The automotive industry coined the term crossover; I guess that should be the word we now refer to for those boats that have high performance and comfort cruising. In this vein, the Beneteau First 45 is just that boat.
At first glance, I could see why Anchor Yacht's affable Colin Andrews was so excited about this boat. The hull shape just breathes 'power to burn'; our test sail proved that point first hand. Its acceleration and tracking are amazing; it's definitely got a home in the performance cruiser market.
What we like about Hanse is – first, performance – and second, price. The Hanse 430, like its siblings, tends to have a large sail area to weight ratio and a sense of simplicity few have been able to even consider. But I sense that it's the performance moniker that drives the Hanse team every day.
Sailing a Hanse is a treat in both light to medium and heavy air. The design team has been able to balance such a wonderful hull – known for its volume and size – with stability. Every time I step onto one of these boats, I sense performance and speed.
Island Packet set the benchmark for cruising yachts design almost from the get go. Their formula was to match the aspects of speed and comfort with performance, 'sailibility' and safety. Their new motorsailer extends this beyond their sail experience; they have another winner for sure.
I first saw a 10R in Annapolis and then again in Toronto at the recent ABYC one design regatta. It's a boat that catches the eye, especially with the likes of Jamie Kidd at the helm. Kidd has won more world championships than most and is probably one of the top talented sailors that never made our Olympic team. He is knowledgeable and competitive. Top sailors in Canada and around the world are flocking to this boat because it does not compromise in performance, look or style. The local Toronto results are a Canadian testament to the solid racing characteristics of this boat.
Hunter turns 35 years old this year. It's amazing just how far they've come and what an integral role they have played helping sell the sport and lifestyle. How? Hunter has worked hard to build affordable, quality boats that were easy to own and, more importantly, easy to sail. This review on the Hunter 45 DS reflects a lot of what Hunter has learned over its 35 years in business. Co-founder, Warren Luhrs – a knowledgeable sailor – helped the company grow to a global brand with over 80 models launched from its design boards.
Gerry Douglas, the chief designer for Catalina, has hit a home run with the new Catalina 375. It is a fact: they have regrouped and rethought out the concept of a solid family cruising yacht that provides great features, value and performance. Filling the niche previously held by the Catalina 36, this new boat is a product of obvious experience and input from owners and the Catalina design team.
When Tom Penton wanted to move up, he consulted with his trusted yacht broker, Pat Sturgeon (now along with Hans Fogh) who represents Hanse Yachts. They worked together to 'spec' out Tom's new Hanse 400.
Having the luxury of living on Georgian Bay where Tom and his wife moor the boat, I have watched it round the point several miles off my house and knew right away who it was. The distinctive look and presence of this boat makes it stand out from the crowd. The sleek Judel/Volijk design is strikingly modern; the dark blue hull complements the low profile cabin top and reverse sheer line work perfectly. The distinctive fractional 9/10 rig with double spreader mast and sail plan was a telling sign of the arrival of the distinctive Hanse to Georgian Bay.
Just when you did not expect it, a surprise comes along that reminds you that underlying yacht design and building, there is a constant evolution. I wasn't sure what to expect when I arrived to sail test the Delphia 37; a new brand and a new builder enter the Canadian market. Now Polish craftsmanship is evident in many boats we see now; the Delphia is a great example of the complete package.
A surprise to many people is that the Lagoon brand is part of the Beneteau Group, a respected leader in the pleasure boat industry with renowned brands such as Jeanneau, Wauquiez, and CNB. This affiliation alone ensures a long-standing commitment to advanced moulding technology and manufacturing practices. Based in southern France. the company’s roots go back to building racing boats, and this passion for competition and high-tech construction boasts over fifty high-tech competition prototypes including formula 40, maxi-multihulls, 60’ trimarans, One Tonners, F1 monohulls, America’s Cup Boats, Globe Challenge etc. The focus today is on leveraging this pedigree into building boats that pay attention to the details, have an edge in design and still perform on the water.
There is something about a Tartan that stops you in your tracks – that makes you look again. It's a beautiful boat that meets the demands perfectly of anyone who wants a comfortable and somewhat elegant option for their offshore adventures. The classic long waterline look is becoming unique in its own right. The evolution and ever increasing presence of the tear drop windows, sloping decks and more truly represent the – if you will – avante garde designs we are seeing in more and more boats.