier boat was produced by a different company which went into administration in 2016. The new brand owners then developed and marketed the 49.