From a trainer cat with attitude to a crop of all-carbon, high-performance cruisers, the diversity and quality of the latest new designs from the world’s builders illustrates the strength of the multihull scene
A few months ago, SAIL ran a story in which we considered exactly what it is that makes for a great small boat. And as fate would have it, the Topaz Argo from the UK’s Topper International meets an awful lot of the standards we came up with.
On the one hand, there was no shortage of innovative ideas at this year’s Annapolis show. Among them were the Seascape 27’s clever outboard motor stowage arrangement, push-button belowdecks reel winches on the Island Packet SP Cruiser MK2 and several full-blown distributed power installations using the CZone system from New Zealand.
The concept of a lightweight, open-bridgedeck, high-performance cruising catamaran isn’t a new one, but we found that the new Moxie 37 Island Hopper, designed and built in South Africa by Uwe Jaspersen, takes the game up a notch. The boat has a unique appearance, with distinctive triangular windows in a full-width deck bulkhead that supports a hard-top bridgedeck enclosure. To maximize sailing FULL STORY
The boatbuilding industry is benefiting from a series of mini-revolutions. Real strides are being made with hybrid propulsion systems. Designers are working on automatic systems that will trim sails as easily and as effectively as an autopilot steers. Radically modern designs are redefining boat aesthetics. NMEA 2000 promises to expand electronic options, and distributed power systems offer a FULL STORY
Large center-cockpit monohulls are quite common these days, so we were curious to see how Phil Lambert of Outbound Yachts, whose Outbound 44 and 46 bluewater cruisers have gained such a strong reputation over the past decade, might interpret the breed with the introduction of his new Outbound 52 center-cockpit cruiser. We were impressed enough to give the Outbound 52 the nod in this category. The FULL STORY
October’s Annapolis Boat Show opened as Wall Street experienced one of the biggest sell-offs in history. With the scary economic news, it was easy to think that many people would put off investing in a new boat. That idea went out the window as VIP Thursday appeared to be more crowded than ever. Instead of panicking, sailors seemed to be turning to sailing, much as they did after 9/11—as a FULL STORY
A boat is often defined by its interior accommodation plan. An ocean voyager needs stowage and snug sea berths, while a family cruising coastwise wants open space to enjoy at anchor. It's a rare designer who can blend a world cruiser hull with a short-hop interior, but that's what designer Bob Johnson has done with the Island Packet Estero.