As we approach the upcoming fall boat shows, perhaps the best word to describe the boatbuilding industry’s latest crop of new designs is “consolidation.” Specifically, in recent months we’ve seen a number of innovations introduced in years past continue to work their way up and down the various different companies’ product lines. Examples include Hanse’s composite T-Top; Jeanneau’s sloping sidedecks; the expansion of X-Yacht’s new “X” Range; the continued growth in lounging area space aboard today’s cruising multihulls; and the increasing use of twin rudders aboard cruising boats. Which is not to say there’s nothing new out there; just look at the radical foils aboard Beneteau’s new Figaro 3. It’s also nice to see a number of builders, like Tartan, Island Packet, Wauquiez, Hylas and CW Hood, still keeping in touch with some of the tried-and-true aesthetic and design features of old: although don’t be fooled, these are still thoroughly modern boats in every sense of the word. What follows is a list of all the boats that SAIL’s judges will be examining as part of this year’s “Best Boats” contest. Be sure to check out our December issue to find out which ones are chosen as winners.



An offshoot of last year’s Oceanis 51.1, the Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 offers the same “stepped hull” as its predecessor, as seen in the chine running all the way forward. This, in turn, allowed designer Finot-Conq to maximize accommodation space in the bow while retaining a fine entry. Topsides, the Oceanis 46.1 boasts a complicated deck molding that incorporates a spacious twin-helm cockpit with easy access to the massive drop-down swim platform and an attractively drawn cabintrunk. Forward, a combination sprit/anchor roller will help keep the gelcoat safe when dropping or weighing the hook, while twin rudders ensure control in a blow. A “First Line” performance version of the boat is also available. Beneteau,


The Dufour Grand Large 360 packs a lot of boat into its 33ft of LOA (36ft if you add in the combination anchor roller and sprit), including twin helms and chines to increase both stability and interior volume. Aft, the helm station features a pair of sleek steering columns

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