Slovenian boat builder Elan has not produced a new model in the past three years, however this looks likely to change, following the announcement of the GT5. This is based on the 40ft Rob Humphreys designed E5 model, which started life as the Elan 400 in 2013. The GT5 hull will have more freeboard, plus a deck saloon style layout that will provide significantly more internal volume than the E5, which is expected to continue in production alongside the new boat.
The GT5 also benefits from a generously proportioned cockpit that includes an al fresco barbecue, fridge and sink unit. Below decks, much of the plan form of the accommodation will be similar to the well-proven layout of the E5, but the entire boat will feel significantly larger, with better natural light and views of the outside world. In addition the galley will be moved to the forward part of the main saloon, following a trend first seen in larger high quality yachts such as the Grand Soleil 50. There will also be room for more complex systems including the option of a generator and air conditioning.
These changes will help to make the boat one that is ideally suited to those intending to spend longer periods of time on board in comfort, as well as having potential appeal to the upper end of the bareboat charter market. While the new boat will inevitably weigh more than the E5, as a consequence of the additional hull/coachroof volume and more comprehensive and sophisticated systems, it can still be expected to offer good performance, allied to the handling you would expect of a top-level luxury saloon car.
The E5, with its chined hull and twin rudders is an exceptionally well mannered boat and yet is capable of planing performance in winds approaching 20 knots, when boat speed can climb to 10-12 knots and above in flat water. While the GT5 will naturally not be as easy to get on the plane, it can be assured of surfing at impressive speeds, while retaining a reassuring level of control in suitably skilled hands. While Elan is ready to take orders for the GT5, the company has yet to publically announce when the first boat will be launched.