Boat Reviews

Click here to read a PDF version of this reviewBack in 2004, Jeanneau caused quite a stir with the launch of its stylish Sun Odyssey 54 DS (deck saloon). Italian designer Vittorio Garroni had worked more with cars than boats when he came up with the fresh-looking 54 DS, and he wasn’t bound by any conventional

Spirit 56

by Malcolm White, Posted August 7, 2008
When you look at the classic mahogany brightwork, teak decks, and fine ends of a Spirit-built yacht, you are to be forgiven if you suspect it dates from the early twentieth century. Then you notice the rod rigging, the carbon-fiber spars, and the foil keel and lead bulb under a cedar-stripped hull—all part of the latest technology. This is how today’s builders blend the above-water

Beneteau First 50

by Tom Dove, Posted August 11, 2008
There's a whole lot more here than headroom and easily handled sailsThe hull form is sleek and sophisticated, the eyebrows above the ports denote competence and self-worth, and some of the accessories belowdeck are fine leather. The Beneteau First 50 starts with style, but it carries through with performance. An owner looking for a fast cruiser, an occasional racer, and/or a

J/95

by David Schmidt, Posted June 17, 2009
It’s no secret that J/Boats is an industry leader when it comes to fast, innovative sailboats; the retractable sprit pole introduced with the J/105 gave new life to the asymmetric spinnaker, and the company practically invented the sport-boat genre. Now the Rhode Island-based company has done it again, this time with the sporty J/95, a 31-footer with twin rudders, a

Sensei 9M

by Sail Staff, Posted August 17, 2009
Here’s an unusual import from Turkey, a country famed more for its beautiful coastline than for boat building. The Sensei is as up-to-the-minute in design and construction as it’s possible to be; the hull is a vacuum-bagged sandwich of vinylester resin and Corecell reinforced with carbon fiber, the T-keel will reward good helming, and the styling is delightfully Italian.

Scandinavian Dory 18

by Sail Staff, Posted August 3, 2010
Lovers of traditional boats will enjoy the molded lapstrake hull of this little rowing/sailing dory. There are plenty of modern touches though, including options like a free-standing carbon-fiber mast with a wishbone boom, and oars, rudder and centerboard also built in carbon fiber.For more information, visit Scandinavian

Beneteau 58

by Peter Nielsen, Posted August 10, 2010
Beneteau's flagship is an excellent example of the new generation of boats in the 50-60 foot range that are coming out of France. It looks great on the water, sails very well, is well built and nicely detailed, and has all the space above and below decks that you could reasonably want.

Hunter 50AC

by Adam Cort, Posted March 8, 2011
Long a major force in the boatbuilding world, Hunter Marine Corp. just seems to keep getting better and better at building sailboats. The latest Hunter to hit the water, the 50AC, demonstrates that despite its success the company refuses to rest on its laurels.

Nautor Swan 66 FD

by Charles J. Doane, Posted October 31, 2011
Back in 1998, when Finnish builder Nautor was acquired by Italian fashion magnate Leonardo Ferragamo, many Swan aficionados worried that the core values of this iconic breed of cruiser-racers would be lost in a blaze of Euro-finery. But the Italians have since done a superb job of injecting their own unique sense of style into the brand while also retaining Nautor’s strong

West Wight Potter 15/19

by Sail Staff, Posted September 23, 2004
There is a reason why West Wight Potters have been in production for over 42 years. They may appear tiny compared to modern thin-water pocket cruisers, but their hard-chined hulls, simple sailplans, and economical accommodations are just as fun, safe, and effective as they were 40 years ago. Price: West Wight Potter 15, $7,395 (including sails, engine, and trailer, FOB Inglewood, CA);
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