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2016 September 1

This sleek cruising cat is perfect for tradewind sailing

 My son took my 4-year-old granddaughter sailing in our new dinghy for the first time last weekend. I asked her, “Did you like sailing, Violet?” She said, “Yes, but I didn’t like tipping.
2016 July 1

Beneteau’s newest 41-footer redefines the cruiser-racer concept with a harmony of elegant styling, bold hull design and an easy-to-sail rig

Beneteau introduced its latest model at the Strictly Sail Miami boat show in February, and while the sleek Oceanis 41.1 had a steady stream of admirers, dreamers and serious buyers, I confess it left me feeling just a bit nostalgic. Don’t get me wrong, the 41.1 is undeniably modern. Silky smooth lines with a full-length chine, a low-slung cabintop gracefully disguising generous freeboard, wide beam carried aft and long ends leave no doubt that the Finot-Conq 41.1 hull design will look fresh a decade from now. What intrigued me was the multifaceted aspect of the design. 
2016 July 1

The boat that brought families and friends together on the racecourse before anyone thought to call them sportboats

 Forty years ago Rod Johnstone built a boat in his garage. He did his own design work. It took Rod 17 months to finish the build and in May 1976 Ragtime was launched. That summer of racing saw Ragtime win 15 out of 17 races. People were paying attention to the fast, plain-looking 24-footer and asking “Can you build one for me?” 
2016 July 1

This folding sailboat reached a new class of sailors and continues to attract attention today

 I remember my first sail on a multihull. It was 1963 and the boat was a 17-foot Cougar Cat owned by some friends. At that time there were a few one-design cat classes starting up but none really caught on until Hobie started building his cats. But cruising multihulls would remain scarce for many more years. There were various designers promoting catamarans and trimarans but they were mostly aimed at selling plans to home builders. The multihull world was a bit “cultish” and most certainly far from mainstream.
2016 July 1

The first and second child of the ULDB movement and the wizard Bill Lee

 Now we come to the boat I chose as the most noteworthy racing boat of the last 50 years. This was a hard choice. I chose Bill Lee’s design Merlin. But Merlin was not designed to the IOR so Merlin was quickly followed by another Bill design, the Santa Cruz 70, essentially an IOR-friendly version of Merlin. Why are these boats so important? Four words: Ultra Light Displacement Boat or ULDB. 
2016 July 1

The performance cruiser that defined the category and sparked a career

 
 I chose the Valiant for the cruising category because it is generally considered the boat that began the move to “performance cruisers.” There were plenty of fast cruising boats before the Valiant but I think the Valiant is remembered for a couple of reasons. The term “performance cruiser” was attached to the V-40 early on and it became an easy way to identify the type. Also, the V-40 was a distinctive looking design that was very easy to recognize. People like what they know. And yes, I can’t deny it, I am the proud designer of the V-40. So with that in mind I will try to be objective.
2016 July 1
 Four decades ago, yacht designer Robert H. Perry challenged a review of one of his designs that had been published in SAILING Magazine, saying he could do a better job on design reviews. Then-editor Micca Hutchins took him up on his offer and his first design review—of an Allton Dunsford and Son-designed 26-footer called Carolina—was published in the April 1975 issue of SAILING.
2016 May 1

Marketed as an alternative to the pricier Westsail 32, this compact cruiser is capable of offshore voyageing

 The 1975 sales brochure described the Westsail 28 as a world cruiser and the boat lived up to that promise. Although only 78 hulls were built, far fewer than the impressively popular Westsail 32, most of the small cruisers are still sailing the far-flung corners of the globe. 
2016 May 1

This one-design speedster is sporty and sleek, with lots of sail area for sizzle

The MC31 one-design, built by McConaghy Boats in Australia, looks to be a very fast boat. The design is most interesting but I really had to dig through the company’s material to find the designer’s name, Harry Dunning. 
2016 May 1

A dual-purpose design that doesn't sacrifice good looks

The Salona 35 is built in Croatia and was designed by the Slovenian design team J&J. This is a very nice looking boat in the genre of the true dual-purpose boat. You can race this boat or you can cruise this boat. It is designed to be well suited to both uses. Kind of the way Islanders, Pearsons and Ericsons were back in the 1970s. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
2016 May 1

Comfortable, shoal-water sailing is on the agenda for this family cruiser

 Here’s a handsome, raised saloon-type design from Marlow-Hunter. This general configuration has been gaining in popularity for many years. I can remember the first time my wife went below on one of my early raised-saloon boats. She looked around and said, “I don’t know why all boats aren’t like this.” Wives are so honest.
2016 April 1

A compromise-free top-notch yacht

 I have some great drawings from Mark along with some very nice three-dimensional images of the interior layout. On a project like this, Mark would be responsible for the design of the hull, rig, appendages and deck layout. Pininfarina, a very famous name in the world of Italian design, is responsible for the design of the interior.
2016 April 1

Sparse details with this design, but room for quality and creative interpretation

I need to vent. I don’t think I have ever vented in the years of doing the reviews. Let’s give it a whirl: These are not boat reviews. These are design reviews. It would be impossible for me to actually see and sail every boat I review. Many, like this Didden 34 Daysailer, are not even built yet. Some never get built.
2016 April 1

Dutch class and comfort come together in a small but fun package

 For some reason, lately I seem to be drawn to designs that can be comfortably operated by an old man. It’s a hard reality to face but my days of hanging on a trapeze or hiking in almost any form are behind me. Today I need a boat that I can sit in and not on. 
2016 March 1

A beautiful and rugged offshore cruiser that is perfect for a small family or a couple

 Sailors who admire the Baba 35 are quick to point out that the bluewater cruiser possesses both beauty and brawn. The full-keel, double-ended cutter was designed by naval architect Robert H. Perry. When it first splashed in 1979, the boat was dubbed the Flying Dutchman.
2016 March 1

Classic design coupled with modern adaptions make for a cool cruiser

I really like the look of this new Tartan. It reminds me of the classic Sparkman & Stephens-designed Tartan 37. 
2016 March 1

Panache and power come in a speedy dinghy design

 I can’t imagine being a sailor and not wanting one of the new Melges 14’s. I can picture myself in this new Reichel/Pugh design rocketing across the bay, just me and my dog. All the car
2016 March 1

Incorporating European design is a new and successful tack for a venerable American builder

 Here is something new and a bit different from Gerry Douglas and his design crew at Catalina. In the past Catalina has stuck to a very conservative look that in time has distinguished it from the more contemporary or Euro-influenced designs. But with its new 425, Catalina has moved in the Euro direction a bit and is producing a boat that is aesthetically on a new tack. 
2016 January 25

This cruiser packs plenty of bells and whistles in a compact hull

This new 31.5-footer is obviously aimed at getting the very most you can out of that LOA. Let’s take a look and see how it went about doing that.
2016 January 25

Options abound in this updated cruiser

 Here is a handsome new design from the Finot-Conq design group and built by Beneteau.

Perry on Design

  • Carbon construction sets this classy catamaran apart

  • This attractive cruiser is full of unique features above and belowdecks

  • Choose your rig and choose your adventure with this compact package

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