by Bill Springer

Mah 36

by Bill Springer, Posted July 18, 2008
Fountaine Pajot’s new Mah 36 replaces the popular Athena 38 as the company’s entry-level boat. Since many cat builders have shied away from smaller cruising models, I was eager to see how the Mah could provide interior headroom and volume without looking top-heavy or sacrificing bridgedeck clearance. I was also interested in learning how or if the shorter waterline would

Pacific Seacraft 40

by Bill Springer, Posted June 13, 2008
The sturdy, traditionally styled offshore cruisers of Pacific Seacraft are part of the history of the fiberglass-boat industry. The company fell on hard times, however, and was sold last year. This is far from the first time a venerated brand has gone out of business, but Pacific Seacraft is being reborn, and in an unlikely place. Unlikely until you think about it.As the

Shannon 53 HPS

by Bill Springer, Posted May 19, 2008
In a way, all sailboats that have an engine are hybrid-power sailers, but the Shannon 53 HPS is touted as the first motorsailer to maximize all three of these desirable elements: sailing, powering, and accommodation.There may be motorsailer builders who disagree with that claim to be the first, but it doesn't take away from the fact that the boat is capable of

King 40

by Bill Springer, Posted April 15, 2008
The King 40 is designed to be a true dual-purpose cruiser/racer, effective at racing offshore and around the cans as well as comfortable enough for family cruising. The deck plan was developed to allow plenty of room for a racing crew, but there are also comfortable places to sit in cruising mode. The lead bulb/narrow chord keel and high-aspect rudder should combine to provide

Bavaria 34

by Bill Springer, Posted January 15, 2008
The German builder Bavaria was sold for 1.3 billion euros in 2007, so it should not come as a surprise that the new owners are announcing new models. What surprises me a little is that the first new boat is a 34-footer rather than a big-ticket 60-footer. But then again, the new owners may realize that sticking with Bavaria’s proven high-volume production formula is probably a

Finngulf 43

by Bill Springer, Posted November 12, 2007
Finngulf Yachts has been building quick, sturdy performance cruisers for 25 years, but the company's new 43-footer is the first to be designed by a well-known firm here in the States. Farr Yacht Design got the commission, and the result appears to be an excellent combination of style, performance, and good old-fashioned Finish sturdiness. The hull and deck are laid up with

Laser SB3

by Bill Springer, Posted October 17, 2007
The SB3 (stands for sportboat for three people), hugely popular in Europe, made its American debut at the Annapolis sailboat show earlier this month. It seems to have hit the elusive target that sportboat designers shoot for—a fun, fast, durable, and reasonably affordable raceboat. To that end, there’s some carbon used in the bowsprit and foils, but the rest of the boat uses tried-and-true

Akilaria Class 40

by Bill Springer, Posted September 14, 2007
Not everybody can race an Open 60. But the Akilaria Class 40 that’s making an appearance here in the States makes it possible for mere mortals to experience the exhilaration of sailing and racing a water-ballasted thoroughbred without necessarily needing a sponsor to foot a rather large bill. It’s built to the French Class 40 box rule, which was created by a group of designers,
Click here to read a PDF version of this reviewBack in 2004, Jeanneau caused quite a stir with the launch of its stylish Sun Odyssey 54 DS (deck saloon). Italian designer Vittorio Garroni had worked more with cars than boats when he came up with the fresh-looking 54 DS, and he wasn’t bound by any conventional

Open 5.70

by Bill Springer, Posted May 11, 2007
With its flat, plane-friendly Groupe Finot hull shape, dual rudders, square-headed full-batten main, and lifting, narrow-chord bulb keel, the Open 5.7 is obviously designed for the high-end of the performance spectrum. It’s only 20 feet long, displaces merely 1,020 pounds (330 pounds are in the keel), and boasts a working sail area of 280 square feet. Off the wind the 5.7 carries a
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