Hanse Yachts sure have come a long way since they first appeared in North America in the late '90s. Back then, I thought the boats were small and unremarkable except for the fact that they were built in the former East Germany. But I soon learned that Hanse’s founder and chief visionary Michael Schmidt had big plans. Since then, Hanse Yachts has indeed evolved into one of the highest volume builders in the world. And as I found out during a test sail of the Judel/Vrolijk-designed Hanse 495 on a spectacular late fall day in New England, there are plenty of reasons why Hanse Yachts continue to propagate.
Hanse's move to the main dock in Annapolis really demonstrated its scope of product. It's funny but boats show better when you see their full length and profile. Hanse continues to impress and the 445 is a boat I like a lot. The You expect the twin wheels from a Hanse design, but the self-tacker and huge folding platform deliver extra value. The fact one can has interior options just make this boat a perfect choice for a solid performance cruising boat.
With a solid tradition combined with a new outlook, this builder is producing some wonderful new hulls and product. Careful attention to detail below decks with storage options that will surprise man, this boat won my vote quickly. There is no question that this performance cruiser has a renewed commitment to the Canadian market. I am quite sure it will find its way to many marinas and yacht clubs next year. Its workmanship and solid pedigree will ensure it's a contender in the 44' cruising yacht niche.
The market niche Philippe Briand wanted to reach with this performance yacht will be excited. This boat allows for lots of customization with its rig and keel options. The wonderful lines and deck plan turned my head. I loved the self-tacking jib and the option for a 140% performance genoa. The interior, surprisingly spacious, is bright and wonderfully comfortable.
The sense line from Beneteau quickly became a benchmark for the industry, so it wasn't a surprise when we saw the 43 for the first time. Capitalizing on the successful 50, the wonderful style and sense (pardon the pun), its wide beam at 14 feet that's carried all the way aft is complemented well with the hard chine concept. We loved the interaction with the cockpit and salon; the cockpit size and scope is amazing.
Tartan's robust designs and wonderful attention to detail make their traditional yachts a 'must see' option in our minds. One thing Tartan has always done is to ensure their boats can perform and perform well. Below decks, the ambiance and style is only outdone by the practical convenience and wonderful balance of satin- varnished cherry joiner work.
I loved this boat from the first take – a breath of fresh air from J Boats. It's trailerable, easily sailed and its large cockpit, small sail inventory and sailing just for sailing's sake. From trailer to water in 30 minutes, this boat was made to fill a niche long forgotten. It has a vertically lifting bulb keel and carbon fiber single spreader rig. Perfectly sailed by 3-4 and it's got that great J Boat moniker too!
A Rugged Performance Catamaran, Just Launched in Canada
I am slowly becoming a fan of Catamarans. Now, having sailed and reviewed more and more of these boats I am starting to get it. Excellent space below, and a stable, shallow draft allows for effortless cruising and wonderful speeds underway – all wonderful attributes that the market is rewarding more often these days. What’s also new for Gemini is the recent deal struck with Hunter to build these boats.
Just as the mythical “Phoenix” rose from the ashes, reborn to live again, so too was a beautiful yacht launched in September to replace another destroyed by fire.
In 2005, Covey Island Boatyard built a beautiful sixty-three foot classic schooner, “Maggie B” for Chicago venture capitalist Frank Blair. This boat cruised extensively, including a circumnavigation, and was ultimately returned to the boatyard for a refit. On August 12, 2008, disaster struck; a horrendous overnight fire completely destroyed the yard along with the “Maggie B”.
My European sailing editor colleagues are all a buzz about this boat. I was taken aback by a comment that referred to the 40E as sensitive and that term really hit the mark. Sensitive to the market needs, sensitive to the owner’s wants, and sensitive as it appeals to the racing performance of the boat.
When Dufour set the challenge to dazzle the market by building a product to reenter the North American scene, it had to come out with a boat that was better than the Dufour 40. Tough call, but the team at the Dufour Design group and Umberto Felci did not disappoint.
Cruising on Canada’s East Coast, at least for those who have never been there, can conjure up images of fierce tides and dense fog. While these conditions do exist at times, they can be managed with prudence and planning. However, there are two large cruising areas that are as inviting as any protected inland lake or river. These are the Bras d’Or Lakes region of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and the Saint John River in New Brunswick. Although the Saint John River runs for over 400 miles from its headwaters in the mountains of northern Maine, it is the approximately 75 miles between the river’s mouth at the port city of Saint John on the Bay of Fundy and the head of navigation at Fredericton, that attract the boater’s attention. ...
Dufour in partnership with Felci Yacht Design wants nothing less than to optimize the sailing experience through design, performance and comfort. The Dufour 500 Grand Large provides space and amenities with style, efficiency and performance. This yacht is an embodiment of that objective.
Contemporary, sleek design is combined with innovative features using modern construction techniques, materials and components. The 500GL has a low profile and wide side decks. The plumb bow and full beam, carried well aft with a visible hard chine, are design features found on current racing profiles. The expansive drop transom is a feature shared with many modern cruisers along with twin wheels and a foldout sunbed in the cockpit. It’s the design innovations in the interior that sets the Dufour 500 Grand Large apart.
A social club based on sailing
The Halifax Harbour is well known not only to mariners and historians, but also to most Canadians for the 1917 Halifax explosion and the many fortifications left by the British. It has a rich and fascinating maritime history. The Bedford Basin, named after the 4th Duke of Bedford, is the remains of a large pre-historic fjord found in the northwestern end of Halifax Harbour measuring 8 kilometers in length and 5 km wide. A well- protected, deep harbour makes it ideal for anchoring. Due to these qualities, Halifax Harbour became the primary logistic port for resupplying Western Europe during both World Wars. With its protected waters, Bedford Basin allowed the English and Canadian Navies to securely assemble merchant convoys. With torpedo nets set in Halifax Harbour, German submarines were kept at bay.
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