Yachting Monthly

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Dehler 34 review

  • Chris Beeson
  • March 1, 2017

The original Dehler 34 marked a turning point in the history of Dehler yachts. Can the new 34 do the same? Graham Snook tests her to find out and here's his review

Product Overview


See the February 2017 issue of Yachting Monthly for the full test

What’s she like to sail?

I got a pleasing glimpse at her potential speed when the apparent wind did increase into double digits. If we’d had a gennaker she would have been faster and I’d have been the proverbial cat who got the cream. The helm was a comfortable weight but the Jefa steering wasn’t as light as on other boats with a similar setup – merely a comment, not a criticism.

Sitting outboard, it’s easy to trim the mainsail from the helm, although when tacking and hardening up, it was easier to stand between the wheels and take the slack out of the mainsheet. Seated at the helm, the space is confined by the pushpit and backstay, but the pushpit does make a good backrest.

Even in a gentle breeze she was enjoyable to sail, but with a few more knots she’ll transform into something a lot more fun and involving, eagerly responding to the wheel. There is plenty of room to work in the cockpit, and sitting on the sloped coaming is comfortable, although you do have to be aware of the mainsheet, which is led up the coaming to a winch by the wheel.

What’s she like in port and at anchor?

Although the coamings around the cockpit are low, the curved area at the forward end is worth fighting for. The seats aren’t that long, at 1.52m (5ft), so lounging here is more comfortable than lying with feet overhanging and resting against a wheel pedestal.

The windlass is set below deck level but there is room for the chain to fall without piling up. The pop-up cleats look good, but there isn’t a fair lead from the bow roller to a cleat; the cheek of the roller and leg of the pulpit get in the way. These cleats could also do with rubrails on the hull nearby, to protect the glassfibre from chafe when mooring to low pontoon cleats.

Access to the shower and toilet compartment in the heads requires needless effort, requiring those in need to walk around the door like a kissing gate, rather than straight through the doorway. The galley is a little small, but the saloon and cabins are all a decent size. The aft cabin especially has a vast berth, even with the rudder post taking space from the inboard far corner.

Would she suit you and your crew?

She’s designed for people who enjoy sailing, which might sound odd because, as readers of this fine publication we all enjoy sailing. But rather than just being out on the water, a Dehler owner will know about and feel the need to adjust sail shape. Whether they’ll be doing that cruising from port to port, on short-handed passage races or racing around the cans or daysailing with family at the weekend, it matters not, the Dehler 34 rewards those who like to tweak.

Many cruisers offer more living space, but they won’t be as swift or as enjoyable to sail. Dehler is known for fast cruisers with a comfortable motion under sail and it built that reputation on the first Dehler 34, thirty years ago. This 34 is true to the original in that she sails very well, has a good turn of speed, but is still comfortable enough to cruise with your friends or family without feeling like you’re on a racing yacht. She’s not extreme in any way; she’s a good-looking, quick and enjoyable boat to sail. What more could you ask for?

FACTS AND FIGURES Price £165,818 inc VAT (Feb 2017)

LOA 10.70m (35ft 1in)

LWL 9.60m (31ft 6in)

Beam 3.60m (11ft 10in)

Draught 1.95m (6ft 5in) as tested, or 1.55m (5ft 1in), or 2.1m (6ft 9in)

Displacement 5,950kg (13,117 lb)

Ballast 2,100kg (4,630 lb)

Ballast ratio 35.3%

Sail area 65m2 (700 sq ft)

SA/D ratio 20.1

Diesel 160 litres (35 gal)

Water 230 litres (51 gal)

Engine 30hp saildrive

RCD category A

Designer Judel/Vrolijk & Co./Dehler

Builder Dehler Yachts

UK Agent Inspiration Marine Group

Tel 02380 457008

Website www.dehler.co.uk

McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers

  • McMichael News

Boat Review: Dehler 34

yacht test dehler 34

Thirty years later, a new hull is set to replace a popular classic.

By Zuzana Prochazka - SAIL Magazine

Originally published Feb 1, 2017  

What better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of an iconic model than to introduce a brand-new design to succeed it? The original Dehler 34 achieved near cult status with 1,300 hulls launched, so replacing it with a fresh design suited to the tastes and needs of today’s racer-cruisers was no small task. Luckily, it was done with aplomb as evidenced by the all-new 34-footer that is poised to succeed it.

Design & Construction

Part of the Hanse Group, Dehlers are designed by Judel/Vrolijk, a firm renowned for its performance hulls and sleek decks. Construction includes a vacuum-infused core sandwich with an integrated carbon-reinforced “cage,” as Dehler calls it, which provides stiffness while adding minimal weight to the overall hull structure.

The fractional rig supports a tapered, keel-stepped Seldén mast with double aft-swept spreaders and a total sail area of 672ft2 that splits between the 105 percent jib and a traditional mainsail. An adjustable backstay with a purchase system is at the starboard helm.

An L-shaped shoal keel drawing 5ft 1in and deep-draft fin drawing 6ft 4in are available, as is rod rigging. A competition version, which weighs 1,102lb less and carries 92ft2 more sail area, is offered with a carbon mast that is a foot taller. An integrated composite bowsprit is part of the performance package as is tiller steering, a deeper rudder and a T-shaped keel drawing 6ft 9in.

For easy boarding as well as fun water access, the Dehler 34 has a manual drop-down transom. Those in search of extra performance may opt to save weight and go without it, adding only two wire lifelines for safety.

The cockpit will work for either racing or comfortable cruising. The table is removable, and the inboard settee edges have a groove that will channel water away from cushions and provide a nice foot brace for crew seated on the coaming.

Our test boat was outfitted with Lewmar’s R+ racing winches and a German-style continuous mainsheet system, which is adjustable from either side. The traveler spans the cockpit sole just ahead of the twin angled Jeffa Steering pedestals. A bit of high-tech-looking luxury are the optional Carbonautica composite wheels and the integrated instrument consoles that house B&G instruments and a 7in Vulcan or Zeus multifunction display at each helm.

Depending on the outfitting package, real or synthetic teak can cover the cockpit seats, the cockpit sole and even the main weather decks. Without the teak, the decks are covered in a nonskid that is rough enough for sure footing but not so aggressive as to tear up knees and clothing. A molded uncapped toerail adds a bit of safety when heeling without adding any exterior wood. Jib tracks are well inboard, which keeps sheeting angles tight, and the halyards and reefing lines are led aft in under-deck conduits to a set of Spinlock rope clutches on the cabintop.

All the hatches are flush, so there are no toe-stubbers. The cabin portlights open out for ventilation even when it’s raining and are set into elongated Lexan covers that create an attractive “eyebrow” on the outside. Sheet-friendly pop-up cleats are standard.

yacht test dehler 34

The joinerywork features elegantly rounded corners


The layout includes two cabins and one head with a bit of customization available. For racers, the V-berth can be left open, so that sails may be dropped through the foredeck hatch and then gotten to easily from the saloon. For those who will spend more time cruising with guests or family, there’s an optional forward bulkhead that encloses the master stateroom for a bit of privacy.

The saloon has a drop-leaf table on the centerline so four can dine in comfort, and the aft end of the port side settee serves as the seat for the aft-facing navigation station. The L-shaped galley is to starboard and has top and side-loading Isotherm refrigeration, twin sinks and a gimbaled two-burner Eno stove/oven combination. Dehler’s signature dual-function door encloses the entire head or opens up, so the sink is accessible while the toilet/shower remains private—simple, yet functional and very smart.

Like its larger sisters, the Dehler 34’s interior is loaded with rounded lockers that stretch along both sides of the hull. These provide quite a bit of stowage and make for a clean and very attractive design aesthetic. The standard finish is mahogany, but teak and American cherry are offered as well. An off-white cabin sole called Australian acacia is standard, but you can also opt for a dark finish, or classic teak and holly striping.

Despite its performance potential, there’s nothing utilitarian about this boat, and the Dehler 34 will not only cruise in elegant comfort, but also likely be the envy of anyone in the anchorage who stops by for a sundowner.

Our test day on Chesapeake Bay started out with a disappointing and fluky breeze that did not show the Dehler 34 to its best advantage. But as time went on we got lucky as 6 knots materialized briefly, gusting to 8. With a displacement of just over 13,000lb and minimal equipment aboard, the boat managed to come up to 4.6 knots at a 40 degree apparent wind angle. What’s more impressive is that she pointed up to 35 degrees without stalling. We did not have a properly sized downwind sail, but no matter; the breeze was done teasing us and shut down completely. Too bad, because having sailed her 46-foot sister, I know how much fun Dehlers can be in a blow.

Dehler offers several “pricing packages” for racing and cruising, and within those there are still more options, especially for sails, all of which are by Elvstrom and range from standard triradial-cut FCL Dacron sails to the company’s high-performance HPM canvas. (Our test boat had Dacron sails, an aluminum mast, a full transom and twin wheels.) The mast track cars on our test boat were nice and slippery, making raising and lowering the mainsail a pleasure.

Under Power

Auxiliary power is provided by an 18hp Volvo Penta diesel (upgradeable to 27hp power plant) with a saildrive transmission. On flat water with little breeze and just two of us aboard, we motored at 6 knots with the throttle at 2,200 rpm on the upgraded engine turning a two-bladed folding propeller. At wide-open throttle and 2,800 rpm, we accelerated to 6.9 knots. Tankage is adequate for weekending with 61gal of water and 42gal of fuel.

Had I been dropped onto the Dehler 34 and told that it was a bigger boat, I’d have believed it. This 34ft dual-purpose vessel feels like a 38-footer both under sail and under deck. Dehler is positioning the new 34 as a “legend reborn,” and for once I agree with the hype. It’s an agile boat that can be raced or cruised without compromising either sailing style. This new design may well live up to, and even ably succeed, its classic namesake.


Brett Lyall A lifelong, passionate boater, Brett brings 26 years of sailing and 18 years of powerboat knowledge to the McMichael team. His background includes Environmental engineering and consulting, along with 7 years of sales and marketing experience in the luxury market. In addition to being an avid fisherman, surfer, and scuba diver, he is a sailing coach and has crewed extensively offshore on a variety of boats from J109, J105, J99 and 112E to a Gunboat 57. His knowledge of all things boating related is second only to his reputation for exceptional customer service and professionalism.

Doug Conner Doug’s life-long love of all things nautical naturally led him to pursue a career in luxury yacht brokerage. His professional background in sales and marketing, combined with his overall experience in and passion for the yachting industry, makes him a valuable asset to his clients for sail and power boats. Doug is committed to providing his clients with honest, professional, knowledgeable, and personal service.

Myles McQuone Myles is a licensed captain from age 18. He is a third Generation Merchant Mariner, operating boats runs deep in his family. Myles has held multiple roles within the marine industry between Marine Towing and Salvage, Marine Technician and Marine Service Manager. Myles’ focus has always had the customers best interest in mind; expect the same attention while consulting with Myles.

Ethan Morawski Ethan grew up in Fairfield CT and has been sailing for 13 years and powerboating for 10 years all over Long Island Sound. He has worked in the marine industry since High School and has an excellent reputation for superb customer service, seamanship, and attention to details. He is a graduate of Bryant University in RI.

Position Title: Boat Yard Crew Member Position Type: Full-time Experience level:  2-3 years preferred

Reports to: Service Manager

Job Description and Summary: In this position you will work alongside a team of supportive and experienced marine industry professionals. Your primary role will be to support the efficient daily operations of the McMichael yacht yard and the satisfaction of our customers.

This will include a variety of functions and tasks including basic property maintenance, launch and recovery of boats, cleaning, crane and forklift operations, blocking boats, and winter storage and other relevant duties as assigned.

Core Skills:

  • Ability to clearly understand instructions and complete tasks accordingly
  • Mechanically inclined
  • Able to lift and reposition equipment, tools, and materials
  • Basic boat operations – power and sail (will train)
  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written
  • Focus on customer satisfaction
  • Proactive mindset
  • Able to work unsupervised
  • Ability to collaboratively work well with other team members


  • Support of daily operations
  • Support clients boating activities, prepping boats, fueling, etc.
  • Safe operation of company vehicles, forklifts, and equipment, including trailer handling
  • Haul, block and launch boats
  • Boat cleaning and detailing
  • Bottom paint and waxing boats
  • Dock and marina area maintenance
  • Shrink wrapping
  • Repositioning boats

The ideal candidate is someone who will enjoy the nautical environment of the boatyard, which includes being around boats and being on the water. They will have at least two to three years of experience at a previous boat yard or yacht club. Their background will include a familiarity with boats. They will be someone who enjoys the boating lifestyle and enjoys working outdoors. They value working in a team and being part of a family-owned organization an enhancing part of the local community. We encourage you to apply if you do not have the experience but are dedicated to building a career in the marine industry.

What does a typical workday look like? A typical morning could involve arriving and immediately removing covers, prepping several boats to be launched and readied for use by their clients. You could find yourself assisting with changing a large tire on a trailer or rigging and craning a boat onto a truck for transportation. Daily activities will also include basic maintenance of the boatyard facilities which includes painting, building repair, emptying garbage, and cleaning, as well as assisting technicians with boat maintenance.

Salary range: $15 – $30

Email: [email protected]


Position Title: Fiberglass / GelCoat Technician Position Type: Full-time Experience level:  2-3 years preferred

Job Description and Summary: In this position you will work alongside a team of supportive and experienced marine industry professionals. Your primary role will be fiberglass and gel-coat repair work on sailboats and powerboats. The fiberglass work will include everything from small parts repair to structural repair and rebuilds. The gelcoat work will be similarly inclusive and will also involve spaying hull bottoms and topsides with boat bottom paint and gelcoat.

  • Working with vinylester, polyester, and epoxy resins
  • Experience working with various coring materials
  • Knowledge of gelcoat matching and application
  • Cutting, grinding and finish sanding
  • Visually spot imperfections in all parts
  • Use of buffers, DA’s, pencil grinders etc.
  • Finish buffing and polishing
  • Exceptional paint rolling and spraying finishing
  • Proactive mindset and able to work unsupervised
  • Complete fiberglass and composite repair work to the highest possible standards
  • Spray gelcoat, clear coat, and metal flake consistently and evenly to desired thickness
  • Getting the customer back on the water with a safe operating boat
  • Ensuring all repair work structurally and visually exceeds expectations
  • Lifting heaving objects
  • Assisting the entire service teams with various tasks

The ideal candidate is someone who will enjoy the nautical environment of the boatyard, which includes being around boats and being on the water. They will have at least two to three years of experience in fiberglass and composites fabrication or repair as well as experience with painting and gelcoat work or similar skill sets. Their background will include a familiarity with boats and enjoy delivering exceptional finish work. They will be someone who appreciates the boating lifestyle and working sail and powerboats. We are looking for a person who values working in a team and being part of a family-owned organization that is a respected part of the local community.

Salary and benefits: $50 – 70k, Medical, 401K

Position Title: Marine Service Mechanic Position Type: Full-time Experience level:  2-3 years preferred. Certifications Preferred. Equal skills and high motivation also accepted.

Job Description and Summary: In this position you will work alongside a team of supportive and experienced marine industry professionals. Your primary role will be engine maintenance and repairs for both gas and diesel engine systems as well as service and repair work on a variety of other boat system. A large part of this position will include troubleshooting, engine and drive preventative maintenance, emergency repairs at the yard or at the location of the boat needing service. You will be working on inboard and outboard systems and interacting and communicating with our boaters, so a focus on customer service is an important skill. Certification not initial required but is a plus.

  • Effective and knowledgeable mechanic
  • Problem solving – engines, drives, control systems and electrical
  • Mechanical and electrical troubleshooting
  • Engine rebuilds, 12v DC systems, machining work
  • Gas and diesel engine/generator operations
  • Wiring and soldering
  • Performing maintenance and repairs safely and quickly
  • Have your own set of tools
  • Performing functionality checks on engines and systems
  • Basic boat operations

The ideal candidate is someone who will enjoy the nautical environment of the boatyard, which includes being around boats and being on the water. They will have at least two to three years of experience as a marine service technician, automotive mechanic, Gen Tech, or similar skill sets. Their background will include a familiarity with boats and enjoy solving mechanical and systems issues. They will be someone who enjoys the boating lifestyle and working outdoors. They value working in a team and being part of a family-owned organization an enhancing part of the local community. We encourage you to apply if you do not have the experience but are dedicated to building a career in the marine service industry.

Salary and benefits: $60 – 80k, Medical, 401K

Position Title: Yacht Sales Consultant Position Type: Full-time Experience level:  2-3 years preferred

Reports to: Sales Manager

Job Description and Summary: In this position you will work alongside the McMichael Sales Team to consult with our client boaters, guiding them to find and purchase the best yacht for their modern boating needs. You will work with an experienced team that specializes in premium racing and sailing yachts, as well as high-performance inboard and outboard day and cruising power yachts. You will work with existing clients as well as being responsible for identifying, nurturing, and closing new clients. You will cultivate relationships with our clients and their families that demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism for the McMichael brand. You will be supported by the team to help you locate, acquire, and nurture prospective new client boaters. You will be a part of a sales and service team that caters to the all-encompassing boating needs of the McMichael community of boaters.

  • Active listening
  • Conveying key features and distinguishing selling points of a given boat model
  • Ability to close high-value sales from $500k – $3M
  • Prospect farming
  • Excellent negotiating skills
  • Influencing with content through digital and social media tools
  • Consulting with and guiding clients effectively
  • Proactive mindset that fosters successful unsupervised work
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other team members
  • Close deals on new yacht sales
  • Deliver world class service in the form of professionalism, knowledge, and customer service
  • Acquire and develop prospects into leads, then into new boat sales
  • Attend boat shows and events to meet with and engage boaters
  • Use digital and social media tools to engage with boaters
  • Secure used boat listings
  • Close used boat sales
  • Guide boaters through the research, selection, specification, closing, delivery, and commissioning process
  • Work with the Sales Team to constantly increase brand and model knowledge
  • Influence your client boaters to choose McMichael Yards for their boat servicing and storage needs

The ideal candidate is someone who will enjoy the nautical/boating lifestyle and has grown up around boats. They will have previous experience selling in the corporate environment, in addition to a strong boating background and several years of selling yachts over 30 feet and over $500K. They will be an excellent communicator who is able to convey information clearly and concisely. They will be motivated to constantly learn more and achieve more regarding new boats and sales goals. They will be a person who can collaborate with all the members of the sales team to find creative solutions to barriers and issues.

Experience Level Experienced as a sail or power boater or similar industry background 2-3 years preferred

Salary and benefits: Base of $50 – $70k, commissions, Medical, 401K

John Glynn John brings to McMichael more than three decades of sailing, boating and sales experience. In addition to his time at BEYC, Glynn’s resume includes years as an Associate Editor (and Contributing Editor) for Sailing World magazine, where he was part of the team that created both the “Boat of the Year” awards and the NOOD Regattas. Over the years he has raced aboard C&C 40s, New York 36s, J/35s, Express 37s and Farr 40s, as well as his own J/30 and Soverel 33 Grey Seal. He boats with his family out of Captain Harbor in Greenwich, CT.

“John brings a wealth of experience as a racer, boat owner and industry professional,” said Michael Beers, McMichael Sales Manager. “He will be a fantastic resource for his clients in buying and selling boats. We’re proud to have him on our team, and his background will help us continue to fulfill our motto, ‘Experience Counts!’”

“I’ve been fortunate enough to spend my career in and around the sailing and boating community, enabling me to love the various jobs I’ve held,” said Glynn. “In joining McMichael Yacht Brokers I’ve found another fresh, new outlet from which to apply my knowledge of and passion for yachting. Moreover, I’m able to do that while working in the company of some of the finest yacht brokers in the business. It is my hope to bring to my brokerage customers a sense of confidence and satisfaction as they make yacht transactions, both from the buyer’s and seller’s sides.”

Cameron Campbell Cameron has been boating his entire life, starting as a toddler on Great South Bay on Long Island. He grew up in Connecticut and spent every summer on Long Island Sound. In college he was a member of the University of Rhode Island Sailing Team and also ran operations at the URI Waterfront Center. After college he was an ASA Sailing Instructor at the New York Sailing School on City Island and then for Olympic Circle Sailing on San Francisco Bay. He participated in many regattas on both coasts in both small and large boats. He owned a Sabre for many years which he cruised from Annapolis to Maine. Cameron also has experience with power boats ranging from center consoles though larger cruisers.

Cameron has been working with clients preparing for Bermuda races, extensive blue water cruising, and many that are new to boating.

Rick Fleig Rick grew up on Long Island spending many years sailing on the Sound in everything from J/22′s to J/105′s, Custom C&C 41′s and many other boats, competing in all the major Northeast events. This experience and passion for sailing led him on a path to sail in the 1987 America’s Cup in Perth, Australia with both the Courageous and USA Syndicates. He has sailed in many major international regattas, including the Swan World Championships in Sardinia, the World 6 Meter Championships in Portofino, Italy, and several Newport Bermuda races.

Rick combines his extensive sailing background with both the marine and sports industry, having worked as a regional sales manager at SunfishLaser and Vanguard Sailboats, and prior to that as a regional sales representative with sporting goods giant Nike. He believes that building relationships and understanding the clients’ needs are essential in helping customers have a great experience with their boats. He works out of the McMichael Yacht Broker’s Newport office at the Newport Shipyard.

Rick resides in Portsmouth, RI, with his family, having fallen in love with the Newport area during his many sailing events there. He recently retired as the director/coach of the Portsmouth High School Sailing Team after many years, and along with his wife, Carline, now enjoys his time proudly following their youngest son, Tyler, who just finished his second year at the US Naval Academy. Tyler is a very accomplished sailor himself, and a member of the nationally ranked USNA dinghy sailing team. Rick is a member of Sail Newport and can be seen racing many weeknights and weekends in all the local events in a variety of boats.

Michael Beers Michael is a licensed captain and active racer who began his sailing career in Boston on the Charles River. As someone who did not grow up sailing, he especially enjoys introducing new boaters to the sport. Michael has a proven track record of working tirelessly for his clients, and enjoys working directly with buyers to identify the best possible “next boat” from the many options available. He is an active racer, recently racing in the J/70 fleet at Quantum Key West Race Week and aboard the J/130 Dragonly in the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race.

Prior to joining McMichael in 2007, he captained the 80′ schooner Adirondack II in Newport, RI and was an instructor at Offshore Sailing. In his free time, he enjoys cruising his Sabre.

Todd Williams Todd started sailing on his family’s cruising boat before his memory serves. His love of racing was cultivated through sailing Blue Jays and Lasers in Pequot Yacht Club’s junior program.  Since then he has actively raced in the J105 fleet, J109 fleet, and helped form the J122 class. He also developed and helped launch the LIS IRC 35 class.  Todd is an experienced distance sailor and was involved with winning the Vineyard race class and IRC overall aboard the J122 Partnership.  

Todd enjoys using his extensive knowledge of boating to find his clients the boat that best suits their needs.  He is dedicated to providing the best possible service to all his customers.  Todd can often be found racing with clients and helping them build their racing programs. Through the years, he has custom built many J/Boats, Alerions, and MJM power boats for clients, many of whom he now considers personal friends.

During the winter season you may spot the Williams family on the slopes at Okemo where they have a ski house.

Andy Kaplan Starting October 4, Andrew (Andy) Kaplan has joined the brokerage team at McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers. The addition increases the McMichael roster to seven full-time yacht brokers serving customers up and down the east coast with a concentration on the Long Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. He will work primarily out of the McMichael Mamaroneck, NY, office as well as Martha’s Vineyard.

“Andy is bringing to McMichael a lifetime of experience in sail and power boating with a keen focus in the sailboat racing world,” said McMichael President Steve Leicht. “His broad familiarity with offshore and one-design sailboats combined with his powerboating experience makes him an ideal addition to our brokerage team.”

Kaplan spent the majority of his career in finance including helping create the Quattro Global Capital, LLC where he was a principal and head of operation and marketing. “I believe that my financial sales and management experience is a great asset as I transition to yacht brokerage,” noted Kaplan. “While they are different industries, to succeed in either you need similar disciplines when matching buyers with the right product. That’s what creates and maintains long term customer relationships.”

Kaplan grew-up in Mamaroneck and has been a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club for over 30 years where he has been active in the Club’s leadership. He lives in New Rochelle, NY, and on Martha’s Vineyard, MA.

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yacht test dehler 34

Dehler 34 Review

yacht test dehler 34

Where does the new Dehler 34 fit into the increasingly crowded market place? Rupert Holmes puts the latest race-optimised model through her paces.

yacht test dehler 34

Dehler’s new Simonis and Voogd-designed Dehler 34 reflects a strategic decision by the company to increase the performance of its boats across the entire range. This boat replaces the previous 34 model, which was an in-house design dating from 2001.

Simonis and Voogd are well-known names in the southern hemisphere, especially for one-off designs, including the maxis ‘Nicorette’ and ‘Nicorette ll’. They have been commissioned to produce an entirely new range for the German manufacturer, with the aim of blending their design flair with Dehler’s reputation for build quality. The 34 is the second boat in the new line up, a 44 having been launched last year to much acclaim, including winning European Yacht of the Year, an award for which the 34 has been nominated.

The 34 is offered in two versions in the UK – an RS ‘racing spec’ model and a CR cruiser-racer variant. Both versions are the same price and have identical interiors. ‘We identified a gap in the market for IRC boats racing on windward-leeward courses with conventional spinnakers — that’s where we’re pitching the 34RS,’ says UK Dehler distributor Russell Hodgson ‘The boat is affordable to a wide market and there’s renewed demand for smaller boats in IRC.’

The design brief included creating a boat that would work in a wide range of wind conditions, from light airs up to 30 knots and more, with an IRC-friendly 9/10s rig, large mainsail, and nonoverlapping headsail. Two boats (hulls 1 and 3) have been entered in Class 2 of the Garmin Hamble Winter Series. At the time of writing one of these, ‘Righteous’, was third in class with seven races sailed, following a very consistent run of respectable results. Hodgson expects a further three boats afloat in time to compete in the 2008 Raymarine Warsash Spring Series, offering the prospect of a small level-rating group within the larger IRC class.

Although no attempt has been made to create a strict one-design, with all boats expected to weigh within one per cent of each other, there are plans for level-rating racing (the two boats currently in the UK both rate 1.029), including a class championship in 2009.

Design and build

Dehler UK and Harken have put a considerable amount of effort and attention to detail into the deck layout of RS specification boats to optimise it for fully crewed racing. The prime aim of this was to eliminate the need for racing owners to upgrade the boat, and in doing so have created a boat that is genuinely ready to race straight out of the box.

Changes to the standard specification include kicker and pole downhauls that are adjustable from the rail on both sides of the boat; towable genoa cars with an 8:1 purchase; an up-rated mainsheet — with a powerful fine tune and backstay — run to the mainsheet trimmer on both sides of the cockpit; and a 30mm spinnaker pole track on a ball-bearing car. The RS spec boats are supplied from the factory without any rope — a full race pack is added in the UK, including jackets over the 8mm spinnaker halyards to prevent slip at the clutches.

Also included in the RS price are a forestay chainplate positioned as far forward on the bow as possible (increasing the J measurement by 23 cm) and rod rigging. The cruising specification boat has a below-deck furler (hence the forestay being further aft) which may be a preferable option for racing owners who plan to sail longer distances in exposed areas — on the west coast for instance. However, with non-overlapping headsails it’s not difficult to make a sail change even when short-handed.

CR models have a different backstay — the latter has a 16:1 cascade, which enables a pair of optional removable storage boxes to be mounted on the transom. The price of the CR model includes cruising sails and a basic electronics package.

Both models are otherwise identical, with a low centre of gravity iron/lead composite keel that has 60 per cent of its weight in the flared lead bulge at its base, and a relatively deep 1.95m draught. Significantly, the Dehler 34’s rudder is only around 20cm shorter than the keel, which should give good control in lively conditions.

Hull and deck laminates are of conventional hand-laid wet lay-ups, with balsa core used throughout, except around deck fittings, hull skin fittings, and keel and rudder post mountings, where solid glass is used. A glassed-in internal structural grid distributes the loads from keelbolts, shroud plates and the maststep, while a further non-structural inner moulding takes the interior furniture.

The hull-deck joint is fully glassed over inside to create a waterproof effective monocoque structure. Aluminium plates, with threads tapped to take bolts, are bonded in for all deck fittings.

Deck layout


The 34’s cockpit sports a big (140cm) wheel, which helps to provide an excellent helming position — there’s plenty of space to move around behind it, even with a tactician there, and a good view of the headsail luff when sitting to windward with feet securely braced on the pedestal. The CR version has optional removable transom storage boxes, but as there’s already a huge cockpit locker, further stowage space aft under the cockpit and  under-cockpit liferaft stowage near the companionway, anyone who’s even vaguely serious about racing won’t need or want the extra weight aft.

Teak bonded onto the cockpit seats and floor looks attractive and provides a good non-slip footing, without incurring the weight penalty or maintenance of a full teak deck. The deck surfaces elsewhere have a very effective moulded-in nonslip pattern, side decks are relatively wide, and by  cruiser-racer standards the foredeck is reasonably good.However, there’s no disguising the large coachroof, but all hatches are flush-mounted, which gives a smooth profile.

A moulded toerail runs the entire length of the boat. It’s contoured to allow comfortable hiking, and does provide additional security for those working aft of the mast. The six folding mooring cleats are another sign of the design’s dual purpose roles, but Dehler is happy to omit the midships cleats (which would make hiking more  comfortable), or even to replace the fore and aft items with padeyes.

Deck gear is all top quality and, as mentioned  earlier, a considerable amount of thought has gone into it. Our test boat had just three small optional extras — a cunningham, jib sheet inhaulers and a carbon (rather than aluminium) pole.

Our test boat was equipped with North 3DL sails, with the main running on luff slides. The standard Selden boom has two single-line slab reefs, plus a conventional pennant for the third reef. The sails set predictably well and the rig proved to be tweaky and responsive.

Our test took place in a wind varying from 7-14 knots true, sailing with five crew and the Code 2 headsail. The 34RS proved to be light and responsive on the helm at all times, with just a touch of weather helm when close-hauled in the lighter airs, building to a maximum of less than a quarter of a turn in the stronger puffs. The powerful backstay requires lots of rope to be pulled through, but it makes a big difference, with speed building noticeably as it’s hardened on.

At the lower end of the wind range we made around six knots close-hauled, a figure that climbed to a maximum of 7.2 as the wind increased. In the flat water of the Solent there was not enough wind to get us surfing under spinnaker, but we managed a very unruffled 8.1 knots. Even when reaching with a big spinnaker control always remained positive in the gusts, with the boat responding immediately to the helm.

Overall, the 34 feels like a boat with legs and predictable, well mannered handling that would be a good choice for offshore work.


The fully fitted interior of both models are identical, with a two cabin plus saloon layout that will make for comfortable cruising, offshore racing and deliveries. The general impression is of the accommodation having plenty of light and ventilation — the large coachroof window is a huge opening port, which will be ideal for hot climates, although perhaps raises some concerns about weather-tight integrity in extreme conditions.

The galley is of a good size and well appointed, with twin sinks, large fridge, cooker with two burners and oven, and ample stowage. The main criticism is the lack of any fixed worktop space — the top of the fridge doubles as the only useable space for this purpose and, although the raised fiddles in the galley are well placed in other respects, on port tack there’s nothing to prevent items placed here falling into the sinks.

The aft cabin is aft of the galley, it’s also of a good size, with plenty of clearance above the large double berth. However, the only natural light and ventilation in this area is via a small opening port to the cockpit well, making it feel somewhat claustrophobic when the door to the saloon is closed. A well-appointed heads compartment is opposite the quarter cabin. Immediately forward of this there’s a proper large forward-facing chart table with its own seat and ample space for mounting instruments.

The saloon has a single settee to starboard, and a large ‘U’-shaped one to port, with a pull-out to create a third double berth in this area. There’s a folding table arranged around the keel-stepped mast, but it can’t easily be removed for packing sails. There’s good provision for stowage under the berths (apart from the port settee, which houses the water tank).

The forecabin is a reasonable size, and includes a standing/changing area at the head of the berth. This cabin has a lighter and airier feel than the aft cabin, and so is likely to be first choice of most owners.

The Dehler 34RS Review: Verdict

The Dehler 34RS is a boat that stands out in an increasingly crowded market for cruiser-racers of this size. It’s a well mannered design and the attention to detail that has gone into improving the deck layout is commendable.



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  • By Herb McCormick
  • Updated: April 20, 2017

dehler 34

The 2017 Boat of the Year (BOTY) contest featured a stellar crop of crossover cruiser/racers, including new offerings from J/Boats and Elan, two firms well-known for their speedy, well-sailing craft. However, when all the testing was said and done, our independent panel of judges was sold on the Dehler 34, naming it the year’s Best Performance Cruiser. Designed by the highly regarded Judel/Vrolijk naval-architecture consortium, whose reputation was fostered by longtime success in international yacht-racing circles, the 34-footer combined contemporary good looks and a sweet turn of speed with better-­than-average comfort and accommodations below. It didn’t hurt that the boat, nicely equipped at $215,000, was the least-expensive entry in the entire 2017 fleet. All in all, it proved to be a winning formula.

With a gentle, ­sloping sheer line, plumb bow and max waterline, the 34’s ­no-­nonsense profile is both handsome and purposeful. Starting aft and working forward, the drop-down transom is easily accessed through the split, adjustable ­backstay, which is controlled by a simple block and tackle. A traveler is just forward of the twin wheels, each of which are affixed to Jefa steering pedestals. A pair of B&G chart plotters is stationed just ahead of the helms in molded-in ­fixtures with rounded corners that double as nice backrests for the long cockpit settees — it’s very clever. There’s a nice cockpit table that can be easily removed when club racing.

There are three sets of Lewmar winches: a pair within easy reach of the driver for the double-ended German mainsheet system, another set just forward of those that serve as primaries for the 108 percent headsail, and a third pair on the coachroof that team with Spinlock clutches to control halyards and reefing lines. A nifty arrangement of integral companionway slats folds directly into the companionway when not in use.

The molded toe rail is capped by a substantial ­bulwark for solid footing on a heel; moving about easily underway is also facilitated by outboard shrouds and chain plates that keep the teak side decks clean and clear. The swept-back double-spreader fractional rig is by Seldén, as is the solid Rodkicker vang. The standing rigging is rod. A Furlex roller-furling unit is mounted on the bow, ahead of which is a dedicated bowsprit with a single anchor roller and a pad eye on the outboard end for setting reaching and running sails.

Down below, there are ­double cabins in the ends of the boat (a V-berth forward and standard double aft). A pair of long settees sandwich a folding dining table in the main cabin; to port, a corner of the settee serves as the seat for the aft-facing nav station. At the foot of the companionway, a big head with shower is also to port, while the L-shaped galley is situated just across from it, to starboard. Two big overhead deck hatches provide good ventilation, as do the opening ports in the coachroof windows.

Construction is straightforward: A central carbon “cage,” or grid, anchors and distributes the loads between the mast, hull and keel. The hand-laid laminate employs an end-grain balsa core above the waterline and in the deck. A performance package that makes the boat a true racer — featuring a competition keel and rudder, a carbon rig, high-performance sails and a different winch package — is also available.

We sailed the boat on Chesapeake Bay in light airs that didn’t top 5 knots, but the boat was still a delight to steer, especially downwind with a big asymmetric kite, making nearly 4 knots in what was basically a zephyr. We could only imagine how she’d get up and go in a breeze.

Herb McCormick is CW’s ­executive editor.

  • More: 2011+ , 30' - 39' , Coastal Cruising , dehler , monohull , sailboat review , Sailboat Reviews , Sailboats
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Dehler 34: Yacht Review

A modern classic with speed, comfort and great sizing for fast cruising and club racing.

Thirty years ago a production yacht called the Dehler 34 blazed its way onto the world yachting scene winning races and proving to be a highly successful cruiser/racer. Now there is a new Dehler 34 promising to deliver just as much dash and race-winning potential for today's racing sailor.

OVERVIEW - Judel & Vrolijk design with speed and comfort The new German Dehler 34 offers a current-era performance hull with a sharp vertical bow and wide, shallow sections extending into a wide stern. The result is a much larger volume yacht with loads more cruising appeal.

With lots more waterline length, this Dehler has a lot of speed potential and will be a true sports yacht as well. Cutting-edge features like twin steering wheels are a boon for racing and make it easier to access the stern.

While performance is dialled up, there's loads more cruising appeal as well. And that has to make this pretty 34 footer a big winner in today’s divergent yacht market.

The highly successful German design team of Judel & Vrolijk are behind this new 34-footer. And they've gone for the same successful theme they've used in all the other five Dehler models. It's a modern but not-too-extreme cruiser/racer, so she's a production yacht that won't alarm the club handicapper looking do quite well.

Where this Dehler really stands out from pack is the efficiency of her keel and rudder. She doesn't have hard chines in the rear quarters but enough volume to ensure she's fast in a breeze and flies downwind.

A fold-down transom provides easy access from the marina and forms a natural fun-zone in summer with the swim ladder down. Moulded cockpit coamings ensure there's room for six crew to enjoy the after-race party in comfort. It's the place to be after a twilight race and to relieve all the drama and tactics over a cold beer, or two.

In short, typical club sailors are going to love this Dehler 34 footer. She covers the gamut from twilight races to the weekend club point score and even the serious-end of regattas like Sail Port Stephens and Hamilton Island Race Week.

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT - Value and quality for money The Dehler 34 delivers exceptional value with a craft that has a base sail-away of $269,000 with tiller steering. The test boat with extras like twin wheels, taller competition rig and synthetic teak decking cost $320,000. And that includes the sensible upgrade to a 27hp Saildrive diesel to better suit our windy offshore waters.

The extra rig options include an alloy or black carbon-fibre stick, both the same height with rod rigging over twin swept-back spreaders.

The carbon rig is lighter in weight and the ultimate choice if you're going full-tilt racer. However, with a price tag of $46,380 as against $10,792, I suspect most club sailors will tend to go the latter route.

The standard cast iron L-shaped keel (1.95m draft) offers good all-round performance but I'd be leaning towards the deeper, slimmer Competition keel with lead bulb if I wanted to win. Alternatively you can order a shallow draft keel.

The standard set of Elvstrom sails (main and 105 per cent headsail) are practical for most club sailing, however, you can hot-up performance with a set of Elvstrom HPM carbon race sails. Another performance booster is a Elvstrom Gennaker flying off a fixed bowsprit.

LAYOUT AND ACCOMMODATION - A big boat feel above and below decks Stepping aboard for a test sail on Pittwater, I was immediately taken by the roominess of the Dehler’s deck area. She seems much bigger than any 34-footer I'd sailed before and access is so easy via the fold-down stern platform.

The clever mix of racer and cruiser is apparent in the cockpit design. The side coamings  provide an angled face so they make ideal seats when racing. The cockpit also features a cavernous stowage locker under the port seat to swallow all those extra ropes, fenders and sails which normal clutter up the cabin.

The companionway has tinted storm boards cleverly retracting into the doorframe so there's no danger of losing them overboard in stormy seas.

Below is a surprisingly roomy cabin with delightful galley off to starboard with dual sink, icebox/fridge and gimballed stainless-steel oven/stove. There's even a dedicated cutlery draw.

Portside of the companionway is an equally impressive 'bathroom' with a Dehler Uni-door that closes off the separate toilet/shower booth from the washbasin area. Ahead of this utility zone is a very comfortable, stylish saloon with upholstered seating. Here you can host six guests around a central dining table with folding flaps and a roll-out wine locker.

The German love of good design is apparent in the beautiful curved timber veneer lockers behind the settee lounges. They've added custom-designed headrests that fit over the lockers. It's a simple but brilliant touch!

Sleeping choices are either a double-berth cabin aft of the galley, or a master double-berth cabin up in the bow. You can have the latter cabin with a traditional closed-in bulkhead with door, or like the test boat, a cut-away bulkhead. The latter's my choice because it dramatically opens up the whole interior and makes the Dehler feel lighter and brighter. If you do have guests staying over, just add a canvass privacy curtain.

In typical Dehler fashion, finish and build quality is top class. But it's the sense of lightness and space achieved by a soft, light-coloured trim that you really remember. There’s a choice of teak (as tested) or cherrywood trim but either way the interior feels light and airy. And it's helped by natural light spilling from overhead skylights, topside and cabin ports.

HULL AND ENGINEERING - Composite construction in a modern hull form The new 34 Dehler is fairly typical of the modern trend of a beamy shallow-bodied hull with short ends. However, she takes it a step further by extra performance touches like a deep elliptical rudder.

The hull also features a sophisticated foam-cored construction and a carbon reinforced internal hull grid. All this greatly improves sailing performance by making the hull more rigid and providing more support for the keel-stepped mast and gunwale-mounted shrouds.

The hull has a vinylester outer skin layer to keep out moisture and improve longevity. The keel is securely bolted onto the carbon-fibre cage and ensures the Dehler 34 is robust and seaworthy.

ON THE WATER - Easily driven, sailed and up to speed We lucked into a fresh but variable northwester for the test sail. With standard furler and mainsail boom catcher it took us no time to be sailing.

The Competition rig certainly makes for a more responsive, sporty feel on the helm. It's especially fun going upwind and being able to swoop her up in the gusts.

Actually it only took about five minutes for our three crew to get into the race mode and sail past two bigger cruising yachts out for a mid-week sail. I doubt their crew were as concerned  about speed, but hey, it was fun all the same!

Two other features in the cockpit — the end boom mainsheet system and floor traveller plus adjustable backstay — allow you to further improve sailing performance.

The German mainsheet system leads back to winches either side of the traveller and is perfect for getting the best out of the bigger sail.

There's also adjustable headsail sheet cars and a 'barber hauler' to further refine sail setting.

In a breeze of 10-18 knots we were getting an impressive 5.8 -6 knots upwind and hit a quick 7-8 knots as we reached away in a strong gust.

The helm was balanced and performance was sporty. It's just a great little sports sailing yacht. It's roomy, spacious and it sails really well.

VERDICT - An ideal yacht for today’s market The German yard has picked the right time to release this new version of the Dehler 34. There's been a real need in the popular sailing market for a 34-footer that has sporty performance plus real cruise-appeal.

At 10.7m you she doesn't need a lot of crew to do a twilight race and with stack-pack mainsail and headsail furler you're off the mooring quickly.

Above all, the Dehler 34s moderate size keeps her affordable to run and cheaper to marina berth. So as an owner you more likely to see her as a 'keeper' rather than a short-term fling. A modern classic!

LIKES >> Responsive and fast under sail >> Spacious interior with clever use of space >> Twin wheels frees up cockpit area

NOT SO MUCH >> Floor-mounted mainsheet traveller can jam if ropes not kept tidy >> Higher entrance step to companionway. >> No rope hangers in cockpit sail locker.

Specifications: Dehler 34 Price as Tested:  $320k including twin steering wheels, competition alloy rig, 27hp Yanmar diesel Saildrive, teak decking, Navigation pack with wind/speed, GPS plotter, VHF radio) anchor windlass, Entertainment package Price Standard Boat: $269k sail-away with tiller, 18hp Yanmar diesel Saildrive, antifouled

LOA: 10.70m Hull Length: 10.30m Beam: 3.60m Draft: 1.55m Shallow; 1.95m Standard; 2.10m Competition Displacement: 5950kg Standard; 5450kg Competition Sail Area: 65sq m Standard; 71sq m Competition Auxiliary: 18-27hp diesel Saildrive Water Tankage: 210lt Fuel Tankage: 160lt Certification: CE Class B

Supplied by: Team Windcraft Bayview NSW Phone  02 9979 1709 email  [email protected] See Windcraft Dehler.

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2020 Dehler 34

Dehler 34

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Living In The Dehler 34, Diva 34 SC, J / 97 And The Elan S4

Table of contents:, the second part of the large comparison test of the performance cruiser is available for reading in yacht, edition 17/2018. the booklet is available in the dk shop, or you can download the test directly from the link below, photo gallery: elan s4, photo gallery: div34 sc, photo gallery: dehler 34, photo gallery: j / 97 e.

Living In The Dehler 34, Diva 34 SC, J / 97 And The Elan S4

Video: Living In The Dehler 34, Diva 34 SC, J / 97 And The Elan S4

Video: Living In The Dehler 34, Diva 34 SC, J / 97 And The Elan S4

2024 Author : Allison Derrick | [email protected] . Last modified: 2023-12-17 05:04

Performance was the theme in issue 16/2018. Now, in the 17/2018 issue, it's all about cruising. The YACHT test crew examined the four comparative yachts Dehler 34, Div34 SC, Elan S4 and J / 97 E for their properties in terms of cosiness, comfort and storage space. In addition, the quality of construction and interior fittings as well as the pricing are put to the test. Ultimately, part 2 is about the burning question of whether a clear winner can be derived from the comparison.

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Dehler 30 yacht test: This one-design racer has a real double appeal

Matthew Sheahan

  • Matthew Sheahan
  • May 20, 2020

An award-winning offshore blaster, the Dehler 30 is many things to many sailors. But can a short-handed one-design racer-cruiser really tick so many boxes?

Product Overview

Manufacturer:, price as reviewed:.

Talk to those who have switched to short-handed offshore racing and you’ll be hard pressed to find many who want to go back to a weather rail stacked with crew. It’s not that they’ve suddenly realised that they don’t like sharing the experience with others, or that the boat just feels cluttered below, but that it is just more satisfying sailing two-up . Plus, it’s often a lot cheaper. It’s these two factors above all that surely explain the increase in popularity in this kind of sailing.

Yet, unlike the moment when we realised that planing sportsboats were a lot more fun than the tubby lead mines of the day that rolled downwind like metronomes, or the sudden realisation that gybing an asymmetric spinnaker was no harder than tacking a jib, the growth in short-handed offshore sailing has been more gradual. And it is also building from another corner of the sport as the momentum for the new Olympic offshore class in 2024 gathers pace.

As the plans for Paris 2024 are now starting to take shape, where mixed gender entries will be a requirement, there is also a feeling that there will be opportunities for a wider range of age, experience and crew weights. This has triggered a fair bit of interest among a broader group of sailors than normal. It has also drawn the attention of some of the world’s top builders as they look into producing boats that might tap into this new scene.


Perfect for two but with the capability for more, this is a comprehensively kitted out 30-footer that’s easy to handle. Photo: Hanse Yachts AG

Of course some, like Beneteau, have been in this space for a while with their Figaro range of offshore racers. Jeanneau has also been successful most recently with its SunFast 3200 and 3600 models, with the new Sun Fast 3300 starting to make an impression as well. Other builders like JPK, J/Boats and Pogo have also been successful in developing interesting boats in this area. And now one of the latest to step into the ring is Dehler.

Well known for its innovative approach to design along with a racing heritage that stretches back to the 1980s when boats like the DB1 put it on the map, the German production builder has launched a 30ft offshore pocket rocket that appears to be aimed straight at the short-handed world. It is a boat that ignores handicap rules like IRC and focuses instead on creating a strict, high performance, offshore one-design.

But let’s get one thing out into the open from the start: this is a boat with an identity crisis. Look at the pictures and study the detailed deck layout and spec and it is easy to see that this is a well thought out, comprehensively equipped racer. Yet study the interior layout and overall style and the message is that while it’s a modern, quick 30-footer, it’s also designed to be a sprightly family cruiser. So can it really be both?

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When viewed from the outside, the Judel/Vrolijk-designed Dehler looks every bit the racer. The reverse profile bow and the heavily chamfered topsides/gunwale that extend forward from her chainplates give the look of a smaller version of a number of well known racing machines – the Fast 40+ Ran , countless Class 40s , or even the previous Hugo Boss IMOCA 60 spring to mind.

Offshore style

When viewed from dead ahead the rounded, full-sectioned bow and a hard turn of the bilge from slab sided topsides to flat underwater sections are further indications of the modern offshore style. And then there’s the fixed bowsprit off which the Code 0 and A2 and A5 kites are flown. It is removable for cruising, but when it’s in place (as it was for us), it shouts racing.

So too does the carbon mast, the square-topped mainsail and the twin backstays, with tails led forward through rope clutches to the primary winches mounted conveniently for the helmsman and crew. The coarse and fine tune mainsheet systems, along with a mainsheet traveller that runs almost the complete width of the ample beam are also dead giveaways that this boat is set up to race.


It’s clear that a huge amount of thought has gone into the design. In plan, the delta shape sees the maximum beam carried all the way aft to the stern from midships providing the means to generate a high righting moment. The full sections forward where the volume is low down are indications that the distribution of buoyancy is in keeping with modern thinking and contributes to the righting moment using the hull form without creating unnecessary drag through excessive wetted surface area.

It’s likely to be a well-balanced boat when heeled, and the 200kg water ballast tanks on either side add a further boost to righting moment and hence performance. Pump these up using either the gravity or electric feed systems and you have the equivalent of 2-3 people on the rail – people that you don’t have to feed or hot-bunk with.

As it happens, the sporty looks are also in line with the modern cruising style. Beamy sections aft frequently lead to twin rudders, whether you’re racing or cruising. The Dehler 30 is no different, although the linking mechanism between both rudder stocks and the single centreline-mounted tiller is fitted above decks making it very easy to get to. Liferaft stowage is under a lifting section of the aft deck and accessible from the water, whichever way up the boat is: yet another illustration as to how detailed the thinking has been.

Nimble and responsive

Like modern cars that have become bloated with every iteration, today’s boats generally feel bigger than they did a few decades back. Strangely, the Dehler 30 feels smaller. I’m sure half tonners felt bigger than this? The reality is that when compared to other popular brands in this scene such as the Beneteaus, Jeanneaus and JPK’s it is indeed shorter. But the Dehler also feels small in a good way – a boat that feels right for two from the off. It’s a size in which pretty much everything is close to hand without having to let go of the helm.

Short-handed offshore sailors prefer not to depend entirely on their autopilots. Instead, most take the pragmatic view that at some point it will break down and hand steering will become essential. They also believe that at times humans can still sail better than a machine. But aboard the Dehler 30 there is another issue and that is that once you’ve taken the helm, you’re unlikely want to give it back.


Cockpit layout suits single- and double-handed sailing. Photo: Hanse Yachts AG

Light, nimble and responsive, you barely notice that it has twin rudders such is the balance between them. In keeping with modern thinking it’s designed to heel fairly early to a point at which the windward rudder offers minimal drag, which in turn helps to get that single blade feel on the helm.

Manoeuvrability is good under sail, but also under power thanks largely to the fixed three-bladed prop which provides plenty of prop walk… which in turn makes up for the lack of prop wash over the rudders. Overall this is a boat that has been designed to be sailed hands on. Whether you’re steering from the side deck or organising the pit, everything is close to hand, making tacks and gybes as straightforward as they can be.

Our trials started off in a light breeze and in this the Dehler ghosted along nicely before conditions picked up to a modest 10 knots. That was sufficient at least to establish that this is a well-balanced, slippery boat. The modern sailplan gives the first indication of why it performs so well. A high aspect ratio non-overlapping, hanked-on jib that is just 5.5m 2 smaller than the 34.5m 2 square-topped mainsail is the first indication of an ample and sophisticated sailplan.


The furling staysail also makes for a good heavy weather jib for when conditions get punchy upwind. Photo: Hanse Yachts AG

Aside from the provision for a Code 0 and downwind asymmetric kites, the staysail mounted on a detachable inner forestay will be good off the breeze as well as upwind when things have got punchy offshore. The single spreader aft-swept rig is an important part of this with a set of D2s that terminate at the inner forestay mast attachment to give good fore and aft support when you’re hammering upwind under this reduced sail plan.

Less obvious, yet another big contribution to the all round performance, is the 2.20m deep 82kg carbon reinforced fin and 840kg bulb configuration. Aside from generating plenty of righting moment, the deep, parallel-sided fin is efficient when it comes to providing lift, a key reason why it feels like it gets into the groove with ease.

The choice of fin and bulb is interesting as it is unlikely to be treated well under IRC and provides another indication as to how focussed Dehler is on one-design and short-handed sailing. But if it does have a weakness it is the speed with which a snake pit of ropes can build up in the cockpit. And while careful control line management is the answer, the clutter stems largely from an overly sophisticated deck layout and snug cockpit.


The Dehler’s Code 0, with its trendy but practical outrigger, covers a wide range of wind speeds and angles. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Having got used to what this boat is all about on deck and underway, the big surprise comes when you head below decks where, instead of a Spartan racing interior, the layout is far more modern cruiser. This is where the identity crisis lies.

Creature comforts

Had you simply headed below without looking at the layout on deck you’d likely not be surprised. The trademark Dehler offwhite/grey and red trim also has wood laminate saloon bench seating and a table on the centreline and looks just like you’d expect of a contemporary Dehler.

And with a modest galley to starboard that’ll take a portable fridge, an open plan forepeak, enclosable heads to port and a couple of ‘almost double’ berths aft, it looks like a snug modern production cruiser.


Creature comforts and trademark Dehler trim belie the boat’s racing aspirations. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

The giveaway is the lack of floorboards, which help to achieve a decent 1.82m headroom in an otherwise low freeboard boat. That and the internal water ballast tanks.

But for me the oddest of detail was the fabric hull liner. While it looks smart on a new boat, it reminded me of boats from another era that didn’t stand the test of time well, and made me question whether a boat of this type really needs it. On that point, Dehler says the creature comforts account for less than 100kg in total and suggest this is a good use of weight when it comes to broadening the use and the appeal of the boat.

But when the boat will be raced primarily by people who like having the sidedeck to themselves for hours on end as they chase down their rivals offshore, I’m not sure that comfort below decks is at the front of their minds.

This boat grew on me quickly because it was so comfortable and rewarding to sail. It just feels like it fits. It’s is easy to handle short-handed and so taps into this growing scene while also appealing to what sportier types may want when they’re family cruising. But sprightly cruising does come at a price. At a base cost of €108,000 excluding VAT and around €160,000 with a full spec and VAT paid it might seem pretty expensive for a 30ft production built, fast family cruiser. Yet come to it from a racing mindset and this is a boat that wants for nothing. With such a comprehensive and high quality specification along with the promise of good one-design racing, it’s an appealing prospect. So can this be both racer and cruiser? The answer is yes, so long as you regard it in this order.

yacht test dehler 34

The return of an icon

An icon of sailing history returned in 2018 and has been more popular than ever. In 1986 the first Dehler 34 created a new breed of comfortable performance cruiser and the sailing world never looked back. The latest incarnation has improved in so many ways with more space, comfort, ease of handling, stunning lines and of course effortless boat speed. 

yacht test dehler 34

Unrivalled innovation

Most boat builders hold the expensive materials and innovations back for their larger models alone. The Dehler 34 enjoys many of the features found in her bigger sisters, which makes her particularly special. 

The structural subframe is heavily reinforced with carbon to allow exceptional strength and stiffness without unwanted weight. That stiffness results in a beautifully responsive feel and acceleration that does not require much input from the helm.

yacht test dehler 34

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yacht test dehler 34

yacht test dehler 34


With open bulkhead


yacht test dehler 34

The Dehler 34 is a truly versatile yacht delivering whatever may be required from a true sailing yacht, whether cruising or racing, the Dehler 34 will exceed your expectations. 

Competition or cruising...? Various options are available including, competition keel, tiller or wheel steering, carbon rig, racing sails, cockpit table and a bathing platform, you can customise your Dehler 34 to meet your sailing needs.

A large cockpit locker on the port side provides extensive storage space whether it be a small sail wardrobe or used for folding bikes accessible from the cockpit or through the heads. A spacious interior offers a great living space which is thoughtfully laid out.

yacht test dehler 34

Fast easy sailing

The new Dehler 34 is designed to be wonderfully fast without needing to be a professional sailor to achieve it. A well-positioned mainsheet traveller, adjustable jib tracks and backstay, plus the equipment to fly additional downwind sails, really set her apart from other cruisers. 

Whether you are sailing as a couple, with family or you are simply out for a blast the Dehler 34 offers fast, safe, easy sailing, which will leave you with a huge smile on your face.

yacht test dehler 34

Quality & comfort

A choice of wood finishes, floorboards and upholstery allows you to have your 34 built exactly how you want it.  Beautifully curved door frames, solid teak companionway steps, deep Corian fiddles and high quality fittings give you a sense of quality over compromise.

Even at 34 foot you have 2 spacious double cabins, a light, airy saloon and large bathroom.  The galley features extensive storage, using every space available and the cockpit is large enough to entertain when the sailing day is finished.

yacht test dehler 34

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yacht test dehler 34

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Welcome to Inspiration Marine Group Ltd, the sole UK importer of Dehler Yachts since 2008. Let us guide you through the exciting adventure of buying a new yacht.

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Dehler   Sailboats intelligently designed with a stylish aesthetic

Experience the original performance cruiser: Dehler. No other sailing yacht so elegantly bridges the gap between high-performance sports sailing and stylish, highly aesthetic living comfort. The shipyard has demonstrated ongoing innovative prowess ever since its founding back in 1963. The numerous awards and major regatta wins – not to mention each and every design facet on board a Dehler – are testament to the creativity of the developers. Our yachts are built by passionate sailors for passionate sailors to the very highest quality of craftsmanship and precision that have always been the hallmark of the ‘Made in Germany’ seal of quality. It’s hard to think of a more intelligently designed yacht.

Dehler 46 SQ   The new flagship

Dehler inspires – once again. The new flagship pushes the development of the performance cruiser forward in every respect. Whether in brightness below deck, sailing performance, ergonomics, flexibility, onboard comfort, or design, the Dehler 46 SQ is full of ideas that guarantee the most intense sailing experiences.

Discover the Dehler 46 SQ

Sailing Yachts   Fast racer cruisers & cruising yachts

Presented just for you   your dream yacht.

We cordially invite you to your own custom boat show on the sailing boat of your dreams. Your Dehler dealer looks forward to meeting you. They will arrange for an exclusive presentation on the Dehler model of your choosing and explain all the details on and below the deck. This personal appointment means no time constraints and no crowds, and it complies with all health and safety rules. Schedule your exclusive consultation today and get ready for an exciting presentation!

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Dehler   performance sailing philosophy

At dehler, sailing performance is the most important virtue of any yacht..

Why? Because it continually thrills you and makes you want to feel the power of the hull cutting through waves with speed and precision. And thrill is what sailing is really all about. Which is why our yachts also always have a sport gene.

A yacht beaming with intelligence.

The interior furnishings leave nothing more to be desired. The design is a fusion of function and aesthetics, with craftsmanship that is flawless down to the smallest detail. We build each yacht to feature many clever ideas that amaze you. We feel obligated to satisfy these high standards at Dehler each and every day.

Dehler stands for the values of the “Made in Germany” global seal of quality.

Thoroughness above all is what counts for us. Precision in every detail shapes how we think and act, as well as who we choose to partner with. This includes the internationally renowned yacht designers at judel/vrolijk & co. You can see this in the timeless shapes and dynamically elegant lines of each Dehler.

Sailboat shows   Tour our performance sailing yachts

2024-02-01 - 2024-04-15 reese marin boat show.

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2024-09-12 - 2024-09-15 Newport International Boat Show

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  1. Dehler 34

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  1. Dehler 34 review

    The original Dehler 34 marked a turning point in the history of Dehler yachts. Can the new 34 do the same? ... Dehler. TAGS: Dehler 34 review Yacht Review. Dehler 34 review. See the February 2017 issue of Yachting Monthly for the full test. ... Designer Judel/Vrolijk & Co./Dehler. Builder Dehler Yachts. UK Agent Inspiration Marine Group. Tel ...

  2. Boat Review: Dehler 34

    Our test boat was outfitted with Lewmar's R+ racing winches and a German-style continuous mainsheet system, which is adjustable from either side. The traveler spans the cockpit sole just ahead of the twin angled Jeffa Steering pedestals. ... Had I been dropped onto the Dehler 34 and told that it was a bigger boat, I'd have believed it. This ...

  3. Dehler 34

    And is great looking, to boot. The Dehler 34 is a 34ft cruiser/race, and a little lighter than a pure cruiser at 5.4t to 5.8t. She's is strongly built with a solid hull/deck joint and carbon reinforcement, has a keel-stepped rig of decent proportions and comes with the choice of either a deep, T-shaped keel with a bulb or a choice of two L ...

  4. Boat Review: Dehler 34

    Our test boat was outfitted with Lewmar's R+ racing winches and a German-style continuous mainsheet system, which is adjustable from either side. The traveler spans the cockpit sole just ahead of the twin angled Jeffa Steering pedestals. ... Had I been dropped onto the Dehler 34 and told that it was a bigger boat, I'd have believed it. This ...

  5. Dehler 34 Review

    Rupert Holmes puts the latest race-optimised model through her paces. Dehler's new Simonis and Voogd-designed Dehler 34 reflects a strategic decision by the company to increase the performance of its boats across the entire range. This boat replaces the previous 34 model, which was an in-house design dating from 2001.

  6. Boat Review

    Join Lawrence as he takes a look at the very impressive Dehler 34. A new addition to the already known Dehler 34. However this one is still unique with some ...

  7. Dehler 34: A Sporty, Well-Mannered Cruiser

    December 23, 2016. This German builder of quality performance cruisers made its name in the mid 1980s with the original Dehler 34. This was based on a hugely successful raceboat design that took the top four places among the best teams in the world at the 1984 Three Quarter Ton Cup. The design was then thoroughly revamped into a well-mannered ...

  8. Dehler 34

    The Dehler 34 combines comfort, ease of handling and exciting performance. It's not cheap, but that's life. If you are in the market for a quality mid-30s performance cruiser, fly to Chicago and take a good hard look at the Dehler 34. Be wary however, if you find yourself test sailing the boat you may end up writing a check.

  9. Dehler 34 Sailboat Review

    Dehler 34. The award-winning Dehler 34 is the German builder's latest addition to its line of quick, nimble, high-performance coastal cruisers. Even in light breezes, under asymmetric spinnaker, the Dehler 34 is a joy to drive. Billy Black. The 2017 Boat of the Year (BOTY) contest featured a stellar crop of crossover cruiser/racers, including ...

  10. Dehler 34

    Dehler 34: Yacht Test - Vergleich Performance Cruiser - Teil 1 / Yacht 16 - 2018. Vier Muskeltiere. Leistungsstark, sportlich und trotzdem tourentauglich: vier kompakte PERFORMANCE-Cruiser um zehn Meter Rumpflänge im großen YACHT-Gruppentest. Teil 1: Segeleigenschaften, Handling, Deck und Cockpit.


    NEW DEHLER 34 TAKE OFF D EHLER claim legendary success for the historic 34 which was launched more than 30 years ago as ... Granted, writes YL boat test editor Andi Robertson. For the new Dehler 34 the German marque stick withJudel/Vroljk. The result is a sweet looking, beautifully proportioned small to medium sized cruiser racer. With respect ...

  12. Dehler 34: Yacht Review

    The Dehler 34 delivers exceptional value with a craft that has a base sail-away of $269,000 with tiller steering. The test boat with extras like twin wheels, taller competition rig and synthetic teak decking cost $320,000. And that includes the sensible upgrade to a 27hp Saildrive diesel to better suit our windy offshore waters.

  13. PDF Dehler 34 Test Review Boating New Zealand March 2018

    Yes, Dehler has had a 34 for many years. The vessel was introduced in the mid-80s and became an instant hit. Around 1,500 were built and, in fact, the model is widely credited with having forged the German manufacturer's reputation for high-performance cruisers. But this is the 'new' 34 - and she's a radically different animal.

  14. 2020 Dehler 34

    The new Dehler 34 is a luxurious performance cruiser blending innovative design with excellent sailing properties giving the perfect balance between comfort and performance. Sporty, elegant lines follow the multi-award winning Dehler 38. Slim tapered side windows give a streamlined touch and a bright airy interior.

  15. Living In The Dehler 34, Diva 34 SC, J / 97 And The Elan S4

    The YACHT test crew examined the four comparative yachts Dehler 34, Div34 SC, Elan S4 and J / 97 E for their properties in terms of cosiness, comfort and storage space. In addition, the quality of construction and interior fittings as well as the pricing are put to the test. Ultimately, part 2 is about the burning question of whether a clear ...

  16. Dehler 34 ST: Optimally utilised hull

    The used boat test in PDF download. Sometimes Dehler 34, sometimes Optima 101 or 106: the history of the hull is quite eventful. The used boat test in PDF download. Webreader. Abo-Shop. Yachts. Alle Themen. Yachts. Superyachts. Small cruiser. Cruising yachts.

  17. DEHLER 34

    S# first appeared (that we know of) in TellTales, April 1988, "On a Scale of One to Ten" by A.P. Brooks . The equation incorporates SA/Disp (100% fore triangle) and Disp/length ratios to create a guide to probable boat performance vs. other boats of comparable size. For boats of the same length, generally the higher the S#, the lower the PHRF.

  18. Optima 106 / Dehler 34

    Optima 106 / Dehler 34. For the fun of sporty sailing. The Dehler 34 is a classic under a new name: From the Optima 106 and the successful lines of the legendary db2 three-quarter ton model, a unique and carefully optimized synthesis has been created. The Dehler 34 is the perfect yacht for long trips with both a large and small crew.

  19. Dehler 30 yacht test: This one-design racer has a real double appeal

    Dehler 30 yacht test: This one-design racer has a real double appeal. ... hanked-on jib that is just 5.5m 2 smaller than the 34.5m 2 square-topped mainsail is the first indication of an ample and ...

  20. Dehler 34: Prices, Specs, Reviews and Sales Information

    The Dehler 34 is produced by the brand Dehler since 2016. Dehler 34 is a 10.70 meters sport cruiser with 2 guest cabins and a draft of 1.95 meters. ... View video reviews, onboard virtual tours and walkthroughs, sea trials and test drives of the Dehler 34 sailing yacht from the manufacturer and independent yachting experts. Convinced the Dehler ...

  21. Dehler 34

    The new Dehler 34 is designed to be wonderfully fast without needing to be a professional sailor to achieve it. A well-positioned mainsheet traveller, adjustable jib tracks and backstay, plus the equipment to fly additional downwind sails, really set her apart from other cruisers. Whether you are sailing as a couple, with family or you are ...

  22. 2022 Dehler 34 Racer/Cruiser for sale

    2022 Dehler 34. The era of the performance cruiser began 30 years ago with the Dehler 34. Today, the new Dehler 34 is the direct successor of this cult yacht. Discover the original of this performance cruiser in its modern form! This boat is current in stock on a mooring in Marblehead. Bump Wilcox cell 603-867-3130 [email protected].

  23. New fast sailing yachts designed for regatta

    Dehler inspires - once again. The new flagship pushes the development of the performance cruiser forward in every respect. Whether in brightness below deck, sailing performance, ergonomics, flexibility, onboard comfort, or design, the Dehler 46 SQ is full of ideas that guarantee the most intense sailing experiences. Discover the Dehler 46 SQ.