by Peter Nielsen

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

Built in Florida by Hake Yachts, the Seaward 46 is a fast variable-draft boat that can dry out on its twin rudders and retracting keel. It’s mainly intended for express cruising in thin water, but also has ocean-crossing capability. seawardyachts.com   SPECS LOA: 48ft LWL: 44ft, 10in Beam: 13ft, 3in Displacement:
The Tartan 4700 combines a deck saloon configuration with a traditionally raked transom and handsome bow overhang to create a cruiser with good looks and comfortable accommodations belowdecks. The mast and boom are carbon fiber, and the hull is vacuum-infused with epoxy resin—both Tartan trademarks. tartanyachts.com   SPECS LOA:
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 new-look Oceanis line has now expanded to four boats, with more to come. Designers Finot-Conq have focused on making the 45 user-friendly, with a small, easy-to-tack jib, a helm seat that lifts to reveal a wide-open transom, and voluminous accommodations in a hull designed to be well-mannered under sail.
This boat’s 50ft big sister was the star of the show at Annapolis last October. The Sense 43 shares the same sharp styling and daring interior treatment. Size apart, the main difference from the bigger Sense is that it can’t be specified with the optional Dock & Go joystick control. beneteauusa.com   SPECS LOA: 43ft, 4in LWL:
With its modern lines and dramatic deck saloon configuration, which puts the cabin sole at the same level as the cockpit— la the typical cruising multihull—the Moody 45DS has been turning heads for a couple of years over in Europe. Now it’s headed for U.S. waters, where its nearly plumb stem and transom, dual rudders, twin wheels, spacious accommodations and unique approach to cruising are sure
Designed by Judel/Vrolijk, the Hanse 445 features the same aggressively angular look that is a hallmark of the current Hanse line. A plethora of hatches and a pair of large hull ports let plenty of light into the saloon. A self-tacking jib makes the boat easy to handle, while more than 1,000ft2 of working sail provides lots of horsepower on passage.
French builder Dufour continues to revamp its entire line of cruising and performance boats. Its latest cruiser plugs a gap in the line between the 405 and 485. This looks like a strong, competent cruising boat with some clever features both above and below decks. dufour-yachts.com   SPECS LOA: 44ft, 3in LWL: 39ft
The latest in Jeanneau’s deck saloon line promises to be as popular as its predecessors. The distinctive styling has been taken a step further with the inclusion of even bigger portlights to brighten up the accommodations. jeanneauamerica.com   SPECS LOA: 43ft, 9in Beam: 14ft Displacement: 21,450lbs. Draft: 7ft,
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.  
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