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Posted by on Sep 26, 2009 in Boat Reviews, Boat Show, Sailboat Racing, UK, US |

Best of Newport’s Award-Winning Boats

The Hood 43 and Summit 35 led a fleet of cool new models.

Super weather mixed with brand new models to make last week’s Newport International Boat Show memorable, even if you didn’t run into the Mob Dance on Saturday afternoon on the adjacent Bowen’s Wharf.

Positioned aft in the main saloon, the helm station on the Hood 43 keeps the skipper and guests together.

Positioned aft in the main saloon, the helm station on the Hood 43 keeps the skipper and guests together.

Capturing the best powerboat prize in the Best of Newport awards competition was the Hood 43, a fast, modern cruiser with classic lines, laid out for a couple, and built with a traditional wood interior that’s a refreshing break from the chrome and mirrors, carpet and fiberglass of many modern power cruisers. Only in New England, perhaps, but this boat by C.W. Hood Yachts really does look sweet, although for over $1.5 million, one might have certain expectations! (The annual awards are sponsored by Sailing World, Cruising World, and MotorBoating magazines.)

The Hood 43

The Hood 43

Chris Hood and his new 43

Chris Hood and his award winner

When I saw Chris the day after he received his award, he reacted modestly, deflecting praise to the construction team back in Massachusetts. Grinning, he explained how they’d all knocked off for the day after he’d called them with the news, and they’d headed over to the well-known sailors bar in Marblehead, Maddie’s, to celebrate—well before lunch.

Barry Carroll and George Carabetta receive the Best Sailboat Award from the Newport Show's Nancy Piffard.

The Summit 35 team, Barry Carroll, George Carabetta, Mark Mills, and Peter Truslow receive the Best Sailboat Award from the Newport Show's Nancy Piffard. Mills (in back) is the designer and Truslow (right), the president of Edgewater Power Boats, is the builder.

The Summit 35

The Summit 35

Top sailboat was the Summit 35, a new racer/cruiser that offers exceptional performance and a good rating under the IRC handicapping rule. The interior is open and functional and can accommodate several sailors whether in an intense race or a modest cruise. The exterior features a wide, purposeful cockpit and an open transom. In an unusual manufacturing twist, Summit Yachts has shifted from overseas manufacturing and awarded the contract to a powerboat builder, Edgewater Power Boats, in Edgewater, Florida. If the 35 follows in the wake of Summit’s first design, the bigger King 40, also drawn by to IRC designer Mark Mills, we’ll be hearing plenty more about it in regatta reports in the near future.

The new Hunter 39 features an innovative T-top bimini.

The new Hunter 39 features an innovative T-top bimini.

Other new sailboats at the show, some of which I’ve written about earlier, included the Catalina 445, Morris 52, Island Packet Estero, J/97, and J/95. I was able to spend some time aboard the Hunter 39, by Hunter Marine and have a couple pictures to show here of this impressive new family cruiser. I particularly like seeing the fact that Hunter is continuing to make strides in improving their cockpit and deck layouts while being innovative with sail controls.

Belowdecks, new countertops and floorboards provide a striking departure for Hunter designs.

Belowdecks, new countertops and floorboards provide a striking departure for Hunter designs.

New powerboats included the Hunt 52, Sabre 40 Sedan, and the Fjord 40. I poked around aboard the new trawler by Kadey-Krogen, the Krogen 55 Expedition, as well as the new motoryacht design, the Hatteras 60. In the former case, which is a boat that can be heavily customized for each owner, the main living deck featured a large, comfortable main saloon adjacent to an innovative and open galley space. On the upper deck, aft of the commodious and quite livable wheelhouse, we found a great built-in barbecue as well as tender storage. I only had a brief visit aboard the Hatteras, but it’s a successor to the popular 56, according to Scott Lucas of Boston Yacht Sales, who was showing the boat. The words “spacious” and “gracious” are the adjectives that come to mind to describe the boat, meaning comfortable and with plenty of different places to relax. It has three staterooms, including a full-beam (18′ 2″) master amidships.

The Krogen 55 Expedition

The Krogen 55 Expedition

The Hatteras 50

The Hatteras 50

But the biggest boat I visited wasn’t a motorboat, it was the big, bold Hanse 630e, an epoxy-built sailboat by Hanse Yachts in Germany that has powerful sailing lines and high freeboard drawn by the America’s Cup-winning Judel/Vrolijk design team. The resultant interior volume is amazing—belowdecks you’ll find more space than in many city apartments, and unique style, too. This boat is meant to sail and has covered lots of miles in the Caribbean, Florida and up the East Coast of the United States. The 630e isn’t a brand new model, but this is the first to come to the United States; you can catch it next at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, next month.

—John Burnham

The Hanse 63 was queen of the sailboat side of the show.

The Hanse 63 was queen of the sailboat side of the show.

Like all Hanses, the 63's interior is voluminous and uniquely modern.

Like all Hanses, the 63's interior is voluminous and uniquely modern.

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