The best of the rest

Each of these boats deserves to be recognized for a specific feature, design, or construction technique that was particularly innovative and/or well executed.Island Packet 486's nav stationAny offshore navigator would love to call this nerve-center nav station home. There's room to mount every imaginable electronic gadget, the varnished teak chart table is big enough to unfold a
Author:
Publish date:

Each of these boats deserves to be recognized for a specific feature, design, or construction technique that was particularly innovative and/or well executed.

Island Packet 486's nav station

Any offshore navigator would love to call this nerve-center nav station home. There's room to mount every imaginable electronic gadget, the varnished teak chart table is big enough to unfold a full-size chart, and there’s more than ample stowage. The decadently comfortable high-backed captain’s chair swivels, has arm rests, and is upholstered with UltraLeather. There's a full-size wet locker adjacent to the nav center. This was the best equipped nav station we saw this year.

Etap's vertical steering (EVS)

The ETAP 32's whipstaff was by far the most interesting steering system we tested, and it was refreshing to see a different (and effective) approach to something we all take for granted. It provides the instant response and feel of a tiller, frees up space in the cockpit, and offers the helmsman a variety of seating positions while steering. We liked being able to steer with the whipstaff just as you would with a tiller (sort of) or to sit on the seat in the center of the stern and steer as you would with a wheel. ETAP may be on to something.

PDQ's electrical system

The PDQ 42 Antares's electrical system is exemplary. Batteries are well secured and stored in a vented battery box, bus bars are oversized, wiring and cables are well-marked and meet ABYC standards, and overall installation is impeccable.

Xcite's construction

Hunter's 9-foot, 11-inch Xcite represents the leading edge of boatbuilding technology, which is radically changing the way some small boats are built. Gone are the countless hours necessary to build a hand-laid fiberglass boat. Instead, tough plastic hulls can be popped off a male mold using Hunter's Advanced Composite Technology in a matter of minutes for a fraction of the cost of a similar-size fiberglass boat. The result is a moderately priced, extremely durable hull that's perfectly suited for entry-level boats and maybe a whole lot more. Stay tuned.

Catalina's accommodations plan

Kudos to the design team responsible for the Catalina 350's well-executed accommodations plan. It appears they have unlocked the riddle of how to fit all the space and amenities of a 40-foot boat into a 35-foot hull. All components–the galley, saloon settee, stowage, and size and shape of the cabins–fit together beautifully. It was one of the roomiest interiors we saw on a mid-size boat.

Swan's cockpit

With its large-diameter wheel, open transom, teak decking, and room to accommodate a racing crew, the Swan 45 garnered high marks for its efficient and elegant deck plan. Lines are led under the deck to keep work areas free of clutter, a double-ended mainsheet and traveler lead to winches close to the helm station, and visibility from the helm is superb. Judges also agreed that the feel and responsiveness of the helm and the boat's acceleration in light winds were extraordinary.

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No chafe, safe stay  If you’re leaving the boat unattended for a longish period, there’s a lot to be said for cow-hitching the shorelines, as this sailor did. They’ll never let go, and so long as the ...read more

belize600x

Charter Special: Belize

It would be hard to imagine a more secure spot than the Sunsail base on the outskirts of the beachside community of Placencia, Belize. The entire marina is protected by a robust seawall with a channel scarcely a few boatlengths across. It’s also located far enough up Placencia ...read more

DSC00247

DIY: a Top-to-Bottom Refit

I found my sailing “dream boat” in the spring of 1979 while racing on Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Everyone had heard about the hot new boat in town, and we were anxiously awaiting the appearance of this new Pearson 40. She made it to the starting line just before the race ...read more

01-oysteryachts-regattas-loropiana2016_063

Light-air Sails and How to Handle Them

In the second of a two-part series on light-air sails, Rupert Holmes looks at how today’s furling gear has revolutionized sail handling off the wind. Read part 1 here. It’s easy to look at long-distance racing yachts of 60ft and above with multiple downwind sails set on roller ...read more

HanseCharles

Video Tour: Hanse 348

“It’s a smaller-size Hanse cruiser, but with some big-boat features,” says SAIL’s Cruising Editor, Charles J. Doane. At last fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, Doane had a chance to take a close look at the new Hanse 348. Some of the boat’s highlights include under-deck galleries for ...read more

amalfitown

Charter Destination: Amalfi Coast

Prego! Weeks after returning from our Italian flotilla trip last summer, I was still feeling the relaxed atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a Mediterranean paradise, with crystal-clear waters, charming hillside towns and cliffside villages, plenty of delicious food and wine, ...read more

image005

Inside or Outside When Sailing the ICW

Last April, my wife, Marjorie, and I decided to take our Tartan 4100, Meri, north to Maryland from her winter home in Hobe Sound, Florida. This, in turn, meant deciding whether to stay in the “Ditch” for the duration or go offshore part of the way. Although we had both been ...read more

MK1_30542

SailGP: There’s a New Sailing Series in Town

San Francisco was the venue of the biggest come-from-behind victory in the history of the America’s Cup when Oracle Team USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand in 2013, so it seems only fitting that the first American round of Larry Ellison’s new SailGP pro sailing series will be ...read more