Boat Reviews

harmony42

Poncin

Harmony 42

In spite of all the advances in boat-building techniques over the years, hull and deck layup on boats over 25 feet has always been a labor-intensive, hands-on process. SCRIMP, resin infusion, and vacuum bagging have gone a long way toward reducing harmful styrene emissions and providing superior resin saturation, but these layup techniques still depend heavily on skilled workers. When Olivier Read More

impression434

Elan

Impression 434

Slovenia-based Elan Marine has established a presence with its line of Rob Humphreys–designed performance cruisers over the past several years, but the new Impression 434 by Elan is an entirely different animal. Unlike Elan's low-slung racer/cruisers, the 434 is aimed directly at the cruiser looking to reel off quick passage times while enjoying spacious Read More

fastcat305

African Cats

FastCat 305 Vector-K

Who says cruising catamarans must be over 40 feet long to have accommodations? The FastCat 305 Vector-K is one of several new cruising catamarans that are now being imported by African Cats US. It's only 30 feet long, but its 18-foot beam frees up sufficient interior space to house three cabins and a comfortable six-seater saloon with wrap-around exterior views. Freeboard is Read More

IslandPacket370

Island Packet

Island Packet 370

Many boats are compromises between conflicting desires to race and to cruise, but not this one. The Island Packet 370 has a single mission: cruising. It's now the smallest member of the Island Packet family, attracting both experienced owners moving up from smaller boats and newcomers with the means to make this their first boat.On DeckA few years ago designer Bob Johnson Read More

catalina387

Catalina

Catalina 387

To get yourself from any Southern California harbor to Catalina Island, you're typically going to set full sail in a moderate breeze. Half a day later you'll moor in a sunny lee where you will hang out and probably socialize boat-to-boat for a few days before reaching back home to your freeway connection.That's the classic Southern California cruise weekend, and a lot of the world cruises or Read More

hanse531

Hanse

Hanse 531

Hanse Yachts in Greifswald, in eastern Germany, was little heard of until the 1990s, when reunification allowed the yard to break into the worldwide production-boat market. Hanse has built fast cruising boats from 31 to 41 feet and recently launched its largest model, the 53-foot 531 that I tested off Cannes, France, this summer.On DeckThe 531's deck layout is Read More

shannonss32

Shannon

Shannon Shoalsailer 32

All variable-draft boats depend on a fully deployed keel for windward performance. Walt Schulz of Shannon Yachts set himself the challenge of designing a 32-foot cruising boat that would sail to windward without drawing more than 30 inches. The result is the Shannon Shoalsailer, and Schulz's beamy design with dual shallow-draft bilge boards reportedly does just that. Schulz says the hull shape is Read More

macgregor26m

MacGregor

MacGregor 26M

The MacGregor 26M is the latest version of Roger MacGregor's successful MacGregor 26X. This remarkable 26-footer can reportedly log speeds of over 21 knots under power, float in 12 inches of water, and sleep six. It has a galley and an enclosed head. Stability under sail comes from 300 pounds of permanent ballast, 1,150 pounds of easily removable water ballast in the hull, and a narrow Read More

catalina250cb

Catalina

Catalina 250 Centerboard

The Catalina 250 Centerboard has some unusual features for a pocket cruiser—a built-in swim ladder and stern-pulpit seats. And it has the essentials: an easy-to-fill water-ballast system, a spacious cockpit and accommodation plan, a big kick-up rudder and a durable centerboard, and a stove, sink, and a bit of counter space in the galley. There is also a private head compartment. You'll be amazed Read More

precision23

Precision

Precision_23

Not all pocket cruisers are water-ballasted. The Jim Taylor-designed Precision 23 achieves stability with fixed ballast and a shallow keel/centerboard configuration. With the board up the minimum draft is just under 2 feet; draft increases to 5 feet, 4 inches with the board down. The Precision also bucks pocket-cruiser convention in that it has a conventional cabin-top and legitimate side decks. Read More