Like the Lagoon 52, the SIG60 is a VPLP-designed catamaran, but that’s where the similarity ends. Lightweight carbon-fiber construction and a powerful sailplan guarantee outstanding performance from this cruiser-racer.
Although multihull innovation at the racing end of the spectrum gets the lion’s share of the press, no less of a revolution in design has been taking place among cruising multihulls: case in point, French multihull builder Fountaine Pajot’s new Hélia 44, a boat that in its own way is as cutting-edge as a carbon fiber racer.
Two different boats, two different sail programs, and yet a surprising number of similarities: among them, the fact that even in this era of gee-whiz computer modeling, the human element still plays a major role in a sail’s ultimate success.
I have always admired Passport Yachts for their beauty, performance and detailing, but stepping aboard the new Passport Vista 545 CC, SAIL’s 2012 Best Boat in the Flagship Monohull category, I felt an especially strong sense of déja vu.
It is not very often that Hull #2 of a design beats Hull #1 onto the water by a couple of decades—which is why Jay E. Paris, longtime technical editor of SAIL and designer of the 32-foot cruiser Petrel, laughs ruefully as he looks back at the lengthy build timeline of his boat.
Harking back to one of Olin Stephens’s well-known designs from 1935, the pretty S&S 30 is nevertheless a very modern boat. Like the original, a 30-footer named Babe, it was built for coastal racing and daysailing.
There were many impressive nominees this year, and our judges had no easy task. In the end, a retro trimaran, a carbon-fiber racer and an ocean-capable lifting-keel cruiser are all among this year's winners.