Although this IOR influenced design may appear a little dated, the Pretorien 35 is a go-anywhere design that offers excellent value and a quality of construction that rivals that of some of the finest production boats in the world.
The low profile, wedge-shaped trunk cabin often causes this design to be confused with Sweden Yachts and Swans of the same era, but she was built by Chantier Henri Wauquiez (pronounced “Vo-key-ay”) of Mouvaux, France and designed by the noted UK firm of Holman & Pye. The model was introduced in 1979 and continued in production until 1986, resulting in over 170 boats.
Recognizable by their distinctive blue sheer stripe, the boats produced by Chantiers Wauquiez, founded in 1965 and since 1997 part of the Beneteau Group, are highly regarded both for their sailing performance and for the quality of their construction.
The 35-foot Prétorien (a term that designates a soldier of the emperor’s guard), of which 212 were built between 1979 and 1986, is a Holman & Pye design. The IOR’s influence is visible in its lines and in the high-aspect-ratio mainsail, but the Prétorien doesn’t have the extreme tumblehome or pinched stern that haunt many designs of the era. A 3-ton keel, bolted externally to a deep stub, keeps the boat on its lines when the breeze pipes up, a long waterline ensures good speeds, and the deep, skeg-hung rudder provides excellent control.
The last few years I have been presenting a slide show at the Strictly Sail shows called “Twenty-five great boats to sail around the world.” The list includes some of my favorite boats such as Contessa 32, Pacific Seacraft 37, Hallberg-Rassy 43, Tayana 52 and Bowman 57 among others. I often surprise people when I tell them of another boat that makes my favorites list-the diminutive but capable Pretorien 35. I can see a day in the not too distant future when I downsize to a more modest cruising boat, and the Pretorien would be near the top of the list of boats that I would seriously consider.
This French-built cruiser-racer, designed by Holman & Pye, a British firm, first appeared on the market in 1979, just as the IOR rule was peaking in popularity. The Pretorien 35 thus exhibits features common to many boats of this era: it is beamy amidships with somewhat pinched ends and has a smallish high-aspect mainsail and a large foretriangle. It is not, however, an extreme example of its type. Nearly half the boat’s design weight is contained in its lead ballast keel, which makes it rather stiff and stable (its AVS is a very respectable 124 degrees), it does not have pronounced tumblehome along its flanks, and its rakish “wedge-deck” profile, similar to that seen on Swans and Baltics built around the same time, give it a distinctive look many sailors find highly attractive.
|Hull Type:||Fin with rudder on skeg||Rig Type:||Masthead Sloop|
|LOA:||35.43′ / 10.80m||LWL:||30.33′ / 9.24m|
|Beam:||11.81′ / 3.60m||Listed SA:||616 ft2 / 57.23 m2|
|Draft (max.)||6.00′ / 1.83m||Draft (min.)|
|Disp.||13000 lbs./ 5897 kgs.||Ballast:||6613 lbs. / 3000 kgs.|
|Designer:||Holman & Pye|
|Builder:||Henri Wauquiez (FRA)|
|First Built:||1979||Last Built:||1987||# Built:||212|
|AUXILIARY POWER (orig. equip.)|
|RIG DIMENSIONS KEY|
|I:||48.80′ / 14.87m||J:||14.80′ / 4.51m|
|P:||42.50′ / 12.95m||E:||12.00′ / 3.66m|
|SA(Fore.):||361.12 ft2 / 33.55 m2||SA(Main):||255.00 ft2 / 23.69 m2|
|Total(calc.)SA:||616.12 ft2 / 57.24 m2||DL ratio:||208.01|
|SA/Disp:||17.89||Est. Forestay Len.:||50.99′ / 15.54m|
|BUILDERS (past & present)|
|More about & boats built by:||Wauquiez, Henri (Chantier)|
|More about & boats designed by:||Holman & Pye|