Dave Reed chimes in from Annapolis, Md., where our Boat of the Year judges are putting 17 new boats through the paces.
The 2010 U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., is ancient history—a harbor once crammed with sailboats is now wall-to-wall powerboats sitting in for the upcoming powerboat edition of the show. The Cheseapeake Bay, too, has been a hive of demo sails and boat tests, with would-be customers and magazine editors doing the annual post-show dance. Sailing World’s own Boat of the Year judging panel has been in the sail-testing business since Monday afternoon, working its way through nearly 20 new boats. We’re finding we’ve got an eclectic mix this year, and after only a handful of boats, we’ve seen some pretty wild stuff, both good and bad.
The way our Boat of the Year testing works goes something like this: manufacturers enter their new-model design; we check that they’re legit (as in new, not modified); then we put our judges onboard to see if each boat lives up to its claims; they inspect, and they sail. Sometimes it’s light, sometimes the breeze is cranking, but either way, every boat gets its fair shake. I’ll pass along a few first impressions here, but I can’t tip the BOTY hat just yet—you’ll have to wait for our January/February 2011 issue.
First on tap was the Dragonfly 28 Sport. If you want to see how well the Danish builders make their folding trimarans, check one of these out for yourself. Put up the spinnaker, and you might just be converted to the tri-sailing crowd.