Boats Most Commented

During years of keeping my finger on the pulse of the new-boat market, I’ve seen boats get bigger and more complicated. I’ve seen construction materials and techniques evolve to produce lighter and stronger hulls. And I’ve seen the word “daysailer” used for everything from a 15-foot trailersailer to a sumptuous cruising boat measuring well over 40 feet. As this year’s fleet of new boats shows,
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Loaded 45s

by Peter Nielsen, Posted July 13, 2011
Cast your mind back to a time when a 45-footer was about the biggest boat you could expect from a mass-production builder. It wasn’t all that long ago—the mid-1990s. Then Beneteau raised the bar with a 50-footer back in 1997, and boats that size and bigger are now commonplace.

Still, size isn’t everything. Many sailors still find their dream boats in the 45-foot range. A 45-footer is big


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Bill Schock, the founder of California-based W.D. Schock Corp., got a lot of things right in his time, not the least of which when he turned to his son Tom back in 1976 and said, “It’s a great little boat. Let’s build it.” In this way the Santana 20 was born with, as Tom recalls it, “no demographic studies, no market research, nothing. We didn’t know who we’d sell it to.”

Thirty-five years


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Modern Tradition

by Peter Nielsen, Posted May 31, 2011
If there’s one lesson to be taken away from the success of the daysailer concept, it is that traditional is never old-fashioned—at least not when it comes to boats. I find plenty of modern boats attractive, but the only drop-dead, wolf-whistle gorgeous ones are those that look as though they could have been built at any time in the last century.

I’m far from alone in this.


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The Dynamic Duo

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 21, 2011
Eavesdropping on an in-depth discussion of rating rules will send a casual bystander into a deep sleep as effectively as any hypnotist, and IRC—the successor to IOR and IMS—is no exception to this, er, rule. All I can say with any kind of authority is that boats designed to IRC tend to be a good deal more interesting than the rule itself. Over the last few years we’ve seen a steady stream of IRC
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