Around the SpinSheet office, we’re always on the look for the next big thing. And not to brag or anything, but we know a hot boat when we see one. We’ve compiled a list of the hot new boats we’re counting on seeing explode all over the Bay.
The Gunboat 55
We love this boat because it was designed for serious owner-operators in mind. At the top of the “luxury cruiser” category, the Gunboat 55 boats over 1300 square feet of mainsail, carbon fiber hulls and bridge, and solar cells on the cabin top to help power nav stations, electric winches, and the audio system. You’ll feel like Larry Ellison (in a good way) when you realize you’re effortlessly doing 20 knots down the Bay, martini in hand.
Chris and Carolyn Groobey will be racing their Gunboat 55 Toccata in the Annapolis to Newport race, one of several events they’re planning in 2015 (see page 82 for a full list of their sailing plans).
LOA: 57 feet
LWL: 57 feet
Draft BD down: 9.2 feet
Draft BD up: Two feet
Mast Length: 78 feet
Fuel Capacity: 79 gallons (2)
Water Capacity: 49 gallons (2)
The Zim 15
So, whatever, we’ve all put on a few pounds since our days of college sailing. Seriously, no big deal. However, when we tried to pile into a Club 420 over the summer, those few (dozen) pounds were more than obvious: they were downright oppressive.
The Zim 15 is a boat designed for all of us who don’t fit in the 420s anymore. A performance dinghy for the 20-30 (and older, whatever) year-old market, the Zim 15 was conceived to counter the high drop off rate in dinghy sailors post-graduation. The boat is also great for team racing and as a club boat. The large upwind sail plan allows the boat to perform in higher wind speeds, while eliminating the need for a spinnaker or genniker.
Look for Zim 15 fleets to show up around the Bay as more and more clubs get excited about dinghy racing in more age appropriate boats.
LOA: 14 feet, nine inches
Beam: Five feet, five inches
Draft: Three feet, eight inches
The VAr 37
It’s rare that you find a good racer-cruiser that can also fit all the needs of a liveaboard sailor. The VAr 37 comes as close as we’ve seen to this, though, and all within a modest budget.
The VAr 37 was conceived when VAr Yachts bought the popular Hanse 370/375 mold and started stripping weight from the boat. A simpler deck and interior create a minimalist boat with clean lines (and 600 pounds lighter than the Hanse), making her faster to boot.
Perhaps the biggest winning factor in the boat? She starts around $150,000, something unheard of in the new boat market. A beautiful boat that we can race and take the family cruising for weeks at a time at a price cheaper than a time-share in Boca Raton? We’re sold.
LOA: 37 feet, nine inches
Beam: 12 feet, three inches
Draft: Six feet, four inches standard
Five feet, two inches optional
The foiling craze has hit the Chesapeake Bay, but for many of us a Moth is still out of our price range. So why not retrofit the Laser sitting around your garage with a foil?
Glide Free Foils promises that “anyone who can sail can now foil.” The company has created a kit for retrofitting your boat with “flapless” foils on the centerboard and rudder, and with lower drag from fewer foils, you create a more stable boat. And the foils can retract even when you’re moving forward, enabling you to launch off a beach.
The Glide Free Foils kits just became available at the end of 2013, so plan to see foiling Lasers all over the Bay in 2015.
The C&C 30 One Design
One of our favorite boats at the 2014 United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, the C&C 30 One Design is a racer with an edge. Two boats showed up for the Annapolis Fall Regatta on Halloween, and we were amazed at their performance on the race course. Perhaps the allure of the boat is that she brings grand prix racing possibilities at an affordable price tag.
The boat is perfect for those wanting to do medium-distance races, making her a great Bay boat with offshore capabilities, although we know we’ll see a few bouncing around the buoys this summer. C&C Yachts is already pushing Hull #19 out of the shed, so be ready to see more of this boat.
LOA: 30 feet
Beam: Nine feet, nine inches
Draft: 7 feet, six inches