Features

September 2009 Issue

Five Rides that Push the Limits of High-performance Sailing

Practical Sailor looks at a wide range of sailing craft that emphasize light-air sailing ability and maximum speed

After sifting through the field of sailing sports cars on the market today, Practical Sailor identified five very different watercraft that met our “speedster” criteria. At the top end of our size and cost profile is yacht designer Bill Lee’s legacy, the Santa Cruz 37, a wolf in wolf’s clothing that offers performance as priority one, two, and three. Next in line is the Andrews 28, a breakaway racer/cruiser that packs performance and a Spartan minimalist’s cruising package into a 25.7-foot waterline. Hard to miss is the Open 6.50, an out-an-out go-fast sportboat with room below for little more than a cooler and bevy of high-tech sails. For the diehard dinghy sailor, we highlight the quick-planing Stealth, a 14.5-footer that redefines reaching, and in true giant-slayer fashion, can fly by most 40-footers on a power reach. And if that’s not action enough, we hop aboard a turbo-charged windsurfer, the Starboard Futura. Powered with a Neil Pryde sail, it runs away with the award for most speed and fun for our dollar.

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