2008

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Dean Catamarans

Dean 441

Get close to the Dean 441 and open a bundle of surprises. From a distance, it could be just a typical mid-size catamaran with more mast rake than most, but once you’re aboard you’ll see a boat that’s totally different in both design and execution.The accommodations can be customized to suit the owner’s needs, and the hull, rig, and systems are built to thrive at sea. Since every Read More

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Beneteau

Beneteau First 50

There's a whole lot more here than headroom and easily handled sailsThe hull form is sleek and sophisticated, the eyebrows above the ports denote competence and self-worth, and some of the accessories belowdeck are fine leather. The Beneteau First 50 starts with style, but it carries through with performance. An owner looking for a fast cruiser, an occasional racer, and/or a Read More

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Najad

Najad 355

A fixed windshield and teak deck create a familiar Scandinavian look, but the Najad 355 appears sleeker than many offshore cruisers. "It attracts the younger crowd with a little higher performance, contemporary style and interior, and a racy look," said broker Rob Robinson. CONSTRUCTIONThe hull carries a flat underbody and a fine entry that flares gracefully into a moderately Read More

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X-Yachts

X-34

Many of today's boats are designed to be both quick and comfortable, and X Yachts continues to stake its claim in the performance-cruiser market. The X-34 is light, nimble, and sturdy, as I learned firsthand during several hours of thrashing into a stiff 17-to-20-knot headwind and steep chop on a recent 50-mile test sail/delivery.CONSTRUCTIONThe hull and deck are built Read More

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Jeanneau

Jeanneau 42i

The Jeanneau 42i is not of the same family as the iPod, iPhone, or iMac, but it's just as much a piece of 21st-century technology. At Jeanneau, the "i" stands for "resin infusion." CONSTRUCTIONResin infusion is an engineering process that makes a strong laminate with optimum glass:resin ratios and few voids while reducing factory emissions. Jeanneau uses the method to Read More

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Ophira V

This 80-foot aluminum ketch is the third yacht to be built by Van Dam Nordia for the same owner. His first yacht was a 57-footer; his second was a 62-footer. With the earlier yachts he had the final word on all design details, but this one includes his family's contributions to the design effort. General features include a V-shaped hull forward that minimizes pounding in rough seas and a sailing Read More

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Hallberg-Rassy

Hallberg-Rassey 54

This new 54-foot long-distance cruiser from the board of German Frers has received considerable interest since its introduction in Sweden last fall. An all-inclusive hydraulics package makes sail control easy, and the large engine room makes it easy to walk around and inspect the yacht's systems. The engine space is made quieter by perforated aluminum linings that cover the soundproofing for Read More

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Ted Hood Yachts

Expedition 55

Ted Hood combines the best of power and sailThree years ago Ted Hood and I had a long discussion about what would make a yacht move comfortably and confidently under both sail and power. It was the middle of February, and we were returning from a morning sail in the lumpy Gulf Stream off Miami aboard a new Hood–designed 48-footer with many of the qualities we were Read More

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Hunter

Hunter 45DS

The Hunter 45DS is a handsome vessel with an "I can take you there" look. The DS stands for deck saloon, a concept that's become popular in Europe and is gaining ground in the U.S. Deck saloons are popular because they work well. As well as providing panoramic views through the large portlights, they encourage good use of interior space and allow heavy masses like engine and tankage to be Read More

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Catana

Catana 50

Catana is back, and with a vengeance. This builder of performance-oriented cruising catamarans foundered when the fin-de-sicle dot.com crash decimated its customer list. But the company reorganized and is again building these swift, dramatically styled yachts in its Catalonian factory. This new 50-footer is very different from the 52-footer Catana was building under the old regime. Hull and Read More