2012

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.
This attractive midsize cruiser offers prospective owners a choice between a deep fin keel or a stub keel/centerboard configuration. It shares its bigger sisters’ new-look styling, complete with hull chines, and has a tall fractional rig. jeanneauamerica.comSPECSLOA: 37ft, 2in Beam: 12ft Displacement: 14,740lbs.
Angelo Lavranos designed this South African-built catamaran for serious cruising, but kept performance in mind too. Construction is strong but light and the boat has already proven to be a fast, comfortable passagemaker. knysnayachtco.com   SPECS LOA: 48ft LWL: 45ft, 2in Beam: 27ft Draft: 3ft, 11.5in

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!
Any cruising boat from the board of German Frers is certain to be a good performer under sail, and in its short life the Hallberg Rassy 372 has already won many admirers, along with a European Yacht of the Year award. It is the Swedish builder’s biggest aft-cockpit boat. hallberg-rassy.com   SPECS LOA: 37ft, 3in LWL: 33ft,
This quick cruiser from France was entered in last year’s Best Boats but never made it to the shows. It’s a handsome cat with twin wheels and a number of layout options to suit everyone from charter operators to world cruisers.
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.
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.  
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.
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