Malö 37 Classic: Import Boat of the Year

This purpose-built craft is a dream to steer and a delight to the eyes.

Malo37st

Billy Black

After visiting and sailing aboard the Malo 37 Classic, Boat of the Year judge Stacey Collins told her colleagues that when she went below, the glowing interior woodwork seemed to be alive. It was, she said, a happy place, and the 37 would be her choice of boat on which to take her family sailing. For all of the judges, the Malo was, without a doubt, the hands-on favorite for Import Boat of the Year.

Designed by Leif Ängarmark and built by Swedish craftsmen, the Malo has looks that are as traditional as they're purposeful. The cockpit, which can be covered by a full canvas enclosure that attaches to Malo's trademark Targa arch and windshield forward, sits just ahead of a large and deep transom locker. Movement along the teak side decks is secure, thanks to ample handholds on the low-profile coach roof. The boat we sailed had a Selden in-mast furling main, but most Malo sailboats come with a full-batten mainsail and a boom-mounted sail pack.

Below, rich, well-executed joinery is the norm, accentuated by the simplicity of the layout and attention to detail. The mahogany paneling compliments such construction details as a balsa-cored deck and hull and a hull/deck joint that's completely glassed over before any of the furniture is carried aboard and assembled. There are a number of on-deck and interior options, making every Malo a semicustom boat. On the 37 we sailed, the owner chose a classic stern, a standard-height arch over the cockpit, and a two-cabin/single-head layout that has a settee to starboard and a U-shaped dinette to port, just ahead of a sea-friendly galley.

Despite a relatively heavy displacement/length ratio of 245, the boat sailed along at a respectable 5.5 knots in about 9 knots of breeze. But more important, the judges found the Malo 37 Classic to be a dream to steer, and they added that it's a boat that's a delight to look at both under way and at the dock.

JUDGES' NOTES

  • The anchor is stored in a slot on the bow, leaving the foredeck clear of a bow roller or windlass.
  • Tinned wiring is used throughout, and all 110-volt hardware is hand-delivered by the importer during construction.
  • Winches are positioned in the cockpit and on the mast for every task.

To access CW's complete 2009 Sailboat Show and Boat of the Year contest coverage, click here.