Best Boats

Best Boats 2015: Morris Ocean Series 48 GT

by SAIL Editors, Posted November 17, 2014
On the one hand, there was no shortage of innovative ideas at this year’s Annapolis show. Among them were the Seascape 27’s clever outboard motor stowage arrangement, push-button belowdecks reel winches on the Island Packet SP Cruiser MK2 and several full-blown distributed power installations using the CZone system from New Zealand.   
With their compact cockpits, full keels and narrow hulls, the cruising boats of old are like a lone watch-stander, bundled up in foul weather gear, head bowed, arms folded, tucked in under a dodger for shelter.

Beneteau Oceanis 38

by SAIL Editors, Posted April 1, 2014
The latest in the company’s trend-setting and highly successful Oceanis line, the Oceanis 38 takes performance-cruiser customization to a whole new level by being available in three distinctly different configurations that can then be swapped out again years later if you so desire.  
The twin rudders on this beamy cruiser ensure excellent helm control even when hard on the wind at an aggressive angle of heel. The wide transom incorporates an enormous flip-down swim platform that is raised and lowered with an electric motor and will undoubtedly make you the envy of the anchorage.

2004 Best Boats

by Sail Staff, Posted September 18, 2006
The fall boat shows in Newport, Rhode Island, Jersey City, New Jersey, and Annapolis, Maryland, gave us plenty to think about as we got our Best Boats program under way. We had advance warning of 55 new models making their way into the boating marketplace; this is a phenomenal number for a relatively small industry. Boats being what they are, there were a few no-shows, but there were more than
Never mind the economy -- it’s business as usual in the boating game. Well, not quite. Everyone in the marine trade is feeling the financial pinch these days, so it’s even more impressive that so many new boats have been developed and readied in time for the fall boat show season. What this year’s line-up of new models—everything from dinghies to multi-million-dollar world cruisers—tells me is
John Charnley, founder of Discovery Yachts, is a circumnavigator whose vision of the ideal world-girdling yacht metamorphosed into the Discovery 55, a fast, strong, attractive and practical cruiser. It has now evolved yet again into the Discovery 50 catamaran, which is—not surprisingly—fast, strong, attractive and practical.   Designed by Bill Dixon, who is known more for large high-end
Without doubt, the cruising-boat interior that inspired the most comment from showgoers this past fall was that of the newly introduced Hunter 50. We overheard several people proclaiming it “decadent”; several others termed it “amazing.” If the goal of an accommodation plan is to incorporate as many shoreside amenities as possible into a boat, the Hunter 50 surely has raised the bar for cruising
One of two new models from the French builder, the Oceanis 41 echoes the styling of the bigger boats in Beneteau’s cruising lineup. Hull chines, a more angular look and a mainsheet arch are the most obvious new features. beneteauusa.com   SPECS LOA: 40ft, 7in Beam: 13ft, 9in Displacement: 18, 624lbs.  
Continuing the trend begun by last year’s Hanse 545, the Hanse 495 combines comfort below with performance underway, while a retractable bow-thruster—part of the boat’s SMS (Smart Mooring System)—makes tying up at the end of the day a snap. The boat’s twin helm stations and low cabin trunk create excellent sight lines, while the drop-down swim step provides a great platform for cooling off in an
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