by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004The Feeling 44 is another offshore cruiser with gunkholing capability; its optional lifting keel reduces draft from 8 feet, 6 inches to 2 feet. Considerable fixed ballast is built into the bottom of the hull to enhance stability and provide a solid grounding plate. This cruiser is thin-water friendly—its shallow rudder provides positive control with the keel fully retracted. It's also
by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004The Catalina 250 Centerboard has some unusual features for a pocket cruiser—a built-in swim ladder and stern-pulpit seats. And it has the essentials: an easy-to-fill water-ballast system, a spacious cockpit and accommodation plan, a big kick-up rudder and a durable centerboard, and a stove, sink, and a bit of counter space in the galley. There is also a private head compartment. You'll be amazed
by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004Not all pocket cruisers are water-ballasted. The Jim Taylor-designed Precision 23 achieves stability with fixed ballast and a shallow keel/centerboard configuration. With the board up the minimum draft is just under 2 feet; draft increases to 5 feet, 4 inches with the board down. The Precision also bucks pocket-cruiser convention in that it has a conventional cabin-top and legitimate side decks.
by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004It may not be the first boat that comes to mind when you're considering a shoal-draft cruiser, but the Southerly 135 should grab your attention simply because of its size and what it can do below the waterline. It's a 45-foot offshore cruiser that displaces close to 30,000 pounds and boasts a well-appointed interior. What's remarkable about it is that it's equipped with a 3,610-pound cast-iron
by Sail Staff, Posted September 22, 2004The Grand Soleil 40, built by Cantiere del Pardo, is one of a gaggle of new 40-foot performance cruisers that purportedly strike a balance between elegant accommodations and grin-inducing performance. Many boats make this claim, so I tested one off Annapolis, Maryland, to find out for myself.On deckThe deck and cockpit are set up primarily for racing, but the layout is also
by Sail Staff, Posted September 22, 2004The Chuck Paine-designed Cabo Rico 42 has an excellent reputation as a bluewater cruising boat. Its full underwater profile, sturdy good looks, and quality craftsmanship have helped instill confidence in offshore sailors for years, but only if they were willing to brave the elements in the aft cockpit. With the introduction of the Cabo Rico 42PH, offshore sailors can now order a 42 with a
by Sail Staff, Posted August 25, 2004All my days on the water should be as perfect as the day we took a Dufour 34 out for a spin after the Miami Boat Show. We caught the back end of a February cold front that produced steady 12-to-15-knot northerly winds, sunny skies, and comfortable temperatures. As we motored out of the marina, it was obvious that I couldn’t have scheduled this test any better. The smallest boat in the revamped,
by Sail Staff, Posted August 25, 2004The British are coming! The British are coming! Actually, it's the British-built, Reichel/Pugh—designed Seaquest 36. After a successful launch and wins notched in races all over Europe, the Seaquest 36—replete with narrow-chord bulb keel, high-octane sailplan, weight-saving interior, and impressive polar numbers—has arrived. It's a flat-out racing design concerned more with