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.
The room went silent when the photo of Tom and Cuyler Morris flashed up on the boatshed wall. The classic wooden building in Northeast Harbor, Maine, was ground zero for a weekend of parties and raft-ups hosted by Morris Yachts to celebrate its 40th year of building boats.