Best Boats

SAIL's Best Boats 2014: Far East 18/18R

by SAIL Editors, Posted November 21, 2013
Shanghai Far East Boats got its start building Optimists for the Asian championship regatta held in Qingdao, China, in 2002 and quickly grew into one of the preferred builders for this one design class. 

The best of the rest

by Sail Staff, Posted February 4, 2003
Each of these boats deserves to be recognized for a specific feature, design, or construction technique that was particularly innovative and/or well executed.Island Packet 486's nav stationAny offshore navigator would love to call this nerve-center nav station home. There's room to mount every imaginable electronic gadget, the varnished teak chart table is big enough to unfold a
With foreclosures, credit woes, and skyrocketing oil prices painting a gloomy economic picture recently, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see so many new boats being introduced this year. And it makes perfect sense that boatbuilders should compete that much harder for our business. As they say on TV, “when [builders] compete, you win”—in this case you get better, more innovative, more
No, the idea of putting a parallel, or biplane, rig on a catamaran is not in itself novel. Those with long memories will recall Crossbow, a 60-foot biplane cat that set a sailing speed record (36 knots) back in 1980. Younger sailors will refer to the ill-fated 120-foot Team Phillips that Pete Goss put together for The Race in 2000. A few adventurous souls have also installed such rigs on smaller
The Optimist may be the most successful class in history. Thousands of kids around the world have cut their teeth sailing and racing Optis since the boat first appeared in 1952, but is that it? Must young sailors start out in a square boat that’s not too durable, not self-bailing, and needs fixed buoyancy bags? Yes, the Opti has earned its place by sheer force of numbers, and it’s going to take a
Farr Yacht Design gave the Bavaria 40 a fine entry and truncated ends in the interest of maximizing sailing length and speed under sail. Like the rest of Bavaria’s Cruiser line, the 40 offers tremendous volume belowdecks for accommodations. Twin helm stations and a split backstay provide easy access to a flip-down swim platform in the transom.
Light weight and good performance are hallmarks of the Catana line. This sporty new 50-footer benefits from the liberal use of carbon fiber, which allows laminates to be made thinner yet stronger. catana.com   SPECS LOA: 49ft, 11.6in Beam: 26ft Displacement: 27,400lbs. Draft: 9ft, 8in Sail area: 1076sq ft,
Among the many large, expensive sailing vessels at this year’s Annapolis show, the crowd-stopper was this diminutive 23-footer with a tall pilothouse. Something about it—perhaps the proportions, perhaps the novelty, perhaps the accessibility— made people pause, do double takes and smile.

SAIL's Best Boats 2014: RS Cat 16

by SAIL Editors, Posted November 21, 2013
Talk about timing! No sooner does Oracle Team USA stage a comeback for the ages than the veteran UK sportboat and dinghy builder RS unveils a performance beach cat with wave-piercing bows just like those on an AC72!

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
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