2012 Boat Show Preview

2012 BOAT SHOW PREVIEW: MONOHULLS • This fall and winter across the country, boat builders will be rolling out their latest models at national and regional boat shows. Once again, Blue Water Sailing is happy to bring you a preview of the monohulls that will grace the shows. Check out the new fleet of multihulls in the August edition of Multihulls Quarterly.

While the design trends over the past few years have been dominated by the new crop of angular and voluminous cruisers from Europe, it is interesting to note that several quite traditional looking designs—large and small—are appearing from U.S. builders. The boats will surely stir up the American fondness for sweeping sheers and traditional transoms.

Among the more modern boats, the sugar-scoop transom long favored by cruisers seems to be fading away, being replaced by fold-down transoms that offer huge areas for sunning, swimming and tending the dinghy. And when folded up, the new look provides the designs with a pleasing, purposeful look.

This year, we continue to see innovation from designers, whether in the form of twin rudders, drop keels or cockpit arches. The state of sailboat design remains vibrant and intriguing. Here are 28 new boats to dream about owning and sailing into the sunset.

Bavaria USA has spent the last 12 months launching a new company in North America. Their first office opened in Annapolis, MD, and their second is opening this fall in Mystic, CT. Bavaria USA sells their Farr-designed, German-built cruising boats factory direct, so you can order your new boat exactly as you want it and have it delivered in about eight weeks.

Last year, Bavaria launched their new Cruiser line. They put the 32, 36, 40 and 45 into a charter fleet in Annapolis and sold direct to customers. This year, they are bringing in a new Cruiser 50 and the classy Vision 46.

The 50, similar to the rest of the Cruiser line, is a roomy, easy-to-sail performance cruiser that will appeal to families who need a lot of space or couples who will be living aboard for long periods. BWS sailed the twin-wheel, twin-rudder 50 last year in Turkey and found it to be a remarkably good sailboat that is close-winded and slippery off the wind.

The new Vision 46, which debuted in Annapolis in July and will be shown at the Newport and Annapolis shows, is a raised deck saloon design with a sweet curved cabin house, a huge cockpit, a fine sailing hull, and a truly innovative approach to living and entertaining aboard. See our full review on page 70. www.bavariayachts.com

Over the last three years, as the sailing market has been in a deep recession, Beneteau has taken the opportunity to reinvent the Oceanis line of cruising boats and to introduce a completely new line of cruisers under the Sense brand.

With the Oceanis 45 and 41, the company developed the theme of sleek-hulled, low-cabin styling on hulls that have added beam and a slight chine aft to increase cockpit volume. The addition of a cockpit arch for mounting the mainsheet out of the cockpit adds to the distinct look and functionality of the new designs. This fall, Beneteau will introduce to the U.S. market the new Oceanis 48, which extends the brand and emphasizes modern styling and commodious living aboard. The 48’s cockpit has twin wheels and a centerline table with folding leaves and a pod on the aft end for the chartplotter. The stern folds down to make a wide swim platform. The new 48’s interior is a study in understated elegance. The boat comes standard with a mahogany-colored finish on the Alpi wood surfaces, offset by expanses of white overhead panels and light-colored fabrics. The aft cabin, aft galley configuration will make the 48 a fine sea boat.

The new Sense 55 follows on the heels of the Sense 50 and 43. The boat has a definite “wow” factor, as it is a true indoor-outdoor cruiser that offers many of the benefits of a cruising catamaran combined with the convenience, elegance and practicality of a monohull. Like its little sisters, the 55 redefines the living spaces into the outdoor “patio,” the living room-like saloon and the private sleeping quarters forward. The living spaces flow together smoothly, and huge windows and opening ports enhance ventilation, brightness below and communication between crew. The new boat has highly lacquered cabinet surfaces, finely finished built-in furniture, and a clean and elegant look on deck and below. See our full review in the August 2012 edition of BWS. www.beneteauusa.com

Catalina Yachts, once the largest sailboat builder in North America, if not the world, has seen its horizons narrowed during the recession. Nevertheless, over the last three years Gerry Douglas and Frank Butler have come up with four new boats that have set a new design trend for the company and given Catalina owners a reason to buy a new boat. It all started with the 445, which was an immediate success. The boat had a sleeker cabin top than previous models, a finely fitted out interior, and a sensible rig with roller furling on both the headsail and mainsail.

The 445 was followed by the 385 and the 355, and then last winter the company introduced the nifty little Catalina 315. The 31-footer was a hit right from the start as it filled a need for a capable small cruising boat at a reasonable price. We sailed the 315 in Florida last winter and came away thoroughly impressed with the boat’s sailing qualities, fine turn of speed and big-boat feel under a press of sail. Even better, we were stunned by the amount of living space—it felt like a 35-footer below deck. A great little cruiser, the Catalina 315 is a fine starter boat or a really fun cruiser for an experienced couple. See our review in the July 2012 issue of BWS. www.catalinayachts.com

Com-Pac Yachts began building small cruisers and daysailers in 1974 and has led the way in building trailerable pocket cruisers for real people for almost 40 years. Their range includes beamy little cat boats, sleek daysailers and innovative cruisers to 35 feet.

This year the company launched the new Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse. The boat is 23 feet overall, but has been designed and fitted out to be a capable cruiser with three full-size berths, an enclosed head and an inboard diesel.

The 23 has a tabernacle mast that can be lowered easily. The boat’s beam is small enough to allow it to be trailered on any road. There are two helming stations—one in the cockpit and one in the pilothouse, both with engine controls. The saloon has a small dinette, galley, and plenty of storage for a week or two of cruising. The water tanks hold 20 gallons. The V-berth forward is surprisingly large, and two hanging lockers and cabinets have been provided for clothing.

With a 12 hp diesel to get you home when the wind dies and a true shallow draft for coastal gunkholing, the new Com-Pac 23 Pilothouse is the epitome of the perfect little pocket cruiser. www.com-pacyachts.com

French builder Dufour has been building stylish modern cruising boats and racer-cruisers for almost 40 years under various owners and management teams. Now part of the Bavaria and Grand Soleil group, Dufour is redefining its position in the marketplace with two lines. Grand Large-branded designs are modern cruising boats with an emphasis on elegance, comfort and sailing convenience—even though the boats BWS has sailed are very fast, too. The Dufour 405 and 445 are two of the GL line, from 33 to 50 feet, that you will see at the fall shows. BWS sailed the 405 last year and found it to be a lot of fun and a very capable cruising boat. See the review in the September 2011 issue. And we sailed the 445 in Annapolis recently and will be running the review in an upcoming issue. The Performance line has been created to offer skippers a real shot at the silver whether racing around the buoys or in longer point-to-point races. The new 36P will make its debut at the fall boats shows in Newport and Annapolis and will no doubt turn a few heads. The hull is optimized for good sailing qualities with a high aspect rudder and a deep T-bulb keel. The tall rig gives it plenty of horsepower in light or heavy air, and the sailing or racing layout makes it easy for a crew to manage sheets and halyards. The cockpit lockers are removable to make sheet trimming easier. Down below, the boat is more “cruise” than “race” and has the finely finished feel that discerning owners—whether they’re cruisers or racers—prefer. Dufour has always stood for innovation, quality and fine sailing, and the new 36P fits that legend well. www.dufour-yachts.com

Nick Hake at Hake Yachts has been building innovative retracting keel cruising boats for 30 years and has earned a reputation for coming up with original and practical solutions in the design and construction of shoal draft cruisers. The Seaward 26 and 32—the current models in his fleet—have proven to be both excellent thin-water cruising boats and fine sailboats. Late last year, Hake introduced a new flagship to the line. The Seaward 46RK is the retracting keel concept on steroids. The new boat is one of the most innovative designs to join the cruising fleet in many years. The boat has a retracting keel that offers seven-and-a-half feet of draft for upwind sailing and two-and-a-half feet when poking around the shallows or even running downwind. The two rudders are also retractable, so you can beach the boat without worry. The mast is deck-stepped in a tabernacle so it can be lowered easily and quickly if you need to get under a fixed bridge or haul out in a yard with overhead power lines. Hull number one was equipped with twin 54 hp auxiliary engines for reliability and speed. Down below, the chart table/pilot’s station is at the foot of the companionway and from there you have good visibility to both sides and forward. The accommodation plan has been set up for a cruising couple who have the occasional visit from friends and family. The boat holds 180 gallons each of water and fuel, so you have a wide cruising range. A perfect choice for the west coast of Florida, the Bahamas, the Chesapeake Bay and many other shoal cruising grounds, the new Seaward 46RK is a truly interesting and unique cruising boat. www.seawardyachts.com

German builder Hanse Yachts has been pushing the design envelope as hard and far as any builder in the last few years. Their boats are designed to be both ultra-modern cruisers and commodious homes afloat. And, they are also set up to be easy to sail and very swift through the water. BWS reviewed the new Hanse 495 in the June 2012 edition and concluded that the boat and the company are on the leading edge of the sailing market. This fall, Hanse USA will bring three new boats to the shows that will certainly turn heads. The Hanse 385, 415 and 445 are all cut from the same modernist fabric. With self-tacking jibs and large, slab-reefed mainsails, the boats can be handled by one person. The cockpits are huge, with centerline tables that will seat up to eight for al fresco meals. Down below the styling is simple, elegant Euro-modern with an emphasis on lightness, open spaces and pleasing sightlines. Hanse specializes in building boats that are configured just how each owner wants them to be. On their website, you can select the model you are interested in and open the Hanse Configurator to view all of the cabin, color, rig and equipment options. If you press “send,” the choices you select will be sent to a dealer near you who will respond shortly with a price quote. Not only are the boats thoroughly modern, but the way you buy them is modern, too. www.hanseyachts.com

A new cruising boat from Island Packet is coming this fall, but at press time IPY’s owner, Bob Johnson, and VP of marketing, Bill Bolin, had their lips tightly sealed. The secret boat is in build, but we won’t know what it is until the fall. All we can say at this point is that IPY is going to bring their loyal fans a cruising boat that is new and a little different. Stay tuned. www.ipy.com

Jeanneau, a division of Group Beneteau, has been on a roll the last few years, and according to those who know these things, the company has gained significantly in market share in the U.S. The reasons for this success are many, but at the most basic level it is because the company consistently provides good cruising boats at fair value. They compete primarily with their sister company, Beneteau, and we have heard that the rivalry is spirited. The current Sun Odyssey models that have been so popular in the U.S. all have something to do with the number nine. We are not sure what this means, but the launch of the SO 409 was followed by the 439, the 379 and the 509. And next winter we will see the launch of the 469. The boats in the “9 Line” all have powerful hulls with a slight chine aft and sleek decks with many windows and hatches. The cockpits are large and well laid out for sailing as well as entertaining at the dock. Down below, you will find the styling to be somewhat traditional and the color schemes pleasantly evocative of teak and holly. BWS sailed the 509 in Florida not long ago and found it to be a fine ocean sailing yacht that embodies the Jeanneau philosophy of delivering quality and value in a package that is both comfortable to live aboard and fun to sail. Look for our review of the SO 509 in the upcoming October issue of BWS. Also new this fall is the Sun Odyssey 41 DS. A deck saloon design, the 41 has a raised deck and large cat’s-eye windows on both sides. The hull has a chine that runs almost all the way forward from the stern, which enhances interior volume, and a hint of added stability. Down below the 41DS offers a huge owner’s stateroom aft, a large guest cabin forward, and a roomy and sociable saloon with a large galley. The new 41DS packs a lot of cruising accommodations and style in a 41-foot hull. www.jeanneau.com

Several years ago, the Moody brand was bought by Hanse in Germany and relaunched as a luxury yacht brand with an innovative 45-foot raised pilothouse cruising boat. Following that, the brand was supplemented with a more traditional-looking sloop design that evokes a North Sea or Scandinavian style. The Moody 41 will be on display at the fall boats shows. The boat has a traditional transom, which folds to make a swim platform, and a fairly plumb bow. The cockpit has twin wheel, a centerline table and a partial windshield as in a Hallberg Rassy or Najad. Down below, the 41 is fitted out in classic Bristol fashion with white bulkheads and highly varnished mahogany cabinets, drawers and details. It all looks very elegant, comfortable and delightfully traditional. The Moody 41 will make a fine world cruiser for a couple who wants modern design with a traditional touch. www.moodyboats.com

The new Morris 52 is the latest and largest M Yacht in the Morris line of classic-looking daysailers, weekenders and cruisers. The 52 has a sweeping sheer, long overhangs, a low-slung cabin and a large, deep cockpit. Her beam is modest by modern standards and her rig large enough to be really impressive. The sail plan offers a huge mainsail and a self-tacking jib. Unique among modern designs, the 52 has no bow or stern pulpit, so her lines look uncluttered and sweet. Down below the 52 has a bright interior that evokes centuries of classic sailboats and the sea. A standard layout would offer a large double cabin aft and a master suite forward with a comfortable saloon and small galley in between. The bulkheads and doors are raised panel joinery that is either painted white or varnished with the typical Morris deep shine. BWS sailed the 52 last summer, so look for the review in the October issue. www.morrisyachts.com

This fall at the big boat shows, you are bound to find a good collection of Tartans and C&Cs on display. Tartan now builds their classic American-style cruisers in sizes from 34 to 53 feet, and each is created with an epoxy hull, carbon spars and Cruise Control headsail rig. Under new ownership, Tartan and C&C seem to be finding a new lease on business life and have been able to introduce two all-new designs to their fleet this year. The Tartan Fantail 26 is a nifty little daysailer or weekender that has traditional lines above the water with a counter stern, pleasant sheer, fairly plumb bow and a short bowsprit. Below the water, the boat has a spade rudder and a high aspect bulbed fin keel. The rig will be self-tacking and in downwind conditions you can fly an asymmetrical chute from the sprit. The Fantail will have a small auxiliary engine and accommodations for a couple overnighting in simple style. The Fantail 26 was conceived to be available as a daysailer, a club sailboat and a weekender. www.tartanyachts.com The first new boat from Tartan and C&C not designed by Tim Jackett in many years, the new C&C 101 was drawn by Tom McNeill, who works as an in house designer at the company. A flashy little sprit boat, the 101 has a thoroughly modern and powerful hull with nearly 11 feet of beam and a six-foot, six-inch keel. The boat will be able to carry a lot of sail. No doubt the 101 will be a winner on the racecourse. Down below, the boat will have the simple but refined accommodations one expects from a C&C. For those looking for a true racer-cruiser in the small end of the fleet, the new C&C 101 will fit the bill. www.c-cyachts.com


Author: Blue Water Sailing