What's getting launched across the world of boating this spring? Here are a few boats I've seen or received word about, starting with a big one!
Sofico, this luxury cruising vessel, was launched at a private event on April 9th at the Ancona, Italy, shipyard where CRN has been producing yachts since 1963 and been part of the Ferretti Group for the last decade. The big custom designs that CRN builds are constructed of steel or aluminum; Sofico is one of the yard's smaller boats, the fourth in its series, and it's a composite build that's only semi-custom.
I imagine if you climb aboard, you won't be able to tell that there's anything else like it, however; I've learned that the interior features Art Deco motifs, precious woods, velvet couches and crocodile skin, among other surprises. The interior was conceived by long-time CRN partner, the Zuccon International Project Firm. CRN's media rep has promised me interior photos sometime this summer. In the meantime, you can see more of the launching pictures in the CRN Gallery under "Events."
I mentioned the new Catalina 445 last week, after I saw it (above) at the Strictly Sail Pacific & Power Expo in Oakland, California, and I promised a better photo of it. This was the best I could get, given how it was wedged into an L in the dock and beside the largest in Catalina's Ocean series, the 470. While there's a clear family resemblance, you can see that designer Gerry Douglas has given the boat clean lines and good freeboard forward; he told me that the waterline beam was a bit narrower, proportionately, as he's trying to keep improving sailing performance. The interior has lots of great details, which we'll cover in a later review. One neat innovation is an enlarged aft double to starboard that is oriented diagonally (below). Opposite on the port side, there's a narrow cabin that has flip up/down bunks and the option of conversion to a workbench or storage area.