Best Boats

This year, we decided to create a special category for the elegant daysailer. These boats don’t fit in the cruising or performance boats categories, and it’s a shame to leave such beautiful crafts unacknowledged. There was a strong field this year, but our judges were unanimous in electing the C.W. Hood 32 as the one that stood out above the rest. With its long, lean hull, sweeping overhangs,
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The ELCO company introduced its first electric boat motors at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. And now we’ve seen the re-introduction of ELCO electric motors on a Hunter 27 at the 2010 Annapolis boat show. In the intervening 117 years considerable changes in electric motor and battery technology have radically transformed the efficiency and
There’s a lot to like about the new J/111—an aggressive rig, racy good looks, a hull form that loves to be driven—and tying it all together is one of the best production-boat cockpits we’ve seen. J/Boats has had decades to improve on the simple trench it carved out of the aft deck of the J/24, and it hit the ball out of the park on this one.   The primary winches are well placed for tending
Opulent luxury meets speed-freak performance in the Morrelli & Melvin-designed Gunboat 66. Constructed in South Africa out of carbon fiber, the Gunboat has a saloon that offers close to 360 degrees of visibility and appears to be crafted of acres of perfectly matched solid hardwood. In reality all the luscious furniture is carbon and honeycomb with a hardwood veneer. The result is a featherweight
In many ways, the Beneteau Sense 50 was the hit of the Annapolis boat show. The 50-foot performance cruiser with modern Euro styling was tied off in a small square basin just a few feet longer than the boat. Every hour on the hour her crew cast off the dock lines and spun the boat in its own length, stopping every 90 degrees to drive directly sideways up to the dock. It did so with ease, even in
One day you might be power-reaching across an ocean, logging double-digit speeds under a massive A-sail set on a retracting bowsprit. On another day you may be tacking effortlessly up a narrow channel, putting the helm over and watching the self-tacking jib slam across its track, enjoying the windward bite and responsive steering of a deep-drafted performance cruiser. Or you may have nosed up to

Best Boats Nominees 2007

by Bill Springer, Posted August 10, 2011
If last year was the year of smaller boats, this is the year of bigger boats - almost 50 percent of the fleet launched this year is above 40 feet. But this year's fleet has more than just big boats; it includes a 16-foot sailing proa, a healthy list of cruising monohulls in the 30-foot range, and what has been a rarity in the past, sub-40-foot cruising catamarans. As with years past, performance

Best Boats Nominees 2006

by Dave Baldwin, Posted August 9, 2011
If you’re in the market for a new boat, this could be the year you’ve been waiting for. This year’s new-boat fleet is over 50 boats strong and includes all the usual suspects—oceangoing voyagers over 40 feet, voluminous catamarans, and a host of performance cruisers. Last year’s trend toward building big (35-to-45-foot) daysailers continues with several new models, and cruisers will benefit from
Are you looking for a daysailer with luscious overhangs, meticulous craftsmanship, and responsive performance? How about a 15-foot dingy that depends on a retractable bulb keel rather than herculean hiking for stability? a stylish performance cruiser? Or a cruising catamaran with a helm station built into the cockpit roof?That's just a taste of the 43 boats you'll find at the boat shows

SAIL's 2011 Best Boats Nominees

by Sail Staff, Posted August 5, 2011
The lineup of new boats making their debut at the fall boat shows is impressive indeed, considering the economic conditions still plaguing the boating industry. Whether you’re going to the Newport International Boat Show this month or the U.S. Sailboat Show at Annapolis next month, you’ll be treated to exciting developments in design and boatbuilding.   From small daysailers to big
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