2018 January 1

Modern design capitalizes on a bright and airy layout

This very nice looking sloop was designed by Berret-Racoupeau and is built by Wauquiez. Here we see the design pendulum swing hard to the comfort side of the scale. I would call this a raised saloon configuration with an aft cockpit. If you are tired of dark and gloomy interiors, this is the boat for you.
2018 January 1

Moderately sized racer-cruiser is a reinvention of a classic design

This new Grand Soleil model is an attempt to produce a boat with the same impact that the previous Finot-designed GS34 had. More than 300 of the early 34s were built. But to replicate that success takes more than good design and build. It takes good timing and an element of good fortune. The new 34 is designed by a team with Skyron doing the naval architecture and the builder Cantiere del Pardo collaborating with Skyron on the interior and styling. Where the X49 put the emphasis on comfort in the racer-cruiser blend, the GS34 puts the emphasis on performance while not ignoring comfort. This is my first review of a Skyron design.
2018 January 1

A contemporary-styled cruiser with a focus on performance

The X-Yachts have long been one of my favorite European production boatbuilders. Given the trends of today, i.e. modern Euro-type styling, comfort and convenience mixed with some performance, I see X-Yachts as always one step ahead of its competition. The design work is in-house and led by Nils Jepsesen. The new X49 is a 49-foot 6-inch performance cruiser. I like that term and I reflect on how much that category has changed since the Valiant 40 introduced it in 1974. In 1974 it was considered by many to be a radical approach to cruising. The words “cruising” and “performance” were seldom used to describe the same boat. But the world of yachting learned that those were not mutually exclusive at all. Today you can have maximum comfort with maximum performance and it’s considered “normal.”
2018 January 1

Hurricane-ravaged schools and charter companies are getting back on their feet, with a little help from friends

As the worst hurricane season in decades ravaged the Caribbean, Texas and Florida,  marine businesses immediately sprung to action to assess the damage and get back on their feet in hopes of still being able to capitalize on the lucrative high season just months away. 
2018 January 1

Upgrading your boat’s power grid is a good investment in time, money

Some upgrades and repairs on a sailboat are no-brainers. It’s not difficult know when you need new sails or the paint job and brightwork need attention. But figuring out if a battery upgrade is necessary and how to do it is at times less obvious. Odds are, though, that if the house batteries are more than five years old, you are going to want to think about replacing them. Wet-cell lead acid batteries have a life span of about five years. Some can be coaxed to perform longer, but their performance will degrade over time. If you’ve found that you are constantly charging the batteries or can’t run many of the systems you’d like to for long periods, it may be worth considering a battery upgrade as well. 
2018 January 1
I’d like to install some USB ports to charge phones and tablets on my boat. I have a J/35 built in 1986, so the entire interior has exactly one 12-volt receptacle built into the electrical panel next to the starboard quarterberth. I’m OK with that, but my kids seem to run their iPods all the time, so I need a way to charge them without fighting over the single receptacle. My thought was to install two USB ports, one going forward to the V-berth and one over to the port quarter berth. How do I connect them to the electrical system?
2018 January 1

Famed lensman Onne van der Wal set a deadline for the mostly DIY refit of a classic cruiser fit for the family

It was 40 degrees in the Pearson 36 Onne van der Wal had propped up on jackstands next to his house some nights. Although the boat, which was undergoing a mostly DIY refit, was heated, snow would pile up on its cover, making any project a bone-chilling affair. 
2017 November 1

An aluminum hull holds useful attributes

Here is a very interesting boat from the French builder Boréal. It’s 44 feet on deck and 47 feet 9 inches overall. What makes this boat unusual is the fact that it’s built in aluminum using a multichine hull form. On top of that it has a centerboard that reduces draft from 8 feet 3 inches to a beachable 3 feet 4 inches.
2017 November 1

Farr’s cruising design with performance features for the foiling-focused

Here is a high-performance cruising boat from the Farr office in Annapolis. As the promotional material says, “We are entering the age of foil-assisted sailing.”  
2017 November 1

Water-ballasted speedster offers performance and comfort with a small crew

The new J/121 is an extension of the formula used for the J/70. The idea was to develop a fast 40-footer that could be cruised or raced with a small crew, meaning five or fewer people. Racing would be organized with strict one-design rules and the J/Boats people have a lot of experience and success with this format. I see the boat as good all around and particularly a fun cruising boat for mom and dad. The designers at J/Boats seem to have a knack of drawing the perfect boat for Bob. This is most definitely a boat I could enjoy. Look at it: It’s beautiful, clean, unaffected and well proportioned. What’s not to like?
2017 November 1

Star boat sailors are breathing new life into the class by rescuing, restoring and racing classic wooden boats in the inaugural Vintage Gold Cup on Michigan’s Gull Lake

By all accounts, Michigan’s Gull Lake is a sailor’s lake, often bustling with regattas or packed with weekend daysailers. But there was something special about the 12 Stars that took to the racecourse on a crisp early fall weekend. Sailed by some of the best sailors in the class, the colorful boats were all 50 years old, lovingly restored, some just in time for the Vintage Gold Cup. It was exactly what the regatta’s organizers had in mind.
2017 October 1

Coaxing a big cat into a tight space requires a new way of thinking and a bit of practice

Catamarans are by far the favored boat for charterers, and charter fleets, which are full of cruising catamarans with a handful of monohulls reflect that. And it’s easy to see why: Not only is there
2017 October 1
Dear Boat Doctor, At the tail end of a recent cruise, I went to start the engine and heard the distinct thud of a dead battery. But when I checked the batteries, all was well. I tried the starter aga
2017 October 1
OK, I admit it. I’ve been a harsh critic of helicopter parents for a long time. You know, the parents that hover around their children, never giving them a chance to think or do on their own. They rig their boats, follow them on the racecourse aboard mommy boats, hire coaches to video and critique them.
2017 October 1

Production catamaran with customizable interior options should appeal to many

I think it’s accurate to say that the Gunboat fleet of very fast cruising cats opened up a new market for catamaran lovers. Now it’s not just about square footage but also comfort and speed.
2017 October 1

Impressive design balances comfort, performance and quality in this offshore cat

The new Balance 620 catamaran is built in South Africa at the Nexus Yachts boatyard. The design is by Anton DuToit. The target for this design is a “stretched, ultra high-speed version of the Balance 526 design.” Performance claims for the new cat are speed from “12 to 14 knots and often exceeding 20 knots.” That sounds good. The yard also offers custom interiors if one of its three standard layouts does not work for you. You can have either a three-, four- or even five-stateroom layout. Three would be plenty, thank you, and that’s the layout I have the drawing for, so that’s what I will focus on.
2017 October 1

New Morrelli and Melvin trimaran promises a speedy offshore adventure

This month we have three very interesting multihulls to review—two cats and a trimaran. First is the Morrelli and Melvin-designed Rapido 50. You’ve heard me talk about my buddy Doug on the next beach with the Farrier tri. He’s thinking about a new tri with more comfort than his 27-footer and when I saw the Rapido I thought it would be a great fit for him. That way I could go for a sail on the new boat. I’m always looking out for my friends.

Perry on Design

  • This small, attractive cruiser has plenty of options to suit every need

  • A handsome cruiser that will shine in the charter market or favorite cruising grounds

  • Foil-assisted racing is coming to a yacht club near you

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