Boat Reviews

J/124

by Bill Springer, Posted July 11, 2005
Bolstered by the success of the elegant and sporty J/100 daysailer, the folks at J Boats have extrapolated the idea out to 40 feet LOA with their new J/124 weekender. The goal is comfort, simplicity, and superior sailing performance, not long-term offshore cruising. The cockpit has 14-inch backrests, seats that are long enough for sleeping under the stars, and a dodger for

Columbia 30

by Kimball Livingston, Posted May 3, 2005
The new Columbia 30 would have attracted attention even if it were just an average white boat. The resurrection of Columbia Yachts is a story in itself. But Vince Valdes has grander aims than just bringing his father's old company back to life.The marketplace will have to decide what to make of a high-end 30-foot sportboat that's weekend-cruiser friendly, but Valdes is betting plenty of

Esse 850

by Bill Springer, Posted August 22, 2006
The idea behind the new 28-foot Esse 850 is what many sportboat builders strive for: Build a fast, easy-to-handle, trailerable, one-design racer/daysailer that can be sailed shorthanded. And make sure it’s drop-dead gorgeous.After a successful launch in Europe, where the Umberto Felci design was named one of the European Yachts of the Year, it appears the 850 turns the

Perini 289

by Sail Staff, Posted September 28, 2006
Perini Navi and Yildiz Gemi, the company’s Turkish facility, launched this three-masted ship, the largest sailing yacht in the world, in March 2006. The 289-foot vessel was built in steel and was launched from a drydock moored in the bay of Tuzla.When fully rigged, the yacht will have three rotating masts and will set nearly 26,000 square feet of sail. The rig and sail controls are managed

Bieker 50

by Sail Staff, Posted October 5, 2006
Paul Bieker has developed this light-displacement water-ballasted lifting-keel design for a Canadian owner who wanted a high-performance racer that can also be cruised with eight aboard. There’s some indication that it might become a production design. Builder Ian Franklin has already built one Bieker design, the 44-foot Dark Star for American Olympic medalist Jonathan McKee. Construction is

Akilaria Class 40

by Bill Springer, Posted September 14, 2007
Not everybody can race an Open 60. But the Akilaria Class 40 that’s making an appearance here in the States makes it possible for mere mortals to experience the exhilaration of sailing and racing a water-ballasted thoroughbred without necessarily needing a sponsor to foot a rather large bill. It’s built to the French Class 40 box rule, which was created by a group of designers,

Hood 55 Expedition

by Sail Staff, Posted August 8, 2008
Ted Hood has been designing seagoing yachts for over 50 years; his latest is an all-round ocean voyager. It’s designed with a tall rig for running before trade winds, and there’s also a big diesel to get to windward when time is short and the winds are from the wrong quarter. There’s comfortable seating behind either of the dual wheel stations, with good visibility in all directions. A remote

Catalina 375

by Sail Staff, Posted December 8, 2008
All new designs from Catalina Yachts can trace their pedigrees back to the first boats Frank Butler built in California just as fiberglass-boat building was taking off. The newest, the Catalina 375, is one of them. In coming up with a successor to the legendary Catalina 36, Catalina’s long-time in-house designer, Gerry Douglas, had his work cut out for him. How do you improve on a design that has

Catalina 445

by Kimball Livingston, Posted July 7, 2009
There are certain things you can count on in a Catalina. It will sail well. Not like a world beater, but like an honest boat. It will be built to a price point, but not the lowest price point. And a Catalina will incorporate scads of the value-add notions of in-house designer Gerry Douglas, who also gleans ideas from endless conversations with Catalina owners.The new

Swan 90 FD

by David Schmidt, Posted August 18, 2009
When Nautor Swan built its first boat — the venerable Swan 36, Tarantella — in 1968, the Finnish builder used a revolutionary new hull material called fiberglass. Forty-some years later Swan is again pushing the envelope, this time with DSK, an all-carbon, flush-deck, 90-foot German Frers-designed rocketship.Compare the two boats and you quickly
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