The recession is over. Really. Although the meaning of this statement depends on a number of variables, the sailboat industry is getting used to the thought after enduring and often suffering some lean years.
“The market is inching back”, says Kenny Feld, managing director of Bavaria Yachts USA. “It is still stronger for the larger yachts, but starter boats are slowly coming back, too. Except that starter boats no longer are 30-footers but more like 37 to 40 feet in overall length.”
The game of building and selling new sailboats is still dominated by European manufacturers, perhaps even more so now than in the recent past because the renaissance of the positive economic outlook and improved consumer confidence also brought back foreign brands that kept a low profile during the recession. They’ll join juggernauts such as Groupe Beneteau from France or Bavaria Yachts and Hanse Group from Germany, large corporations that own multiple brands and produce boats on a scale that hasn’t happened in the United States. They will make their presence known with big, splashy displays at the shows in Newport, Rhode Island; Annapolis, Maryland; Fort Lauderdale; and Miami.
But in their shadows, niche players will thrive, such as Cape Cod Shipbuilding, which will display a lovely Herreshoff-inspired modern classic. Or C&C Yachts, which shows off a pair of exciting new models that stick to the brand’s proud tradition of performance, even as the company operates under new ownership.
Luxury-catamaran builder Gunboat, which has relocated some building operations to U.S. shores, pushes the design of large and fast cruising cats with a new 55-footer that trends toward minimalism — relatively speaking, of course. In the universe of small boats, there are several U.S.-built products of interest. There’s the Zim 15, a new two-person dinghy that could well become the ticket for sailors in their 20s and 30s who might otherwise drop out of the sport once careers and family obligations take over. And there’s the Andrews 21, built by W.D. Schock in California, and the ASA First 22, built by Beneteau in Marion, South Carolina.
These are training boats that can do double duty as racers but primarily are designed to help bring new people into the sport who eventually will become the boat buyers of the future. If that idea pans out, and there is no reason it shouldn’t, the sailboat industry might see its fortunes rise — really.
California designer Alan Andrews is known for fast racing yachts but now is out to prove that he also has mastered the art of small-boat design with the Andrews 21, a sporty trainer built by W.D. Schock in Corona del Mar, California. The boat has a roomy cockpit, which is good for racing and teaching, and a retractable bowsprit that can spread a large A-sail. But it incorporates positive flotation and is built from solid hand-laid fiberglass with vinylester resin to better absorb the nicks and dings that invariably occur to boats in this line of work. www.wdschock.com
Andrews 21 LOA: 21 feet • LWL: 19 feet, 3 inches • BEAM: 8 feet, 3 inches • DRAFT: 5 feet, 1 inch • DISPLACEMENT: 1,800 pounds • SAIL AREA: 233 square feet • PRICE: $30,000
Bavaria Yachtbau, one of the world’s largest builders of sailing and power yachts, continues to expand its U.S. offerings with small and midrange models of its completely reworked Cruiser fleet, which testifies to Bavaria’s effort to come up with more elegant lines, better ergonomics, more finesse and improved overall product quality. The entry-level Cruiser 33 has the same length and beam as her predecessor but otherwise is a completely new boat. Farr Yacht Design revamped the hull, repositioning the mast, keel and rudder for better balance. The cockpit has shorter coamings and more space around the steering wheel. The Cruiser 33 and its larger brethren feature the new look, which includes a cabin top with larger, longer windows that stretch the lines and admit more light into the interior. The layout stayed the same, but now there are more options for veneers and upholstery. Also new to the United States are the Cruiser 37 and 46, which follow the same design philosophy but on a grander scale. The Cruiser 37, with twin helms, offers refreshing performance under sail, a choice of two or three cabins and a surprising amount of space in the living quarters. If space is near the top of the list, the Cruiser 46, with as many as four cabins and three heads, might just be the ticket. www.bavariayachts.com
Cruiser 33 LOA: 32 feet, 9 inches • LWL: 29 feet, 1 inch • BEAM: 11 feet, 3 inches • DRAFT (standard/shoal): 6 feet, 4 inches/4 feet, 10 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 11,464 pounds • SAIL AREA: 538 square feet • ENGINE: 18-hp Volvo Penta Saildrive • PRICE: $150,200
Cruiser 37 LOA: 37 feet, 1 inch • LWL: 32 feet, 6 inches • BEAM: 12 feet, 3 inches • DRAFT (standard/shoal): 6 feet, 4 inches/5 feet, 4 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 15,432 pounds • SAIL AREA: 700 square feet • ENGINE: 27-hp Volvo Penta Saildrive • PRICE: $197,300
Cruiser 46 LOA: 46 feet, 10 inches • LWL: 41 feet, 8 inches • BEAM: 14 feet, 3 inches • DRAFT (standard/shoal): 7 feet/5 feet, 8 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 27,777 pounds • SAIL AREA: 1,151 square feet ENGINE: 53-hp Volvo Penta Saildrive • PRICE: $ 317,250
Last year the French market leader pioneered the concept of the variable configuration and found strong resonance, so it is no surprise that this a-la-carte trend, which started with the Oceanis 38, gets an encore with the Oceanis 35. The company bets that customers in this highly contested segment will want to buy a Spartan base boat that they can accessorize to their hearts’ delight, choosing from a long menu of options that could turn this boat into a daysailer, a weekender or a cruiser with three cabins. Beneteau says it also will debut the ASA First 22, a training boat with a swing keel and twin rudders that is being built in Marion, South Carolina. It was developed for the American Sailing Association and is based on the company’s successful First 20, which sold 3,000 units worldwide. At the other end of the spectrum, Beneteau says it will bring to the Miami show the Oceanis 60, the flagship of the Oceanis line. Specifications and pricing were unavailable at press time. www.beneteau.com
Oceanis 35 LOA: 32 feet, 9 inches (daysailer) 34 feet, 3 inches (weekender, cruiser) • LWL: 31 feet, 10 inches • BEAM: 12 feet, 2 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 11,476-12,195 pounds • DRAFT (standard/shoal/drifter): 6 feet, 1 inch/4 feet, 9 inches/3 feet, 9 inches • ENGINE: 20- or 30-hp Yanmar Saildrive • PRICE: $ 169,000-$225,000
There is no better proof that the shrunken U.S. sailboat industry is still capable of turning out exciting new boats than C&C Yachts, a household brand that now is sailing under the flag of US Watercraft. Contracting with Mark Mills, the company recently introduced two noteworthy boats. There’s the C&C 30 — a high-tech carbon composite speed machine reminiscent of Grand Prix racers and not designed to a specific rule in the hope of building a one-design class — and the Redline 41, an elegant and customizable racer/cruiser that takes its name from a previous C&C design and is endowed with performance features that should make it a force on the regatta circuit. www.c-cyachts.com
C&C 30 LOA: 30 feet • LWL: 28 feet, 9 inches • BEAM: 9 feet, 10 inches • DRAFT: 7 feet, 6 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 3,400 pounds • SAIL AREA: 645 square feet • ENGINE: 12-hp Yanmar diesel Saildrive • PRICE: $124,900
Redline 41 LOA: 40 feet, 6 inches • LWL: 34 feet, 7 inches • BEAM: 12 feet • DRAFT: 8 feet, 2 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 14,112 pounds • SAIL AREA: 993 square feet • ENGINE: 40-hp Volvo diesel Saildrive • PRICE: $425,000
Dufour 560 Grand’ Large
For its 50th anniversary, the French builder rolls out the 560 Grand’ Large, the new flagship of the touring line and the largest Dufour model. Visually, it is similar to the old top model, the 500 GL, with chines, a long and narrow hull window, a wide stern with a fold-down swim platform and a flat cabin top. The interior layout is similar, too, with an athwartships galley behind the main bulkhead. But there are some differences: a fixed bowsprit that doubles with integrated anchor storage, an optional self-tailing jib and a dinghy garage in the stern. This arrangement is made possible by a single rudder that is installed far forward.
Dufour 560 Grand' Large LOA: 56 feet, 3 inches • LWL: 49 feet, 9 inches • BEAM: 16 feet, 7 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 38,900 pounds • DRAFT: 8 feet, 3 inches • SAIL AREA: 1,644 square feet • ENGINE: 110-hp diesel
The Farr 280, another new one design that promises to offer Grand Prix-style racing in a smaller package, is being introduced by Farr Yacht Design. It features a large open cockpit, a fixed bowsprit, a reverse stem, racing-grade deck hardware, a T-shaped keel with lead bulb, a double-spreader carbon stick, a fathead mainsail and lots of off-wind canvas, which means the boat will appeal to hard-core racing enthusiasts. A class association also was formed. farryachtdesign.com, www.farr280.com
Farr 280 LOA: 28 feet, 7 inches • LWL: 26 feet, 4 inches • BEAM: 9 feet, 5 inches • DRAFT: 6 feet, 11 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 3,525 pounds • SAIL AREA: 566 square feet • ENGINE: 20-hp diesel Saildrive • PRICE: $114,900
Fountaine-Pajot Saba 50
Fresh design, surprising details and oodles of space to relax on deck are the key improvements of the Saba 50 by Fountaine-Pajot, which replaces the Salina 48. As large as the boat is, it can be handled by the skipper alone because the winches for the sheets and halyards are positioned within arm’s reach of the elevated helm. Like the smaller Helia 44, the Saba has a large lounge area on the cabin top and a hard Bimini, which gives guests and sunbathers a new vantage point in addition to the forward lounge between the trampoline and deckhouse. The boat is available with as many as five double cabins with separate heads and an optional captain’s cabin. The interior was crafted by Isabelle Racoupeau, the wife of designer Olivier Racoupeau. www.fountaine-pajot.com
Fountaine-Pajot Saba 50 LOA: 49 feet, 2 inches • BEAM: 26 feet, 2 inches • DRAFT: 4 feet, 1 inch • DISPLACEMENT: 34,600 pounds • SAIL AREA: 1,518 square feet • ENGINE: twin 55-hp diesel • PRICE: $807,300
Bigger is better (and faster), but more is less. In the case of the new Gunboat 55, a performance cruising catamaran designed for sailors who plan to “circumnavigate as owner-operators,” that might just be the new multihull mantra. Large, open spaces in the deckhouse/saloon and only two cabins, with an option for a third (otherwise a workshop or office), make this boat the antidote to cats that can cram 10 or 12 guests into space of similar size. Catamaran cruising also is synonymous with the indoor/outdoor lifestyle. That applies to the Gunboat 55, which also is equipped with a retractable windshield and moonroof. www.gunboat.com
Gunboat 55 LOA: 56 feet, 11 inches • LWL: 56 feet, 11 inches • BEAM: 25 feet • DRAFT: (board up/down): 2 feet/ 9 feet, 2 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 27,560 pounds • SAIL AREA: 1,776 square feet • ENGINE: twin Yanmar 39-hp diesels
More from Germany: Hanse Yachts is rolling out some big guns in the United States this year: the Hanse 505 and the 575. The 505 is a revamped version of the 495 with many upgrades, including the cockpit, deck layout and overall ergonomics. There are a variety of choices for interior decor and layout, with one or two fore cabins and three heads. The 575 will wow them with such nifty features as 10 skylights forward of the companionway, a dinghy garage in the stern and twin cockpit tables that can be lowered to become a lounge area. The interior is highly adaptable, with a minimum of three staterooms or a maximum of six for charter service.
Hanse also plans to introduce to the United States the Varianta 37, the smaller model in its budget line. The boat is based on the Hanse 370, and it created a stir during its debut in Düsseldorf in 2013 with pricing that appealed to fans of basic boats who don’t insist on teak trim, a swim platform and twin steering wheels. However, the U.S. version of the boat has been upgraded with amenities that reflect customer preferences here, says Martin van Breems, who manages Varianta’s sales in the United States. www.hanseyachts.com, www.varyachts.com
Hanse 575 LOA: 56 feet, 3 inches • LWL: 49 feet, 8 inches • BEAM: 17 feet • Draft (standard/shoal): 9 feet, 4 inches/ 7 feet, 4 inches • DISPLACEMENT (standard/shoal): 42,990 pounds/ 44,974 pounds • SAIL AREA (105% genoa): 1,725 square feet • ENGINE: 107-hp diesel • PRICE: $580,000
Hanse 505 LOA: 50 feet, 6 inches • LWL: 44 feet, 5 inches • BEAM: 15 feet, 7 inches • DRAFT (standard/shoal): 7 feet, 8 inches/ 6 feet, 6 inches • DISPLACEMENT (standard/shoal): 30,900 pounds/ 31,900 pounds • SAIL AREA (105% genoa): 1,390 square feet • ENGINE: 72-hp diesel • PRICE: $405,000
Varianta 37 LOA: 37 feet, 9 inches • LWL: 33 feet • BEAM: 12 feet, 3 inches • DRAFT (standard/shoal): 6 feet, 4 inches/5 feet, 2 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 15,200 pounds • SAIL AREA: 828 square feet • ENGINE: 20-hp Volvo Penta Saildrive • PRICE: $150,000
The French are bringing the new Sun Odyssey 349 to the shows. It looks like other modern cruising boats, with its long cabin top, large windows, twin rudders and steering wheels, and large swim platform. However, the boat, which is offered in two- and three-cabin layouts, also packs surprises that include a negative sheer, a rig sans backstay, an optional swing keel, so-called 3D-jib leads and sheets that are led aft to the helm for convenient and safe single-handing. The sportier side of Jeanneau will be seen in the new Sun Fast 3600, an offshore racer designed by Daniel Andrieu that bears relation to the smaller, hugely successful Sun Fast 3200. On the new model, the traveler is mounted in the center of the cockpit, and there are two tillers, one for each rudder. Twin steering wheels and a variety of sheeting systems are optional. Two aft cabins, a large saloon, and a head and sail locker forward attest to the boat’s racy character. www.jeanneau.com
Sun Odyssey 349 LOA: 33 feet, 11 inches • LWL: 30 feet, 10 inches • BEAM: 11 feet, 3 inches • DRAFT: 6 feet, 5 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 11,773 pounds • SAIL AREA: 595 square feet • ENGINE: 21-hp diesel Saildrive • PRICE: $210,400
Sun Fast 3600 LOA: 33 feet, 11 inches • LWL: 31 feet, 4 inches • BEAM: 11 feet, 5 inches • DRAFT: 6 feet, 2 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 7,500 pounds • SAIL AREA: 645 square feet • ENGINE: 15-hp diesel Saildrive • PRICE: $126,900
From Cape Cod Shipbuilding comes the Marlin Heritage, a redesign that “combines Nathanael Herreshoff’s Fish and Marlin designs with a touch of modern amenities.” The builders in Wareham, Massachusetts, stuck with the classic lines and eye-pleasing proportions but increased the length of the cabin at the expense of cockpit size. An aluminum mast, a full-batten main sail, a roller furling jib, Harken blocks, self-tailing Lewmar winches and a Yanmar diesel make the Marlin Heritage a modern classic. www.capecodshipbuilding.com
Marlin Heritage LOA: 23 feet • LWL: 16 feet, 11 inches • BEAM: 7 feet, 7 inches • DRAFT: 3 feet, 8 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 3,800 pounds • SAIL AREA: 270 square feet • ENGINE: 15-hp Yanmar diesel • Price: $98,000
Continuing the styling of the 40-footer that preceded her, the Marlow-Hunter 37 blends innovative details with the tradition of the brand. Glenn Henderson’s hull design still features the trademark hollow bow, but hard chines were added aft for better performance and more volume in the stern. Flush-mount deck hatches and long, sleek windows in the cabin trunk increase natural light in the spacious two-cabin interior. A fold-down swim platform and Hunter’s trademark cockpit arch and stern seats underscore the philosophy that cruising is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. www.marlow-hunter.com
Marlow-Hunter 37 LOA: 39 feet, 1 inch • LWL: 35 feet, 8 inches • BEAM: 13feet, 1 inch • DRAFT (standard/shoal): 6 feet, 6 inches/5 feet • DISPLACEMENT: 18,995 pounds • SAIL AREA: 856 square feet • ENGINE: 20-hp diesel • PRICE: $220,000
Salona importer Alex Sastre will be showing the Salona 33 and 41 racer/cruiser, which follows in the footsteps of the successful Salona 44. Both boats feature an internal steel grid that increases stiffness and upwind performance. On the 33, which also is available with an IRC-optimized keel with no ballast bulb, the aft cockpit seats (and the stowage underneath) were deliberately omitted to give helmsman the best seat in the house, with optimum visibility forward. And they will need it because this boat comes with tiller steering standard. Sastre says he also plans to have a performance version of the Salona 38 on hand.
Salona 33 LOA: 32 feet, 9 inches • LWL: 39 feet, 10 inches • BEAM: 10 feet, 11 inches • DRAFT (deep/shoal): 7feet, 1 inch/4 feet, 11 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 10,900 pounds • SAIL AREA: 748 square feet • ENGINE: 21-hp Yanmar diesel Saildrive • PRICE: $151,000
Salona 41 LOA: 41 feet • LWL: 37 feet, 6 inches • BEAM: 12 feet, 6 inches • DRAFT (standard/performance): 6 feet, 6 inches/7 feet, 5 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 16,420 pounds • SAIL AREA: 1,130 square feet • ENGINE: 40-hp Yanmar diesel Saildrive • Price: $268,000
With all due respect to the Club 420, it’s about time something else came along that’s as simple and at least as much fun, yet uses up-to-date technology while remaining easy to handle for a crew of two. Enter the Zim 15, which is designed by Steve Clark, who used to own Vanguard Boats. Resin-infused and cored laminate, a better hull-deck joint, a modern mast and sail design, a practical whisker pole and a “reefable” centerboard with an adjustable pivot point are just some of the features of a boat that could bring more versatility and performance to dinghy sailing while upholding its inherent fun. www.zimsailing.com
LOA: 14 feet, 9 inches • BEAM: 5 feet, 5 inches • DRAFT: 3 feet, 8 inches • DISPLACEMENT: 190 pounds • SAIL AREA: 153 square feet • PRICE: $11,500
See related articles:
October 2014 issue