At the fall boat shows, builders will be rolling out their newest designs and many of them share a true performance edge. In the cruising market, apparently, the need for speed and sailing performance is still important. Here’s the new fleet for 2023.
Beneteau Oceanus 34.1
Now in its Seventh Generation, the Oceanis line of family cruising boats from Beneteau has long delivered an imaginative mix of performance and sailing options. The Marc Lombard-designed 34.1 comes with either a deep keel, shoal keel of unique swing keel. The basic rig is called the Easy Sail rig and has a full mainsail and a self-tacking jib, perfect for new sailors. More experienced sailors will opt for the performance rig with a genoa, bow sprit, additional winches and downwind sails. An in-mast furling main is also an option. Down below, the 34.1 has the volume of a much larger boat with a quarter cabin, forward cabin and full width saloon and galley. Two couples or a family will be very comfortable aboard for cruising holidays. The new Oceanis 34.1 offers huge value in a boat that will have wide appeal. Read more. https://www.beneteau.com/us/oceanis/oceanis-341
Beneteau First 44
Three years ago, Beneteau came out with an all-new First 53 that is the flagship of the First line of performance cruisers. A First 36 followed and now the new First 44 is all set to be introduced this fall. The new racer-cruisers are Roberto Bisconitini designs with distinctive styling by fellow Italian Lorenzo Argento. The 44 comes in either the First configuration, which is more of cruiser, and the First Performance which has a reconfigured cockpit for a larger sailing crew and other refinements for racing. The interior has twin quarter cabins and a large master cabin forward with a walk-around double berth. The saloon has the dinette and settee forward and the galley and large head aft. With a fine bow shape and very broad stern, the interior volume is not a great as you will find in an Oceanis design but the sailing performance will more than make up for it. If you’ve got the need for speed, the new First 44 is the boats for you. Read more. https://www.beneteau.com/us/first/first-44
The Dufour 37 is a great new concept boat designed for performance cruisers. The hull has a broad stern and full run aft for power and sped while the bow sections are full for interior volume and pleasant sea keeping. This new hull form allows for a greater power/weight ratio and the ability to carry a larger than usual sail plan. The cockpit is commodious and well set up for both cruising and racing. Down below, the interior offers a fine forward cabin, a roomy saloon and practical galley and either a single or twin aft quarter cabins. This is a sexy new look for Dufour and a thoroughly modern reimagining of the racer-cruiser concept. Read more. https://www.dufour-yachts.com/en/luxury-boats/dufour-37/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwjvaYBhDlARIsAO8PkE04n4GP-t7zqajyHEchdEw62jJaHHPLIGYlS4erNxF6UITMrGP1zhYaAph_EALw_wcB
Elan Impression 50.1
The new 50-footer from Elan is a real head turner. A dedicated family cruiser, the new design has a lot of resemblance to earlier Elans yet with a lower cabin profile and full hull sections fore and aft, she looks blue water ready. The cockpit is huge and has a folding table that will seat up to eight for al fresco meals. The foredeck is large enough to stow a 10-foot dinghy while on passage and has ample storage in the forward locker. Down below, the 50.1 has a sumptuous master cabin forward, two quarter cabins and two heads, with showers. It is easy to imagine a family of four sailing away over the horizon to islands far and wide in the new Elan 50.1. Read more. https://www.elan-yachts.com/en/yacht-lines/impression-line/elan-impression-501
Grand Soleil 44
Italian builder Grand Soleil has a reputation for building high quality, stylish performance cruisers that acquit themselves very well on the race course or in point-to-point events. The new 44 completes their performance line with a boat that will sail rings around most cruising boats. It comes in either a Performance version that is fitted out for cruising or a Race version that emphasizes race course crew work and efficiency. Both versions have airy, classic interiors that will be great for weeks away with the family or a hard weekend of regatta sailing. If you want to sail a Porsche, the GS 44 is for you. Read more. https://www.grandsoleil.net/model/gs-44/
Hanse Dehler 38 SQ
Very much in the same family as the Grand Soleil 44, the new Dehler 38 was designed from the keel up to offer exceptional sailing and racing performance in a boat that will double as a fine performance oriented family cruiser. German builder Dehler, now owned by Hanse, is not well known in North America but has a well-deserved avid following in Europe where families often combine cruising and racing. There’s no reason North American sailors can’t do the same. The quality of the Dehler build and the fit and finish down below will make any new owner proud, Read more. https://www.hanseyachtsag.com/dehler/us/boats/dehler-38-sq/
I was lucky enough to sail a Hanse 50 across the North Atlantic a few years ago, a 17-day passage that proved the boat to be fast, well built for ocean sailing and extremely comfortable. The new 460 has all of the great DNA that went into the 50 plus design and build innovations that the company has developed in the interim. The cockpit is huge and the fold-down swim platform as large as it can be. The rig is powerful with a huge mainsail, a self-tacking jib and downwind asymmetricals for running. These designs like to sail flat so reefing early is the game. Down below there is room and storage space for a family to live aboard for extended cruising, with three double cabins, large water and fuel tanks and a huge saloon. If you are looking for a quality production cruiser that you can take anywhere, the Hanse 460 should be on your list. Read more. https://www.hanseyachtsag.com/hanse/us/yachts/hanse-460/
Hallberg Rassy 400
The best builders with great reputations know that they need to deliver new boats that combine their company’s great DNA while also evolving new concepts. The new HR 400 does just that. It is an aft-cockpit design, instead of a traditional HR center cockpit, and it has twin wheels and, stop the presses, twin rudders. The 400 has a modern performance hull and will, I suspect, be one of the best sailing HRs ever built. Combine that with the easy-to-sail cruising rig and classic HR craftsmanship and accommodations below and you can see what a thoughtful approach to evolution is all about. This is a couple’s world cruiser that will turn in some handsome daily runs offshore. Read more. https://www.hallberg-rassy.com/yachts/hallberg-rassy-400
Jeanneau Sun Fast 3300
Blue Nose Yachts Sales, the local Jeanneau dealer in Newport, RI, where BWS is based, has been racing their stock SF 3300 in events all summer and has shown most of the fleets their transom in both offshore races (Newport-Bermuda) and local regattas. Yes, this is a racing boat with modest cruising amenities. But, it is also a boat that sails to or better than its rating, will plane in the right conditions and is nothing short of a pure gas to sail. For the right couple or family, folks who like to compete and then cruise a little in between events, there may be no more-fun new designs out there than the SF 3300. Read more. https://www.jeanneauamerica.com/en/boats/sailboat/1-sun-fast/644-sun-fast-3300/
Jeanneau Yacht 55
Jeanneau is one of those brands that has ever been afraid to turn the world of cruising-boat design on its head and come out with something that solves all of the inherent yacht-design compromises in an entirely new way. Well, the new Jeanneau Yacht 55 does just that. The cockpit-deck configuration is revolutionary. The twin wheels have been moved forward and the large dinette/ sun beds are aft, adjacent to the huge fold-down swim platform. The deck also incorporates the Jeanneau walk-around, side-deck design they invented a couple of years ago. For accommodations, the whole saloon and master cabin suite are one large living space, with appropriate doors. For a couple living aboard, we’ve rarely seen a better and more innovative use of space. The two guest cabins are accessed from the cockpit and are completely autonomous. This is not your grandfather’s family cruiser so if you are looking innovation and style, the new Yacht 55 is for you. Read more.
Jeanneau Yacht 65
Five years ago, Jeanneau came out with their then flagship, the Philippe Briand-designed Yacht 64. At the time I thought it to be one of the best new large cruising designs to come along in many years. Everything seemed right. So, it is a pleasure to see that Jeanneau is updating their flagship Yacht with the new 65, also a Briand design. The new boat incorporates both the cockpit arch and walk around side decks of the more recent designs and offers cockpit comfort and convenience you’d expect from such a large ocean-going yacht. Plus, a hard top is available over the cockpit for added sun and rain protection and is a perfect place to mount a large solar panel array. Dow below, the huge owner’s cabin aft will be a fine home for extended living aboard. You can have several layouts forward, but the most common will be twin forward cabins, each with en suite heads. The saloon features a dining table that will seat eight, a large sofa-settee and a true, enclosed sea-going galley. Crew quarters are optional extras. A proper flagship, the Yacht 65 will take you anywhere in comfort, style and safety. Read more.
Lyman Morse 46
Lyman Morse in Thomaston, Maine, is one of America’s premier custom yacht builders, both power and sail. And, being in Maine, they are known for their Downeast roots that favor tradition, quality and exceptional craftsmanship. Now, LM would like to build a semi-custom boat just for you, their new Kevin Dibley-design LM 46. This is an unique and thoroughly modern design and build that will still crack a smile from diehard traditionalists. A cold molded wood hull provides the light-weight, stiff construction that provides exceptional 10 knot performance under sail yet provides the aesthetic and quietness of a wood hull. The boat will make a fine family cruiser and being built by LM it becomes a family heirloom. Read more.
Moody 41 Deck Salon
Moody Yachts, which is part of the Hanse Group, has long been a builder of pure, couple’s cruising boats and has also been a pioneer of designing cruisers that have all of the living area, cockpit and saloon, on one level. The new 41 DS fulfills that aim in spades, with a large cockpit with a hard top, large doors to the saloon and then a roomy deck-level galley and dinette. The twin wheels are aft and the side decks wrap around the helms to join the cockpit without having to step over a coaming. The 41 comes with two sleeping cabins with en suite heads. The guest cabin can have either a large double berth or twin singles. The master stateroom is huge for a boat of this size. A great coastal cruisier that would be fun in the Bahamas and Caribbean, the 41 DS is unlike most of the boats in the cruising fleet and that sets her apart. Read more. https://www.hanseyachtsag.com/moody/us/yachts/moody-ds41/
Nautor Swan 55
Thew new Swan 55 is Nautor’s latest German Frers design to join their fabled fleet of fast cruising boats. Built in Finland, the new 55 has a truly modern hull and deck design, set up for families who want it all, great cruising accommodations and a yacht that can be raced successfully. The cockpit is huge and can be set up with a range of options, including twin folding tables and or a large sun bed. The rig has a large, powerful mainsail and the headsails can be set up with a self-tacking jib, or with an overlapping genoa. A staysail stay is also an option. And, downwind sails will be flown from the bow sprit. The interior plan can be set up with three or four sleeping cabins and each can be configured in its own way. Swans are built to order and can be customized to an owner’s specifications. The company is famous for innovative building techniques and ultra-high-end quality. Just look behind the main breaker panel if you want to see an example of boat-building perfection. Swans are not for everyone but if one is for you, then the new 55 is a gem. Read more. https://www.nautorswan.com/yachts/models/swan55-demo/