Best Boats 2016: Fareast 28R

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Performance Monohull under 30ft

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Fareast 28R

Who hasn’t at some point dreamed of being a rock-star grand prix racer? Alas, the cost of this kind of sailing has meant that for most sailors it has remained just that, a dream—until now. With its new 28R, veteran Chinese builder Fareast Yachts has brought to market a true high-performance speedster, capable of mixing it up with the big boys at the modest price of just $60,000 for the boat, sails and even a trailer.

And this isn’t just some cheap foreign knock-off. Fareast cut its teeth starting in 2002 building ISAF-approved Optis and 420s, and its build quality is second to none. Similarly, designers Simonis & Voogd have a long history of creating fast, easy to handle performance yachts, and the Fareast 28R is no exception. Under sail, the boat (distributed in the United States by Sturgis Boat Works) is an absolute blast, even in moderate conditions, while its high-aspect T-keel and powerful, transom-hung carbon rudder give you the control you need to carry a massive A-sail off a retractable centerline carbon sprit. The hull is vacuum-infused in polyester with a foam core, and the rig sports stainless wire shrouds, and an aluminum Seldén mast and boom in the interest of holding down costs. However, the performance cost of these economical components is minimal thanks to Fareast’s quality construction and more than worth the trade-off in terms of affordability.

Cockpit ergonomics are absolutely fantastic for a crew of five, with dedicated spots for the trimmers and helmsperson to ensure each can do his job without getting in the other’s way. The helm station, in particular, is almost perfect. Bottom line: for any sailor, or group of sailors looking to take their racing to the next level without breaking the bank, this boat just might be the perfect platform for doing so. Fareast.com

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