Deck saloon yachts dominate much of the market above a certain size, yet there are few options at smaller sizes. This design, based on the hull of the Elan 400 (later rebadged as the E5/S5) has therefore attracted considerable interest. The Elan GT5 offers significantly more space than the original design thanks to the addition of a further 10-12 cm of freeboard, an extra foot of hull length and the more voluminous coach roof that accommodates the deck saloon.
As soon as you step on board you notice you notice the contrast compared to the E5. There are still the twin wheels – and twin rudders – but now there's a pop-up outdoor galley beneath the helm seats, along with a big hinge down bathing platform. Sail controls are led aft to twin winches at each helm station and the mainsheet traveller has been moved to the coach roof. This leaves the forward end of the cockpit free for guests to relax away from the action.
Four very easy and wide companionway steps lead down to the saloon, which offers an almost 360 degree view of the outside world. The enlarged coach roof allows for a very light and airy saloon with impressive headroom, although shorter members of the crew may only be able to see out through the two hull windows. Bleached oak veneers accentuate the bright and airy feel of the Elan GT5's saloon.
The main seating area is to port and includes a pair of neat stools that stow underneath the inboard side of the folding table. This can be lowered to form a giant day bed. To starboard is a settee berth that incorporates a pop-up chart table.
Below the raised floor there’s space for a considerable amount of tankage – 260 litres of water is standard and a second tank of the same size can be fitted as an option – and additional stowage. There’s also the potential to accommodate a generator and air conditioning units in this space. The full width galley is a step down at the forward end of the saloon. It is spacious and well equipped, although the Corian worktops have low fiddles.
Two and three cabin layouts, each with one or two heads, are offered. The forward cabin in all options is extremely spacious with plenty of room to move around and generous stowage. An en suite heads can be fitted here, although this would obviously reduce cabin space. The aft double cabins benefit from being unusually well lit and, like the saloon, have an exceptional amount of headroom, as well as above average stowage space.
Overall the additional space and volume compared to the original model has been put to very good use, creating a very attractive cruising yacht on which it would be possible to spend significant lengths of time on board in comfort.
High tech construction using vacuum infusion has helped keep the increase in displacement to just 600kg, so good performance can still be expected, although this boat won’t lift up onto the plane quite as readily as the Elan 400 and E5. Nevertheless it’s clear that the GT5 will still be rewarding to sail and offers the prospect of very respectable passage times.
Check out more in our First Look Video:
Read more about Elan's craft in our features Elan Impression 494 review: a fine flagship cruiser and Elan 210: compact cruiser racer.
Elan GT5 specifications
Length overall 13.20m
Hull length 12.41m
Waterline length 11.58m
Draught 2.45m or 2.25m
Light Displacement 8,100kg
Ballast (standard) 3,000kg
Water capacity 260 or 520 litres
Fuel capacity 190 litres
Mainsail 46.20sq m
Jib 38.10sq m
Gennaker 130sq m
Air draught (inc antenna) 18.39m