Boat Reviews

Beneteau First 35

by Sail Staff, Posted August 4, 2010
Over the last three years Beneteau has completely replaced its ageing First line of performance cruisers. The First 50 and 45, launched in 2008, were joined in 2009 by the First 40 and last year by the First 30 and 35.The Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed First 30 stole the headlines last year, which meant that it overshadowed its bigger (and in many ways as deserving of accolades) sister. Like

The Dufour 40e

by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 23, 2010
It was one of those days a boat reviewer lives for: a solid 20 knots of wind, occasionally gusting toward 30; a cloudless blue sky; and a sharp performance cruiser with a couple of pro sailors aboard, all dialed up and ready to go. This example of Dufour’s new 40E had not been in the water long, and I happily seized the chance to put it through its paces during a visit last March to the factory

The Marblehead 22

by Adam Cort, Posted July 28, 2011
In his book Wind, Sand and Stars, famed French pilot Antoine de Saint-Expry wrote, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Fair enough. But while this may be true of airplanes, in the world of naval architecture, there are aesthetic considerations as well.

Stellar 53

by Sail Staff, Posted July 20, 2004
Sparkman & Stephens has a reputation that other design firms would kill for. The list of classic S&S boats reads like a who's who of notable designs of the twentieth century. With the new Stellar 53, S&S carries the tradition into the twenty-first century. Built in New Zealand, the hull features a fine entry, moderate overhangs, and a raised-saloon layout that should serve for speedy and

Athena

by Sail Staff, Posted June 2, 2005
This 298-foot classic three-masted schooner designed by Gerard Dijkstra & Partners and built at Royal Huisman in Alustar aluminum for an American client was finally sailing at the end of September. The fore-, main-, and mizzenmasts were all built in aluminum by Rondal; the topsails can be furled in the mast while all the lowers furl into carbon booms. All deck hardware was

Contest 65CS

by Sail Staff, Posted June 2, 2005
Contest Yachts has been building well-found cruising boats for decades. Its 50-footer is a proven passagemaker with thousands of open-sea miles under its keel. But with the trend clearly moving toward larger semi-custom designs, Contest is offering a new 65-footer that it believes will fill a niche. With a masthead rig and powerful sailplan, the yacht has been designed to perform well over a full

Etap 24i

by Tom Dove, Posted July 11, 2005
Belgian builder Etap is no stranger to innovations, and the new Etap 24i is filled with them. This little cruiser has most of the clever features of its bigger siblings, including the ability to sail even when filled with water; it has an optional shoal-draft tandem keel to make trailering easy, toerails that double as cleats, and the best antiskid decks you’re likely to

Hanse 400e

by Sail Staff, Posted August 8, 2008
Hanse Yachts's stylish 40-foot 400e (the "e" stands for the epoxy resin used in the hull) is the first in the Judel/Vrolijk–designed line the German builder is billing as "crossover boats." It's already made a splash at U.S. boat shows with its clean hull lines and innovative styling belowdecks. I took one out for a test drive off Marblehead, Massachusetts, to see if "crossover boat" is just a

Draft Dodger

by Peter Nielsen, Posted October 31, 2011
Britain’s boatbuilding industry is a shadow of what it was back in the 1970s and 80s, but a handful of boutique yards still thrives around its shores. One such is Northshore Yachts, whose Southerly range has survived four decades of the boom-and-bust cycles that saw once-mighty production brands tumble.

Dufour 455

by James Jermain, Posted September 23, 2005
Forty years ago Michel Dufour dragged boatbuilding into the industrial age by being one of the first to design boats specifically for production building methods. The company came out of some recent financial troubles and launched a “new era” in 2003. Since then two parallel but carefully matched lines of cruising boats have been introduced.One is a group of performance
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