Corsair Cabriolet

By: Steve Raea

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Classic design and sea-going practicality meets modern technology and fresh, crisp, styling in the latest Corsair Cabriolet from the yard of Auckland’s Dean Salthouse

Corsair Cabriolet
Corsair Cabriolet
  • Excellent fuel consumption
  • Stylish but pragmatic layout
  • Capable offshore fishing platform
  • Classic but modern cruiser with the performance and handling to match

Eligo is the seventh New Generation Corsair Cabriolet off the floor.

This is the third Corsair Cabriolet we’ve looked at since Dean (son of iconic yacht and launch designer Bob Salthouse) formed his own business in 2004 under the banner "Next Generation Boats" and started building the Cabriolet.

New Generation Corsair Cabriolet

First and foremost the new Cabriolet has seen the introduction of a full-length keel and a single rudder on the centerline in place of the original twin rudder installation.

Further hull design changes have resulted in a raised chine rail and the relocation of engine cooling air intakes and additional internal bulkheads.

Dean says a lot of effort has gone into improving the Corsair’s handling in a following sea with the new keel aiding the hull’s ability to track easily with less risk of broaching in awkward, quartering seas.

Modern traditionalist

The New Generation Corsair Cabriolet remains true to its heritage. It has maintained all its classic appeal despite the technological advancements, and the onboard systems and engineering in the new Cabriolet are as sharp and advanced as you would find on any modern cruiser.

The new Cabriolet is a boat designed and built to be used; a boat for the entire family.

"If you can’t relax in your boat and enjoy a sense of familiarity and comfort in your surroundings then there’s little point owning a boat. Corsair has always been about family and this is what we do best," says Dean. "It’s about balancing style with ease-of-use and low maintenance."

The Cabriolet features a large clutter-free cockpit, expansive boarding platform and foredeck, well laid out galley, full size shower and toilet and comfortable private accommodation.

Dean says improvements in this boat include new toughened one-piece safety-glass windows in the saloon and new overhead hatches. The other notable interior improvement is at the helm station where the step-thru access hatch/door to the starboard deck has been made considerably larger by recessing the step to deck level.


The Cabriolet hull is hand-laid GRP with an end grain pre-sealed balsa core with a vinylester barrier coat to ward against osmosis.

To accommodate the higher speeds of the Cabriolet, Salthouse has added extra strengthening below the forward sole and added an extra engine room bulkhead to strengthen the saloon sole and reduce hull flex.

Salthouse describes the hull as a fine entry with a long, clean, run aft and moderate 11o deadrise for economical cruising. The upgraded spray rails provide additional lift and reduce drag and do a good job of deflecting wash.

The power of two

Eligo is powered by twin MTU 6R700 M94 common rail diesels rated at 345hp which Salthouse says are perfectly matched to the Corsair being both relatively light yet delivering impressive torque. Top speed is a credible 33 knots with the engines sitting at 3800rpm sipping 4.63 litres per nautical mile. At a 22-knot cruise consumption is just under three litres per mile giving a potential range of 272 nautical miles from the 900 litre tank.

Cruising at a stately seven knots, the MTUs sip a miserly 0.54 litres per mile making the Corsair an ideal proposition for extended coastal cruising.

At the twin bench seat helm, steering and throttle fall nicely to hand with the Raymarine instrument package close at hand without dominating.

The cockpit has a leatherette lounger, dining table and spacious cockpit area leading to a wide swim platform with built-in live-bait tank and wrap around stainless transom railings and twin gates for easy on/off access.

Home comforts

The galley and saloon are on a single level with a practical layout and handcrafted joinery in cherry timbers and veneers – all set off with leather settees and colour-matched carpeting.

The large U-shaped galley is equipped with eye-level microwave, oven and hob, top-loading stainless steel freezer, separate fridge and masses of counter space.

The wraparound leather settee to port surrounds a handcrafted drop down dining table which lowers to form an extra double berth if required. A second leather settee stretches across the full length of the saloon to starboard.

Eligo sleeps two couples comfortably in twin cabins, the master forward featuring a large full-size island-style double. The second cabin immediately aft and to port is configured so that it can be quickly transformed to provide two singles by removing an infill squab. The cabins are light and airy with overhead hatches, and excellent storage options under the berths.

Salthouse has stuck to a single head in the Corsair – big, light and airy with a large separate shower stall. Fittings include a domestic-size electric head and basin, overhead hatches and quality fittings.

Read in-depth boat reviews inthe latest issue of Trade-A-Boat magazine, on sale now.

See Corsair boats for sale here.


LOA 13.5m
Beam 4.12m
Draught 1m
Displacement 8-9.5 tonnes
Engines 2 x 345hp MTU
Fuel 900L
Water 720L
Black tank 95L
Accommodation 8
Headroom 1.93m

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