Which started out with a bang yesterday, as we journos were lured to Harken’s booth, where Harken’s Davide Burrini (up top) introduced the new Assisted Sail Trim system Harken has developed in cooperation with Jeanneau. This is the Holy Grail of an automatic sailing system we’ve been hearing builders talk about for going on ten years now. Now it’s happening! The boats will sail themselves! All we have to do is press buttons.
According to my friends at Jeanneau, there won’t be a boat with an AST system installed here in the States for us to test until spring.
Should be interesting, to say the least.
Control pod of the future. You’ll do all your sailhandling from here while standing at the wheel. Now when I’m an old geezer, I won’t have to get a trawler!
SAIL Best Boats judge Nigel Calder takes notes on the cool collapsing cockpit table on the new Gran Soleil 43
The table collapsed. No assembly or disassembly required
Tallest dodger on smallest boat aboard the Gozzard 31
Builder David Roberts with his new Reach Boat 14, a traditional rowing and sailing skiff in fiberglass. The boat bails itself!
SAIL’s Adam Cort gets a tutorial on the new foiling Whisper cat. This is foiling for neophytes, on stable T-foils instead of those twitchy Js. Adam’s so excited about foiling for the first time on this puppy (come Monday) he can hardly hold his water
Stanley Paris has repainted his 63-foot super-boat Kiwi Spirit in an understated grey and is flogging it for a mere $2.45 million. Hurry down and check it out! Supplies are limited
The new Bali 4.5 cruising cat boasts an open layout with a fold-down “garage door” rear bulkhead to shut off the saloon when the weather outside gets dicky
Plus everything forward of the mast is nothing but a party pit. You need lots of crew in bikinis to fill this void
Not to be outdone, Jeanneau is offering a dedicated sun lounge replete with its own bimini on the bow of its new 54-footer. With a remote AST control pad you could sail the boat from here
The new Outremer 51 rests on its haunches. Owners Rick and Julie Palm, who have been helping guide cruisers south in the Caribbean 1500 for years, are now doing their sailing on this svelte red craft, named Archer
Jens Quorning, creator of Denmark’s very cool Dragonfly trimarans, demonstrates how to gain some privacy while using the head aboard the new Dragonfly 28
Shelly the acrobat demonstrates some unique mast-climbing techniques aboard a new Hanse yacht. She’ll be visiting the show again on Saturday
This is just a small sample of what’s going on here, guys. Come on down before the show closes on Monday!