2010

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
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

Fleet Action: Best Boats 2010

by Sail Staff, Posted August 27, 2009
Check out the nominees for the 2010 awards!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
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
Catalina’s latest big cruising yacht met with a great reception at the Oakland Strictly Sail show in April; orders quickly went into double figures, which is no mean feat in this economy. Designer Gerry Douglas obviously enjoyed himself with this boat; it is packed with details and features gleaned from his decades of experience in design and building. The end result is a fine all-round sailing
Rod Johnstone’s latest design taps into a new market segment for the Rhode Island-based company: shoal-draft boats. The versatile J/95 has both twin rudders and a centerboard, neither of which has been seen on J/Boat before. With the ballasted board up the boat draws just 3 feet, while remaining perfectly controllable under full sail. The J/Boats performance ethos remains intact; the boat is
It looked as though this award would be a toss-up between a handsome pair of new cruising cats from France—the Lagoon 400 and Fountaine Pajot Lipari 41—until we stepped aboard the South African-built Leopard 38 and its twin, the Sunsail 384. It was immediately obvious that here was one of the best-executed sub-40-foot cruising catamarans we have yet seen.Although there is
One look at the new Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed K650 had our entire Best Boats panel yearning for a strong breeze, big waves and a chance to properly air out this 21-foot rocket ship. The hull features a wide transom, providing plenty of off-the-breeze stability, and a hard chine is carried almost all the way from the stern to the bow. Dual carbon-fiber rudders are attached to the tiller via push
We were impressed by the potential of the 12 foot Topaz dinghy as well as by its existing features. The boat has developed quickly into an active racing class in Europe and it could do the same here, given proper organization and promotion.   The Topaz is a generation beyond fiberglass in construction. The hull is rotomolded of polyethylene, a process that's expensive to set up initially but
Over the years, the systems side of boats has improved steadily. This year's crop of new boats has raised the bar a little higher, with evidence of a great deal of thought. For example, the Catalina 445 has molded-in cable channels, above-the-waterline gravity draining holding tanks and a central drain location for winterizing the boat. Designer Gerry Douglas has put the battery charger under the
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