Boats of the 1990s: Menorquin 120, a cult cruiser by tradition (12m)

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Mernoquin 120

It may seem trite to say, but before boating became an industry intended for leisure, and thus for our pleasure and consumption, it was, essentially, a universe composed of objects intended for work, hulls conceived on deeply utilitarian foundations where form, necessarily, followed function. The transition to recreation has disrupted some canons, but not all and not always. Let’s face it, the safest and most seaworthy hulls are often the greatest heirs to tradition, hulls today that are comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and, why not, sometimes even luxurious, but heirs to concepts developed for one purpose: to be workboats. Lobsters, trawlers, goiters, and so on, “simple,” Spartan hulls, but with innate qualities, later recovered in boating. A striking case among them is marked by Sasga Yachts, with its Menorquin, inspired by Mahón’s fishing boats, the llaüt, typical Balearic workboats. Boats we all have well in mind, solid, marine, unimpeachable. And today we are going to talk about one of them, the Menorquin 120, a cult 1999 Grand Classic Boat.

Menorquin 120 – 1999

It all started in 1978 in Mahón, when Juan Sastre, seeing the typical fishing boats, imagined and decided to make his own version of them, but used for cruising. Llaüts Menorquines were born, a brilliant idea destined to evolve, improve, and become the premium product we know today. 1997 saw the birth of the “first real” Menorquin Yachts, hulls well above standard, yet exceptional in size. A risky gamble but one that pays off well. This was demonstrated in 1999 when the Menorquin 120 was launched, a success. At 11.98 meters long, it is a deeply classic hull, but twisted in the sense of use. It is a small cruiser with impeccable skills and good performance, reaching 19 knots.


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Classic hulls of the Balearic Islands

Menorquin 120 – Exterior

By 1999, the Menorquin 120’s meager 12 meters had already become first and foremost a virtue: a hull not too demanding, but capable of offering rare habitability. The classic lines, set on those of the Catalan goiter, immediately set it apart: smooth profile, near-vertical forehand, soft stern and pernaccia, an unfailing traditional element. At the stern, two small swim platforms facilitate access to the water, the cockpit is large and spacious, and the bow is wide and clear, ideal for hanging out and sunbathing. The formula is a winning one.

Menorquin 120
Menorquin 120

The cabin structure, or pilot-house, if you will, is set back, with a long windowed deckhouse running toward the bow, a solution that increases the sky of the interior spaces, improving livability. A complex that, with the strength of large windows, provides brightness and visibility to the rooms, while keeping them sheltered and safe. An important quality on a hull intended for cruising and capable of tackling even the busiest seas.

Menorquin 120 (1999)

Menorquin 120 – Interior

Below deck, the music does not change. Spaces are well thought out, providing the right level of comfort and rationalizing volumes. Four berths accommodate guests, with an additional 3 berths obtainable on the main deck, in the living room otherwise intended for conviviality.

Menorquin 120, Salon
Menorquin 120, Salon

The volumes are cozy, the environments warm and comfortable, featuring extensive use of teak or iroko, evoking the sobriety of true seafaring tradition. Finally, the two below-deck cabins complete the package, served by a single shared but complete bathroom to meet every need.

Menorquin 120 – Interior

Performance

The real secret of performance is to be found in tradition. The volumes and water lines of the displacement hull make the hull stable, augmenting its qualities with an important feature: the keel is not as one imagines it to be and, indeed, from the center and towards the stern it extends downward in a kind of long hinted semi keel, a quality that ensures safe and comfortable sailing even in heavy seas. Added to this is the motorization, which grants optimal cruising speeds of between 13 and 14 knots, with highs close to, instead, 19 knots. A not inconsiderable range that aims to maximize on-board comfort.

Menorquin 120

Data Sheet

Year of introduction 1999
Length Over All (LOA) 11,98 m
Baglio Massimo 3.94 m
Cruising Speed 13-14 kn
Maximum Speed 19 kn
Cabins 2
Sleeping places 4 + 3
Bathroom 1
Construction site Sasga Yachts

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