by James Jermain, Posted September 23, 2005Forty 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
by Sail Staff, Posted January 18, 2006Delivered to an Italian owner last year, this carbon-composite hull has a lifting keel that can reduce draft from 14 feet, 9 inches to less than 10 feet. The rig includes a new “canoe” boom that is supposed to be easier to use and store the mainsail better than the more traditional wide, flat Park Avenue boom. The nonoverlapping jib makes the yacht easy to handle, and the
by Sail Staff, Posted January 18, 2006When their carbon/epoxy-hulled 50-footer was launched two years ago, it was named European Boat of the Year. But the Shipman design team has decided there is also a need for a yacht in the 60-foot range that can make offshore passages quickly and effortlessly. The result is this pilothouse design the Shipman team is calling “the racer’s ocean cruiser.” The lightweight
by Sail Staff, Posted September 29, 2006This yacht was built for Jim Stephen, an avid one-design sailor who wanted good speed under sail, plus plenty of legroom for his family when they are cruising. The result is this moderate-displacement centerboard sloop designed by naval architect Dieter Empacher and built in aluminum at Kanter Yachts in St. Thomas, Ontario. The raised deckhouse and large windows create a spacious and well-lit
by Sail Staff, Posted August 6, 2008Once the term “mid-size cruiser” was used to describe boats from 30 to 35 feet, but many of today’s popular “mid-size” boats are larger. The new 43-foot Hanse 430 is performance oriented, as might be expected; it was designed by Judel/Vrolik, designer of Alinghi’s America’s Cup boats. As I found during my test sail in Miami, the 430e (epoxy) is a quick cruiser rather than a racer.
by Sail Staff, Posted August 11, 2008Many of today's boats are designed to be both quick and comfortable, and X Yachts continues to stake its claim in the performance-cruiser market. The X-34 is light, nimble, and sturdy, as I learned firsthand during several hours of thrashing into a stiff 17-to-20-knot headwind and steep chop on a recent 50-mile test sail/delivery.CONSTRUCTIONThe hull and deck are built