Best Boats

Passport has been creating strong, beautifully detailed cruising boats at its yard in Xiamen, China, for 20 years and each new model evolves slightly from the previous one. Looking at the new Passport Vista 545 CC at Annapolis made us wonder if the factory locks a man inside the boat each night and gives him breakfast only after he has come up with some small improvement.

SAIL's Best Boats 2014: Paine 14

by SAIL Editors, Posted November 21, 2013
After 40 years of sailing his beloved Herreshoff 12 1/2 Petunia, designer Chuck Paine figured he knew what he had to do to improve what many aficionados call “the perfect boat.” His new Paine 14, now being built by French & Webb in Belfast, Maine, is 10 percent smaller than the old 12 1/2 and 40 percent lighter, with modern appendages and much of its underbody cut away. 

Best Boats 2015: Topper Topaz Argo

by SAIL Editors, Posted November 17, 2014
A few months ago, SAIL ran a story in which we considered exactly what it is that makes for a great small boat. And as fate would have it, the Topaz Argo from the UK’s Topper International meets an awful lot of the standards we came up with.

Dehler 38

by Charles J. Doane, Posted January 13, 2014
One of the more notable victims of the Great Recession in Europe was the German firm Dehler, which for many years built highly respected cruiser-racers at one of the continent’s larger production yards. 
During years of keeping my finger on the pulse of the new-boat market, I’ve seen boats get bigger and more complicated. I’ve seen construction materials and techniques evolve to produce lighter and stronger hulls. And I’ve seen the word “daysailer” used for everything from a 15-foot trailersailer to a sumptuous cruising boat measuring well over 40 feet. As this year’s fleet of new boats shows,
This boat, in a word, is clean. While there’s nothing knockout innovative about the Lutra Studio-designed X-Treme 25, it perfectly fulfills its design brief as a make-no-bones-about-it sportboat that can test sailors of all ability levels.   The sexiest thing about this speed machine is its distinctive hull form. A modest chine runs forward from the transom to the chainplates and the forward
In addition to the Santa Cruz 37, several performance/racing designs (King 40, A35 and A40 from Archambault, Andrews 28, and the Melges 20) debuted this year, and a case can be made for each design in this category. But the Santa Cruz 37 ended up narrowly edging out the others because it’s hit the sweet spot between racing performance, accommodations, and trailerability. For starters, the boat is
With its carbon fiber mast, infused epoxy hull, elegant lines and high-quality workmanship, the Tartan 4000 is a fitting successor to the 4100, which it replaces. The boat’s self-tacking jib and “pocket boom,” which helps gather in the main when it comes time to douse sail, make for a boat that can be easily handled by a couple, or even singlehanded.
Britain’s Southerly Yachts has been building shoal-draft cruisers for decades, so the 49 has a serious pedigree. Designer Rob Humphreys also works for Oyster, so there is a generous splash of luxury in the 49’s detailing and accommodations.  

2012 Best Boats Winners

by Sail Staff, Posted November 21, 2011
Among this year’s 2012 Best Boats Award winners are a cat with two cockpits, another cat with two tillers, a variable-displacement daysailer and a pair of red-hot raceboats. Clearly it takes more than a little bad economic news to keep the boatbuilding industry down!
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