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Yachting World

All about the doldrums or Inter Tropical Convergence Zone

Chris Tibbs takes a look at the best options for navigating though the doldrums or Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) Doldrums’: a state of stagnation or depression, or an equatorial region of the Atlantic Ocean with calms, sudden storms, and light unpredictable winds. Or so my dictionary puts it. For sailors, the transition from the northern to southern hemispheres in the Atlantic can be a trying and often frustrating time. We leave the steady tradewinds of the northern hemisphere with our main aim to minimise the time taken before we progress into the South Atlantic trade wind belt – this is passing through the doldrums, or the ‘Pot-au-Noir’, as the French put it. In meteorology we now use the more scientific term Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) where we can meet conditions we associate with the doldrums; calms, squalls, and thunderstorms. The ITCZ can be thought of as the thermal equator of the world that separates the northern and southern weather systems. Why they’re tricky The term ITCZ describes why we get the conditions we know as the doldrums. The tradewinds of the northern hemisphere, driven by the Azores High, are east- to north-easterlies, tending to be more easterly as we get further south towards the ITCZ. Meanwhile the tradewinds of the southern hemisphere mirror these, being driven by the South Atlantic High (often referred to as the St Helena High) and are east- to south-easterlies. Where they come together is the ITCZ. Where we get convergence in airstreams we get an ascent of air: as the air rises clouds form and as this region is very warm and the air humid, when the air is forced upwards large cumulonimbus clouds form giving squalls and thunderstorms. In addition, where we get ascent of air, we get a lowering of the surface pressure so between the winds of the two hemispheres we get a trough of lower pressure. Infra-red image from space showing the line of convective cloud along the ITCZ between Africa and the Americas In this trough of low pressure we have light, predominantly easterly wind, however there is generally less wind to the east as the pressure gradient

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Yachting World

5 expert tips for leeward mark roundings

Olympic Gold medallist Dylan Fletcher talks through leeward mark rounding strategy and how to come out on top with Andy Rice The leeward mark is one of the biggest pinch points on the race course, with the opportunity for huge gains – or the risk of enormous losses. Dylan Fletcher says the most important ingredient for a successful leeward mark rounding is to start planning well in advance of the moment. “Where are you aiming on the next leg? And where does that mean you need to be positioning yourself half way down the run in order to get the correct rounding to execute your longer-term race strategy?” This is particularly important at a leeward gate when you have a choice of marks, although the same still applies for single leeward marks. Dylan shares his five best tips for making sure you achieve the entry and, more importantly, the clean exit out of the bottom of the race course. Prepare the team Make sure everyone knows the plan well in advance, and that everyone is clear about their job during the drop and the rounding. That includes a plan for if, and when, things go wrong – for example, if the kite falls in the water during the drop. Who’s going to leave their normal post to get up on the foredeck and help get it back on board? Over time you should aim to build up a playbook, including the timings for how far in advance you should begin the jib hoist and the gennaker drop in, say, 5, 10 and 20 knots of breeze. The more you can turn the rounding into a procedure that runs like clockwork, the more boats you’ll pass. Avoid the slow soak One of the most critical factors is to make sure you’re coming into the leeward mark zone at a pretty hot angle with good boatspeed for as long as possible. One of the worst scenarios is finding yourself trying to soak down towards the leeward mark with no speed. It’s not so bad with a symmetrical spinnaker where you can square back the pole, although it’s still not ideal. In a

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Yachting World

The Sea and The Snow: a stunning tale of adventure

Tom Cunliffe introduces this extract from The Sea and The Snow Philip Temple’s remarkable tale of sailing to the farthest wastes of the Southern Ocean In the world of small-craft seafaring and modern mountaineering, 1964/5 seems very distant. Philip Temple’s remarkable work The Sea and The Snow, recently republished, brings those days straight to our bunk-side bookshelves. In its pages Temple tells us the tale of 10 men who sail from Australia to Heard Island far to the south-east of Kerguelen in the farthest wastes of the Southern Ocean. Their vessel is the 63ft steel schooner Patanela; their skipper none other than the redoubtable HW Tilman; their goal, to make the first ascent of the 9,000ft volcanic peak, Big Ben. Getting five men ashore, with full expedition gear, on a shingle beach exposed to mighty swells is a chancy business, but using an inflatable military assault craft, the climbers make it ashore and achieve their goal. Re-boarding the schooner proves an even greater challenge, and we join the shore party on the beach, contemplating a grim future. Extract from The Sea and The Snow Could we go? Should we go? Could we wait? Arguments, discussions, perusal of the sea filled every spare moment between packing and radio schedules. Little of our situation was conveyed to the crew away on the ship, to whom our activities appeared curiously lethargic and distant. Their view of the surf was unimpressive and it was hard to imagine the great barrier that seemed to separate us from safety. Grahame, in typical vein, was eager to make an attempt, Colin was doubtful, John non-committal, and myself hardly in the forum with my jaundiced, non-swimmer’s appreciation. During the early stages, Warwick understandably sat on the fence. With him rested the final decision. Principally, our safety had to be assured and the problem lay in securing that as well as transporting the equipment. Much of it was not ours. Equipment loaned by the New Zealand Alpine Club was of great value and had been used all over the world on expeditions. Our consciences were stricken by the thought of abandoning it on that miserable, god-forsaken beach. And our

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Yachting World

Best Inflatable Kayak and Canoe 2023: Find The Model For You

A fan of kayaks of all kinds for over 30 years, Tech Editor Fox Morgan discusses what makes the best inflatable kayak or canoe in this tried and tested guide There’s something for all budget levels. I love my yacht tender, I use it a lot. But nothing quite matches the tranquillity offered by a kayak or canoe to explore shallow or winding creeks. Some people are afraid of these narrow-looking crafts and I’m no stranger to that myself. I’ve had a healthy fear of capsizing since I did an adventure holiday with PGL back in the early 80s. So one of the things I love about inflatable kayaks is that they are stable. Stable enough to stand up in, move around in and not worry about going for an unintentional swim. They can be stowed in a cupboard under the stairs or in a shed. You can carry it inside your camper van or boat meaning you don’t have to sacrifice a load of fuel economy with a big old lump of plastic on your roof or unwanted additional windage. They can be lightweight too. Though this can vary according to the size and build. The ones I have picked out for you vary from 9kg to 32kg. Best Inflatable Kayak – A tried and tested buyers guide Sevylor Madison 2 Person Inflatable Kayak Reasons To Buy The spraydecks are strong enough to support a small dog. Large drain makes it easy to drain and clean. Reasons To Avoid Tricky to control in strong crosswinds. Footpump is not the best. This two person kayak has two side chambers that inflate inside a hard wearing nylon outer that allows them to be pressured up. The floor is inflated too and this gives the kayak a certain degree of rigidity. The two seats are inflatable and are quite comfy, you can adjust the pressure to suit your own backside’s preference. The front and back ends of the kayak have small spray-decks to help keep water spray out of the kayak. They’re velcroed in place so are easy to peel back to access the valves sheltered underneath. The spraydekcs are strong enough to

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Yachting World

Looking for hotels near Cowes? A guide to local accommodation

Cowes is the yachting centre of the British South Coast. Lots of major events start from here with an array of sporting events happening throughout the year. Here’s our pick of where to stay nearby… Cowes is historically the centre of yacht racing on the British south coast positioned just a couple of miles off the mainland on the Isle Of Wight. Booking accommodation on such a small island during peak season can be tricky. We’ve looked up some of the best places to stay both on the island and on the mainland within a relatively easy ferry ride. We’ve provided options for crew houses and hotels to suite those who are looking to base a crew there during the regatta week or for people who want to take in the the historic ambience of the place. We’ve also listed offers in Premium, mid and budget ranges. Cowes hotels and holiday houses Premium accommodation – Cowes Insignia, 32 Cross Street – Holiday home This holiday home can accommodate 6 people and is slap bang in the heart of town. Great views across the River Medina, but no view of the standard race start line. You’ll be in the heart of everything here, but if you like a quiet life, you might want to stay further out of town. During Cowes Week this area can be quite noisy, but it is a few seconds walk from the Red Jet ferry so if you need to hop across to Southampton for anything it’s easy. Distance to Cowes: you’re in it! Red Jet 2 minute walk View at Booking.com Solent View Apartment This modern apartment overlooking the the solent accommodates 4 people. Its prime location is ideal for watching yacht racing or the daily buzz on the water from the comfort a large balcony. The bedrooms are a little on the small side. Parking on site is free. Distance to Cowes centre: 5-10 minute walk. 10 minutes walk from Red Jet ferry terminal. 25 minutes walk from East Cowes Red Funnel terminal or 10 minute drive.  View on Booking.com Mid Range accommodation –  Cowes Villa Rothsay Hotel Central Cowes location, great views, free

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Yachting World

The Ocean Race: Leg underway in very light winds

The second leg of The Ocean Race 2023 is underway with the 5 IMOCA 60s set to fight it out over 18 days as they race to Cape Town, South Africa The second leg of The Ocean Race from Cabo Verde to Cape Town started on Wednesday 25 January, with the 5 fully-crewed IMOCA 60s fighting it out in very light winds, making for a difficult start with conditions set to remain light and tricky all the way to the doldrums. The short stopover marked the first time The Ocean Race has visited west Africa and this island chain despite it featuring in the race course for all 14 editions as a tactical consideration on the leg from Europe down to the south Atlantic Ocean. Although they raced in the opening leg, the VO65 fleet will not be racing to South Africa. They will rejoin the fleet for the final two legs of the race back in Europe later in the year to complete The Ocean Race Sprint Cup. The light winds mean it will be tactically difficult race over the first days, something already playing out with teams deciding how far south to position themselves compared to making miles to the west. “It’s a big challenge. We have to manage the wind shadow from the islands, which means we need to get south, but then the doldrums are very big and normally being further west would be safer,” said Sebastien Simon, who joined GUYOT environnement – Team Europe for this leg. “It is a big doldrums at the moment. We’re not sure where to cross yet. It will be shifty and interesting for sure.” It was GUYOT environnement – Team Europe leading the charge just after the start gun fired, crossing the starline first and at pace, as the fleet took on a short lap of a reaching course before heading out to sea, destined for Cape Town, some 4000 nautical miles – and around 18 days – of racing away. On the reach out, GUYOT environnement held off Holcim-PRB to lead around the mark and on the return through he start line before heading out to sea, Stanjek

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Yachting World

The Ocean Race: All set for leg two

The fleet of 5 IMOCA 60s are all set for the second leg of The Ocean Race to Cape Town, with light winds expected to frustrate the fleet over the first few days With the first leg of the much-delayed The Ocean Race now concluded, teams are readying themselves to set off on the second leg of of the race, which starts today, Wednesday 25 January. The leg will see teams racing from the Cape Verde islands to Cape Town. Per the recent changes to the event, the VO65s which raced alongside the IMOCA 60 fleet on the opening leg of The Ocean Race 2023 from Alicante to the Cape Verde islands will not set off on Leg 2 and will now return to Europe where their competition for The Ocean Race Sprint Cup will continue for the final two legs of the course later in the year. After a week of solid trade wind action in Cape Verde, the forecast for the start of Leg 2 is much more benign with light northeasterly winds of 5 to 8 knots due for the opening hours of the second leg of the race. In fact, the weakening trade winds are likely to impact the fleet all the way down to the doldrums, which should make for a fascinating, if slow, start to the leg. “First we’ll have to manage the windshadow from the islands as they are so tall and the wind is light,” said Robert Stanjek, the skipper of GUYOT environment – Team Europe. “It looks like we need to get west to be efficient for passing through the doldrums. That’s the conservative option. So that’s the first days.” “With the trade winds sort of breaking down, the doldrums get a bit bigger,” said 11th Hour Racing Team’s Simon Fisher. “It’s three or four days to get down there and the trades should be rebuilding again. Getting out of here and picking up the beginning of the rebuild efficiently is quite important.” Start time for Leg 2 is 1710 local time (1810 UTC) which is about 90-minutes before sunset, so the crews will be into that first night watch nearly

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Yachting World

Making the switch: How we become liveaboards

A gentle introduction to the cruising life set Kate Ashe-Leonard on course for a full transocean liveaboard adventure We’re sailing by the Gulf of Venezuela as we approach the Colombian coastline, a notoriously difficult stretch of water with frequent high winds, big swell and current. This night is no exception. It’s 0100 and Jim and I are both in the cockpit under a ceiling of stars. It’s Jim’s watch, but tonight is all-hands on deck. Polaris is surfing fast down waves which have now built to over 4m. The wind has just reached 40 knots but, mercifully, is coming from behind. Swell breaks into the cockpit once again, soaking us both. We decide to put the tiny sliver of genoa away, and begin sailing under bare poles. Our speed drops from 16 to 7 knots, but it’s still too fast, we don’t want a night-time arrival. Under the full moon that lights our way, I can see crests of white water battering the Colombian coast in the distance. Outwardly we’re both calm, although adrenalin is running high. The speed is thrilling but we feel secure, Polaris is handling it just fine. So are we; we have done so many miles together on this boat that has kept us safe. I catch my breath to realise that it was just three years earlier that I set foot on Polaris for the first time, having never sailed before in my life. Into the unknown My partner Jim has sailed his whole life, I had zero experience. Together we made a decision to sell almost everything, rent out our flat in London, buy a boat, move on board full-time and complete a global circumnavigation. It was an ambitious plan. But Jim was adamant that my introduction to cruising should be as gradual as possible. The last thing he wanted was for me to do too much too soon and be scared off sailing for life. If we both still liked it after all that, then maybe we’d keep on going, becoming long-term liveaboards. It took us 12 months to find, buy and move onto our Catana 47 catamaran. Those months were a chaotic

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Yachting World

The Ocean Race: Holcim-PRB win Leg One

Kevin Escoffier’s team Holcim-PRB has won the first leg of The Ocean Race, holding off a hard-charging 11th Hour racing Team, while Poland’s WindWhisper Racing Team won the VO65 Sprint Leg French skipper Kevin Escoffier led his Swiss-flagged Team Holcim-PRB to victory in leg one of The Ocean Race in the early hours of the morning on Saturday 21 January 2023. It marked the end of an intense and challenging opening to The Ocean Race – from storm force headwinds in the Mediterranean to fast downwind conditions in the Atlantic with tactical options around the Canary Islands. The Holcim-PRB team took the lead just before Gibraltar Strait and held on the rest of the way despite the strong pushes from 11th Hour Racing Team and Malizia. Finally, early on Saturday, Escoffier and his crew raced across the finish line on the waters off Mindelo, Cabo Verde, just after 02:01:59 UTC, completing an impressive performance on the first leg of the Race. “The boat is great. Both upwind and downwind, reaching, we have always been fast,” Escoffier said. “I’m very happy to start like this. It was our first race together as a full crew and I don’t regret any of the the choices. They are all great and together we went for the win.” Second across the line was Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team, who held off a late challenge from Team Malizia on the final day of the leg. “I think the competition is good,” said Enright on the dock after finishing. “We have fast boats, good sailors. There are different strengths and weaknesses in the boats. Everyone is going to have their day and we’re certainly not taking anything for granted but if we focus on what we can control I think we’re going to be fine. We’re jumping at the opportunity to get going on the next leg. For Boris Herrmann, securing a podium finish puts the German team in a safe position after the opening leg, with six more legs of racing left to gain points. “I’m super-happy with the performance of the boat and the team,” said a jubilant Herrmann moments after the finish.

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Yachting World

Best yacht 2023: European yacht of the year winners

The European Yacht of the Year 2023 winners have been announced and comprise the best yacht winners in five categories including a special mention award. Toby Hodges was one of the 12 jury members who test sailed each of the 21 shortlisted yachts before deciding on the winners. The European Yacht of the Year programme is a highlight of my year as it gives us  jury members the opportunity to assemble our shortlist of the best nominees, seatrial each and every one of them and discuss what works and what doesn’t at sea and in port, in order to choose the best yacht of 2023 in a variety of categories. Our trials were held in La Rochelle and Port Ginesta, Barcelona over the autumn of 2022. This is the 20th anniversary of the European Yacht of the Year awards, which were presented at a gala event on the opening evening of the Boot Düsseldorf Boat Show on 21 January 2023. Together we comprise 12 magazines across Europe, each the leading voice on boat testing in their respective countries. The result is indisputably the most thorough, impartial and respected awards programme for new production yachts worldwide. Best yacht 2023 Best Performance Cruiser Nominees: Elan E6; Beneteau First 36; Grand Soleil 40; Italia Y 12.98; Solaris 50 Three Italian pure performance cruisers and two very different yachts built in Slovenia made for a varied and exciting Performance category. Where once we could assume a cruiser-racer was a fairly standard format design, over the last decade it’s been much more the sexy fast cruisers the Italian yards specialise in. But as French yards like Pogo and JPK have proven, we salute lightweight planing yachts – and the Beneteau First 36 is the first real production yacht in that spirit. Winner: Beneteau First 36 Here’s a yacht that puts the focus firmly back into sailing. The First 36 has been kept inviting and approachable – unlike many yachts that can plane, the look is modest, not aggressive. It’s uncomplicated, unfussy and the result is a pleasure for all to sail. It’s more about what you can’t see, the design and engineering, which should ensure

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Yachting World

Fastest woman around the world: Dona Bertarelli’s quest for the Jules Verne Trophy

The fastest woman around the world, Dona Bertarelli has spent 10 years trying to win the Jules Verne. Helen Fretter finds out why Ocean racing is an unsentimental world. It’s deeply unglamorous, stripping its participants of every iota of vanity. Failures in preparedness will be hurriedly found out, but even the most careful and thorough, most deserving of campaigns can see their chance of victory slip away in the sudden tumbling of a rig or the slow veer of a weather system. It’s an arena where the funds required to play are eye-watering – but where money, ultimately, cannot buy success. So why on earth would a billionaire choose to undergo all the privations of six weeks at sea, of using a bucket for a toilet and eating freeze-dried food, sleeping in a damp, hot-bunk, and living in a state of constant adrenaline and anxiety? Because that’s what Dona Bertarelli has signed up for, as she goes on standby with the rest of the Sails of Change team for another tilt at the non-stop crewed around the world record, the elusive Jules Verne Trophy. The Spindrift campaign, now Sails of Change, is unique on many levels. For starters, it’s a privately-backed campaign. While other ocean racing stables – such as Gitana which enjoys the largesse of the Rothschild family – may rely on the enthusiasm of a few key decision makers, the boats are raced by paid hands. On board Spindrift, Dona herself is a member of crew, while her husband, Frenchman Yann Guichard, is the professional skipper. Her adult son has been part of the race team, and Yann’s brother is one of the team’s core pro members. It’s a unique family endeavour, for a unique family. Dona Bertarelli has her sights on the Jules Verne Trophy. Photo: Gauthier Lebec/Spindrift Family affair The Bertarelli name is deeply entwined with sailing at the highest level. Italian-born Dona, now 53, and her elder brother Ernesto moved to Switzerland when they were children. She was not quite 30 when she and Ernesto inherited Serono, a multi-million pound pharmaceutical company that had been built by their grandfather. Under Ernesto as CEO, the company

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Yachting World

Best chronograph watches buying guide: The ultimate stopwatches for sailors

From luxury brands like Ulysse Nardin and Omega to entry-level models by Spinnaker or Timex, all the best chronograph watches offer a stopwatch function for sailors while on board – particularly handy when it comes to regatta timing… There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to the best sailing watches, with timepieces designed in all different styles and with various features to best suit the wearer. But for regatta racers and serious sailors, a chronograph watch makes the best companion on board. The function was first invented by French horologist Louis Moinet in 1816 to track the movement of stars across the night skies and was popularised in 1821 when Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec was commissioned to create a chronograph clock for King Louis XVIII to time horse races. Derived from the Greek words for “time” and “to write”, these intricately constructed timepieces are designed with what is essentially a stopwatch function alongside a regular display. Buttons – typically located by the hours of two and four on the clockface – are used to stop, start and reset the timer, which uses an independent sweep second hand for measurements. The best chronograph watches will also frequently feature a telemeter or tachymeter complication, allowing the wearer to calculate the speed that they are travelling at over a certain distance of nautical knots. As well as proving useful to sailors, they often seen on the wrists of pilots, racing car drivers, astronauts and military personnel. A chronograph watch is therefore the ultimate gadget for sailors at sea looking for a range of functions that can track their progress all in one place – and still look good while doing it (if you’re not a fan of more futuristic digital sailing watches, that is). 9 of the best chronograph watches for sailors Timex Waterbury Traditional Chronograph Best value chronograph watch Inspired by the traditional look of its predecessor – the Waterbury Clock Company founded in Connecticut in 1854 – the Waterbury model by American brand Timex features a chronograph complication measuring to 1/20th of a second and a date feature as well. The stainless steel case measures 42mm and has

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Yachting World

New mutihulls take on an Atlantic crossing

Helen Fretter speaks to a few of the astounding 15 new multihull owners who took part in the most recent ARC, as catamaran and multihull sailing continues to boom The explosion in multihull and catamaran sales has been well documented, with many yards reporting lead times of two years or longer as build slots sold out as quickly as they were released. Now, many multihulls that were ordered post-2020 are on the water. In this year’s ARC rally there were 16 new boats that had been launched in this year alone, of which 15 were multihulls. We caught up with some of their owners in Las Palmas to find out how the purchase process went and how they’d expedited preparations to get transatlantic-ready. Custom solutions Chet Chauhan bought Navasana, a Nautitech 46 Open, in 2021, having previously raced and cruised monohulls. After moving from England to the US west coast for work, he sailed his 20-year-old 38ft Beneteau from San Francisco to Sydney with a previous girlfriend in 2010. “We visited all the island groups along the way and absolutely loved it. I wanted to keep going, but obviously needed more funds. And I realised the boat wasn’t ideal.” He moved back to Europe, where he met partner Jessy. Two years ago they decided to revisit Chet’s dream of sailing around the world. Chet Chauhan (left), Jessy and friend Dan on Navasana. Photo: James Mitchell/World Cruising Club Deciding to buy a multihull was fairly straightforward. “I’ve had four monohulls before and I used to race, I like a boat that performs and really enjoy the sailing. We’d seriously thought about getting a monohull for this trip, but I realised that you’re spending maybe 80% of the time at anchor, and this is just more liveable. Having decided on a Nautitech 46 the couple initially looked for a second-hand boat, but quickly realised it was near-impossible to find. “So we decided to order a new one, and we were, I think, just in time. We had a year’s wait time until ours was delivered,” Jessy recalls. The couple took delivery of Navasana in March this year, the boat delivered on time

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Yachting World

Looking for hotels near Annapolis Boat Show? Here’s a handy guide to places to stay locally

Annapolis Boat Show is one of America’s biggest boat shows, so local hotels book up fast. Here’s our pick of where to stay nearby… We’ve put together a list of hotels near the Annapolis Boat Show at a range of price points to help you make the most of your visit. Accommodation is listed with the distance from the City Dock described as walking time, driving time or public transport time. At the time of writing, all the options below had availability for the show period (April 28-30), but they can book up quickly, so don’t wait around… Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn’t affect our editorial independence. Hotels near Annapolis Boat Show: Premium 134 Prince – Luxury Boutique Hotel Elegant luxury boutique hotel in a prime location. Lovely well appointed rooms with amazing bathrooms. Having just 34 rooms, it’s not the place to go if you love lively bars and a bustling atmosphere. Distance to City Dock: 1 minute walking View at Booking.com Cozy Cottage In the Heart of Historic Downtown Annapolis Very pretty cottage with garden in a prime location right in the heart of downtown Annapolis. A great alternative to formulaic hotel stays. Might be a bit quiet for some. Distance to City Dock: 4 minutes walking View at Booking.com Hotels near Annapolis Boat Show: Mid-range DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Annapolis Great value 4 star hotel with spacious attractive rooms in a prime location. Hotel has a free shuttle bus to main attractions. There’s a seasonal outoor pool too. Some minor soundproofing issues. Distance to City Dock: 14 Minutes drive, 40 minutes  public transport View at Booking.com The Westin Annapolis Prime historic downtown Annapolis location close to many of the areas main attractions. Good value hotel with decent rooms and all mod cons and a swimming pool too. Parking can be a bit expensive. Distance to City Dock: 21 Minutes walking, 21 minutes public transport View at Booking.com Annapolis Waterfront Hotel, Autograph Collection Lovely waterside location, friendly staff, large nicely presented rooms with great views. Popular with wedding parties which might deter

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Yachting World

Boot Düsseldorf 2023: Top new yachts making their debut

There will be a plethora of new yacht launches at Boot Düsseldorf 2023, here’s our pick of some of the most exciting launches due to be unveiled at the show One of the worlds most exciting boat shows comes round every January and often features a host of new yacht launches ready for the year ahead. Boot Düsseldorf this year once again looks set to have a whole host of new yacht launches. Some of these models are making their show debuts, and some are being unveiled for the first time. Best new boats of Boot Düsseldorf 2023 Jeanneau Yachts 55 Here’s a novel design we’re eager to view. Following the recently launched Jeanneau Yachts 60 and 65, and yet offering something totally different, the Jeanneau Yachts 55 features a highly innovative layout, which focuses on the privacy of the owner. We all like our own space sometimes, another reason behind the popularity of multihulls. Never afraid to try new things, Jeanneau has created a full apartment for the owner – by providing separate companionways giving direct access to the aft guest cabins, everything from the main companionway forward can be used for the owner’s space. The split cockpit is also unusual. The forward end is for sail handling, under the protection of a fixed arch and sprayhood or fixed windscreen, while the entire aft section is dedicated to sun lounging space. Builder: jeanneau.com Photo: Sander van der Borch Contest 49CS & 50CS A joint world premiere of two brand new yachts, the sisterships of the same hull in different formats, will be quite the statement from the Dutch yard Contest Yachts. Where the 49CS is a natural step up from the 42CS (see full report page 58), the 50CS takes its centre cockpit cues from the 55CS, with a more conventional centre cockpit layout with aft master suite. It’s highly unusual to have such different options on the same hull, particularly on yachts designed for bluewater cruising. Both versions still offer three cabins, two heads, plus the option of electric propulsion. Builder: contestyachts.com Photo: Palle Peter Skov Nordship 420DS When you have a niche in which you’re top of

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