The small French manufacturer Allures Yachting has been in business for just 10 years, but it has accomplished quite a bit in a small and exclusive niche far from the mainstream, including models like their Allures 39.9. Steady and market-driven refinement has produced full order books and continuous growth, something few manufacturers can boast about.
With more than 100 boats built between 40 and 50 feet in length and a current output of 20 units per year, Allures, which is based in Cherbourg, France, is the current market leader for aluminum cruising boats, having surpassed Alubat and their brands Ovni and Cigale.The Allures boats are built with round frames, which is their specialty and is rare in the industry. Nine aluminum sheets between 6 and 10 millimeters in diameter are pressed into shape in a special workshop that adjoins the yard. Then this structure is welded to the frames, stringers, and floor timbers without strain. This complicated and elaborate construction method guarantees a very robust and rugged hull structure.
Another one of Allures’ specialties is the combination of aluminum and fiberglass. So far, portions of the deck, i.e. coachroof, cockpit and stern, had been made of GRP. But with the Allures 39.9 the builder significantly increased the portion of fiberglass, by building the entire deck and stern from fiberglass sandwich using vacuum infusion technology.
This way, Allures tries to combine more of the advantages of both materials. The hull still has its strength, but the fiberglass is much easier for mounting deck hardware, which can be problematic with aluminum due to corrosion issues.
A Boat For All Conditions
The Allures 39.9 follows on the heels of the Allures 40 from 2007. Like her predecessor the new model should be a solid and safe passagemaker, with a strong emphasis on offshore capabilities and convenient handling under all conditions. This is reflected in the rig, a thick mast profile with a simple sail plan and comparatively small sail area. For long-distance cruising the optional jib stays’l is a recommended supplement for the standard genoa with 105-percent overlap. That sail, a so-called trinquette, attaches to hounds at three quarters of the mast height and is mostly used in heavy air. When unused, it remains attached and furled up. So by concept, the Allures 39.9 is not a boat for sport or racing enthusiasts.
Nevertheless, the vessel proved to be quite lively during the tests in wind speeds of approximately 10 knots. Sailing upwind in these conditions, the boat managed 6.5 knots at a true wind angle of 45 degrees. These numbers are consistent with expectations for a pure cruising vessel of this size.
Pressure on the twin rudders remained nearly neutral, which makes it a bit difficult for the helmsman to drive the boat cleanly in the groove of the breeze. But that’s not a must, since a bluewater cruiser of this kind is likely to be helmed by the autopilot most of the time. In that case little rudder pressure is advantageous, because the system won’t have to work as hard.
Like all the Allures yachts, the 39.9 is equipped with ballast and a ballasted aluminum centerboard. When it’s retracted the minimum draft (defined by the rudder blades) of this 40-footer is 3’6”. The board is easily raised and lowered with a block-and-tackle system led up to the deck.
More Space, Better Access
The ballasted centerboard has been reshaped as well, which means its trunk in the cabin is now much shorter than on the previous model. That way the designers have achieved one of their goals, a freestanding saloon table and a much more spacious dinette in a functional L-shape.
The Allures 39.9 is offered in two layouts. In the standard version the boat has two staterooms with a spacious locker for systems and stowage aft, and a generously sized head with separate commode and shower. Alternatively, the boat can be ordered with three cabins, but then the head is shrunk to a painfully compact size without the separate shower. This version is rich in compromise and somehow doesn’t fit well with the orientation of the Allures 39.9 as a yacht for the long haul.
|Sail Area||874 sq. ft.|
|Fuel capacity||87 gal.|
|Water capacity||72 gal.|
There are variations for the fore cabin as well. If the buyer desires, an additional head can be installed there, but that too means that it’s comparatively small.
The owner couple can sleep comfortably in the forward cabin. In the aft cabin though, relaxed rest is only possible for one occupant as the width of that berth is only 4’5” at shoulder height, which is not sufficient for a double. Allures has allocated more space to the service tunnel between the cabins for the installation of larger gen sets, cabin and water heaters, or a watermaker, which are necessary accessories for extended ocean trips.
The impeccable quality of workmanship and the high-end method of production in aluminum also result in higher cost. At a base price of slightly over $400,000 for an unusually well-equipped globe girdler, the Allures 39.9 is about twice as expensive as a mass-produced boat of similar size—though still more affordable than a yacht from the upscale Scandinavian manufacturers.
The technical systems of the Allures 39.9 are immaculate and the quality checks out, which all contributed to the boat’s nomination for the European Yacht of the Year 2014 contest. If you plan on going long and want to play it safe, you can’t go wrong with an Allures.
For more information, visit Allures.
This story originally appeared in YACHT magazine, and is republished here by permission. Translated by Dieter Loibner.