This year's PSP Southampton Boat Show seems to have a very healthy number of new launches. It's hard to single out just five... but we made ourselves do it and here are our top picks...
Marina berth M250
The second design from Gunfleet Marine, the recently established British builder of quality long-distance cruising yachts, has a modern hull form with a centreboard and twin rudders and a shallow draught of just 1.75m with the ballasted keel raised, which increases to 3.60m when the board is lowered. On deck the twin cockpit, twin helm configuration includes a proper walkthrough of a type previously found only on larger yachts.
There’s stylish accommodation for eight in four cabins, with large hull windows offering panoramic seascape views in the owner’s full-with stateroom and the forward guest cabins. Large deck saloon windows, plus a further four panoramic hull windows, make the huge saloon a fantastic entertaining area.
The all-furling rig has a large genoa for light airs and reaching in strong breezes, plus an efficient Solent jib set just aft of the main forestay that’s ideal for use in stronger winds, or when making a number of relatively short tacks.
Marina berth: M330
This is another long-distance world-girdling design, but in a very different mould to the Gunfleet. The Wylo 35.5 is a well-proven steel gaff rig yacht designed for solid, simple and reliable world cruising, with rugged systems conceived for longevity and ease of maintenance.
Seasoned ocean sailors will appreciate the rugged simplicity and strength of this design. Construction is bullet-proof, with the long keel providing the maximum possible strength in the event of grounding and a comfortable long-legged motion at sea.
Similarly, the simple rig does not depend on expensive components that have a high risk of failure, while the massive steel rudder is well protected by the keel.
Beneteau Oceanis 38
Stand: F016, Marina berth M451-473
This high-volume cruising yacht was designed to be adaptable to the three different roles of day sailer, weekender and long-term cruiser. All share the same hull, but have differing interior arrangements. The day sailer version has a minimum of bulkheads, leaving the huge saloon is open-plan right up to the bow. It’s an ideal arrangement for someone who owns a waterside property but wants a yacht with plenty of space for guests to sail for a few hours each day.
The weekender has a choice between two and three cabin layouts, with a large degree of customer configuration possible, including the extent to which bulkheads are removed. The cruiser model is more conventional, with two or three sleeping cabins, a large galley facing the saloon and a separate shower. However, the bulkheads to the forecabin can be removed to provide an open-plan atmosphere.
Marina berths: M342 and M350-354
This new high-performance design is intended to fit between the small J/70 sportsboat and the J/111 offshore one design racer/cruiser. Like these models, the J/88 has a high-aspect, non-overlapping sail plan with a carbon double-spreader mast, although it is deck stepped for easy rigging and tuning and to help keep the main cabin dry.
Although intended as a speed machine, the 88 has the comforts of a sit-in cockpit, inboard diesel engine and simple overnighting interior with sitting headroom and separate heads compartment. It’s also sufficiently small and light to be lifted by a single-point crane and towed behind a mid to large size four wheel drive vehicle. Some 16-18 boats are expected to be built this year and, if other new models from J-Boats are anything to go by, we can expect to see fleets forming before long.
Corsair Dash 750 Mark 2
Stand: E013 and Marina Berth M150
There’s undoubtedly a strong market for distinctive fast daysailers that offer fun sailing with a minimum of hassle. Corsair’s latest 24ft trimaran definitely fits this mould, combining blisteringly fast performance with overnight accommodation.
Key differences with the new model compared to its predecessor include updated deck styling, additional head room in the forward v berth, a brighter saloon with the carpeted hull linings of older models replaced with a white liner. There’s also a vastly improved sliding 'pop top' with gas struts to give full headroom, extended seat backs and the option of a higher-specification galley with additional stowage.
Interested in the power boats at the show? See Alex Smith's 5 Must See Powerboats at the Southampton Boat Show.