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A roundup of the news from Boot Düs­sel­dorf

SAIL - - Contents - By Peter Nielsen

The world’s big­gest boat and wa­ter­sports show, held in DŸs­sel­dorf on the banks of Ger­many’s Rhine River each Jan­uary, is the place to scope out emerg­ing trends in the boat design and build­ing. What would be the new trends for 2018 and be­yond? Hint—so­phis­ti­cated elec­tron­ics fig­ure strongly, along with other big-boat trickle-down fea­tures like vari­able-tint glass and dinghy garages. Arches to keep main­sheets out of cock­pits are be­com­ing more pop­u­lar. Bow thrusters are be­com­ing the rule, rather than the ex­cep­tion, on boats over 40ft. You’re hard pressed to find a vis­i­ble line on deck on many boats, with most sail con­trols led aft via un­der-deck chan­nels. It’s no longer enough to have a drop-down board­ing plat­form on your tran­som, you’ll want a built-in grill, fridge and wet bar too. Be­lowdecks, light ve­neers and trim pre­dom­i­nate, in­te­ri­ors look more like trendy lofts than ever, and new man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques mean hull ports are big­ger and more plen­ti­ful; on deck, syn­thetic teak is all the rage.

This year, it was home team Bavaria Yachts that stole the early lime­light with a trio of Mario Cos­sutti-de­signed cruis­ers. The new C65 was im­pres­sive enough in its own right, but there was more in­ter­est in the smaller C45 and C50 cruis­ers, whose key fea­tures have been bor­rowed from much big­ger and more ex­pen­sive boats.

There was enough space in these high-vol­ume hulls for the builders to tuck a dinghy garage, ac­ces­si­ble from the drop-down tran­som, un­der the cock­pit. It was first such fea­ture I’ve seen on a 45-footer, and though it won’t

hold a RIB, it’s good to see the ef­fort made.

The se­cond in­no­va­tion was the dig­i­tal switch­ing plat­form in the boats—I be­lieve these are now the small­est pro­duc­tion yachts to be thus equipped. A col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Sim­rad and Naviop, the dig­i­tal switch­ing sys­tem en­ables the boat’s sys­tems to be mon­i­tored and con­trolled via Sim­rad/B&G MFDs or smart­phones/tablets. Sport­ing too many fea­tures to list here, the Sim­rad/Naviop plat­form is to be­come stan­dard on Bavaria’s C-Line, and on its Nau­titech cata­ma­rans.

The other Ger­man pow­er­house, the Hanse

Group, had its en­tire range on show, from the 315 to the 675 that was in­tro­duced last year. New for 2018 were the 348, 388 and 418, based on the hulls of their pre­de­ces­sors but boast­ing tweaked cock­pit and deck lay­outs along with re­vamped ac­com­mo­da­tions.

While the im­pact of Jean­neau’s new mod­els—the Philippe Briand­de­signed 440 and 490—was slightly di­luted due to their early de­but at the Cannes show last Septem­ber, the boats none­the­less drew plenty of at­ten­tion thanks largely to their novel deck design, which makes it pos­si­ble to walk all the way around the boat with­out step­ping over the cock­pit coam­ings. Beneteau too had in­tro­duced its new boats at Cannes, and it was the sleek-look­ing Ocea­nis 51.1 that drew the crowds here.

Du­four Yachts proudly showed off a model of its new 48ft cata­ma­ran along with its Grand Large 360, an evo­lu­tion of the 350 with a new deck design and in­te­rior treat­ment. The boat also has a small dinghy “garage” where a rolled-up in­flat­able can be stowed un­der the cock­pit. It’s good to see man­u­fac­tur­ers start­ing to take no­tice of things like this; it’s only fairly re­cently that they started to think about lif­er­aft stowage, for in­stance.

Among the no­table new­com­ers was a gor­geous 68-footer from Italy’s So­laris Yachts, a beamy, svelte cre­ation with near-flush decks clad in sump­tu­ous teak. Close by, the gor­geous Oys­ter 745 at­tracted long lines through the show, poignant in light of the fi­nan­cial is­sues that drove the com­pany into liq­ui­da­tion just a cou­ple of weeks later.

Swedish builder Na­jad turned up with a new Farr-de­signed cruiser, the 395, which can be or­dered in aft or cen­ter-cock­pit ver­sions, and with or with­out a main­sheet arch. In­ter­est was high in the boat, which was beau­ti­fully fit­ted out be­lowdecks with typ­i­cal Swedish at­ten­tion to de­tail. Su­pery­acht “stylist” Ken Frei­vokh de­signed the ac­com­mo­da­tions. Also on show was a re­vamped ex­am­ple of the com­pany’s 50-footer, the Judel & Vrolijk-de­signed 505CC.

Also look­ing stylish was the lat­est of­fer­ing from Wauquiez, the Pi-

lot Sa­loon 42. An­other well-built yacht with a high stan­dard of fin­ish, the 42 has a large, bright sa­loon with raised seat­ing for an all­round view from the din­ing ta­ble. Two spa­cious sleep­ing cab­ins and a large gal­ley round off an invit­ing pack­age. What im­pressed me most, though, was an­other ex­am­ple of su­pery­acht trickle-down—wrap-round win­dows that can be dark­ened or light­ened at will from your phone.

Italy’s Grand Soleil was there, with its new LC 52 (Long Cruise) off­shore cruis­ing boat and the GS 34, a sharp lit­tle sport cruiser that looks like it’ll pop onto the plane in a heart­beat and yet has all the ameni­ties for a week-long fam­ily cruise. From Den­mark’s X-Yachts, the X4 9 was the only new re­lease this year. The com­pany’s three ranges—X Cruis­ing (Xc), X Per­for­mance (Xp) and X Range—now to­tal 13 mod­els. Fel­low Scan­di­na­vians Hall­berg Rassy showed their new 340, a com­pact but well-equipped boat from Ger­man Fr­ers.

Le­gendary blue­wa­ter yacht builder Amel hor­ri­fied many of its own­ers by drop­ping the ketch con­cept for its new 50, a rad­i­cal de­par­ture from tra­di­tion for the sto­ried French yard that ap­pears to be ex­pand­ing the brand’s ap­peal. Bri­tain’s Dis­cov­ery Group, now en­com­pass­ing bother Dis­cov­ery Yachts and the re­cently res­ur­rected swing-keel Southerly Yachts, showed a new Southerly 48 built for film­mak­ers Paul and Sh­eryl Shard.

But never mind the high-ticket, big boats; what makes DŸs­sel­dorf spe­cial is the sheer num­ber and va­ri­ety of smaller, funkier boats you al­ways find here. Foil­ing beach cats and tris, sweet lit­tle day­sail­ers and week­enders, novel takes on fold­ing and in­flat­able boats; there truly is some­thing for ev­ery­one. And then there are the equip­ment halls… s

The Wauquiez Pi­lot 42 won lots of ad­mir­ers; the sys­tems con­trol panel on the Bavaria C65 (right)

New mod­els from Swe­den’s Na­jad got a lot of traf­fic The Dinghy Go sail­ing RIB should make a good ten­der

Ger­many’s Karuboats builds this pretty day­sailer The dinghy gets a garage in the Bavaria C45 and C50

First show­ing for the new Southerly 48

Seascape’s new­est boat—the Seascape 14

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