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2022 Best Boat Nominees

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Turns out it takes more than a pandemic to keep sailors, naval architects and boatbuilders down. It wasn’t fair, but there’s no denying some parts of the global economy fared better than others this past year, and among the lucky ones was the marine industry. Not that it was all smooth sailing. Supply and workplace issues certainly put a crimp in productivity, as was evident in the fewer number of entries in last year’s Best Boats contest. However, the industry has since come roaring back, and the result is a Best Boats class of 2022 that’s as healthy as we have seen in years: replete with everything from borderline production megayachts to a fun new batch of daysailers and pocket cruisers and even a pair of high-tech scows for the foiling crowd. Boat shows are also back, which means not only being able to renew old acquaintances but also being able to (hopefully) get aboard as many boats as you want without all that social distancing. If you’ve never been to a boat show before, now’s the time to check one out. Same thing if you’ve been dreaming all these years of buying a new boat. If there’s nothing else we’ve learned over the course of the pandemic, it’s that there’s no time like the present. As always, SAIL’s Best Boats panel will be fanning out throughout the upcoming boat-show season in search of its favorite new designs. Look for its selection of winners in our January issue.

MONOHULLS

DUFOUR 470

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Unveiled in tandem with the Dufour 61, the Dufour 470 is no less impressive a boat, despite its more diminutive LOA. As has been the case with a number of other Dufour models of late, the boat is available in three different versions: an “Easy” version with a simplified deck plan that will likely prove most popular in the charter market; an “Ocean” version with upgraded sail controls for cruisers looking to get the most they can out of their jib and main; and a “Performance” version for those interested in racing. Created by Felci Yacht Design, all three versions feature an expansive cockpit, complete with an outdoor galley, twin helms and plenty of room for relaxing or grinding winches, depending on your preference. The hull is infused with a PVC foam core and a vinylester barrier coat to ward off the threat of osmosis.

LOA 45ft 11in BEAM 15ft 6in DRAFT 7ft 4in DISPLACEMENT 29,101lb SAIL AREA 1,151ft2 Dufour, dufour-yachts.com

DUFOUR 61

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Dufour’s new flagship, the Dufour 61 promises to be a truly spectacular yacht, with luxury to spare and speed to burn—all in a package that has been made as simple as possible for shorthanded crews to handle, whether daysailing or on passage. A plumb bow and slightly reversed transom maximize sailing length, while a deep, semi-balanced spade rudder and T-keel ensure sail-carrying ability. An A-sail can be flown from a fixed combination anchor roller and sprit forward. Aft, the cockpit, which includes a pair of spacious helm stations, looks to be absolutely magnificent, both for those working the boat and those working on their tans. The mainsheet runs to an arch, keeping it well out of the way of guests and crew, and the drop-down swim platform reveals a spacious dinghy garage. Expansive ports and hatches in the low-slung cabintrunk combined with multiple hull windows ensure plenty of ambient light belowdecks.

LOA 60ft 1in BEAM 18ft DRAFT 9ft 2in DISPLACEMENT N/A SAIL AREA 1,800ft2 Dufour, dufour-yachts.com

MOODY DS 41

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The latest in Moody’s DS, or “deck saloon” line, the Moody DS 41 makes possible what Moody calls “living on one level,” in which the saloon and cockpit can be easily combined into a single barrier-free living space. Forward, the boat’s high-freeboard and equally high bulwarks ensure maximum safety, whether it be while checking the anchor or catching rays on the expansive lounging area near the bow. Twin helms well outboard ensure good sightlines, and the boat’s double-headsail rig will make things that much easier sailing with smaller crews. A protected inside helm station is located to port in the deck saloon, ensuring comfort and safety whether on passage in dirty weather or just watching the world go by on the hook. The DS41 can be equipped with either auxiliary heating or air conditioning, depending on where you expect your sailing to take you.

LOA 41ft 1in BEAM 13ft 11in DRAFT 7ft 6in DISPLACEMENT 25,574lb SAIL AREA 893ft2 Moody, hanseyachtsag.com/moody/us

HYLAS 57

Hylas-57

Despite its impressive LOA, the H57 has been deliberately configured by veteran designer Bill Dixon to serve as a bluewater cruiser with couples in mind. All sail controls lead aft to the cockpit to be within reach of the twin helms. Similarly, twin rudders ensure there’s an automatic backup in the event one of the two appendages should ever be damaged by, say, an unidentified floating object while on passage. The boat’s main, genoa and self-tacking jib all come with power-furling standard, which in combination with the H57’s electric sheet winches makes sail trim a snap. An optional hardtop provides shelter in the cockpit without marring the boat’s graceful lines. A three-stateroom interior with an owner’s cabin aft comes standard, but as a semi-custom builder, Hylas is also more than happy to tailor its layouts to each owner’s particular tastes. There is the choice of a standard or shoal-draft keel.

LOA 56ft 10in BEAM 17ft DRAFT 8ft 2in (std); 6ft 5in (shoal) DISPLACEMENT 57,685lb SAIL AREA 1,636ft2 Hylas Yachts International, hylasyachts.com

GRAND SOLEIL 44 Performance

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Designed by European ORC maven Matteo Polli, the Grand Soleil 44 Performance promises to be as impressive on the racecourse as it is good-looking. According to Grand Soleil, the 44 officially completes the company’s Performance line, which now includes boats with LOAs ranging from 34ft to 58ft. As is the case with its predecessors, the Grand Soleil 44 Performance is available with two very different arrangements belowdecks: a streamlined racing version and a more plush setup for those with a preference for fast cruising. Racing and cruising deck configurations are available as well, as are multiple keel options. An aluminum mast comes standard with the cruising version of the boat, while a carbon mast with a greater air draft can be specced by racers.

LOA 44ft BEAM 14ft DRAFT 8ft 3in (std); 6ft 7in (shoal) DISPLACEMENT 19,850lb SAIL AREA N/A Grand Soleil Yachts, grandsoleil.net

GRAND SOLEIL 42 LC

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The 42 “Long Cruise” is the entry model of Grand Soleil’s bluewater line. A true distance cruiser, the boat was designed with storage, autonomy and comfort in mind by Marco Lostuzzi in cooperation with Nauta Design and Cantiere del Pardo’s own technical office. Controls have been kept safe and simple, with in-mast furling, recessed tracks for the self-tacking jib and all lines led aft belowdecks. A carbon arch serves the dual purpose of keeping the mainsheet out of the way and providing structure for a bimini or spray hood. A “sport” version of the boat is also available sans arch and with a taller mast. Belowdecks, owners have the choice of two or three cabins, with the two-cabin version offering a wider galley and extra storage space, the latter a feature that will undoubtedly prove enticing to true bluewater cruisers.

LOA 42ft 6in BEAM 13ft 9in DRAFT 7ft 5in (std) 5ft 11in (shallow) DISPLACEMENT 20,900lb SAIL AREA 1,114ft2 Grand Soleil, grandsoleil.net

CNB 66

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Launched on the 30th anniversary of France’s celebrated CNB Yacht Builders, the CNB 66, which was designed by Philippe Briand, a naval architect whose name is synonymous with innovation, is as practical and comfortable as it is good looking. Standout features include a dinghy garage, outstanding accommodations, a truly panoramic saloon space with a wealth of ports and hull windows, and a powerful hull and equally powerful rig. The latter will serve its owners well, whether daysailing, coastal cruising or crossing oceans. Twin rudders ensure control on all points of sail and in all conditions. Reaching sails can be flown from the boat’s fixed sprit, while twin furling headsails make it easy to “switch gears” depending on the wind strength. The carefully sculpted cabintrunk is a true work of art, and the expansive cockpit is divided into working and lounging areas to ensure both the hardcore sailors and those who are, shall we say, less engaged in sail trim, remain equally happy.

LOA 67ft 7in BEAM 18ft 1in DRAFT 9ft 8in DISPLACEMENT 68,563lb SAIL AREA 2,313ft2 CNB Yacht Builders, cnb-yachts.com

Beneteau OCEANIS 34.1

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For all that today’s sailing hardware makes it possible for shorthanded crews to handle larger and larger boats, there’s remains something special about a well-found monohull in the mid-30ft range, for the simple fact, the boats are such a joy to sail. Case in point, the Marc Lombard-designed Beneteau Oceanis 34.1, what looks to be a fine performance-cruiser with twin rudders, twin helms and an easy-to-handle rig with self-tacking headsail. Blunts ends maximize the boat’s sailing length, and in addition to a standard or shoal L-shaped keel, a retractable fin is also available. A backstay-less rig means the boat is able to carry a high-aspect, square-top main, which will make for great fun, especially on a reach with an A-sail flying from the combination anchor roller/sprit in the bow.

LOA 35ft 4in BEAM 11ft 9in DRAFT 6ft 7in (std.); 4ft 11in (shoal); 4ft 1in (retractable keel up) DISPLACEMENT 12,046lb SAIL AREA 531ft2 Beneteau, beneteau.com

JEANNEAU YACHTS 60

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The Philippe Briand-designed Jeanneau Yachts 60 was conceived with the notion of offering something for everyone. With 19 possible interior layouts, plus options like a cockpit arch or hardtop (similar to the one found aboard the Jeanneau Sun Loft 47), in-mast furling and an exterior galley, not to mention the choice of “Mediterranean Sport” or offshore cruising versions, the boat is fully customizable for a wide range of sailors. Aft there’s a 10ft dinghy garage enclosed by an expansive drop-down swim transom and a seamless transition between the cockpit and side decks in the area of the twin helms that makes going forward a snap. Twin rudders ensure a firm grip on the water at all angles of heel, and both standard and shoal-draft keels are available. All evidence points to a graceful, spacious yacht with a dazzling solarium feel belowdecks and sparkling performance under sail.

LOA 59ft 11in BEAM 17ft DRAFT 8ft 4in (std.); 6ft 10in (shoal) DISPLACEMENT 44,500lb SAIL AREA 1,410ft2 Jeanneau Yachts, jeanneauamerica.com

JEANNEAU Sun Odyssey 380

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The latest addition to Jeanneau’s Sun Odyssey line, the Marc Lombard-designed 380, looks to be one of those designs that offer the feel of a big boat while remaining easy to handle for smaller crews. Blunt ends maximize the boat’s sailing length, while twin rudders ensure good control in all wind strengths. In addition to the usual options of a standard or shoal-draft keel, a lifting keel is also available for thin-water sailing and taking the ground. Chines run the length of the hull to increase interior volume, aid in tracking and promote sail-carrying ability. The lack of backstay makes it possible to fly a powerful square-top main with an eye toward maximizing VMGs.

LOA 38ft 6in BEAM 12ft 3in DRAFT 6ft 6in (std.); 5ft 3in (shoal); 4ft 2in (lifting keel retracted) DISPLACEMENT 15,203lb (std. keel) SAIL AREA 704ft2 (with 110% genoa) Jeanneau Yachts, jeanneauamerica.com

BAVARIA C38

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The little sister to Bavaria’s C42, the Bavaria C38 has been designed to maximize the potential in its smaller LOA while at the same time bringing innovation and comfort to a simple version of sailing. A powerful bow and distinctive chines promote easy handling and improved control. A 9/10 anodized aluminum rig comes standard, with in-mast furling available as an option. The boat’s self-tacking jib makes coming about a matter of simply turning the wheel while reaching sails can be flown from a combination anchor roller/sprit. Owners have a choice between a standard or shallow-draft keel. Several layouts are available with two or three cabins. The master cabin is located forward and boasts a generously sized berth. When there’s company onboard, the saloon table can also be lowered to create yet more sleeping space.

LOA 37ft 4in BEAM 13ft 1in DRAFT 6ft 9in (std); 5ft 5in (shoal) DISPLACEMENT 19,996lb (std); 20,547lb (shoal) SAIL AREA 854ft2 Bavaria Yachts, bavariayachts.com

ELAN GT6

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The raison d’être of the second yacht in Elan’s “Grand Tourer” line is manifest in the Slovinian builder’s attention to a combination of performance and luxury, all part of what it describes as its idea of a “connoisseur’s sailing yacht.” Inspired by the world of ocean racing, the hull was designed with the help of extensive CFD modeling to ensure it’s both fast and stable in a wide range of conditions. The sailplan is also well balanced in order to ensure the boat is easy to handle on all points of sail. Studio F. A. Porsche created the boat’s clean lines, which are inspired by seagull wings and stingray fins. The cockpit includes twin helms and a table with a drop-down portion in the middle to create an obstacle-free pathway from the transom to the companionway. The interior has a flat, simple aesthetic and comes standard with two cabins, though there’s the option of a third. Twin rudders also come standard.

LOA 49ft 8in BEAM 14ft 9in DRAFT 8ft 4in (std); 6ft 7in (shoal) DISPLACEMENT 31,600lb SAIL AREA 1,200ft2 Elan Yachts, elan-yachts.com

MULTIHULLS

LEOPARD 42

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In teaming up on the Leopard 42, South Africa’s Robertson and Caine, and Simonis & Voogd Yacht Design have created a follow-up to their successful Leopard 40 that features an attractive new angular aesthetic coupled with an additional entertainment area in the form of a coachroof lounge and larger cabins. In a nice touch, the elevated lounge can be accessed via a set of steps to port, meaning guests won’t have to intrude on the helm area to starboard when moving about. Stepped hulls help reduce wetted surface area, and blunt ends maximize sailing length. An overlapping genoa and the option of a powerful square-top main serve to keep the boat moving when things go light. The boat is also available for charter ownership through The Moorings as the Moorings 4200.

LOA 41ft 7in BEAM 23ft 1in DRAFT 4ft 7in DISPLACEMENT 27,485lb SAIL AREA 1,217ft2 Leopard Catamarans, leopardcatamarans.com

BALANCE 482

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Although a relative newcomer to the multihull world, Balance Catamarans continues to grow by leaps and bounds, sending an increasing number of new boats down the ways in South Africa and steadily expanding its product line, with models ranging from around 40ft to over 70ft LOA. The new Balance 482 looks to be vintage Balance with its svelte lines, well-thought-out accommodations plan and performance potential. Daggerboards, a pair of narrow hulls and a powerful, easy-to-handle rig will ensure excellent performance on all angles of sails, whether out daysailing or on passage. A collaboration between Balance founder Phillip Berman and veteran South African naval architect Anton du Toit, the boat also features the company’s trademark Versa-helm, which allows you to steer from either an upper or sheltered lower position, depending on the weather.

LOA 48ft 4in BEAM 25ft 11in DRAFT 1ft 10in (boards up); 4ft 4in (boards down) DISPLACEMENT 25,353lb SAIL AREA 1,453ft2 (100% foretriangle area) Balance Catamarans, balancecatamarans.com

BALI 4.2

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Designed by Xavier Faÿ, the Bali 4.2 looks to be a whole lot of fun for families and smaller crews, in particular. With its moderate size and sailplan, which includes a high-aspect, square-top main and self-tacking jib, the boat should be predictable and forgiving under sail. An A-sail can also be flown from a sprit for some extra horsepower in lighter conditions. Belowdecks and topsides there is a wealth of space for either lounging or enjoying a good book away from the action. The boat’s tumblehome bows and truncated transoms in combination with a sporty reverse sheer make for a nice look. Passage through a doorway at the front of the saloon means accessing the forward cockpit couldn’t be easier. Belowdecks there’s room for up to four cabins. Hulls and deck are infused with a PVC foam core.

LOA 39ft 9in BEAM 23ft 3in DRAFT 3ft 8in DISPLACEMENT 28,672lb SAIL AREA 970ft2 Bali/Catana Group, bali-catamarans.com

BALI 4.6

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Of the four new designs currently being launched by Catana/Bali, the Bali 4.6 falls in the middle for LOA, representing a boat that will be well within the abilities of most cruisers while offering plenty of space to relax in. Aesthetically, the boat, which was designed by Xavier Faÿ, is trademark Bali with its tumblehome bows, chines (which serve to reduce wetted surface while also increasing interior volume) and reverse sheer. No need to worry about hitting your head on the boom aboard the Bali 4.6, and the boat’s self-tacking headsail will make coming about simplicity itself. A pair of low-aspect keels serve to promote tracking ability under sail, and the deck and hulls are infused with a PVC foam core to provide the best mix of rigidity and lightweight. The nacelle and inner half-hulls are also built in a one-piece mold for maximum rigidity. Belowdecks the boat can be specified with anywhere from three to five cabins.

LOA 46ft 9in BEAM 25ft 2in DRAFT 4ft DISPLACEMENT 30,464lb SAIL AREA 1,722ft2 Bali/Catana Group, bali-catamarans.com

BALI 4.8

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The Bali 4.8 will make for a great vacation choice when on charter, with its spacious forward cockpit, coachroof lounge and an additional lounging area that can be created by using a bench seat to connect the boat’s two sugar-scoop transoms. A full-size refrigerator in the galley will also come in handy when feeding guests (up to 12 can be seated comfortably in the saloon’s dining area). The boat is available in five layouts, including an arrangement with six cabins and six heads, almost unheard of in a boat of this size. The hull layup includes a foam core and is infused in polyester with an anti-osmotic vinylester layer below the waterline. The deck is also infused with a foam core in the interest of creating an overall structure that is both strong and as light as possible. A raised helm station is located just forward of the coachroof lounging pad to ensure whoever is at the helm will always have plenty of company.

LOA 48ft 10in BEAM 25ft 10in DRAFT 4ft 5in DISPLACEMENT 33,700lb SAIL AREA 1,862ft2 Bali/Catana Group, bali-catamarans.com

BALI CATSPACE

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This is not a racing boat. However, if you want comfort afloat and plenty of room for your sailing friends, the aptly named Bali Catspace is the vessel for you. “Rarely,” Bali says, “has a catamaran of this size offered so much habitable volume.” And they’re not kidding. Aft, a large “tilt-and-turn” door allows you to combine the cockpit, saloon and galley area into a single vast living space. Topside, there’s an oh-so-comfortable flybridge lounge aft of the boat’s single wheel, while forward is yet another expansive lounging area between the two bows. Belowdecks, you have the option of an owner’s version, in which the entire port hull is given over to the master cabin, or a “Family” version with four separate cabins, each with a double berth and separate heads. Bottom line, aboard the Bali Catspace there’s room for a crowd and then some. If a boat like this doesn’t make you yearn to find a snug little anchorage to drop the hook in, we don’t know what will.

LOA 40ft 5in BEAM 21ft 7in DRAFT 3ft 7in DISPLACEMENT 20,600lb SAIL AREA NA Bali/Catana Group, bali-catamarans.com

VISION 444

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After hanging fire for a couple of seasons, the first Vision 444 has finally arrived in North America. Built in South Africa, the boat is a handsome, well-built cruiser that has all the attributes of a good performer under sail. Designed by James Turner, the boat is infused in E-glass with a foam core and includes an aluminum-sparred rig carrying a square-headed mainsail, a roomy cockpit and a clean deck plan. The cockpit layout looks to be very good. The bridgedeck saloon features a galley, a nav station aft and a dining table forward, while an owner’s suite takes up the starboard hull with a pair of spacious guest cabins to port.

LOA 44ft 4in BEAM 24ft 11in DRAFT 3ft 9in DISPLACEMENT 20,160lb (light ship) SAIL AREA 1,032ft2 Vision Catamarans, visionyachts.com

XQUISITE X5 PLUS

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Following up on its SAIL magazine “Best Boats” winning X5, South Africa-based Xquisite Yachts has been busy of late working on no less than three new projects. The first of these, the X5 Plus represents an evolution of the already outstanding X5. Chief among the changes relative to its predecessor are lighter displacement and a more powerful rig in the interest of speed. Other upgrades (based on feedback from existing customers) include everything from a state-of-the-art electrical system to more handholds—all with an eye toward ensuring the best sailing experience possible. Amenities include a dedicated tool cabinet, a forward-facing nav area that also serves as an excellent watch-standing station on passage, a raised outside helm station to port, a large galley, and a wealth of saloon and helm windows.

LOA 53ft BEAM 26ft 2in DRAFT 4ft 5in DISPLACEMENT 35,274lb (light ship) SAIL AREA 1,550ft2 Xquisite Yachts, xquisiteyachts.com

FOUNTAINE-PAJOT SAMANA 59

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If space to stretch out in is what you crave, look no further than Fountaine-Pajot’s new Samana 59 cruising cat, which comes complete with a truly enormous flybridge for watching the world go by. For those who want to get out of the wind, there’s almost 300ft2 of cockpit space aft or a very comfy looking saloon with forward-facing nav station. Want to get a little closer to the water without getting out of the sun? How about the lounging area forward? Belowdecks, up to six separate cabins can be had, not counting crews’ quarters. Aesthetically, despite all this lounging and accommodation space, the Samana 59’s inverted bows, reverse sheer and nicely sculpted hull windows create a look that’s sure to please as well.

LOA 59ft 8in BEAM 31ft 1in DRAFT 5ft 5in DISPLACEMENT 57,120lb SAIL AREA 1,255ft2 Fountaine-Pajot Sailing Catamarans, catamarans-fountaine-pajot.com

FOUNTAINE-PAJOT ISLA 40

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Although the smallest boat in the Fountaine-Pajot line of cats, the Isla 40 (which takes the place of the Lucia 40) still packs in a lot of boat. With its dramatic reverse sheer, inverted destroyer bows and angular lines, it’s a darn good-looking design as well. A single raised helm station is located to starboard with the main traveler spanning the width of the hard dodger aft. Belowdecks there is a choice of either three or four cabins, and the saloon includes a spacious L-shaped galley to port. There’s also a lounging area forward of the cabintrunk and a nice bench seat spanning the width of cockpit immediately forward of the boat’s dinghy davits. Control lines all lead directly to the helm, and there’s plenty of room topside for a battery of solar panels.

LOA 39ft 2in BEAM 21ft 10in DRAFT 4ft DISPLACEMENT 21,280lb SAIL AREA 1,022ft2 Fountaine-Pajot Sailing Catamarans, catamarans-fountaine-pajot.com

LAGOON SIXTY 5

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The Sixty 5 is an epicurean sailor’s dream, bringing the comforts of life ashore aboard a sleek, elegant catamaran. Billed as having been designed with family life in mind, the Sixty 5 appears to be somewhat more comfortable looking than those boats sporting the euro-loft aesthetic that’s so dominated luxury yacht design in recent years. There will certainly be no shortage of places to hang out in, with several distinct lounging areas. A large pocket door creates an easy transition between the interior and exterior on the main level, while a hydraulic platform connects the transoms as a bonus recreation space. Below, a choice of six- and four-cabin versions are available. Above, twin helms, an elevated lounging space and a galley/dining space all fit on the boat’s large flybridge.

LOA 67ft 5in BEAM 33ft DRAFT 5ft 1in DISPLACEMENT 88,200lb SAIL AREA 2,884ft2 Lagoon Catamaran, cata-lagoon.com

NEEL 43

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Though the smallest of Neel’s trimarans, the Neel 43 is no less impressive. As with the rest of the Neel line, for example, it doesn’t lack for either accommodation or storage space, with eight berths (three doubles and two singles forward in each ama) and a large “garage” set low in the central hull, containing things like the engine, tanks and storage space for tools. Also like its predecessor, the 43 features what Neel calls its “cockloon,” a versatile living space that allows for free movement between the indoor and outdoor spaces, all well protected by a hardtop. The hulls and deck are constructed in a vacuum-infused composite sandwich with carbon-fiber reinforcements. A narrow central hull, svelte amas and powerful rig promise the same kind of sparkling performance Neel has long been known for.

LOA 43ft BEAM 24ft 6in DRAFT 4ft 11in DISPLACEMENT 18,000lb SAIL AREA 1,096ft2 Neel Trimarans, neel-trimarans.com.

SMALLER BOATS

BENETEAU FIRST 27

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A pocket cruiser that can also get up on plane? Why not, especially aboard a boat that is as well put together as the Beneteau First 27? The result of Beneteau’s recent moves to fine-tune its small-boat and performance lines, the trailerable First 27 comes equipped with an easier-to-use deck layout and slightly smaller rig than the more race-oriented SE 27 version of the boat; however, it still offers the same easily driven hull. Highlights include a high-aspect keel and bulb, a wide, flat hull for downwind speed and sail-carrying ability, and balanced twin-rudder steering for keeping a firm grip on the water in a blow. The vacuum-infused hull is equipped with berth space for as many as six adults in the well-lit living area belowdecks. Other amenities include a removable table and fridge, room for a proper marine toilet and a swim ladder and stern shower in the cockpit area.

LOA 26ft 3in BEAM 8ft 4in DRAFT 5ft 7in DISPLACEMENT 3,747lb SAIL AREA 400ft2 Beneteau, beneteau.com

J/9

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It’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen something new from Rhode Island-based J/Boats, and how great that when the creators of the J/24 decided to unveil something new it had an LOA of under 30ft! The first in a new line of daysailers, the J/6 features a slippery, infused hull with plenty of performance potential. Look a little closer, though, and it quickly becomes apparent there’s more to this boat than just VMGs. The cockpit, in particular, looks to be a fantastic place to hang out in, with oodles of space and a compact swim platform no less. Belowdecks, there’s also plenty of space for getting out of the weather, and the rig has been designed to sail as easily under main alone as with the headsail unfurled. In the words of J/Boats president Jeff Johnstone: “This is a boat you can sail by yourself in just a few minutes, or bring along the whole gang with plenty of room to spare.” A shoal-draft keel is available for skinny-water sailing.

LOA 28ft BEAM 8ft 7in DRAFT 4ft 11in (std.); 3ft 11in (shoal) DISPLACEMENT 4,250lb SAIL AREA 449ft2 J/Boats Inc., jboats.com

SKEETA FOILING SCOW

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Ever since the cutting-edge Moth class took to the air, and in the wake of a full-foiling America’s Cup, in particular, the race has been on to provide full-foiling to the masses. The latest entry is the Australian-built Skeeta (now being distributed in North America by Melges Performance Sailboats), a scow that does equally well in displacement mode or airborne. A fully retractable bow wand provides sufficient foil control that there’s no need to adjust the rudder-foil angle of attack while sailing. Similarly, the boat’s foils won’t interfere with the boom when retracted, making life that much simpler when leaving or returning to shore. A single pin holds the boat’s wings in place, making them easy to install or remove, and the two-part carbon mast can be fine-tuned to allow sailors of different weights and ages to be competitive in a single class. According to Skeeta, the boats ship fully assembled, making it possible to rig up and go sailing in as little as 15 minutes. How cool is that!

LOA 12ft BEAM 4ft 2in (without wings); 7ft 6in (with wings) HULL WEIGHT 77lb SAIL AREA 91ft2 Skeeta Foiling Craft/Melges skeetafoilingcraft.com

NIKKI FOILING SCOW

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The Nikki is described by the manufacturer as, “A brand new dinghy designed and built by big kids for kids and lighter sailors. A boat we wished we had when we were younger and learning to sail.” Basically, a smaller version of the Skeeta, the Nikki includes a number of additional features to make learning to foil as safe and easy as possible. Among these are a boom pad to reduce the risk of head injuries; capsize-righting ropes so sailors of any weight can more easily re-right the boat; high-visibility colors on sails, wings and foils to make the boat easy to spot from a distance; and a mast lock to prevent the mast falling out in the event of a capsize. The boat’s fully adjustable wand also allows sailors to fly higher or lower depending on their level of experience.

LOA 9ft 6in BEAM 3ft 4in (without wings); 5ft 11in (with wings) HULL WEIGHT 60lb SAIL AREA 70ft2 Skeeta Foiling Craft/Melges skeetafoilingcraft.com

WHERE TO SEE THEM

Annapolis Boat Show

Oct. 14-18
annapolisboatshows.com

September 2021

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According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricanes (the term most U.S. sailors are familiar with) and typhoons are just two different names for the same weather phenomenon: tropical cyclones, i.e., “a rotating, organized system of clouds and ...read more

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Cyclone Season in Polynesia

Thinking of spending cyclone season in the South Pacific? Plenty of sailors take the chance every year, with the recent travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic making this an especially popular option in 2020. Cyclone season in this part of the world runs from November to ...read more

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Eight Bells: Bruce Kirby, Creator of the Laser

With 2021 drawing to a close, Laser sailors find themselves reflecting on both their class’s 50th anniversary and the passing of the man who made it all possible: Canadian designer, sailor and sailing journalist, Bruce Kirby. Kirby, who died this past July at the age of 92, ...read more

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Southern Yacht Club Wins Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup

Newport, R.I. -- The 7th Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup wrapped up on Saturday after five days of highly competitive racing in an international fleet that saw the Southern Yacht Club (SYC) of New Orleans best a fleet of 19 teams from Europe, Canada, Bermuda and ...read more

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Boat Review: Dufour 530

Dufour Yachts seems to have shifted its strategy with the introduction of the new 530. Previously, the French builder maintained two lines: Performance and Grand Large, with the latter targeted at the cruising crowd. With the Dufour 530, however, Dufour decided to combine the ...read more

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11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

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Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

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SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more