A new attitude
Posted on 28 September 2012
Written by Dieter Loibner
New sailboats at the fall shows feature design trends from racing.
A new boat show season is upon us and with it comes a strong crop of new sailboats.
What will be shown at the docks reflects the new design trends, such as hulls with hard chines that have trickled down from racing to cruising boats and versatile rigs with smaller overlapping headsails and control lines that are discreetly routed to unclutter the decks. There also will be boats that serve multiple purposes as racers, daysailers and sail trainers to give owners the most bang for their buck.
One of the better stories won’t be about a particular model but the rescue of Hunter Marine from bankruptcy by Marlow Acquisitions. “With this behind us, it is time to shift all our resources to get back to the task at hand, building and marketing boats,” Hunter president John T. Peterson says of the turnaround that coincided with the company’s 40th anniversary. Hunter is expected to exhibit Oct. 4-8 at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis.
Although Hunter plans to stick around, the number of boat dealers has decreased sharply in the last few years and the surviving outfits tend to carry leaner inventories. Still, there will be plenty of new boats at the shows, so potential buyers might want to discuss their best options for testing the ones they like, perhaps even stick around afterward for a chance to take their candidates for a spin.
Here is a sampling of the new sailboats that will be at the Newport International Boat Show (Sept. 13-16), the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis (Oct. 4-8), and the Miami International Boat Show (Feb. 14-18).
Peace and quiet up front, partying and sailing in the back, all without an aft cabin - that’s how life is compartmentalized on the Beneteau Sense series that now consists of the flagship Sense 55 that debuted earlier this year at Miami and the new Sense 46. In a way, the indoor-outdoor arrangements, with easy access between saloon and cockpit, are reminiscent of charter catamarans. With lines by Berret Racoupeau and interior styling from Nauta Design, the Sense packs good sailing potential and a bright, airy and comfortable ambience below deck. Beneteau also will bring the First Twenty, the latest version of its classic pocket cruiser that started out 20 years ago as the First 211. Base prices are $340,000 for the Sense 46, $538,000 for the Sense 55 and $43,900 for the First Twenty. www.beneteauusa.com
Performance runs in the DNA of J/Boats, and this year the attention is squarely on the J/70, a 23-foot one-design racer with daysailing capabilities that marks the company’s entry into this sportboat category. Key features are a carbon rig, a lifting keel for easy trailering and ramp launching, a large cockpit, a small cabin for a bit of privacy and a simple but powerful sail plan that challenges racers yet can be scaled down for family outings, as well. J/Boats says it is marketing the boat to private buyers and clubs. A J/70, including sails and trailer, is priced at $45,000. www.jboats.com
The new C&C 101 was designed by Tom McNeill, who is looking to continue the tradition for boats that comply with the requirements of Performance 101: Light displacement, fractional carbon rig, retractable bowsprit, tiller steering, deep bulb keel, a large 12-foot cockpit and modern composite construction should render a stiff and fleet-footed racer/cruiser that lives up to its billing. Pricing for the C&C 101 starts at $156,000. www.c-cyachts.com
This 25-foot carbon rocket sets out to satisfy multiple cravings: inshore racing around buoys, spirited daysailing and kicking butt in small-boat raids, a sport that involves beach camping while trying to thread your way through an archipelago. The boat has a boomless main and a roller-furling jib, and it can be taken apart for trailering. Fast doesn’t come cheap, but if the performance claims are true, a base price of $85,000 for this 25-foot speedster sounds realistic. www.motivetrimarans.com
It was bound to happen: Tartan Yachts has joined the fray of daysailers. Tim Jacket came up with the 26-foot Tartan Fantail, which features pleasant lines, a large cockpit and an easily managed sail plan. The boat comes in three incarnations, as a spiffy daysailer, a weekender with more headroom, a simple galley and a marine head, and as a sail trainer that emphasizes ruggedness over trim details. Retail pricing starts at $88,000. www.tartanyachts.com
The storied West Coast builder will show off its latest and largest daysailer, the Steve Schock designed Harbor 30. The boat is also called a Daysailer Plus because accommodations go beyond bare necessities with a real galley and an enclosed head. A narrow beam on the waterline, a small wetted surface area, a large cockpit with control lines led aft and more than 500 square feet of sail area indicate that Schock is serious about performance. The base price is $156,000. www.wdschock.com
By adding the Catalina 315, the storied U.S. builder extends the 5 Series downward in size, but retains the hallmark teak-appointed cabin, the two keel options and safety features such as a watertight forward bulkhead, solid rig support and an ergonomic cockpit design. Catalina has announced a base price of $119,000. www.catalinayachts.com
Dufour Yachts got a new lease on life when it was acquired by Bavaria. With performance-oriented boats such as the new Umberto Felci-designed Dufour 36P, the French builder is keeping abreast with the trend of the times. With hard chines aft, a plumb stem, a deep T-shaped keel and lots of sailing horsepower, the performance label seems to be more than justified. Owners have a choice for placement of the genoa winches, for racing with crew or short-handed cruising. Base price is $220,000, delivered and commissioned for the East Coast. www.dufour-yachts.com
Answering a formidable challenge by Bavaria’s Vision, the French builder will show the Sun Odyssey 41DS, a deck salon yacht that features a new cockpit arrangement farther aft and higher above the water to create more space for the owner’s stateroom aft. The interior by Franck Darnbet has a touch of avant-garde styling and many practical details, including a fold-out sink in the pantry. The second boat that will be shown for the first time in North America this fall is the Sun Odyssey 469, the latest model of this line designed by Philippe Briand. Less freeboard might reduce interior volume, but it adds aesthetic appeal to a boat that is available with a number of interior and rig configurations. Pricing starts at $239,000 for the SO 41DS and at $300,000 for the SO 469. www.jeanneau.com
Hanse Yachts also operates under new ownership and brings two new and already successful models to the United States this year: the Hanse 415, which replaces the company’s most popular boat, the Hanse 400, and the Hanse 385, a voluminous midsize cruiser. Both boats were drawn by Hanse’s standard design firm, Judel Vrolijk & Co. The 415 has a longer waterline and more beam aft, which translates to a larger cockpit and more room below. It is offered in two- or three-cabin versions and can be fitted with the SMS docking system. The Hanse 385 comes standard with a self-tacking jib, and an overlapping headsail is optional. Spectacular: the large pantry and the generous forward accommodations in the two-cabin version. Base prices are $173,000 for the 385 (with sails) and $207,000 for the 415. www.hanseyachts.com
Replacing the Orana 44, the HΘlia 44 from the design firm Berret Racoupeau will make its North American debut this fall, sporting a hard Bimini that is now de rigueur on cruising cats as an awning and sunbathing platform. Although the interior remains unchanged, the steering station was set back from the aft bulkhead of the cabin, which improves access to the winches, sheets and control lines. Base price is about $460,000. www.fountaine-pajot.com
The industrious Germans have restructured their U.S. operations and continue to roll out new models at a torrid pace. Bavaria will show the twin-rudder Cruiser 50, which makes its U.S. debut this fall. This boat has charter potential and is offered with three, four or five cabins and three or four heads.
The focus, however, will be on the new Vision 46, a boat designed for private owners by Farr Yacht Design and the British boutique firm Design Unlimited. An offset companionway that opens up the cockpit, a push-button tacking system and an automatic docking system (both optional) emphasize the boat’s bent for comfort. But as tests in Europe have shown, the Vision is no slouch under sail, managing as much as 7.5 knots hard on the breeze. The Cruiser 50’s base price is $375,000 and the Vision 46’s is $311,000, delivered and commissioned in Annapolis or Mystic, Conn.
A trailerable 23-foot one design with retractable keel was a surprise to many when it was announced last winter, putting Bavaria into the hotly contested segment of sportboats. The B/One’s mission is to satisfy racers and weekend sailors alike with a modern hull shape, a simple sail plan and a modicum of interior accommodations. Like all other Bavarias these days, it is from the design boards of Farr Yacht Design and will be marketed in the United States by Farr Yacht Sales. The base boat is $34,000. www.bavariayachts.com, www.farryachtsales.com
In time for the company’s 40th anniversary, Morris Yachts introduced the Ocean 48 GT. Based on the Ocean Series 48, the GT (it stands for Grand Touring) has a raised saloon, a nifty new galley layout and a circular shower in the owner’s stateroom, as well as more sailing horsepower with a larger rig that features a leisure-furl main and a self-tacking jib. It’s an exquisite rendition of a known theme that’s yours for $1.25 million ù nicely appointed, no doubt. www.morrisyachts.com
The South African yard, which is represented by TUI Marine, has two entries this year with the Leopard 44 and Leopard 58, which has five guest cabins with en-suite heads, plus separate accommodations for the crew. The best aprΘs voile spot is the flybridge, with lounge seats and a wet bar with fridge. New on both boats is the forward cockpit that can be directly accessed from the saloon as a cool spot to lounge at anchor or for some privacy when moored stern-to in a busy port. Both models are also available in charter versions, the Leopard 44 as Sunsail 444 ($549,000) and the Leopard 58 as the Moorings 5800 ($1.5 million). www.leopardcatamarans.com, www.tuimarine.com
What’s on deck
• Sept. 13-16: Newport International Boat Show, Newport, R.I. www.newportboatshow.com
• Sept. 20-23: Norwalk Boat Show, Norwalk, Conn. www.boatshownorwalk.com
• Sept. 28-30: Tampa Boat Show, Tampa, Fla. www.tampaboatshow.com
• Oct. 4-8: U.S. Sailboat Show, Annapolis, Md. www.usboat.com
• Oct. 11-14: U.S. Powerboat Show, Annapolis, Md. www.usboat.com
• Oct. 25-29: Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. www.showmanagement.com
• Nov. 29-Dec. 2: St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, St. Petersburg, Fla. www.showmanagement.com
• Jan. 3-6: New York National Boat Show, New York City. www.nyboatshow.com
• Jan. 10-13: Atlanta Boat Show, Atlanta. www.atlantaboatshow.com
• Jan. 24-27: Strictly Sail Chicago, Chicago. www.strictlysailchicago.com
• Feb. 6-10: Atlantic City Boat Show, Atlantic City, N.J. www.acboatshow.com
• Feb. 14-18: Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail, Miami. www.miamiboatshow.com
• Feb. 14-18: Yacht & Brokerage Show in Miami Beach. www.showmanagement.com
• Feb. 16-24: New England Boat Show, Boston. www.newenglandboatshow.com
• Feb. 28-March 3: Baltimore Boat Show, Baltimore. www.baltimoreboatshow.com
• March 21-24: Palm Beach International Boat Show, Palm Beach, Fla. www.showmanagement.com
• April 19-21: Suncoast Boat Show, Sarasota, Fla. www.showmanagement.com
See related article:
- A new world order - powerboats
October 2012 issue