Cranchi’s take on the retro concept, though typically Italian, has a
slightly different twist to its contemporaries. As its designer, Christian
Grande, puts it, this boat combines both traditional and contemporary themes.
He has reinterpreted the traditional concept by introducing some distinguishing
and markedly modern traits, such as a vertical stem, long side windows and the
absence of hull flare – as seen on pretty much all 1960s-lookalike powerboats.
The end result is the E26 Classic, a 7.85m day cruiser-cum-superyacht
tender. Its eye-catching sophisticated looks and its unique style based on a
balance of vintage and contemporary lines, though obviously Italian, are a new
take for this established Italian yard.
Its internal design focuses on a contrast between shiny and matt, rigid
and solid materials – like that of a luxury car. With a reasonable degree of
beam, losing no internal space to a flared bow, and designed with a vertical
stem, the E26 has a sensible degree of internal accommodation for a 26ft sports
boat whose design is based on a long cockpit. Though it is unlikely to be used
much as a weekender, its double convertible V berth and sea toilet mean you can
overnight should the need arise. A 50L fridge also sits below deck. Unusually,
the accommodation is not separated from the cockpit by a door and bulkhead,
which, considering this boat’s Med focus, actually makes reasonable sense.
Of course, a boat like this is built for external fun, and this is
obvious in its full-beam teak-lined cockpit, big sun pad and long full-beam
bathing platform. The helmsman and navigator can enjoy the security of a pair
of reversible armchair seats, while any guests, if not sprawled out on the sun
pad, have an L-shaped bench seat. This is all complemented by a small central
dinette table, and a fold-away bimini when needed. Under one of the seats sits an
igloo cool box for those extra refreshments, and a sink is located next to the
With its full-beam wrap-around tinted windscreen, foredeck access is
courtesy of some neat teak steps leading up to a gate in the windscreen. A
central teak section takes you to a large teak-capped anchor locker and a pair
of drop-down cleats – a sensibly safe feature. What is obvious is that fashion
has taken priority over form to some degree, as there are no spring cleats, and
the only method of securing fenders between the bow and stern appears to be two
small button-like fixing points.
The boat is powered by either a stern-driven 300hp Volvo Penta V8 petrol engine or the smaller 280hp Volvo V6. These are great purpose-built marine engines, rather than marinised automotive engines. Consequently they are light and compact, making them ideal for a 26ft sports boat. There may be a diesel option, but if there is, I can’t help but feel it would spoil the boat’s character. There is also an outboard bowrider version known as the E26 Rider, which, though it loses some of the traditional character of the E26 Classic, is likely to be just as appealing.