In-Boom Furling: Five Systems

There's no perfect solution to boom furling. It's not an easy bit of engineering. Still, all the systems on the market continue to mature. Schaefer's new offering looks like a good bet for medium-sized boats.

Maine Cat 30

This cruising catamaran features open living on the bridge deck, above average performance and low maintenance.

Island Packet 350

Bob Johnson's 1997 design is roomy and well-made. Though slow to gather speed upwind, she carries her way gracefully.

Three Big-Three 30s

The Beneteau 311, Catalina 310, and Hunter 326 represent what could be called 'entry-level' cruising boats from the major makers, and here's how they could be compared...

Deck, Hull-to-deck Joint, and Keel Merit a Close Look

As is typical of C&Cs, owners give the boat high marks for quality of construction, and in general, their enthusiasm is justified. The boat does, however, have a potential weak point. Hull: Like most C&Cs, the 40 was built with a balsa-cored hull. The result is a hull that is extremely stiff for its weight, but balsa coring is not without its potential for problems. In the event of delamination or rupture of the hull skin, the balsa coring can absorb moisture. Moisture penetration of the outer laminate could ultimately reach the balsa coring. It is imperative that a balsa-cored hull be carefully examined by a knowledgeable surveyor before purchasing a used boat.

Dissecting the CSY 37

Designed by Peter Schmitt, the CSY 37 is the mid-sized boat in the CSY line. Eighty-seven of these raised-deck cutters were built, primarily for the Caribbean bareboat charter trade. Schmitt has combined some features most often found in traditional boats-the oval stem, raised deck, and semi-clipper bow-with a relatively modern underbody featuring a fairly long fin keel and a skeg-mounted rudder. On paper, the boat looks pretty good. In person, she is rather tubby and high-sided, but that tubbiness means added buoyancy-not such a bad thing to have in a blow.

Maine Cat 41

Eighteen knots? Maybe not, but theres plenty to like about this cat.

Pearson 303

The Pearson 303 is a big 30-footer, intended for safe coastal cruising. She admirably succeeds in doing what she was designed to do. The only risk accrues to those who mistake her for something she is not -- an offshore, passage-making boat. While it’s easy to overlook the Pearson 303 as another member of a fleet that looks depressingly similar and lacking in pizzazz, the 303 is a wholesome family cruiser with a workable, traditional interior, acceptable performance and above average construction. Hey, what’s not to like?

Gemini 105Mc

This is the third version of an already thoughtful design that Tony Smith has been tweaking for years. It's a spacious, stable platform for a fast-cruising couple.

Seaward 25

A trailerable pocket cruiser introduced in 1984 by Hake Yachts, this pricy plumb-bowed sloop is made for exploring the shallows. It's laid out for a cruising couple or young family.

Antifouling Paint Prices Follow Copper Surge

The antifouling coating industry is dominated by copper-based paint, so as copper prices reach their highest levels in recent history, I was curious to...