Delphia 33: A Roomy Little Family Cruiser
When it came time to choose the 2008 Import Boat of the Year, what drew the judges' attention were the smaller sailboats, boats that are relatively affordable, can get a family out onto the water, and are fun to sail. In the end, it was the Delphia 33 that best fit the bill on all accounts.
Built in Poland, the Delphia 33 is a well-constructed boat with a solid glass hull below the waterline, vacuum-bagged balsa-cored topsides, and an Airex-cored deck. The boat carries a lead keel that's fastened with stainless-steel keel bolts-an impressive feature to find on a cost-conscious production boat, noted BOTY judge Ralph Naranjo. While the model tested in Annapolis was driven by a 30-horsepower Volvo and a conventional shaft, all future boats will have a saildrive.
Belowdecks, queen-size berths in the forward and aft cabins provide plenty of comfort for a couple of couples or a family with children. BOTY judge Stacey Collins noted that locker space and lighting are as good as that found on much larger boats, as is the galley, where equipment includes refrigeration and double sinks. Joinery work is neatly done throughout the boat, and behind the panels, wiring and systems appear to be properly installed.
Sailing in 20 knots of breeze, the Delphia could've used more reefing options in the puffs, but the boat sailed closehauled at 6 to 6.5 knots and did another knot better when cracked off onto a reach. The Delphia comes standard with a conventional main, and in-mast furling is an option.
All in all, the Delphia 33 packs a lot of fine livability details into a small package that will handily take a family coastal cruising in comfort.