The boatbuilding industry is benefiting from a series of mini-revolutions. Real strides are being made with hybrid propulsion systems. Designers are working on automatic systems that will trim sails as easily and as effectively as an autopilot steers. Radically modern designs are redefining boat aesthetics. NMEA 2000 promises to expand electronic options, and distributed power systems offer a different approach to onboard power use. This year’s new cruising monohulls are proven, well-built designs. They all have subtle (and not so subtle) refinements that will increase comfort and sailing performance. They are all attractive, and no single design stands out from the rest in terms of innovation. We value the credibility of our judgments and believe the only fair thing to do is to not award a single winner in this category; all the boats build on proven design concepts rather than taking advantage of riskier, more-innovative ideas that are still under development.
Chartering the U.S. and Spanish Virgins
Flying into Tortola in the British Virgin Islands one December morning, three months after Hurricane Irma, I felt like a war correspondent dispatched to the battlefront rather than a sailing magazine writer on an assignment to go cruising.As my LIAT plane descended toward Beef ...read more