2012 Best Boats
The Herreshoff 20 is a unique new production boat based on an 80-year-old design created by Capt. Nat himself that was never built. In addition to serving as a sharp little daysailer, the Bristol Boat Company, which manufactures the boat, is also promoting it as a one-design racer and sail trainer.
Last year, more than 40 new boats made their U.S. debuts at the fall boat shows in Newport, Rhode Island and Annapolis, Maryland. That was a fine effort from an industry that was hit hard by recession. It’s also the kind of effort that’s hard to sustain, which makes this year’s cast of 41 newcomers all the more impressive.
The Swan lineage is immediately recognizable in the sleek form of this new luxury performance cruiser from the legendary Finnish builder. The deck plan is deceptively simple and incorporates a huge “lounging” cockpit ahead of the working area. nautorswan.com
LWL: 56ft, 5in
Beam: 17ft, 8in
An imposing yacht from any angle, Lagoon’s latest cruiser offers the interior space of a 75ft monohull and the deck space of a small aircraft carrier. Okay, so that’s an exaggeration. What’s not is the luxurious standard of cruising comfort offered by boats like this. cata-lagoon.com
Yet another new arrival from South Africa, the Fluid 550 is available with either fixed keels or daggerboards, and has a pair of sheltered helm stations. It falls into the luxury catamaran niche and is packed with interesting features, like a built-in soft enclosure for the cockpit. fluidyachts.com
LOA: 40ft, 8in