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2018 July 1

A seaworthy pocket-cruiser that is a perfect project for the home builder

I  have been following the design work of John Welsford for some time now. His SCAMP design caught my attention and it has become quite a popular class in the Pacific Northwest. It’s hard not to like pocket-cruisers but so many of them appear to me to be “toy boats” and not the kind of boat I would want to sail. John’s designs escape this type and are capable little vessels that perform well and are aesthetically very satisfying. I pestered John for one of his designs to review and he finally broke down and sent me the drawings for his Pelegrin 17-footer. John’s designs are aimed at the home builder so design details are simple but effective.
2018 July 1

This new French cruiser has a beautiful deck design and commodious accommodations

I have been aware of the Dufour line of boats for longer than I can remember. I even sailed a Chicago-Mackinac race 44 years ago on a Dufour Arpege. We were the slowest boat in the race. But that’s another story. This new Dufour, an Umberto Felci design, is a great example of the extreme proportions that Europeans are using in order to get maximum accommodations into a given LOA.
2018 July 1

A unique cruiser that is made for fun in the sun and Jimmy Buffett

This new boat from designer Ted Fontaine and built by Pacific Seacraft in North Carolina has been getting a lot of attention lately. This could be due to the fact that hull No. 1 was built for singer
2018 June 1

A way-out-of-the-box cruising catamaran has no speed limit

Vlad Murnikov and I have been friends for many years. I met Vlad shortly after he set up shop in the U.S. following his 1989 Whitbread Round the World Race adventure on Fazisi, an 82-foot radical offs
2018 June 1

This offshore cruiser meets the demands of the Pacific Northwest and its curmudgeonly owner

When design commissions slow down I like to keep working so I pass the time being my own client and drawing what I think I would like. Recently, when I had some time on my hands, I took my 43-foot car
2018 May 7

This new Swedish cruiser has a lot packed into 40 feet

This new Najad is promoted as a “mini superyacht.” That sounds ambitious with 39 feet 4 inches of LOA.  The design is from the Farr office with styling by Ken Freivokh. Most of you will be u
2018 May 1

New flagship for the Oceanis line has speed and comfort in a stylish package

The Oceanis 51.1 is the new queen of the Beneteau Oceanis series. The design is by Berret-Racoupeau Yacht Design with deck and interior by Nauta Design. This is a big boat and it comes with enough opt
2018 May 1

A weekender with a surprisingly roomy interior

We don’t get too many boats to review from Poland but here is a new 24-footer from the Northman Shipyard. The designer is Jacek Daszkiewicz, who is part of an in-house design team at the yard that u
2018 April 1

This daysailer has everything you need for an afternoon sail

Let’s say you want a comfortable daysailer that represents modern design trends. This design by Satellite Yacht Design in the Netherlands and built by the Hennevanger family tries to tick off all th
2018 April 1

With a German Frers pedigree, this offshore cruiser has both speed and comfort

The new Hallberg-Rassy designed by German Frers falls into the “dream boat” category for most of us. Personally I dream of much smaller boats, but if I were to dream about a big boat, I think this
2018 March 26

This new rocket is sure to catch fire in Canada’s Cup and one-design fleets

My friend Mark Mills designed the new IC37 by Melges and it has been chosen as the boat for the next Canada’s Cup. That’s a good way to focus a lot of attention on a new race boat. Mark seems to be having his way with race boats these days. He’s been quite successful over a wide size range. His designs are very fast and very good looking. At 37 feet LOA, this is a boat most of us can relate to racing on. When I was in high school I raced on a Buchan 37 but it would be a bit difficult to draw a continuous line from that boat to this Mill’s design.
2018 March 1

With walk-around decks and an innovative interior this new cruiser has started a comfort revolution

Here is a new model for the Sun Odyssey line by Jeanneau. By now the look should be familiar to you. There are minimal overhangs, high freeboard, flat sheer, a chine aft and an artfully contoured, sleek, low-windage deck.  But there is one significant departure, the side decks extend aft to the transom so you can easily walk from stem to stern.
2018 March 1

This lightweight trimaran has speed in a pocket-cruising package

Astus Boats out of France has a niche market. It has been very successful building a series of small, collapsible, very lightweight trimarans. These are the kinds of boats you could easily tow behind a small car like my Subaru. 
2018 March 1

This well-appointed offshore cruiser is made to cross oceans in style

Kevin Dibley, the designer of the new Kraken 50, is an old mate of mine and always provides me with enough “meat” to the design to allow me to do an accurate review. For that I  am grateful. This new luxury cruising boat is built in China by Hansheng Yachts and is designed to combine comfort and performance. We hear that all the time but in this case, with Kevin as the designer, I think we can actually believe it.
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.”
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?

Perry on Design

  • A unique cruiser that is made for fun in the sun and Jimmy Buffett

  • This new French cruiser has a beautiful deck design and commodious accommodations

  • A seaworthy pocket-cruiser that is a perfect project for the home builder

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