2015 NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: More Euro Invaders and Some Cool American Boats As Well


Walking the docks at Newport last week I couldn’t help noticing that the seemingly never-ending invasion of Euro boats into the American market continues apace. Two new brands in evidence this year were Euphoria and Azuree, both of which are creatures of Sirena Marine, a Turkish builder that previously did contract work for others (most notably building powerboats for Azimut) and a few years ago struck out on its own. Yes, I know most of Turkey is not in Europe, but still, the Euphoria 54 (see photo up top), designed by German Frers, reads as a sleek luxury performance cruiser in the best Euro style.

Same with the Azuree 46, designed by Rob Humphreys, seen below.


The Euphoria is more classic, with a rounder hull, sleeker deck line, and a single rudder, reminiscent of boats by Nautor Swan, while the Azuree is more modern, with twin rudders, pronounced hull chines, and a blister-style cabinhouse. But both are decidedly European in their presentation.

Euphoria interior

The interior on the Euphoria in the show was blonde on blonde and markedly Euro minimalist, with an expansive nav desk. I noticed on other boats, too, that large nav stations, even on smaller boats, seem to be making a comeback

Azuree sprit

There’s a fixed sprit and belowdeck furler on the Azuree. Both features seem to be increasingly popular on contemporary boats

Yet another new Euro brand in the show was Italia, from Venice, which showed its 13.98 performance cruiser (below).


Italia transom

One interesting feature on this boat was the slightly raked drop-down transom. I don’t think I’ve seen one of these before

Italia traveler

Another unique feature I know I’ve never seen before was the in-deck traveler system under the cockpit sole. Looks cool, but I have to wonder: is this taking the belowdeck running-rigging trend one step too far???

Cockpit table

There’s also a stow-away spot for the cockpit table hidden under the sole

The Salona brand, from Croatia, made its debut last year and was back again this year with a new 41-footer (below).

Salona 41

Salona cockpit

They don’t have an in-deck cockpit traveler, but you can cover up the traveler when the boat is idle, in case you’re tired of looking at it

Salona sprit

This boat has a long retractable sprit (somewhat camouflaged in this photo), and yes… a belowdeck furler

Not that the Americans were AWOL at this show. One of the more anticipated debuts was the new Hinckley Bermuda 50 (below), which, it must be said, looks a bit Euro, too, don’t you think?

Bermuda 50

Bermuda 50 interior

The interior, however, reads as more classically American, but with a modern sensibility. The boat unfortunately wasn’t quite ready for prime time, as some details have yet to be installed. Purportedly this is because the owner was anxious to start racing his new baby before she was completely finished

Perhaps the most anticipated boat in the show was the new Gunboat G4, which was conceived by and is marketed by an American builder, but is actually built in Europe. The G4, of course, is already notorious for its full foiling capabilities and for the spectacular debut capsize it endured while racing off St. Bart’s last winter.


I’m quite sure the G4 was the only boat in the show that has spent time upside down while afloat. It looked real sharp considering

Autopilot warning

Not a problem most of us have while cruising

G4 living space

Most of the accommodations are right on deck. There are double berths either side of the table and settees in the “saloon pod.” The galley module, meanwhile, is totally open air and features a simple Origo alcohol stove

G4 head

The only living space belowdeck is this luxurious head in the port hull

Board controls

Controls for raking the daggerboards

Rudder controls

Likewise for the foiling rudders

Tiller crossbar

Note how the central section of the cross-bar linking the tillers is stabilized with a deck track. Those foot pedals you see are the mainsheet controls

Another very impressive boat on display was this American-built Class 40, Longbow, presented by Rhode Island-based Carbon Ocean Yachts.


This baby was drawn by Owen Clarke Design. Check out the sweet kick-up rudder installations and the stylin’ tiller yoke. The twin companionways are the only ones I’ve seen on one of these boats that can be easily negotiated by tall people

Reverse spreaders

Reverse sweptback spreaders for the carbon rig

Longbow interior

Superb finish quality in the interior

Longbow nav pod

The rotating nav pod

Yet another new American boat on the scene was the new Marlow Hunter 31, which takes the little-big boat trend to a new extreme, with a super-wide cockpit and super-roomy interior

Marlow Hunter 31

The cockpit coamings are pushed right out to the gunwales, and a canting wheel pedestal lets you steer comfortably from either side

MH 31 cockpit

Max beam on this boat is nearly 12 feet! That’s three feet wider than my old Alberg 35

Shower stall

I’m willing to bet this is the only 31-foot boat in the world with a dedicated shower stall

Last but certainly not least, I was very pleased to see that Gig Harbor Boat Works, which has been building a great range of small boats in Washington state since 1987, is hitting the East Coast boat shows (Newport and Annapolis) for the first time ever.


The eclectic Scamp. A whole lot of sheer line going on in just 12 feet LOA


The diminutive 10-foot Navigator


The 16-foot Melonseed, with two sliding-seat rowing stations. The jaunty sprit rig is designed so the boom stays up when you drop the sail, so you can switch from sailing to rowing without a fuss

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1 Response
  1. Kevin (SailFarLiveFree.com)

    Great stuff, Charlie. Your boat show posts are always some of my favorites because they don’t read like the ads in the magazines. The budget minded cruiser in me really likes that Hunter 31…which is surprising given all the other cool, more upscale and hi-tech boats you mentioned.

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