Best Boats

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

SAIL 2013 Best Boats Nominees

by Sail Staff, Posted August 29, 2012
A strong lineup of new boats from domestic and foreign builders will be on display at the Newport International Boat show in September and the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis in October. SAIL’s judging team will be inspecting them closely for the 2013 Best Boats awards.

SAIL's Best Boats 2014: Lagoon 39

by SAIL Editors, Posted November 21, 2013
The Lagoon 39 was a favorite among the SAIL judges for a variety of reasons, including its innovative design, sound construction, good systems and fine sailing qualities, all topped off by the fact of its simply being a handsome vessel. 

Best Boats 2007

by Sail Staff, Posted November 27, 2006
SAIL’s Best Boats program is designed to seek out and acknowledge true innovation and forward thinking; the awards are based on firsthand knowledge of the new boats we see at the shows. SAIL editors Peter Nielsen, Bill Springer and Kimball Livingston, and editor-at large Charlie Doane combed the docks at the fall boat shows and have given Editors’ Choice awards for innovation and overall

SAIL's 2011 Best Boats Nominees

by Sail Staff, Posted August 5, 2011
The lineup of new boats making their debut at the fall boat shows is impressive indeed, considering the economic conditions still plaguing the boating industry. Whether you’re going to the Newport International Boat Show this month or the U.S. Sailboat Show at Annapolis next month, you’ll be treated to exciting developments in design and boatbuilding.   From small daysailers to big
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