After test sailing the new Celeste 34 Sport last weekend, I’ve decided to summarize in two articles. One on deck layout and systems (this) and one on sail plan and performance (coming soon).
Naturally, it’s easier to design and build a boat with just one purpose, and a specific sailor in mind, instead of being a compromise no matter how you use it.
The Celeste is the brainchild of Torbjörn Hurtig (owner) and Gabriel Heyman (designer). Torbjörn wanted the same sailing joy and shorthanded ease that he got in his J/80. But in a slightly bigger package; a sporty 34-footer with gennaker, water ballast, and systems to make solo sailing easy.
Similar thinking got me to the J/111, so it has been fun following the build.
One thing that struck me during the build was Torbjörns attention to details. Especially on deck, both in general layout as well as specification and position of every component.
And after sailing the boat, it’s clear that it works beautifully.
It’s a wide boat for its size, especially aft. Almost looks like a french open-style boat? The cockpit is huge, and it’s easy to move around.
The helmsman kan either sit well aft if he has a main trimmer in front or move all the way up to the winch when alone. It’s easy to run both jib, code and the gennaker sheet to this windward winch, which is perfect when you’re shorthanded. All winches are Pontos Grinder (now Karver) of the same type we use on Blur.
Trimming to leeward is great, as you’re positioned outward, behind the winch instead of inboard. This makes it comfortable to make small adjustments looking at the sail, and I can see that this is a favorite position in light air under autopilot.
The jury is still out on the black “nav console” with plotter, compass, and autopilot controller? Usually seen on 100-footers, it makes sense to grab on to when it gets wild and a great place to put the plotter. But for many, it destroys a clean and minimalist look. I understand both camps…
On the todo-list are proper footrests for the helmsman and main trimmer. My recommendation was to make them bigger, like the bars seen on Melges 40 or Fast 40+, as you will be spending many hours heeled over 😃
Jib sheet. As the cabin is rather narrow there are two low profile tracks with adjustments in/out and up/down. The sheet goes back through a block with a locking mechanism (unlocks by its own weight) as well as a turning sheave to redirect the sheet to windward. It’s also possible to go directly from the fairlead to the cabin top winch.
A very clean foredeck. The jib is on a Bartel under deck furler, the inner jib is on a Karver KMH2 internal halyard lock and KF1 furler with 3:1 tackline. This runs below deck back to the cabin-top clutches. Same setup for the code with a 3:1 tackline at the end of the fixed sprit. The extendable sprit is aligned on the starboard side, with both tackline and sprit outhaul running to the cabin-top clutches.
Note the two recesses where sprit and control lines run. No risk of water down below.
All the thought that was put into this deck layout really pays off.
It makes the boat say to sail, and that will result i earlier sail changes and active trimming.