Annapolis Sailboat Show 2023: 19 New Multihulls Previewed


The Annapolis Sailboat Show, put on by U.S. Boat Shows in Annapolis, MD will open its gates on Thursday October 12 and runs through Sunday the 15th.  The biggest sailboat show in North America, you will find sailboats from builders all over the world and everything from dinghies to towering yachts. It is also the largest multihull show in the country where many of the newest models from Europe, Asia and South Africa will make their U.S. debuts.


Here is our fall multihulls boat show preview from Multihulls Today magazine. It is quite a collection of great cruising boats.


19 New Multihulls for 2024


MT takes a look at the new catamarans and trimarans that made 2023 one of the most innovative years in multihull history

The world of cruising multihulls continues to evolve and innovate as established brands and newcomers alike bring out new models and upgraded versions of their existing designs. And there is no question that multihulls are making serious inroads in the blue water cruising fleet; in the 2022 Fall Salty Dawg Rally, of the 120 boats that signed up, 30-percent were multihulls with cruising couples aboard. And, the first to finish honors went to the HH 50 Tribute, an all-carbon cat that simply flew down the 1,400-mile rhumb line.

For 2024, here are 19 cats and tris that will be setting the standards for luxury, speed and comfort both offshore and at anchor.

Balance 442

The new 44-foot Balance 442 is the smallest model in the Balance fleet (44 to 75 feet) but still offers all of the attributes that founder and President Phil Berman deems essential in a performance cruising cat – moderately light weight, narrow hulls, dagger boards, a powerful rig, and simple elegance throughout. Built in South Africa, the 442 will sail closer to the wind than most cruising cats due to her high-performance dagger boards and will reach and broad reach at 10 to 13 knots.  With Berman’s innovative Versa Helm, you can steer the boat from the raised helm station or, in bad weather, from the protection of the cockpit where you still have great visibility forward through the huge saloon windows.  To my mind, the Balance 442 seems a excellent balance between performance, comfort and style for a cruising couple who love to sail.


Bali 4.4

Conceived by Oliver Poncin and designed by Xavier Fay, the Bali 4.4 falls in the mid-size range of the Bali fleet and offers an amazing amount of living space, both inside and out. The Bali line was developed by Poncin to build boats for his Dream Charter fleets and the boats are built in France under contract with Catana Yachts. Since the boats, like the 4.4, are meant to be used in charter as well as by private owners, they are robustly built and have moderate rigs and fixed keels. Their great attraction for family cruisers is the amount of space provided; you can have four sleeping cabins, and there are communal spaces in the cockpit, saloon and in the larger forward lounge that covers most of the fore deck. The Bali 4.4, like her sisterships, will be great in warm climates and comfortable for coastal cruising with a gang onboard. The 4.4 might be a perfect first boat for new cruisers, too.

Catana Ocean Class 50

Catana is a French builder that has a well-earned reputation for building performance cats that are capable of high latitude sailing and circumnavigating. The new Ocean Class 50 replaces the great 47 that so many couples and families have sailed all over the world. The new design has reverse bows, narrow hulls, a high bridge deck, daggerboards, and a powerful rig with a self-tacking jib and a code zero. The raised helm to starboard has all control lines and sheets handy so a lone watch keepers can trim and reef without leaving the helm. The 50 comes with a standard three- cabin layout with the master suite to starboard and guest cabins to port. A handsome and thoroughly modern new entry in the cruising fleet, the OC 50 will appeal to cruisers with ambitions to sail far, sail fast and sail in both luxury and comfort.


Corsair 880 Trimaran

The Corsair 880, built in Viet Nam by the Australian-based Seawind Catamaran company, is an all new completely modern design intended to replace the venerable F27 that really helped to start the trimaran revolution. With folding amas, like all Corsairs, the 880 can be moored in a slip intended for monohulls and can be trailered behind a family SUV. Although only 28 feet, the 880 will sleep five, has an enclosed head, a large cockpit and plenty of on-deck space. But the real reason to own a tri and an 880 in particular is the sailing qualities they offer. With her dagger board down, the 880 will match upwind performance with monohulls twice here size; then crack off and hoist a chute and the 880 will leave just any monohull of any size in her wake. Fifteen knots at a comfortable angle and with a feather-light helm will put a smile on any serious sailor’s face. It certainly did for me when we sail-trialed the boat.

Dragonfly 40 Trimaran

I had the chance to sail the new Dragonfly 40 in Denmark last fall (2022) with Jens Quorning, the boat’s designer and builder. Jens is an Olympic quality sailor, so it is a huge pleasure sailing with him and his boats in the Dragonfly line reflect his deep knowledge of and need for performance sailing. Suffice it to say that in 15 knots of true wind we often saw 15 knots on the speedo with the spinnaker up. But the new 40 is a cruising boat meant for cruising families who, like Jens, demand superior sailing qualities. The boat is also roomy both in the cockpit and below and finished with beautiful Scandinavian style joinery. It can sleep six comfortably and has a full galley and an enclosed head. The 40, like all Dragonflys, has folding amas so it can be berthed in a normal marina slip and can be transported on a trailer behind a pickup truck. For those who don’t mind giving up a bit of interior volume in exchange for exciting sailing and very fast passage making, the new Dragonfly 40 should definitely be on your short list.


Excess 14

Groupe Beneteau owns the Lagoon brand and has built it into a leader among cat builders. But the company also discerned that there was a market for younger owners who are active in water sports, adventurous and into a watery sailing lifestyle. Hence the launch of the Excess line of cruising cats with the first two, the 11 and 15, being built on older Lagoon hulls with new decks. The Excess 14 is the first in the line to be designed from the keel up as an all-new cat and it does indeed embody the Excess concept. The 14 has fixed keels, full hulls for interior volume and moderate rigs with a double headsail configuration. The boat can be sailed from the raised helm without the need for going forward to fly a downwind sail. The layouts include three and four cabin options and it is interesting to note that the hulls are wide enough to allow for walk-around double berths. Spacious, open and airy, the 14 will appeal to those who want a simple functional cruising platform that can take you anywhere.


Fountaine Pajot Aura 51

In the last decade as the sailing market adopted multihulls with a vengeance, Fountaine Pajot, a French builder, found considerable success and market share with their roomy, solid and easy-to-sail cats. The Aura 51 is near the top of their line and represents a couple’s cruising boat that will make a fine home afloat and a capable offshore cruiser. FP does not go for high performance in their designs, but instead, builds boat that have elegant styles, good sailing qualities and ease-of handling and stability. FP brought raised lounges to the mid-range market by putting a low-profile seating area on top of the hard top over the cockpit, and they managed to create this space without making the boats look like layered wedding cakes. The 51 can have four, five and six cabin layouts to accommodate larger families or those who want to run crewed charters. A booming company, FP is one of the main players and builds cruising cats that compare very favorably to the other big builders.


Gunboat 72

Since being bought by Grande Large Yachting, the company that also builds Outremers, Gunboat has been reimagined and taken to new design and engineering heights. The G 68 has proven that aiming high and delivering unique all carbon performance luxury cats works. The Gunboat brand is still a market leader. Now, the company has developed the 72V which is the first gunboat with a flybridge and raised lounge and is intended to be as “green” as possible. Since the 72 will sail as fast as the wind in anything over 8 knots, her owners will rarely have to motor once away from the dock.  Also, the 72V eliminates the forward sailing cockpit as all lines and sheets will lead to the helm on the bridge. The 72, like the 68, is built more like a Gulf Stream jet than a hand-laid composite yacht. Many of its parts are pre-made by third party vendors which are then assembled by the Gunboat team in La Grande Motte, France.  The result is an ultra-light, mega high-tech yacht that also has one of the finest, elegant fit and finishes ever brought to market. The new G 72V may be the ultimate Gunboat.

HH 52

The new HH 52, built in China to a Morrelli & Melvin design, is designed to replace the 50 with a big nod to creating a platform for electric propulsion. Two feet longer than the successful HH 50, the new cat can be built in carbon and epoxy (Sport) or in regular GRP composites (Ocean Cruising). The hard top over the cockpit will carry a vast array of solar panels that will in turn charge a large bank of lithium batteries that can run electric motors. HH usually offers only a forward cockpit configuration but the new 52 can also be ordered with no forward cockpit and after steering stations. Plus, you can add tillers and a helm chair well aft for sailing the old-fashion way. HH creates finely finished yachts that glisten with deep varnish and bright stainless steel. If you are a cruiser who also wants the thrill of high-speed sailing and the kick of a tiller in your hand, plus the ability to go electric, the HH 52 is for you.

Kinetic 62

The Kinetic 62, which is built in Knysna, South Africa, and is the big sister to the Kinetic 54, brings so many design and build innovations to the table that both boats have been successful right out of the box. Built in carbon fiber, the narrow hulls are light and designed for performance sailing. The boats come with innovative centerboards standard but can instead be fitted with high-tech daggerboards for enhanced upwind sailing. The standard rig is huge and will power the boats swiftly even in light airs but tall performance rigs are also available that will put afterburners onto the rig. One of the first things you notice about the K54 and 62 is the headroom in the saloon, which has to be close to eight feet. With this comes walls of tempered safety glass that wrap around the saloon. I’ve never seen such views from the inside of a cat. The cabins can be arranged in a number of configurations to each owner’s specs and the boat is finished to a very high degree. The systems on boards are state of the art and provided by world-renown companies. A great new entry onto the performance cat segment of the market the K 62 is a cat to be reckoned with and will show her sterns to most of the competition.

Knysna 550

The port city of Knysna, South Africa, has long been a boat building center for both commercial craft and pleasure boats. The Knysna Yacht Company is a boutique builder that was founded about 20 years ago and is now being run by its second owners. The Knysna 50 has long been the single design the company builds but with the introduction of the new 550, the company has a completely modern cruising cat on offer. The 550 has plumb bows, long waterlines, fixed keels and a large double headsail cruising rig. The cockpit is is large and can be completely enclosed with side panels. The helm is on the centerline and raised so you can clearly see forward over the cabin top. Aft of the helm is a raised lounge. The 550 can be built on a semi-custom basis so owners can choose how many cabins and heads they need and how they want the saloon and cockpit laid out. Knysna is known for their high-quality workmanship and their dedication to blue water quality construction and systems installation. For a couple looking to create a boat just for them, the Knysna 550 will make a great choice.


Lagoon 51

The Lagoon 51 offers as much living and sailing space as you will find on any 50-footer. With a flying bridge and upper lounge, plus a hardtop over it, you have an perfect place for sunny day sailing and evening lounging. With a large aft cockpit with a huge table and seating for eight, you have the perfect spot for al fresco dining with crew and friends. And, with the large saloon and interior table, you have a place to retreat if weather turns cool or stormy. There is plenty of headroom in the saloon and large widows so you always feel connected to the watery world around you. The 51 has a range of possible layouts for three to five cabins and the hulls are wide enough to permit walk-around double berths. Lagoons are created to be both good charter boats and fine private yachts and they appeal to owners who want the trusted reputation of a market leader, and Groupe Beneteau, in a boat that is solid, safe and capable of crossing oceans. This could make a wonderful floating home for a family exploring the world.

Leopard 42

Built by Robertson & Caine in South Africa, Leopard yachts are built for one client that owns The Moorings, Sunsail and the private label Leopard. According to the company, about half of all Leopards built go to private owners who use them for cruising with family and friends. The new 42 follows in the wakes of the relatively new 45 and 50 and bears the unmistakable DNA of those successful designs. At 42 feet, the new boat earned a couple of honors in 2022, the Multihulls magazine Multihull of the Year and the Cruising World Boat of the Year for a cat under 50-feet. The reason for this success lies in the boat’s unusual amount of useful living space tucked into a small package. It has a forward lounge, the after cockpit, a roomy saloon and a raised lounge over the main cockpit. The helm is raised to starboard between the lower cockpit and the raised lounge. Leopard’s 380 was a market leader for a decade or more and was a great boat but this new 42 is a much bigger and more sophisticated creation. You can have either three cabins and three heads or four cabins and four heads. For private use, I would take the former and I would feel confident that this compact but roomy new Leopard could take me anywhere I’d choose to cruise.


Royal Cape Catamarans Majestic 570

Royal Cape has been building their 53-foot Majestic for more than a dozen years so the introduction of their new 570 is welcome news. The new cat takes many of the best qualities of the 53 and expands upon them with innovations that will please new owners. The longer waterlines will add stability and speed. The higher topsides will keep the decks dry and add volume that enhances the interior cabins. Majestics have always been extremely roomy yet the new 570 will feel like a much bigger boat. The cockpit is huge and has a large table for al fresco dining. The saloon and galley are spacious and there are options for four, five and even six sleeping cabins with en suite heads and shower stalls. Elegant, stylish living and comfortable cruising are what Royal Cape Catamarans are all about and the new 570 promises to provide all of that in spades.


Nautitech 44

Nautitech has been building catamarans in France for a generation. Under new ownership the company has been reinvented with two new designs, the Open 40 and the Open 46. Both boats have proven successful and manage to bridge the gap between production cats and the more rarified world of performance cats. The new 44 fills in the line between 40 and 46 feet and includes innovations developed in the earlier boats. The Marc Lombard design has narrow hulls from the waterline down with fixed keels and then large chines above the waterline to provide interior volume. The cockpit is partially enclosed and joins the saloon via double folding doors to make one unified space. There are twin helms aft and lines run to them through banks of line stoppers. Visibility from the helms is excellent. The 44 can have three or four cabins and as an owner I would choose the three-cabin option. The fit and finish of Nauticats is modern and very attractive. The 40 and 46 are known for their sailing qualities and the 44 will no doubt be even better.


NEEL  52 Trimaran

When Eric and Barbara Bruneel came out with their first 45-foot cruising tri a decade ago, it was for me a head-slapping moment. Why had no one thought to build the saloon on top of the three hulls instead of squishing it the center hull? The concept has proven visionary and broadly accepted by scores of new owners. The designs offer the sailing performance of trimarans with the roominess and airiness of a catamaran. The new 52 is a big boat with almost 30 feet of beam. The cockpit is huge and there is lounging space on the trampolines forward. The helm is raised to starboard and on top of the cockpit’s hard top a small raised lounge has been incorporated. The saloon is huge with a full modern galley, a large dining table and an inside lounge. The 52 had six sleeping cabins inside the hulls so, theoretically, you cold cruise with up to 12 people onboard if you wanted to. The new 52 will be a great floating home and is capable of taking you anywhere you like at speeds you might not have imagined.


Outremer 4 Zero

The new 4 Zero from Outremer is the first of their boats to be offered with all-electric motors and the solar panels and battery bank to drive them. Outremer is a leader in designing and building performance cruisers with dagger boards and big rigs that have really bridged the gap between performance and value in very handsome cats. The 4 Zero is a 48 foot hull and with the massive rig will be able to sail extremely well in a wide range of conditions, meaning you will need the engines less often than you might in heavier cats.  The cabin top is quite low and the helm to port provides good visibility of the sails and forward. Like her sisterships, the 4 Zero has helming chairs and tiller fitting on both sides of the cockpit for days when you want to feel the kick of the helm in yuor hands. The hard top provides weather protection from sun and rain. The 4 Zero has three or four cabin layouts and a roomy saloon. The 4 Zero is a bold step for Outremer and will help them lead the way to a carbon reduced future.


Seawind 1370

Seawind Catamarans is an Australian company that moved its production facilities for both Seawind and Corsair to Viet Nam a decade or more ago. Seawind is by far the most popular bnand of cruising cats in Austral-Asia and their boats are known for being true indoor-outdoor designs tailored to the warm and often wet weather conditions of the region. The all-new 1370, at 45 feet, follows the 50 that was introduced five years ago and is a true offshore cruising cat with thoroughly modern styling. The hulls have reverse bows and sport fairly efficient fixed keels. The cockpit is commodious, has a fixed hard top and twin helming stations at deck level. The saloon is large and airy with a full galley and a dinette for six. The 1370 can be set up with either three or four cabins; in the three-cabin layout the master suite occupies the full port hull. Famous cruising vloggers Ruby Rose spent a year testing cats as they decided on their new boat and ended up landing on the Seawind 1370 as their “it” cat. Their video about their new cat is on the Seawind website.


Xquisite Solar 60

Tomas and Sara, founders of Xquisite Yachts, have always been innovators with a ton of cruising experience behind every decision they make. Their boats have always been technologically advanced and the details of construction, systems and installations are truly mega yacht quality. Their new Solar 60 is destined to be a innovative cruising boat that will significantly reduce an owner’s carbon footprint. It will have two Yanmar diesels but the enormous solar array, lithium battery bank and the inverter systems will make the 60 otherwise self-sufficient without the need for a genset. The styling of the new 60 is modern and eye catching and has a large aft cockpit, a top lounge next to the raised helm, and a double headsail rig. The raised helm has a built in dodger to protect you from sun, wind and rain. Since they launched the company, Tomas and Sara have launched 24 Xquisites and the new 60 Solar has all the makings of a huge new success for them and their owners.



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