Category

Boats & Gear

Evaluations of both new and older sailboats (primarily cruising sailboats) and of boat gear.

Oct. 12/2019: Just back from Phase One of my annual boat show dive in Nap Town. The most interesting new boat I saw there by far is the Eagle Class 53 (see image up top), a foiling (there’s that word again) all-carbon catamaran with a “hybrid” wing-sail rig. Coincidentally, I saw this very same boat...
Seen at Maine Yacht Services in Portland while fixing stuff on my boat: Vendée Globe two-timer Rich Wilson’s new ride from France. A step down from an Open 60 perhaps, but still a very interesting boat. I’ve seen a number of these RM boats in France; they seem to be quite popular there. Never seen...
This is the most interesting new cruising sailboat design I’ve seen in a long time. Currently in build at Berkeley Marine Center, as conceived by a notable client, Barry Spanier, and drawn by a notable designer, Jim Antrim. It is significant, I think, that Spanier, a lifelong sailmaker who in his heyday designed and built...
I wrote about this in my regular column in the current issue of SAIL (the February issue, which of course comes out in mid-January), but it’s something EVERYONE should know about, so I’m pimping it here too. This is a new system for managing electrical power on sailboats that Nigel Calder has been helping to...
Dang it. I was going to write a post about the boats I test-sailed after the show in Annapolis, as has been my custom these past years, but I lost my freaking camera and have no pix for it. Ah, well. This gives me a chance to change the subject and point you at a...
Here’s an interesting item my neighbor and erstwhile shipmate Jeff Bolster recently pointed me at. You may recall his Valiant 40, Chanticleer, was unfortunately parked last summer in Road Town, Tortola, and was dismasted in Hurricane Irma last September. He now has the boat in Kittery, Maine, for a refit (she motored on her own...
You have to hand it to the Kiwis and Italians who now control the fate of the Auld Mug: they are not lacking in imagination. Nor are they unwilling to take risks. Their concept for the new AC75 monohull in which the next America’s Cup cycle will be sailed, with a pair of canting T-foils...
Here’s an interesting journalistic conundrum. I cover the Annapolis show for SAIL every year and judge boats for the magazine’s Best Boats competition. BUT I also have (or had, as the show just closed) a boat in this year’s show (as you can see in that photo up top) that is being considered in both...
I’ve recently received word from Tim Murphy--my ex-shipmate, ex-roommate, and ex-co-worker (from my brief tenure at Cruising World magazine), that he is selling his 1974 Vineyard Vixen 29. I am quite familiar with this boat, named Ave Marina, as I helped Tim sail her from Rumery’s Boat Yard in Biddeford, Maine, after he refit her...
Here’s a photo that raised a few eyebrows a couple of weeks ago: David Raison’s famous 747 Mini 6.50 Prototype, the first scow-bowed Mini, pulling another first as it goes airborne flying on a foil. Makes you wonder what this year’s Mini Transat is going to be like, as I’m hearing rumors there are at...
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