When something is beautiful, I mean really beautiful, you don’t need too many words… this is the case with the new Wellcraft 435 performance cruiser. The new flagship of the renowned American brand, part of the Beneteau Group for almost 10 years, is a perfect mix of power, comfort and elegance.
For over 65 years, Wellcraft has been manufacturing boats designed for the most demanding owners, exceeding all possible limits in terms of efficiency, performance, safety, and beauty. Wellcraft 435 is intended to be the new standard of ” uncompromised luxury”, succeeding in satisfying the most difficult market demands, thus making a step forward compared to the average of other cruisers.
Already beautiful to look at, this boat offers even much, much more when getting on board and testing it.
Night-time Sea Trial
The sun has already set behind the Suquet, the oldest part of Cannes, the sky is tinged with different colours ranging from orange to pink, and the view of the Cannes Yachting Festival from the quayside of Wellcraft 435 is truly impressive.
We climb aboard, unmoor and leave the marina at low speed… in a few minutes it is already dark. This time the test will be a bit special, we will do it off the coast of Cannes, but at night. The atmosphere is quiet, the darkness of the evening contrasts with the lights of the small restaurants and hotels on the Croisette, ready to welcome guests for dinner.
While underway, soft lights are on aboard the Wellcraft 435, the helm station has excellent all-round visibility thanks to the large windows, and we are well sheltered from the wind after closing both the side door on the starboard side-deck (useful for mooring manoeuvres) and the sliding cockpit door; however, we have left the roof glass slightly open to let some air through.
The wind and engine noise inside is not annoying, so much so that I can talk to people on board without having to raise my voice. The helm seat is comfortable and high, allowing a good view of the outside. The electronics and on-board displays are large, filling the entire dashboard, and for night navigation we put them in ‘night’ mode so they don’t bother the eyes.
After a while I take the helm and start speeding up, I immediately feel that the response of the three 350 hp Mercury Verado V10 outboards is snappy. Despite its size, this cruiser is born to be fast, it’s clear. I accelerate more and more and shortly after 20 knots the boat gets up on plane, I settle on 26 knots, its best cruising speed, and try to make a few turns.
The stability of the Wellcraft 435 is impressive, the stepless V-shaped hull designed by Michael Peters finds its fullest expression and conveys a sense of control that is by no means taken for granted. The turns and counter-turns are smooth, precise and clean, the impact with the waves is incredibly soft, the boat slices through the waves with a rare smoothness.
Comfort on board while underway is high, the side windows, so wide, provide a good visibility even in the dark, without clutter or annoying uprights. The silence is another thing that impressed me: despite the size, weight and the three powerful outboards outside, at 25 knots (with the doors closed) there was an impressive silence.
But there’s more: as soon as I left the controls, I went to test the navigation outside, as if I were a passenger, sitting on the relaxation area in the bow. The perception was strong, a mixture of emotions: the wind on my face, the lights of the coast reflected on the water and the feeling of softness and safety even under outdoor navigation.
This boat is not just a luxury performance cruiser….it’s a true experienced to be lived.
Wellcraft 435 – Exteriors
The new Wellcraft 435 has all the credentials to take its place on the podium of the most elegant and comfortable cruisers I have ever seen. More than 4 metres high, 13.4 metres long and with a maximum beam of over 3.80 metres, this imposing yacht immediately catches the eye in terms of both aesthetics and size.
Designed by the renowned Studio Garroni and American naval architect Michael Peters, the Wellcraft 435 is the answer to the toughest market demands. With this boat, the levels of comfort and elegance on board a cruiser are lowered, and the bar is now raised to another level.
Two small stern platforms on either side of the engines provide access to the cockpit, which is large and set up to be an excellent relaxation area with an L-shaped sofa that partially closes off the stern, and an extendable central table. Two side terraces drop down to further open up the space and thus enjoy a really large area suitable for all needs, whether with family or friends. Another portion of settee is placed in front of the table, and close to the outdoor grill, which is positioned on the left side, just before the sliding glass doors that give access to the interior.
The side-decks are wide and the high freeboard makes us feel safe when moving from stern to bow, and vice versa. The evenly distributed handrails help increase safety on board and the side door to starboard at the helm station is excellent in case of need or emergency.
In the bow we find a large relaxation area with a fold-down cushion that can be used as a seat, on the bow triangle then, a small sofa can comfortably accommodate two more people.
As soon as we step through the cockpit door of the Wellcraft 435, we have access to a huge living area that stands out for its sophistication and functional solutions. The colour palette is simply magnificent, light fabric tones and warm-coloured wood warming the ambience, with a few touches of colour provided by some of the objects and cushions.
To starboard we find a large table and an L-shaped sofa, opposite is the kitchen unit with sink and fridge. The full-beam helm station offers great comfort when underway and comfortable seating for the captain and his guests.
In the centre of the Wellcraft 435’s bridge there are five steps leading to the sleeping area: a large cabin occupies the entire bow with a central bed, walk-in wardrobe and dedicated head with separate shower. The windows are large, the headroom is generous and the sense of enclosure in this boat is not perceived.
Leaving the forward cabin to the right, we find another bathroom with a separate shower, which serves both the living area and the aft cabin. To the left of the staircase, two more steps lead up to the full-beam aft cabin, with a berth and two-seater sofa.
The use of fine materials is dominant here and the finishes, with attention to the smallest detail, are truly amazing. From the wardrobe handles made of embroidered leather, to the play of LED lights on the ceiling, to the quality cushions.
Everything in the Wellcraft 435 has its reason and has been designed to perfection, making this flagship a true sports floating ‘villa’.
Wellcraft 435 – Test Data
42′ 8″ / 13.40 m
36′ 1″ / 11.95 m
9′ 10″ / 3.82 m
2′ 8″ / 0.83 m
23.129 lbs / 10.491 kg
341 gal / 1.290 L
Fresh Water Capacity
66 USgal / 250 L