by Sail Staff, Posted February 25, 2005Who says cruising catamarans must be over 40 feet long to have accommodations? The FastCat 305 Vector-K is one of several new cruising catamarans that are now being imported by African Cats US. It's only 30 feet long, but its 18-foot beam frees up sufficient interior space to house three cabins and a comfortable six-seater saloon with wrap-around exterior views. Freeboard is
by Sail Staff, Posted November 19, 2004California-based designer Tom Wylie is known for his long, slender sleds with freestanding masts, so the configuration of the new Wylie 43 should come as no surprise. It's billed as an "ultralight downwind flyer" and is aimed at the section of the market that's looking for performance in a more-affordable 43-foot package. The hull is made of a cored carbon-fiber laminate; the 4,800-pound keel
by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004There is a reason why West Wight Potters have been in production for over 42 years. They may appear tiny compared to modern thin-water pocket cruisers, but their hard-chined hulls, simple sailplans, and economical accommodations are just as fun, safe, and effective as they were 40 years ago. Price: West Wight Potter 15, $7,395 (including sails, engine, and trailer, FOB Inglewood, CA);
by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004All variable-draft boats depend on a fully deployed keel for windward performance. Walt Schulz of Shannon Yachts set himself the challenge of designing a 32-foot cruising boat that would sail to windward without drawing more than 30 inches. The result is the Shannon Shoalsailer, and Schulz's beamy design with dual shallow-draft bilge boards reportedly does just that. Schulz says the hull shape is
by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004At 34 feet and 10,000 pounds displacement, the Seaward Eagle is one of the larger variable-draft coastal cruising monohulls you can haul and launch from a trailer with relative ease—and you can sail it with the keel at a variety of depths. It achieves shoal-draft status thanks to its 2,500-pound retractable bulb keel. An electric winch raises and lowers the keel within a keel trunk.
by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004The MacGregor 26M is the latest version of Roger MacGregor's successful MacGregor 26X. This remarkable 26-footer can reportedly log speeds of over 21 knots under power, float in 12 inches of water, and sleep six. It has a galley and an enclosed head. Stability under sail comes from 300 pounds of permanent ballast, 1,150 pounds of easily removable water ballast in the hull, and a narrow
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