This year’s Southampton Boat Show has more new sailing boats on show than the past few years combined, promising more of a buzz to the event and plenty of hot yachts to look at. Granted, not all of the boats are brand new models, however, often it’s the mark 2 version of any model that’s the most desirable and is the one in which all the little touches that can collectively make a big difference to the on-board experience have been sorted out.
Discovery 55 MkII
The Discovery 55, which makes its world debut at the show in Mk ll form, is one such boat.
The original was a class leading design that won great acclaim when first launched. Given Discovery’s reputation for attention to detail and for going out of the way to satisfy customer requirements this promises to be a very special boat, refined by experience gained through hundreds of thousands of miles at sea in the original version over the past 14 years.
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However, there are two other completely new British boats that are also making world debuts. The Rustler 37 is a new design aimed at being an ultimate serious long-distance cruiser. It follows in the footsteps of the company’s long-running Rustler 36, one of the few long keel designs still in production. The 37 offers significantly improved accommodation and speed, while retaining valued aspects such as an encapsulated lead keel.
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The GT35 is from an all-new east coast boat builder, GT Yachts, and is intended as a well engineered, high stability modern yacht that’s both safe and comfortable at sea. It’s the first of a range of four similar craft from 30-45ft.
Beneteau Oceanis 35
In the same size range, Beneteau’s Oceanis 35 is also making its world debut. Like the Oceanis 38 that was launched at the end of last year, it’s offered in three different accommodation formats – Daysailer, Weekender or Cruiser – each of which is optimised for a different style of use.
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One of two interesting fast and lean 27-28 footers making their UK debut at the show. The Huzar 28 is a stylish daysailer from Poland, a country with a long heritage of boat building and a surprisingly large number of small, innovative boat building companies.
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The Archambault name is well-known in racing circles for producing fast and fun racing yachts that are competitive under IRC. The 27 has been designed to be as versatile as possible, with options for a lifting or fixed keel, inboard or outboard engine, minimalist interior, or the comfort of four berths, with a heads and galley.
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Bavaria Easy 9.7
One of several boats making its European debut at the show, Bavaria’s Easy 9.7 is intended to provide an entry level yacht at an attractive price that will be both easy to sail and to look after. It’s offered in a sail away package, including electronics delivery, commissioning and VAT for £69,933.
Also making its European debut, the Legend 37 is designed as a safe family cruiser with spacious accommodation. It's offered with a choice of deep fin, shallow fin or bilge keels.
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The J/97 Evolution (along with the J/122 Evolution that's making its Southampton debut), benefits from new interior and exterior design with cleaner more modern styling than the original models.
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