Ever since the launch of the outstandingly original Galeon 430 Skydeck (review), Polish builder Galeon has been a bit of a favourite here at boats.com – so its appearance in Cannes with its new compact, three-deck cruiser was not one we were likely to miss.
The upper decks
Although it’s the smallest of the current fleet, the Galeon 300 Fly is designed to offer some of the key big boat experiences at a more accessible size and price. To that end, it uses the same broad windows and aggressive mouldings as the rest of the ‘third-generation’ designs, allied to the same hull as the 305 HTS and the 305 Open (which is currently in development). It also uses resin-infusion in the build process to help reduce bulk and weight, and it exhibits an overall length that, even without the extended swim platform, is closer to 32 feet than 30. In short, while it might be built upon Galeon’s smallest hull, it aims to offer much more than its humble origins suggest.
However, despite a decent beam of nearly three metres, the provision of big external walkways means that the saloon is really quite compact – and while you might expect Galeon’s solution to involve some radical design tangents, the layout is in fact quite traditional. On the starboard side, behind the single swiveling helm seat, sits a compact galley, featuring everything you need and absolutely nothing you don’t. You also get quite a substantial dinette to port, which forces the ‘central’ walkway to bow out in a slight arc to starboard as it wraps around the seating. And at its forward-most point, where the saloon leads down to the lower deck, the neatly angled stairwell continues that arc, cleverly freeing up some space, particularly below decks.
However, given the fact that there is a fly deck perched up on the saloon roof, the best part about this space is the striking combination of headroom and light. There are no mighty stanchions or overblown mouldings invading the windows and blocking the view. Instead, by means of the right materials and simple common sense, it feels as though the vast bulk of the topside structure is built from glass – and from the perspective of the passenger as well as the helmsman, that is a very attractive trait.
There are also some shrewdly low-profile circular sliding window sections in here, which enable you to introduce a little more of the outside world into your sheltered cocoon. But of course, the key feature of this 300 (not to say it’s central novelty) is the fact that it manages to crowbar a genuine flydeck onto such a compact platform – and when you head up top via the fixed steps on the starboard side of the aft deck, it’s difficult to be disappointed. True, despite pushing out above the cockpit by a good few feet, the fly enjoys a footprint no larger than that of the saloon - but with a central helm and a convertible bench orbited by some useful deck space, plus a sunpad for two to port of the steps, it does everything a flybridge of this scale could reasonably be expected to achieve.
Sleeping for four
While the main deck and fly do all they can to maximise the usability and comfort of restricted proportions, the accommodation level, which enjoys the full beam of the hull, is a different matter. You head down the steps to a small landing where you are greeted by a choice of three doors. To starboard sits the wetroom with heads; forward in the V of the bow lies the master cabin; and to port is the lateral guest cabin. There is no central area for communal gatherings (and on a boat of this size you wouldn’t expect it), but each of the three spaces feels well up to scratch...
The Master cabin comprises a double island berth with useful storage underneath and some welcome floorspace on either side. In terms of its footprint, the guest room is even larger, with some sensible space in the port section and some extra storage forward. Notwithstanding the inevitable limitations of the deckhead in here, you also get full standing height in every section that warrants it, allied to excellent light ingress, particularly in the forward cabin, where long, graceful ‘letter-slot’ hull windows are supplemented by an even more substantial glass section above.
As for the options, well that refreshingly muted interior comes in either oak (a big winner in the UK) or walnut (a big winner for those with slightly less taste); and there’s plenty of versatility in the engines too. You can spec a single or twin rig in either petrol or diesel - but you should be aware that the limited standard tank (415 litres) may need upgrading to 600 litres to encompass your choice.
Buxom but beautiful (ish)
The fact that the squat little 300 Fly incorporates three decks and is rated to carry as many passengers as the larger 340 means that it inevitably runs the risk of looking like a hippo in heels – tubby and comedic rather than vigorous and spirited. Plainly, that’s not good, so Galeon has tried hard to mitigate this danger – not just by slightly narrowing the saloon and fly, but also by dialing in some useful eye-distraction techniques. For instance, take a look at the boat underway and you don’t see a vast slab-sided window or a soaring curve of fiberglass up at the fly. You see a raked wedge of tinted glass cleaved by a pair of angled fiberglass barbs. There are clever touches like this all over the boat and when witnessed in union, they do a great job of transforming the impression from one of blunt-headed lumbering to one of (relatively) lightfooted dynamism.
The 300 Fly might lack the emphatic flair of Galeon’s ingenious Skydeck model (watch our Galeon 430 Skydeck video), but the fact that this entry-level craft offers an authentic flybridge alongside generous accommodation, pleasing looks, a bright saloon and a sensible price is something of a coup in its own right. It might be the smallest powerboat in Galeon’s 21-strong fleet, but it does more than enough to reinforce the brand’s burgeoning reputation for fresh, hard-working designs at modest, accessible prices.
Galeon 300 Fly specifications
Length overall: 9.6 m
Beam: 2.99 m
Weight: 5,500 kg
Power: single 260 – twin 225hp
Fuel capacity: 415 – 600 litres
Water capacity: 200 litres
Crew capacity: 9/7
CE category: C/B