2012 Best Boats
French builder Dufour continues to revamp its entire line of cruising and performance boats. Its latest cruiser plugs a gap in the line between the 405 and 485. This looks like a strong, competent cruising boat with some clever features both above and below decks. dufour-yachts.com
LOA: 44ft, 3in
The latest in Jeanneau’s deck saloon line promises to be as popular as its predecessors. The distinctive styling has been taken a step further with the inclusion of even bigger portlights to brighten up the accommodations. jeanneauamerica.com
LOA: 43ft, 9in
One of two new models from the French builder, the Oceanis 41 echoes the styling of the bigger boats in Beneteau’s cruising lineup. Hull chines, a more angular look and a mainsheet arch are the most obvious new features. beneteauusa.com
LOA: 40ft, 7in
Beam: 13ft, 9in
Displacement: 18, 624lbs.
Farr Yacht Design gave the Bavaria 40 a fine entry and truncated ends in the interest of maximizing sailing length and speed under sail. Like the rest of Bavaria’s Cruiser line, the 40 offers tremendous volume belowdecks for accommodations. Twin helm stations and a split backstay provide easy access to a flip-down swim platform in the transom.
With its carbon fiber mast, infused epoxy hull, elegant lines and high-quality workmanship, the Tartan 4000 is a fitting successor to the 4100, which it replaces. The boat’s self-tacking jib and “pocket boom,” which helps gather in the main when it comes time to douse sail, make for a boat that can be easily handled by a couple, or even singlehanded.