Boat Reviews

Elan E4

Elan

Boat Review: Elan E4

Maybe it’s just sour grapes, but a part of me has always preferred smaller boats. Granted, there’s no denying that an 80-footer is going to attract more attention at the dock. But there’s something about the design challenges inherent in fitting everything a crew needs within the space of a hull measuring 40ft or less Read More

A fast, luxurious carbon fiber catamaran

HH Yachts

Boat Review: HH66

The world of luxury catamarans is a small but intriguing one, and that of high-performance luxury cats is even smaller and more intriguing. The genre was defined more than 15 years ago by Peter Johnstone with his Gunboat brand, and now several other companies are dipping their toes into these waters. HH Catamarans is one Read More

The boats from this Florida builder just keep getting better

Catalina

Boat Review: Catalina 425

With this, the fifth model in Catalina’s “5” series of cruising boats, head designer Gerry Douglas has taken a second bite at the competitive 40-42ft market segment. The original Catalina 42 went through several iterations to become one of the most successful boats ever in this size range, with more than 1,000 built. In today’s Read More

A fresh take on the ‘open’ concept that yields yet more space

Bavaria

Boat Review: Bavaria Nautitech 46 Fly

The new Bavaria Nautitech 46 Fly does not take its name from an ability to become airborne, but is the flybridge version of the original 46 Open. The flybridge opens a spacious area for skipper and passengers, provides excellent visibility in all directions and consolidates control lines neatly in one place. DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION The Read More

A refined bluewater voyager

Balance

Boat Review: Balance 526

The growing popularity of catamarans for bluewater sailing has spawned a number of designs aimed at sailors who want some speed along with their comfort, yet either don’t want, or can’t afford to go down the high-tech carbon-fiber route. Builders like Catana and Outremer are the best-known companies that cater to this market, but there Read More

A luxury cruiser that fires on all cylinders

Jeanneau

Boat Review: Jeanneau 54

To the untrained eye, a sailboat is a sailboat; they all look pretty much the same. Even to an experienced sailor, it can be difficult if not impossible to truly judge how a particular design will perform just examining it at the dock. Nonetheless, when it comes to boats—sailboats in particular—as soon as you cast Read More

The latest innovative cruiser from the veteran builder Catana

Catana

Boat Review: Bali 4.0

Bali Catamarans is creating quite a lot of buzz in the sailing community with its unique layouts and chameleon convertibility. But there is more to the new Bali 4.0 than just novelty. It’s also a real sailboat. CONSTRUCTION Bali’s parent company, Catana, builds the Bali 4.0 of vacuum-bagged, foam-cored sandwich in La Rochelle, France. This Read More

A well-proportioned and speedy couple’s boat

Dufour

Boat Review: Dufour 382 Grand Large

There’s always a temptation to buy big when looking at sailboats. However, just about everyone I know—myself included—wonders at some point if a smaller boat wouldn’t have been easier to manage, both physically and financially. That is why it’s good to see a “couple’s boat” under 40ft that provides not only a good turn of Read More

An entry-level world cruiser from a respected British builder

Oyster

Boat Review: Oyster 475

Though it has now been eight years since company-founder Richard Matthews sold off Oyster Yachts, the brand has worked hard to sustain the intense owner-centric culture he created there. Sailors are attracted to these boats as much for the exclusive social scene that has grown up around them—which includes, among other things, Oyster-only round-the-world rallies—as Read More

An updated classic continues to thrive

Xc

Boat Review: Xc 45

There are a lot of reasons why a boatbuilder will reintroduce an existing model. Most of them have to do with cost savings. Reusing hull molds and adding a few cosmetic changes is a good way to launch a “new” model, the newness of which is sometimes for marketing purposes only. That said, there are other Read More