This year sees a further increase in the number new designs unveiled at the Southampton Boat Show (September 16-25, 2016). The 45-60ft sector has nine new yachts including Hanse’s 588, the stylish Spirit 47CR, X-Yacht’s X6, Nautitech’s Open 46 catamaran, the Arcona 465 and the go-anywhere aluminium pilothouse Bestevaer 45ST.

At the smaller end of the market there’s the economical Polish-built Sedna 24 and the versatile 8ft Portland Pudgy tender/dynamic lifeboat. Performance sailors won’t be disappointed either, with the Pogo 3 Mini Transat design on display, along with the Pogo 36 high performance cruiser, Dragonfly 28 trimaran and Seascape 24.

Southampton 2016: Hanse 588

The Hanse 588 looks stunning.


1. Hanse 588 (Berth: M339)

This new model is making its world debut at the show. The design combines impressive accommodation with a big rig that sports the latest thinking in easily handled sails. Options include a self-tacking jib, gennaker for downwind sailing and a furling reaching sail on a second forestay to improve reaching and upwind performance in lighter airs.

The forward section of the cockpit is given over to guest use, while a lowered section of coachroof forward of the mast is designed as a sun bathing area. An optional hardtop provides excellent shade, as well as keeping the mainsheet tackle safely clear of the cockpit area. More than 70 different accommodation layout variations are possible, with possibilities including up to five guest cabins, a choice of galley options and even a utility room and crew accommodation.


Southampton 2016 Sedna 24

Down below in the Sedna 24.


2. Sedna 24 (Stand: F005)

At the other end of the scale you can get afloat in this 24ft trailer sailer for less than £30,000 including VAT. The boat offers two double berths, a separate heads compartment and a comfortable saloon with settees each side of the folding table. Both the hull shape and rig benefit from up-to-date thinking and there’s a good size comfortable cockpit. The Sedna 24 is available with a choice of swing, lifting or fixed keels and there’s an optional mast raising and lowering system to make de-rigging for towing easier. This boat is the smallest of a three-model range that also includes 26ft and 30ft models.


Southampton 2016 Spirit 47CR

The beautiful Spirit 47CR.


3. Spirit 47CR (Berth: M315)

This is the first boat in a new cruising range from this British builder of modern classic yachts. As with the existing models it’s hand built to the very highest standards, using high tech timber/epoxy construction to create a stiff yet lightweight structure that looks absolutely stunning. Accommodation is arranged around the needs of up to six people for long distance sailing and living aboard for extended periods. In common with other Spirit yachts the under water profile, rig and equipment reflect the latest technologies and equipment.


Southampton 2016: X6

The new X6 from X-Yachts.


4. X-Yachts X6 and X4 (Berths: M348 and M353)

These two new models – a 40 and a 60 footer – from Danish builder X-Yachts’ new range will be on show. The X series was conceived to complement the company’s two existing Xperformance (Xp) and Xcruising (Xc) lineups and is intended to combine excellent sailing capabilities with a modern and spacious interior.

Two years was spent striving to reach a distinctive style for the interior, which echoes that normally only seen on larger super yachts. Numerous fixed hull and deck port lights, together with more than a dozen opening deck hatches, provide ample natural light and ventilation. The deck layout has twin wheels, a fold-down transom bathing platform, and high quality deck gear that’s arranged to make it easy for keen sailors to extract the best from the rig.


Southampton 2016: Grand Soleil 46lc

The Grand Soleil 46LC.


5. Grand Soleil 46LC (Berth: M429-435 or 355)

This is another well-known company with a new range aimed at a slightly different market to previous models. In this case the Italian firm has created a new line of cruisers that are optimised for long distance sailing. The design is intended to maximise on three key aspects – space, elegance and safety, while exterior styling includes a long dynamic waterline, plumb bow, short bowsprit and composite mainsheet arch.


Southampton 2016: Dehler 34

The Dehler 34.


6) Dehler 34 (Stand: M326)

Boat builders appear to be paying more attention to the sub 35ft level than in recent years – this is one of two new 34 footers from a major manufacturer unveiled at the show. It’s a sporty fast cruiser that celebrates many of the qualities for which Dehler’s first 34-footer won much acclaim when it was launched 30 years ago.

The new boat is offered with a wide range of options that enable it to be configured to owners’ exact requirements. These include tiller steering or twin wheels and three different keel types as well as a bathing platform and a fixed bowsprit. The interior has two large cabins, plus a saloon with a pair of comfortable settees, a spacious L-shaped galley and a navigation table. The heads compartment is equipped with Dehler’s Uni-Door concept in which one door separates three areas, providing maximum privacy when space is limited. Interior options include a semi open plan forepeak in lieu of the standard separate cabin.


Southamtpton 2016: Nautitech Open 40

Nautitech Open 40 interior.


7. Nautitech Open 46 (Berth: M429-435 and 355)

This large open plan cruising catamaran is the second boat in this range, following the launch of a the Open 40 two years ago. The new model offers vast living spaces with the boundary between interior and exterior spaces blurred as far as possible. There’s a choice of three or four cabins, with the entire port hull given over to a large owner’s suite in the owner’s version.

The Open 46 is offered with a choice of flybridge or twin helm positions and a powercat version is also available. All have a transom passage for easy access from one hull to the other and a rigid bimini that gives complete shelter to the alfresco dining and lounging areas in the cockpit.


Southampton 2016 Sense 57

Beneteau's Sense 57.


8. Beneteau Sense 57 (Berth: M121)

The distinctive Sense range of modern easily handled yachts now includes models at 46, 51 and 57ft. All have the saloon and galley areas right at the aft end of the accommodation, which minimises the separation between these areas and the cockpit. As there’s no accommodation below the cockpit the hull lines are sleeker than more volume oriented yachts and the cockpit sole is lower, which gives an improved feeling of security and safety. An optional semi-hard Bimini top is designed to shelter the cockpit from sun and rain. Although there’s less interior volume than on some yachts of a similar size, the Sense 57 still provides three very generous en suite cabins forward of the saloon, including a spacious owner’s suite right forward.


Southampton 2016: Dufour 412

Dufour's 412 Grand Large.


9. Dufour 412 Grand Large

This model offers a substantial update on the earlier 410 Grand Large, with improvements led by owners’ feedback. The new high aspect rig design has a fully battened mainsail and a self-tacking jib for simple sailing. At the same time, development work on the keel and rudder has helped provide a well-balanced sail plan, even in rough conditions. Below decks there is a choice of three accommodation layouts with two different wood styles and modular elements that enable space to be used flexibly for different purposes when sailing or in harbour.


Southampton 2016: Bavaria 34

The Bavaria 34.


10. Bavaria 34 Cruiser (Berths: M401-425)

This is another new model aimed at a sportier audience and is also one of the few designs of its size to offer a three-cabin layout. It’s a design that incorporates many of the huge advances in handling of offshore performance yachts over the past decade and combines these with the comfortable and spacious cruising accommodation associated with the Bavaria brand. Find out more in our full Bavaria 34 Cruiser review.

For more boats at Southampton, see Alex Smith's guide to the best powerboats at the show.

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Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.