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Sailboats change their course

Boat Show Preview

Read the other stories in this package: A show of power   Boat show powerboats

With gas prices high and the economy low, the mood in many leisure industries is cautious. A casual survey of some sailboat builders and importers implies that selling such products was more entertaining and lucrative in the recent past. But nobody wants to head into the boat show season under a pall, so defiance and a sense of determination to weather these choppy waters prevail. Change is in the air, and that means opportunities for vendors who have their finger on the pulse of the market and for buyers who are hunting for bargains.

“The industry has to adapt, just like consumers do,” says Karsten Johnson, marketing director of Island Packet Yachts in Largo, Fla., a builder of cruising boats that in 2009 celebrates 30 years in business. “We’ve been here and done that, and the lesson learned is that the economy will make a comeback, even if oil prices look like they could go up some more.”


Hunter Marine is introducing two new vessels at opposite ends of the size range. The Hunter 50CC is the luxurious rendition of the builder’s center cockpit concept, a bluewater cruiser that includes a hot tub in the owner’s suite. On the smaller side, the company introduces the Hunter Edge, a trailerable, beachable 28-footer with centerboard, water ballast and a mast-raising system. The boat follows the powerboat/sailboat concept that MacGregor was first to explore and market with considerable success. The Edge can be powered with an outboard to 75 hp, which gives the boat planing speed.



LOA: 28 feet, 6 inches

LWL: 24 feet, 2 inches

BEAM: 8 feet, 4 inches

DRAFT (centerboard up/down): 1 foot, 6 inches/5 feet, 11 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 5,540 pounds (including water ballast)

SAIL AREA: 333 square feet

ENGINE: outboard to 75 hp

PRICE: $32,990 (without power)

CONTACT: Hunter Marine, Alachua Fla.

Phone: (386) 462-3077.


Beneteau has announced four new additions to its cruising line — the Beneteau 31, 34, 37 and 54 — and two new racer/cruisers, the First 40 and First 45. Though the 37 was in Annapolis, Md., last year, Beneteau decided to reintroduce an adapted version for the U.S. market. The company continues to use different naval architects for different models: Finot-Conq for the 31 and 34, Groupe Finot for the 37, and Berret Racoupeau for the 54; and Farr Yacht Design for the First 40 and Philippe Briand for the First 45. The new Beneteaus cover a wide range of tastes and budgets, with sailaway prices ranging from $110,000 for the 31 to $485,000 for the 54.

Beneteau 31

LOA: 31 feet, 8 inches

LWL: 28 feet, 6 inches

BEAM: 11 feet, 1 inch

DRAFT (shoal/standard): 4 feet, 5 inches/6 feet, 1 inch DISPLACEMENT: 8,933 pounds

SAIL AREA: 508 square feet

ENGINE: 20-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $110,000

Beneteau 37

LOA: 37 feet, 8 inches

LWL: 34 feet, 1 inch

BEAM: 12 feet, 10 inches

DRAFT (standard/deep): 4 feet, 7 inches/6 feet, 3 inches DISPLACEMENT: 14,088 pounds

SAIL AREA: 640 square feet

ENGINE: 28-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $165,000

First 45

LOA: 44 feet, 11 inches

LWL: 38 feet, 7 inches

BEAM: 13 feet, 9 inches

DRAFT: 7 feet, 10 inches

DISPLACEMENT (light): 23,400 pounds

SAIL AREA: 1,238 square feet ENGINE: 54-hp Yanmar Saildrive

PRICE: $380,000

CONTACT: Beneteau USA, Marion, S.C.

Phone: (843) 629-5300.


Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200

Bolstered by winning its category in the European Yacht of the Year awards this year, the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200 is set for a U.S. premiere at Annapolis, Md. Light and stiff, simple and fast is Jeanneau’s marketing thrust for this one-design racer that came off the board of Andrieu Yacht Design. Bowsprit, asymmetrical spinnaker and tiller-controlled twin rudders promise good fun, especially downwind.

LOA: 33 feet, 1 inch

LWL: 28 feet

BEAM: 11 feet, 5 inches

DRAFT: 6 feet, 2 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 7,500 pounds

SAIL AREA: 667 square feet

ENGINE: 15-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $160,000

CONTACT: Jeanneau America, Annapolis, Md.

Phone: (410) 280-9400.


Santa Cruz 37

If you call the offices of Santa Cruz Yachts these days, you’ll end up in Florida, and someone with an Australian accent is likely to answer the phone. In January the iconic California builder changed hands and location. Vice president and director of operations Darren Williams, like sales manager Dave Tomlinson and production manager Rod Gill, are Aussies who served in different capacities at Sydney Yachts. But there is still a West Coast component with designer Tim Kernan and the original founder of Santa Cruz Yachts, Bill Lee, who signed on as director of development. The company expects to show the Santa Cruz 37, a new design with racer/cruiser characteristics featuring a retractable bow-sprit, non-overlapping headsail and an optional lifting keel. The boat will be followed by a 43-footer.

LOA: 37 feet

LWL: 34 feet, 9 inches

BEAM: 10 feet, 7 inches

DRAFT (shoal/deep): 6 feet/7 feet, 6 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 8,662 pounds

SAIL AREA: 725 square feet ENGINE: 29-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: ca. $315,000

CONTACT: Santa Cruz Yachts, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Phone: (888) 723-2781.


Bavaria 38 Cruiser

Bavaria Yachts lists three models for this year, the 31, 34 and 38 Cruiser. While the two smaller models were introduced in the U.S. earlier this year, the 38 is expected to make its American debut this fall. Bavaria calls it a midsize cruiser and touts its electric swim platform, large cockpit lockers, spacious accommodations and functional galley. The hand-laid fiberglass hull has Kevlar reinforcements in the bow section, while the rig consists of a fairly conventional two-spreader Selden aluminum mast with shrouds far inboard.

LOA: 38 feet, 6 inches

LWL: 32 feet, 6 inches

BEAM: 12 feet, 10 inches

DRAFT (standard/deep): 5 feet, 3 inches/ 6 feet, 5 inches DISPLACEMENT: 15,840 pounds

SAIL AREA: 745 square feet

ENGINE: 40-hp Volvo Saildrive

PRICE: $184,000

CONTACT: Bavaria Yachts, Annapolis, Md.

Phone: (410) 990-0007.


Island Packet 460

It’s been more than 20 years since Island Packet Yachts rolled out the IP 38, the company’s first aft-cockpit, two-stateroom, two-head yacht. It is a tried-and-true concept that was improved and refined in the new Island Packet 460, which makes its debut at the fall shows. The boat continues the Island Packet tradition of comfort-oriented cruising, with its cutter rig and plenty of space on deck and below. The company also emphasizes such features as an extra-large lazarette, fiberglass and teak transom platform with retractable swim ladder, and a longer boom that increases sail area and accommodates an optional “ExtendoBoom” hoist.

LOA: 42 feet, 9 inches

LWL: 38 feet, 1 inch

BEAM: 14 feet, 4 inches

DRAFT: 5 feet

DISPLACEMENT: 32,000 pounds

SAIL AREA: 1,148 square feet

ENGINE: 75-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $550,000

CONTACT: Island Packet Yachts, Largo Fla.

Phone: (727) 535-6431.


C&C 131

C&C Yachts is under new ownership and talking up the 131, a lean racer/cruiser with a retractable bowsprit. Features such as “Carbopoxy” composite hull construction, a resin-infused deck, carbon fiber rig, PBO standing rigging, and carbon fiber rudder and post keep things light and fast, which is indicated by a sail area-to-displacement ratio of 26.3. C&C says the 131 is “uniquely designed for the performance-minded racer/cruiser” and it will be offered with an optional retracting keel.

LOA:42 feet, 11 inches

LWL: 37 feet, 3 inches

BEAM: 12 feet, 11 inches

DRAFT (fixed/retractable keel): 8 feet, 8 inches/6 feet, 6 inches DISPLACEMENT: 16,975 pounds

SAIL AREA: 1,082 square feet

ENGINE: 55-hp Yanmar Saildrive

PRICE: unavailable

CONTACT: C&C Yachts, Fairport Harbor, Ohio.

Phone: (440) 357-7223.

Sunsail and The Moorings

For sailors interested in letting their boats earn income as charter vessels, The Moorings and Sunsail are offering two new boats, the Sunsail 44, designed by Philippe Briand, and The Moorings 43.4, a Berret-Racoupeau boat. Both are similar in size and performance and are offered with two layout configurations, either three cabins/three heads or four cabins/two heads. An interesting detail on the Sunsail 44 is the injection-molded deck, which the company says improves performance and reduces pitch because it is nearly 800 pounds lighter than a conventionally laminated deck of similar size. The boats are available through the Sunsail Yacht Partnership Program and the Moorings Advantage Ownership Program (click on the ownership tabs on the company Web sites, listed below).


Sunsail 44

LOA: 45 feet, 1 inch

LWL: 37 feet, 6 inches

BEAM: 14 feet, 4 inches

DRAFT (shoal/deep): 5 feet, 4 inches/6 feet, 8 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 21,900 pounds

SAIL AREA: 970 square feet

ENGINE: 75-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $299,000

CONTACT: Sunsail, Clearwater, Fla.

Phone: (800) 817-0807.

Moorings 43.4

LOA: 43 feet, 1 inch

LWL: 38 feet, 1 inch

BEAM: 13 feet. 6 inches

DRAFT(shoal/deep): 5 feet, 5 inches/6 feet, 7 inches DISPLACEMENT: 21,108 pounds

SAIL AREA: 891 square feet

ENGINE: 54-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $289,000

CONTACT: The Moorings, Clearwater, Fla.

Phone: (727) 530-5651.


Moody 45 DS

A name laden with tradition attached to a boat with modern looks and ideas could be a summary of the new Moody 45 DS. The British brand Moody Yachts, synonymous for robust and comfortable cruisers, now has a German owner, Hanse Yachts AG, which builds and markets the boats. The first yacht of the new era is a deck saloon model that draws on the indoor-outdoor living theme on one level, “creating a feeling of space which is usually only experienced on large motoryachts,” according to the design brief. Clear lines, a tidy deck and thoughtful ergonomics are designed to encourage short-handed sailing and safety on offshore passages. The Moody 45 DS is built with epoxy laminate and offered with several interior layouts.

LOA: 45 feet

LWL: 15 feet, 11 inches

BEAM: 10 feet, 7 inches

DRAFT: 6 feet, 6 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 30,000 pounds

SAIL AREA: 1,033 square feet

ENGINE: 75-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $650,000

CONTACT: Hanse Yachts U.S., Annapolis, Md.

Phone: (410) 626-1493.


Broadblue 500

Scheduled for launch this fall, the Broadblue 500 is designed for private owners rather than charter operations. The catamaran combines a “powerful, comfortable and safe ride with strikingly beautiful lines, superb craftsmanship and elegant joinery,” according to the manufacturer. Designed by Stuart Davidsen, the Broadblue 500 targets customers who like small crews, but long hauls and blue water under their keels.

LOA:50 feet, 1 inch

LWL: 48 feet, 5 inches

BEAM: 28 feet, 11 inches

DRAFT: 4 feet, 7 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 33,000 pounds

SAIL AREA: 1,592 square feet

ENGINE: twin 55-hp Yanmar Saildrives

PRICE: $1.29 million

CONTACT: Broadblue USA, Oriental, N.C.

Phone: (877) 695-0358.


Dufour 525 Grand’large

Dufour plans to show its new flagship, the 525 Grand’large, which was designed by Umberto Felci and Patrick Roseo for comfortable liveaboard bluewater cruising. It boasts a low coach roof and uncluttered deck, in addition to such practical details as a transom storage compartment for the dinghy and life raft, hidden control lines led aft under the roof, twin steering wheels, and a bowsprit for asymmetrical sails. Dufour says almost any appliance can be added to increase creature comforts and convenience, and touts the boat’s “luminous and warm” saloon. Customers can choose from eight different interior layouts with three or four cabins, and an inline or L-shaped galley.

LOA: 50 feet, 3 inches

LWL: 45 feet, 1 inch

BEAM: 16 feet, 1 inch

DRAFT (shoal/deep): 6 feet, 6 inches/7 feet, 8 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 35,640 pounds

SAIL AREA: 1,381 square feet

ENGINE: 75-hp Volvo Saildrive or 110-hp straight shaft

PRICE: $649,000

CONTACT: Dufour Yachts, Annapolis, Md.

Phone: (410) 757-9401.


Tartan 5300

Tartan Yachts will show its latest — and largest — boat, the Tartan 5300, a cruiser with a raised saloon, center cockpit and large accommodations. Fitted with the Novis carbon fiber Cruise Control Rig, with a small overlapping jib, furling reacher and a pocket boom, the boat provides optimum performance and ease of handling, according to Tartan. Using epoxy laminates to save weight and preserve stiffness, Tartan touts a higher ballast-to-displacement ratio and greater sail-carrying ability and stability. The 5300 has a centerboard option and is offered with several cabin layouts. Also in the pipeline is the 5100, a performance-oriented raised-saloon model for short-handed offshore sailing. A launch date hasn’t been set.

LOA: 53 feet

LWL: 46 feet, 6 inches

BEAM: 16 feet, 1 inch

DRAFT (keel/centerboard up-down): 6 feet, 8 inches/5 feet, 6 inches-9 feet, 6 inches

DISPLACEMENT (keel/centerboard): 37,225 pounds/38,225 pounds SAIL AREA: 1,387 square feet

ENGINE: 106-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $1.1 million

CONTACT: Tartan Yachts, Fairport Harbor, Ohio

Phone: (440) 357-7777.


Oyster 54

Under new ownership, but upholding the values that made it one of the enduring success stories of the industry, Oyster Marine introduces the Oyster 54, which replaces the established 53. Rob Humphreys and Oyster’s own designers came up with a modern iteration that promises markedly better performance, with close to a foot more waterline, 4 feet more beam, 60 square feet more sail, but a half-ton less weight. The boat will be offered with various rigs and interiors, two different keels, and a centerboard version with twin rudders, which reduces the minimum draft to approximately 5 feet.

LOA: 53 feet, 11 inches

LWL: 46 feet, 3 inches

BEAM: 15 feet, 7 inches

DRAFT (shoal/standard): 6 feet /7 feet, 10 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 47,000 pounds

SAIL AREA: 1,658 square feet

ENGINE: 110-hp Yanmar diesel

PRICE: $1.69 million

CONTACT: Oyster Marine Ltd. USA , Newport, R.I.

Phone: (401) 846-7400.