First published in SAIL Magazine,1988
Just Launched – Elite 364
by Tom Dove
French-Canadian by heritage, Cruiser-Racer by design, the Elite 364 is a European-American boat that offers good value for money spent.
Philippe Harle’s design team gave the 364 modern hull lines, a high-aspect rig and ellliptical keel for swift performance on the race course. Alain Mortain laid out the interior for comfort and finished the boat with attractive, thoughtful details that will make cruising comfortable and long-distance racing efficient.
The boat is built in Canada using the Kirie process for protection against osmosis while its auxiliary systems use U.S-made components. The fiberglass work on our test boat was neat and well finished and the hull has a five-year warranty against blistering.
The deck layout should promote efficient sail handling during racing. While leading all lines afÙt to the cockpit is a mixed blessing for shorthanded sailing, it will work well with a full racing crew. It is easy to move about the uncluttered Euro-styled deck and there are handrails along the cabin sides. The T-shaped cockpit with its midboom traveler and cabintop mounted winches keeps the crew out of each other’s way. Deck fittings seem strong and well-placed.
Cockpit comfort is aided by generous use of teak in the contoured slatted seats, laminated wheel rim, cockpit sole and folding table. Steps and a ladder are built into the reverse transom for easy swimming and dinghy access.
The interior has a comfortable aft-cabin layout with hanging lockers and dressing seats in both sleeping cabins and a large dropleaf table between the settees in the saloon. Stowage space is excellent and the entire cabin is bright and attractive with its elm wood finish. Joinery work is of good production boat quality.
The nav station to starboard has its own teak seat and the head abaft it incorporates a wet locker for foul-weather gear.
A French chef will enjoy the galley, with its deep, cylindrical double sink, gimballed propane stove and standard microwave oven. There are two coolers, one with 12-Volt refrigeration, so the crew need not rummage through the food supply to find a canned drink. The U-shaped galley lets the cook brace against something while working under way.
Five of us had plenty of room aboard for our test sail in 10-15 knot breezes. The boat was stiff and dry, and although no instruments were fitted, she seemed to move well on all points of sailing. The totally neutral helm of our boat show vessel probably could be altered by tuning the mast to produce a bit more “feel” to the wheel. The deep keel version we sailed would be the choice for a racer, while the 4’7″ Scheel keel is a desirable option for cruising in many parts of the country.
The Elite 364 is sold with three sails, internal single-line reefing, 110 Volt wiring, hot water heater, a smooth Volvo 28 HP engine and many other standard items that are options on other vessels. The Canadian exchange rate is favorable these days, making this boat a good value at $90,420.