Boats

2011 Best Boats Flagship Multihull: Gunboat 66

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Opulent luxury meets speed-freak performance in the Morrelli & Melvin-designed Gunboat 66. Constructed in South Africa out of carbon fiber, the Gunboat has a saloon that offers close to 360 degrees of visibility and appears to be crafted of acres of perfectly matched solid hardwood. In reality all the luscious furniture is carbon and honeycomb with a hardwood veneer. The result is a featherweight boat with very posh appointments.

Gunboat won’t alter the location of structural bulkheads, but virtually everything else can be customized to fit an owner’s preferences. Standard features include a well-laid-out forward working cockpit directly abaft the mast, a sophisticated Marstrom carbon-fiber rig, asymmetric daggerboards, a made-to-party-on aft deck and one of the nicest helm stations imaginable.

The virtues of the Gunboat truly become apparent when the halyards are locked off and its chisel-like bows start slicing through seas big and small. One of our judges spent many hours sailing this boat, and its performance in the much-feared Molokai channel off Hawaii opened his eyes to a superior mode of cruising. Tilting a fine glass of chardonnay while an autopilot drives at speeds exceeding 20 knots is, he assures us, a fine way to go sailing. Take the helm yourself and you’ll be driving a responsive, powerful, comfortable machine capable of outpacing virtually anything afloat. For more information, visit gunboat.com

SPECS

LOA: 66ft 0in LWL: 62ft 0in Beam: 28ft 2in Draft: 8ft 5in (std) 2ft 2in (shoal) Displacement: 34,00lb Sail Area: 2,232 sq ft

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