Boat Reviews

MacGregor 26M

by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004
The 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
Jeanneau has made a splash breaking into the market for deck-saloon cruisers over the past few years, but it has also done a very good job of updating its bread-and-butter boats, as seen in the new Sun Odyssey 49. The SO 49 replaces the SO 45, a staple boat in charter fleets around the world, and, like its predecessor, it is very focused on the needs of this market.

Elan 384

by Tom Dove, Posted September 5, 2006
Sometimes a boat catches your imagination immediately. Sometimes you have to sail the boat to appreciate it. I didn’t find anything revolutionary during my dockside inspection of the new Elan 384. The open transom made it easy to board. The deck was user-friendly, with good walkways and cabintop access. The optional teak decks made a secure nonskid surface, and grabrails fell to hand easily when

J/65

by Kimball Livingston, Posted September 28, 2006
In the business world, planners often wonder whether a given model will “scale.” In the sailing world that’s not critical, but it’s interesting when it happens, and rarely has a design concept been carried as far as J Boats has gone with its new J/65. Two are in the water now, in the hands of experienced owners. While the interior spaces and systems were customized for each owner, the

Hoek 180

by Sail Staff, Posted October 5, 2006
This 180-foot aluminum ketch by Andre Hoek set sail last May after being launched from the Vitters shipyard in The Netherlands. The yacht, which took five years to design and build, has long overhangs, relatively low freeboard, and a narrow beam (only 31 feet) for its length. After sea trials, and commissioning Adele left for an extended summer cruise to the Lofoten Islands, which lie well beyond

Finngulf 43

by Bill Springer, Posted November 12, 2007
Finngulf Yachts has been building quick, sturdy performance cruisers for 25 years, but the company's new 43-footer is the first to be designed by a well-known firm here in the States. Farr Yacht Design got the commission, and the result appears to be an excellent combination of style, performance, and good old-fashioned Finish sturdiness. The hull and deck are laid up with

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 39 DS

by Sail Staff, Posted August 8, 2008
Jeanneau helped to revolutionize the deck-saloon aesthetic when it launched the curvy and distinctive 54 DS about five years ago. The orders rolled in, the company soon realized it was on to something, and 49- and 42-foot models followed. The most recent deck-saloon launch, the 39 DS, is probably about the minimum length for this popular layout and is designed to provide, in a smaller package,

Island Packet 460

by Sail Staff, Posted December 11, 2008
You’ve got to tip your cap to the folks at Island Packet. They know their market. If you’re looking for a lightweight, fin-keel cruising boat with a sporty feel and a big cockpit, there are many to choose from. But if you’re looking for a new solid, moderate-displacement, full-keel cruising boat that will look after you, chances are an Island Packet will be one of the few boats on your very short

Grand Soleil 54

by Sail Staff, Posted August 14, 2009
Italy’s Cantiere del Pardo has been producing fast, handsome yachts for many years. The Grand Soleil 54 is the work of Luca Brenta, who has emerged as one of Italy’s leading yacht designers. Long, low and sleek, it is a performance cruiser that will also be a satisfying racing ride. Belowdecks there are three large sleeping cabins, each with en suite heads compartments, and

Island Packet Estero

by Kimball Livingston, Posted February 26, 2010
Using a bow thruster to get a 36-foot boat off the dock was new to me, but fair to say, the folks at Island Packet know what they're doing. Without the thruster we would have required a heap of pulpit shoving and gear shifting to escape that narrow corner of the marina, so our easy exit to San Francisco Bay provided the perfect introduction to the Estero, the latest offering from a company where
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