Birth of a Boat of the Year SW editor and BOTY director Dave Reed recalls his first glimpse of the J/95. “Gear Up” from our Dec. 23, 2009, SW eNewsletter:
Dec 20, 2009
By Dave Reed
As I drive down Broadcommon Road in the early spring of 2009, I enter Bristol, Rhode Island’s marine-industry hive: there’s Goetz Custom Technologies, Hall Spars & Rigging, numerous powerboat builders, and fabricators of all sorts. I turn left onto Ballou Boulevard and pass more non-descript industrial buildings before reaching the road’s dead end, where I find a sprawling new facility, surrounded by manicured grass, young trees, and a fresh asphalt parking lot. There’s no signage, just a few shrink-wrapped powerboats sitting on trailers outside the building’s bay doors. I’m not even sure I’m at the right place. But once inside the spartan main office of C&C Fiberglass Components, Inc., the scent of glasswork tells me I’ve found what I was looking for.  Jeff Johnstone, J/Boats’ affable president, is inside waiting for me, to walk me through hull No. 1 of J/Boats’ new J/95READ ARTICLE

Beneteau First 40: A Mini Review

Dave Reed reviews this born again racer/cruiser for the SW 2010 New Boat Showcase.
Oct 1, 2009
By Dave Reed

Remember how the Beneteau First 40.7 surprised the custom raceboat crowd in 2003 when one of the Farr designs won overall handicap honors in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race? This  beamy design may have been called a “beach ball” at the time, but the Hobart win was no lucky shift. The boats did well in later events, and strong one-design fleets resulted. Beneteau is banking on the same success for its First 40 and is straightforward when it says the boat is “designed for cruising,…  READ ARTICLE

J/97: A Mini Review

Dave Reed reviews this modest yet successful design for the SW New Boat Showcase.
Oct 1, 2009
By Dave Reed (More articles by this author)

Nothing is more satisfying for a designer than a high-profile debut. And in the case of the J/97, described by J/Boats as a high-performance family cruiser, winning a stacked IRC division at England’s Cowes Week is about as big a debut as one can ask for…  READ ARTICLE