Canadian Yachting Magazine was invited to be one of the first publications to test sail the Blue Jacket 40, the first in a new series of performance cruising sailboats designed by Tim Jackett in collaboration with Bob Johnson, CEO and Chief Designer at Island Packet Yachts.  On a stunning April afternoon, we sailed down the Manatee River out into Tampa Bay in a 12-14 knot breeze with a full main and a Quantum “screacher” maintaining 6.5 to 7 knots in what might be called a fairly close tack.

Catalina’s Gerry Douglas has spent a considerable time listening and bucking many trends. His boats have stood the test of time and his brand following is the envy of many builders globally. His latest boat, the Catalina 385 takes off from his 445 launched in 2009, and the 355 introduced last year which both enjoy a nice balance of classic looks with a sense of being functional and innovative; that makes the Catalina brand so solid. Clearly the increasing demand Catalina anticipates will be in the mid-size cruiser market (under 40 feet) and we sense they are right.

If the continued growth of sailing as a pastime depends on user-friendly boats and shallower learning curves, then an entry-level cruiser like Hunter’s newest 33 is well positioned to meet the requirements of those new to the sport. This writer belonged to one of the last generations of sailors who followed the long, steady course from childhood prams through racing dinghies to various cruising keelboats, honing skills and learning to short-hand boats that were really designed to be sailed by larger crews.

Sell the cottage, heck, sell the house because you could easily live in this boat…it is a blue water cruising beauty! With current memories of spending a full week with five of my dearest friends on an older Westerly 45 cruising the western islands of Scotland, I was introduced to the newest Hunter, a 50’ center console. Talk about a time warp. First impressions were somewhat exaggerated but this boat has so much to give. I was immediately impressed by how the modern technologies – we use and rely on today to make boating enjoyable and fun – have been accelerating exponentially of late.

The Beneteau Oceanis 55 was unveiled at the Paris Boat Show in December 2012.  We had the pleasure of sailing the Oceanis 55 immediately following the North American debut at Strictly Sail – the Miami Boat Show in February.   Conceived by Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design with its interior by Nauta Design, this is an elegant vessel, with modern clean lines.  It is bright, spacious and comfortable.   At 55 feet  LOA , 1431 square feet of  main and jib and 36800 lbs of displacement  this is a lot of boat; a lot of boat that was designed to be sailed comfortably by cruisers.

Quality, beauty and performance are the criteria Jeanneau focuses on in the innovation and design of new boats.  The 2013 Sun Odyssey 469 is the latest example of Philippe Briand / Jeanneau achievement of those criteria.  The 469 comes from the pedigree of the 509, and shares many of the elements of that successful design.  The 469 has moderate freeboard, a vertical bow, beam carried aft, a soft chine aft of the beam, and a drop transom.  Long lines and a low rise in the coach roof give the 469 an elegant and sleek appearance.   Flush hatches and recessed handrails maintain these clean lines.

The Hanse 415 is like lots of new production cruising boats in the 40-foot range. It has generous beam carried well aft, a big, comfortable cockpit, dual helms, a walk-through stern, and plumb bows. And like many new cruising boats available today, it’s designed to be both fast and easy to sail—a “performance cruiser”. But as I found out during my test drive off Newport, Rhode Island, last Fall, not all 40-foot “performance cruisers” are created equal. One of the reasons I came to feel the 415 stands out in the crowded field of 40-foot performance cruisers is purely in the eye of the beholder.

Jeanneau’s newest deck saloon design takes “bright and airy” accommodations to a whole new level. The new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 41DS is billed as a quick performer with bright, airy, uber-comfortable accommodations. I took a brand-new example for a test sail off Annapolis, Maryland last fall to see how it lived up to its advanced billing. As I’ve seen over the years, the term “deck saloon” can mean different things to different manufacturers.

Hunter’s Evolution Continues. The Hunter 40 is the first product of newly-formed Marlow-Hunter Marine. The evolution of Hunter Marine as a business and on the design front continued with the launch of the new Hunter 40 at last fall’s US Sailboat Show in Annapolis. Clearly, the rallying cry “Life Begins at 40” to celebrate Hunter’s 40th anniversary in 2013 has traction throughout the Hunter organization under new owner David Marlow.

This Polish-built performance cruiser is an honest boat that’s comfortable, easy to sail and an impressive performer. The sky was overcast, the breeze was steady at 10 knots, and the gunmetal-grey seas were flat during my test sail of the Delphia 47. But after countless boat tests I’ve conducted in similar conditions off Toronto, or Annapolis, Maryland, or Newport, Rhode Island, this one was different: we were sailing on the Baltic Sea, off the Polish city of Gdansk. Poland may not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of sailboat-building traditions, and Delphia Yachts may not be a household name in North America, but as I learned during a fact-finding/boat-testing trip in Poland,

Destinations

  • Prev
Some may say that the sailing experience of monohulls versus catamarans is as different as chalk ...
The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie ...
I know of no other boating location quite like the town of Gananoque in the Thousand Islands.The ...
Having cruised the BC coast for several decades, we enjoy sharing information about the remote ...
Glendale Cove, on BC’s Knight Inlet, is protected habitat for grizzly bears – and the ideal spot to ...
Years before realizing my family and I would find happiness in boating, Bronte Village had been a ...
The family of the Great Lakes, like our own, has members who each enthusiastically demonstrate ...
Clayoquot SoundClayoquot is one of the major sounds on Vancouver Island’s wild West Coast, and a ...
The Rideau WaltzI have lived in Ontario my entire life but have likely explored more acres outside ...
It was still dark when we departed our home slips in Chrystal Harbour, LaSalle, Ontario, and ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Winterizing your boat in the fall is important and may be a daunting task for some boat owners.  ...
Boaters who prefer to be on the hook, such as ourselves in our Islander 36 sailboat Holole’a, ...
Will traditional paper charts soon be a thing of the past? And what will that mean for recreational ...
With built in functions for radar, weather, chart plotters, engine data, and radio controls, boat ...
Understanding how systems really work – and degrade over the winter – can help you prepare your ...
The Interlux® Boat Paint Guide has gone digital with the launch of a free app for Apple® IOS and ...
Convenient, Cool and Low-cost!From simple organizational Apps for your smart phone to complete ...
Navigation light repairs and replacements you can do yourself.In researching this article, we spoke ...
If you are new to boating, how do you start searching for the right boat at boat shows? We put the ...

Environment

  • Prev
Boating and astronomy can be a match made in the heavens. The inky black canvas above the boat is ...
The 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay is a boater’s dream destination with crystal clear waters, ...
New rules severely restrict where and how salt-water boaters can discharge sewage. Is your boat ...
Many Canadian Yachting readers have likely experienced the beauty of British Columbia’s Gulf ...
Many newspaper headlines appeared in the spring of 2012 with these two names highlighted. The ...
Investing in a reusable winter cover is a sound environmental choice and a practical way to ...
I’m on vacation! Things can turn ugly in paradise when you finally reach that secluded anchorage. ...
I've been a pilot for 37 years and spent 28 years flying passenger aircraft for the airlines ...
There's been lots of talk about electric boats recently, but few examples are actually out on the ...
I think it’s a given that as a Canadian Yachting reader, you are passionate about ...

Lifestyle

  • Prev
If you are ready to start your Holiday baking or just plain need a great chocolate fix these ...
It doesn’t seem to matter if you are on the east coast, in the Prairies, or on the west coast, ...
An easy salmon dish with homemade teriyaki sauce and a Sriracha cream sauce that will knock your ...
Soup season is in full swing and this Tomato Tortellini Soup with Pesto is just the recipe to warm ...
This flavour-infused pasta dish is terrific for any season.  It takes a little bit of prep time but ...
As the season's evenings grow cooler boaters will be looking for heartier galley meals to extend ...
Cooler days and cooler nights make everyone want to prepare something warm and comforting... This ...
This is a simple recipe too.  The only challenging part is rolling up the tortillas without ...
This recipe is great for a make-ahead easy yet satisfying on board meal.  You can use chicken or ...
The formation of Glacial Lake Iroquois, at the end of the last ice age, was to have a lasting ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Just like diamonds, stainless steel is forever. Combining beauty and strength, stainless steel ...
The compact McMurdo Smartfind Plus G5 GPS EPIRB features a high performance, multi-channel GPS ...
Sweden-based Radinn, a company aiming to "revolutionize the watersport industry,” is trying to make ...
Taylor Made Systems is introducing a new range of glass sunroof systems for the boating industry at ...
KVH TracVision® owners in the U.S. can now enjoy satellite TV from DISH Network® on their boats and ...
Douglass Simpson, a winner of the Globe and Mail's Top 12 Canadian Innovator awards in the ...
Whether chilling snacks for a quick outing or supplying auxiliary cold storage for longer trips, a ...
SunZone SprayWet has been specifically designed to be applied on wet skin. Its formulation is able ...
Boaters and marina workers should exercise caution this summer before taking to the seas. A study ...
ASA Electronics is pleased to announce the arrival of the MS40BT—a Bluetooth®-enabled stereo that ...