Cruising World Magazine has been test sailing and judging the best new boats of the year after the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland since the early 1990’s. And since they test sail up to 24 boats during the week immediately following the show, they can’t really afford to worry about the weather, or going back to the dock in between test sails!
As you’ll see in this behind-the-scenes view of the 2015 Boat of the Year testing on the Chesapeake, they maximize sailing time by jumping from boat to boat on the waters off Annapolis.
And they don’t stop test sailing just because it’s a little windy. In fact, we’re even prouder the Dufour 560 was named Cruising World’s Best Full Sized Cruiser over 50 feet this year because, as you’ll see in the video, the test was conducted on a dark, rainy day in a sporty 20 knot breeze and weather that you’d certainly expect to find on an offshore passage.
Cruising World Senior Editor Herb McCormick (with the notebook above) sums it up beautifully in his report: “One of the best, if sometimes harrowing ways to get a sense of just how massive and voluminous today’s full-size cruisers are is to board one from a rocking inflatable in a rolling seaway. Case in point: approaching the Dufour 560 Grand’ Large for our test sail on a blustery Chesapeake Bay morning in a 20-knot northerly with accompanying 2- to 3-foot seas. Yes, we’d already scrutinized the boat dockside and understood it was a big, powerful yacht. But timing the leap and scrambling up the boarding ladder put the exceptionally high freeboard in its proper perspective. It was like scaling Yosemite’s slab-sided El Capitan. Later, similar adventures boarding the other boats in this category… drove the freeboard nail home with authority. These are all Big Boy boats, with all the attendant space, systems, amenities and sailing prowess that come with that rarified territory.”
The Dufour 560 is big, sexy, speedy, comfortable, and a winner. Check it out.