Boat Reviews

Landing School 30

by David Schmidt, Posted April 28, 2010
Most production boats are conceived with a design brief from a builder who has a targeted market in mind. Not so the Landing School 30 (LS-30). It’s built by students at a non-profit boatbuilding and design college. The Landing School and its resident designer, Steve Dalzell, design and build boats as part of the curriculum: selling them is an afterthought. As a result, only two or three LS30s

Jeanneau 409

by Sail Staff, Posted August 4, 2010
Replacing the long-lived Sun Odyssey 39i, the Sun Odyssey 409 is a handsome midsized performance cruiser. Drawings show a new cabintop style with angular portlights, a deck layout where headsail and main sheets are led aft to the twin helms, and a sailplan with a small non-overlapping jib.For more information, visit

Beneteau Sense 50

by Tom Dove, Posted August 10, 2010
This design from Beneteau marks a new approach to accommodations and deck layout in a boat that'll make an excellent coastal cruiser with offshore capability. Among the innovative features is a catamaran-like cockpit layout with a dinette opposite a conventional bench seat.   SPECS: LOA: 49ft 15in BEAM: 15ft 9in DRAFT: 5ft 5in (std) 6ft 9in (shoal)

The Dufour 375

by Sail Staff, Posted May 5, 2011
There was a time when the variable-draft sailboat was a common sight along North America’s coastlines. Tartan, Pearson, Morgan, C&C, Sabre, Hunter and other builders all offered largish cruising boats with centerboards or swing keels, and many of those now-elderly vessels still populate the thin waters of the Carolinas, Chesapeake and Florida.Changes to racing rules in the

Seaward Eagle

by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004
At 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.

Swan 601

by Tim Jeffrey, Posted July 12, 2005
The 601 is the second of a string of new one-designs from the Finnish builderOf the 950 yachts racing at Skandia Cowes Week last summer, only one was referred to by her crew as "a bit of a weapon." This was fitting flattery, for Sir Peter Ogden’s Spirit of Jethou was exactly that, with her black hull, sleek coachroof, and carbon-fiber sails.Even so,

Najad 460

by Sail Staff, Posted February 4, 2003
This Swedish-built Judel/Vrolijk design impressed our judges with the quality of its hull and deck construction and dazzled them with gorgeous interior joinery work in satin-finish African mahogany. We loved the feel of the helm ("soft and supple, with just the right amount of feedback") in 15 knots of true wind. The boat tracked well and gave a decent turn of speed (8.5 knots hard on the breeze

Beneteau First 10R

by Sail Staff, Posted March 29, 2006
The 32-foot First 10R represents a new generation of Beneteau’s sleek one-design racers. Designed by Farr Yacht Design with speed as the top priority, the 10R features an aggressive sailplan, an iron blade/lead bulb combo keel, and an asymmetrical spinnaker. While it is the smallest in Beneteau’s First series, it also serves as a comfortable cruiser and is equipped with a separate head, nav

Dufour 525: Flagship of the Fleet

by Sail Staff, Posted August 8, 2008
Contemporary styling matched with seagoing abilityBy Duncan KentThe headquarters of Dufour Yachts, one of France’s largest production-boat builders, lies just a few miles inland from La Rochelle, an ancient port on the country’s Atlantic coast. More than 40 years have passed since founder Michel Dufour built his first production boat, Sylphe, and his 30-foot cruiser/racer,

The Dynamic Duo

by Peter Nielsen, Posted April 21, 2011
Eavesdropping on an in-depth discussion of rating rules will send a casual bystander into a deep sleep as effectively as any hypnotist, and IRC—the successor to IOR and IMS—is no exception to this, er, rule. All I can say with any kind of authority is that boats designed to IRC tend to be a good deal more interesting than the rule itself. Over the last few years we’ve seen a steady stream of IRC
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