It's BOTY Time
It's BOTY Time
Which of these new designs will prevail as our 2012 Boat of the Year? Stay tuned. "New Boats" from our October 2011 issue.
Every October Sailing World’s Boat of the Year judging team assembles in Annapolis, Md., to sail the latest designs. We can always count on variety—and a few late arrivals—and this year’s fleet is following tradition. Our judging panel includes sailmaker Chuck Allen, yacht designer Greg Stewart, and boatbuilding veteran Rob Mazza. This trio will be tasked with looking past the marketing hype and giving each boat a thorough shakedown. Here’s our pre-test crib sheet, and you can find our entire list of nominees here.
Aquila is a new brand, and this 45-footer comes straight from China, where it’s built by Sino Eagle Yachts. The Chinese government originally commissioned Reichel/Pugh to design this boat for the development of a national sail-training/racing fleet, but when government funds went elsewhere, Sino Eagle kept the ball rolling. The first one to arrive in the states is the “Limited Edition” racing version with all the bells and whistles. It’s loaded with performance gear, including a Southern Spars carbon rig package, B&G electronics, and carbon Harken hardware.
While it’s marketed as a cruiser/racer crossover with the creature comforts of an IRC-leaning design, the company says the boat will appeal most to the club racer. The sail inventory includes three jibs, four spinnakers, and even a staysail to keep the bow team busy. At 14,000 pounds, it’s on the heavier side (an IRC-friendly trait), but the sail area is generous at 2,852 square feet. The Limited Edition, delivered, is $659,000 and has an IRC TCC of 1.250. www.aquilasailingyachts.com
Corsair Sprint 750 Mark II
Our Boat of the Year rules stipulate a boat must be new. Simple modifications, like changing the rig dimensions and slapping on a “new model” sticker, don’t qualify an older design for a second BOTY look. If the updates are significant enough, however, we’ll allow it. Corsair Marine has done enough modification to its 24-foot Sprint 750 that it’s back in the contest. It has new float shapes, a new interior layout, and updated styling. The original Sprint 750 was a winning boat to begin with—a one-of-a-kind mini trimaran for class racing and day sailing. If great can get better, I know the judges will be looking forward to sailing this one again. www.corsairmarine.com
The Farr 400 One-Design, built by Premiere Composites Technology, in Dubai, is a serious racing machine set up by serious racing sailors. Its all-carbon hull with lifting keel and two-part mast makes it highly portable and less costly to move between international regatta venues. The deck-layout borrows from the TP52s, with numerous control lines led under-deck to a starboard utility winch and the foredeck hatch offset to port (for more efficient string takedowns). It’s impressive looking and powerful, weighing in at less than 9,000 pounds. Race it with a crew of eight. The boat comes race-ready with a full grand-prix inventory (mainsail, four jibs, four spinnakers); you’re on the racecourse for $521,000. www.farryachtsales.com