Best Boats

There’s a lot to like about the new J/111—an aggressive rig, racy good looks, a hull form that loves to be driven—and tying it all together is one of the best production-boat cockpits we’ve seen. J/Boats has had decades to improve on the simple trench it carved out of the aft deck of the J/24, and it hit the ball out of the park on this one.   The primary winches are well placed for tending
This was one of the easier picks for our judging team, though no two judges seemed fully agreed on what exactly it is that makes the deck and cockpit of the new Morris M52 so special. Nigel Calder cited the boat's perfectly pitched sheerline. Peter Nielsen liked the judicious-but-opulent laid teak deck. Charles Doane waxed poetic over the modern interpretation of a traditional butterfly hatch
The smallest member of Bavaria’s new Farr-designed Cruiser series, the Bavaria 32 has a wide beam carried well forward and a full 6ft of headroom in the saloon. Careful styling, though, has produced a cruiser that looks good under sail, belying all that interior volume. The boat’s large, sturdy flip-down swim platform will serve up plenty of fun at anchor.
One of two new aft-cockpit designs from the venerable Moody yard on England’s River Hamble, the 45AC is a classic-looking cruiser that combines a traditional raked transom with a nearly plumb bow and a long, low cabintrunk. A tall fractional rig, fin keel and large, partially balanced spade rudder should ensure sprightly performance under sail.
The BayRaider 20 may look traditional with her ketch rig and saucy sheer, but she is very much a modern boat, with features like a self-draining cockpit and a water ballast system to help tailor performance to your particular sailing needs.

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.  

Best Boats 2013 McConaghy 38

by Sail Staff, Posted November 14, 2012
The Aussie-bred McConaghy 38 takes skiff sailing adrenalin and repackages it in a low-slung sport boat that redefines the genre. It came as no surprise that our Best Boats team found little not to like about this 7,000lb, all carbon, elegantly Spartan sloop.

Best Boats 2011

by Peter Nielsen, Posted November 17, 2010
The business maxim that you have to innovate your way out of a recession seems to have been taken to heart by boatbuilders. After a comparatively small field of new boats in 2009, this year's boat shows were crammed with talent. There was genuine innovation, a great degree of variety, and a good many excellent examples of the art of boat design and building. Our judges' task was harder
The more things change, the more they stay the same. The ELCO company introduced its first electric boat motors at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. And now we’ve seen the re-introduction of ELCO electric motors on a Hunter 27 at the 2010 Annapolis boat show. In the intervening 117 years considerable changes in electric motor and battery technology have radically transformed the efficiency and
A boat is often defined by its interior accommodation plan. An ocean voyager needs stowage and snug sea berths, while a family cruising coastwise wants open space to enjoy at anchor. It's a rare designer who can blend a world cruiser hull with a short-hop interior, but that's what designer Bob Johnson has done with the Island Packet Estero.Johnson adapted the forward saloon layout seen in
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