The boat that is leading the cruising division is a big one but far from being the bigger one on the fleet. It is a 62ft but it has such a big advantage to everybody else (except a smaller sister) that deserves a big praise here. It is not even a performance boat, just a very good bluewater boat, even if its performance looks like one from a performance boat.
It's the boat that won last year European boat of the year contest in the category of Luxury yachts, the Oyster 625. The testers said that they were impressed with its sailing performance, well it seems they were not the only ones, I am impressed too
Have a look at the boat. It does not like a fast boat to me. Appearances can be deceiving, but that's a luxury boat for sure
To the North, there is an older Oyster 565 doing almost as well or even better if we compare the size. Great ocean cruising boats the Oysters, but I guess that all know that, as all know also that they are expensive
On the next size of boats the distinction goes to a Swann 48. The boat is one of Swan bestsellers, a recent model (1995/2003) designed by German Frers, a fast boat that can do very well in heavy weather. A very expensive boat, like all the Swan, a performance cruiser with a good cruising interior.
Then a reference to Ocean cruising cats that as usual, on a downwind Transat are faster then comparatively sized monohulls. The one that is making better regarding its size is a Catana 431 that is not far from that Swan 48.
The catana 431 is not a new boat (it has about the same age of that Swan) and has been replaced in the Catana range by the 42 (or the 47):
Some images of the boat and the current Catana range
an then, two boats are impressing me, one because it is just a bluewater cruising boat with no performance in mind doing amazingly well, the other that should be theoretically faster, but it is slightly behind, is a bigger inexpensive mass production boat, the first of the inexpensive modern boats (if we don't consider the Pogo 50 that is on the racing series), a Hanse 531 that manages to be ahead of a First 50. The other one, the one that is not a performance boat, that is ahead of these two is a favorite of mine, a XC-50, a production bluewater boat in the same class of Halberg-Rassy and as that one, a great but expensive sailboat.
the 431 has been replaced recently by the Hanse 445. This is the 431:
This is the 445
I will leave the boats below 50ft for another post