Boats Most Commented

Over the years, the systems side of boats has improved steadily. This year's crop of new boats has raised the bar a little higher, with evidence of a great deal of thought. For example, the Catalina 445 has molded-in cable channels, above-the-waterline gravity draining holding tanks and a central drain location for winterizing the boat. Designer Gerry Douglas has put the battery charger under the


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We were impressed by the potential of the 12 foot Topaz dinghy as well as by its existing features. The boat has developed quickly into an active racing class in Europe and it could do the same here, given proper organization and promotion.

 

The Topaz is a generation beyond fiberglass in construction. The hull is rotomolded of polyethylene, a process that's expensive to set up initially but


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One look at the new Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed K650 had our entire Best Boats panel yearning for a strong breeze, big waves and a chance to properly air out this 21-foot rocket ship. The hull features a wide transom, providing plenty of off-the-breeze stability, and a hard chine is carried almost all the way from the stern to the bow. Dual carbon-fiber rudders are attached to the tiller via push


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It looked as though this award would be a toss-up between a handsome pair of new cruising cats from France—the Lagoon 400 and Fountaine Pajot Lipari 41—until we stepped aboard the South African-built Leopard 38 and its twin, the Sunsail 384. It was immediately obvious that here was one of the best-executed sub-40-foot cruising catamarans we have yet seen.

Although there is


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Rod Johnstone’s latest design taps into a new market segment for the Rhode Island-based company: shoal-draft boats. The versatile J/95 has both twin rudders and a centerboard, neither of which has been seen on J/Boat before. With the ballasted board up the boat draws just 3 feet, while remaining perfectly controllable under full sail. The J/Boats performance ethos remains intact; the boat is


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