Following up on the J/121, which won a SAIL Best Boats award in 2018, the new J/99 represents a similar concept in a smaller package. Specifically, the new 32-footer’s deck layout and rig have been optimized for smaller and even doublehanded crews, with an eye toward meeting the increasing international interest in shorthanded racing.
Beyond that, the J/99 is vintage modern “J,” with its plumb ends, slippery “SCRIMP” infused hull, deep high-aspect rudder, and an even deeper cast-iron fin keel with a lead “shoe” that serves to lower the boat’s center of gravity. As with the rest of the J/Boats fleet, the cockpit is also a functional work of art, with plenty of room for trimming sail, a cascading adjustable backstay for controlling power in the rig and the mainsheet (complete with fine trim) running to a traveler in the cockpit sole—right where it needs to be aboard any kind of performance boat.
Finally, the J/99 not only looks to be a super-fun daysailer, but her accommodations will serve the boat’s crews during distance races and also work well for coastal cruising—in the fast last lane, no doubt.
Meanwhile, down in South Africa, veteran multihull builder Voyage Yachts is also pushing the design and engineering envelope by producing its first all-electric catamaran, the Voyage 480 Electric. Based on the same hull form as the builder’s conventional 480 (with vacuum-bonded foam core hulls and an epoxy-based anti-osmosis layer) the 49ft 6in 480 Electric is loaded up with the very latest in green propulsion technology, including a 1.6kW solar array supplying a 35 kWh lithium-ion battery bank powering a pair of Oceanvolt servoprop saildrives. The latter’s variable-pitch propellers also serve as hydro-generators while under sail, pumping in another 2kW of power. The company’s first electric boat is currently in service with the Voyage Charters fleet in the BVI. Because of the high power demands placed on charter boats, it also carries an optional generator that can charge the battery bank and provide power directly to the saildrives.
Speaking of mulithulls, when people think trimarans, especially those at the smaller end of the spectrum, they often think speed. However, even the speediest of modern tris often offer a surprising amount of accommodation space as well, making them great little pocket cruisers. Case in point, the all-new Corsair 880 from Vietnam, a foldable speedster that is as comfortable as it is quick, with standing headroom belowdecks and berths for five.
Better still, the 880, which has an LOA of 28ft 8in and displaces a mere 3,660lb, is also available with such options as a bimini, boom tent, 12-volt cooler, solar panels, manual or electric toilet, and even a generator and heater/AC unit! Of course, a boat like this is also all about performance, and to this end the 880 comes equipped with a centerboard and high-aspect rig with square-top main. For those in search of yet more horsepower, a “sport” version of the 880 is available, complete with an even taller rig and carbon spars.
Finally, after a brief hiatus, Hylas Yachts International is back up and running on all cylinders, as is evident in its newest concept, the Hylas 60, a 59ft 2in performance cruiser. Designed by German Frers, the boat is a fast bluewater cruiser that can be handled by a shorthanded crew or even a sailing couple. Go-fast features include a fin keel with bulb, an impressive 90ft air draft (no ICW transits for this baby!), nearly plumb ends in the interest of maximizing sailing length, twin spade rudders and a svelte-looking fixed sprit. Nonetheless, the H60 remains very much a cruising boat, with a fairly deep forefoot and sufficient displacement to both promote a seakindly motion in a seaway, and provide scads of good-looking accommodation space belowdecks.
The H60’s cored hull is infused with an eye toward stiffness and lightweight; a split backstay makes it that much easier to access the boat’s swim platform; twin helms facilitate sightlines; and a removable inner forestay will help crews power down the rig for riding out the rough stuff. Finally, if the renderings are any indication, the boat more than carries on the Hylas tradition of being drop-dead gorgeous.
Corsair Marine corsairmarine.com
Hylas Yachts International hylasyachts.com
Voyage Yachts voyageyachts.com