by Peter Nielsen

Peter Nielsen is SAIL’s Editor-in-Chief.

The Aquila 45 integrates IRC (International Racing Class) design features in a comfortably sized inshore/offshore racer-cruiser. Despite its high performance the boat is specifically configured to accommodate short-handed sailing. aquilasailingyachts.com   SPECS LOA: 43ft, 8in Beam: 13ft 9in Displacement:
The Island Packet 360 continues the company tradition with a look that combines the modern and the traditional, and a cruiser-friendly “Full Foil Keel” below the waterline and a Hoyt Boom on the foredeck. The result is a boat that works equally well for weekend cruising or a bluewater passage. ipy.com   SPECS LOA: 36ft
The latest in the new Catalina line that began with the 445 in early 2009, the Catalina 385 includes a moderate beam carried well aft for a spacious cockpit, modest freeboard for reduce windage and a comfortable, practical interior belowdecks. catalinayachts.com

Best Boats 2012: PT-11

by Peter Nielsen, Posted September 9, 2011
The PT-11 is a semi-custom production boat with performance to spare. The boat also serves well as sprightly cruiser, capable of accommodating a refrigerator, watermaker and even a heating system without becoming overloaded. performancemultihulls.comSPECSLOD: 36ft, 1inLWL: 35ft 1inBeam: 28ft
The Herreshoff 20 is a unique new production boat based on an 80-year-old design created by Capt. Nat himself that was never built. In addition to serving as a sharp little daysailer, the Bristol Boat Company, which manufactures the boat, is also promoting it as a one-design racer and sail trainer.
Continuing the new styling introduced with the smart-looking 409 last year, the 439 is a fast and well-mannered family cruiser that also promises enough fizz for rewarding PHRF acing. The Philippe Briand design has a bright, well-thought-out interior layout and a deck plan that’s optimized for ease of handling.

Best Boats 2012 Nominees

by Peter Nielsen, Posted September 7, 2011
Last year, more than 40 new boats made their U.S. debuts at the fall boat shows in Newport, Rhode Island and Annapolis, Maryland. That was a fine effort from an industry that was hit hard by recession. It’s also the kind of effort that’s hard to sustain, which makes this year’s cast of 41 newcomers all the more impressive.
The Swan lineage is immediately recognizable in the sleek form of this new luxury performance cruiser from the legendary Finnish builder. The deck plan is deceptively simple and incorporates a huge “lounging” cockpit ahead of the working area. nautorswan.com   SPECS LOA: 66ft LWL: 56ft, 5in Beam: 17ft, 8in Draught:
An imposing yacht from any angle, Lagoon’s latest cruiser offers the interior space of a 75ft monohull and the deck space of a small aircraft carrier. Okay, so that’s an exaggeration. What’s not is the luxurious standard of cruising comfort offered by boats like this. cata-lagoon.com   SPECS LOA: 56ft LWL: 54ft Beam:
Yet another new arrival from South Africa, the Fluid 550 is available with either fixed keels or daggerboards, and has a pair of sheltered helm stations. It falls into the luxury catamaran niche and is packed with interesting features, like a built-in soft enclosure for the cockpit. fluidyachts.com   SPECS LOA: 40ft, 8in LWL:
  • facebook
  • twitter