As summer draws to a close boat show season arrives. Here's our pick of the best new yachts at Cannes Yachting festival 2023.
Cannes Yachting Festival has always featured a wide-array of new multihull launches – it is France, after all – but in recent years the French boat show has grown and now features some of the most exciting launches for both multihulls and monohulls. With so much on offer for the Cannes visitor, here’s our pick of the most interesting new yachts at Cannes Yachting Festival 2023.
New yachts at Cannes Yachting Festival 2023
The latest model to hit the water, the HH44, will be the smallest in the range and therefore available to a wider audience, even if the price tag still ranges upwards of US$1 million ex VAT. Nevertheless this hasn’t deterred 35 owners ordering boats off-plan before the first one left the yard.
This Morrelli & Melvin design is not as ultra high performance as some of the earlier and larger HH models. This is especially true in the OC (Ocean Cruising) versions of the HH44, which have an easily handled format with aluminium mast, white gelcoat finish and mini-keels as standard instead of daggerboards. Nevertheless displacement is one third lower than that of many catamarans of this size, which promises enjoyable and rewarding sailing, as well as markedly reducing time spent under power when passagemaking.
SC (Sports Cruising) models include current race boat technology, including carbon C-foils and rig, a painted hull finish, plus over 4kW of solar panels.
The first boat, an SC model painted in a striking metallic silver, was scheduled to hit the water this summer. Demand has been such that HH is currently building an additional set of moulds and two production lines will run for the HH44 at its Cebu facility in the Philippines.
The new flagship for this Italian yard follows the performance version launched last year and differs in having a larger coachroof and raised saloon, with a 270° view even when seated. This in turn gives space for machinery below the saloon, freeing up more space towards the back of the boat for accommodation.
This is not superyacht territory, even though interior volumes are as large as those of a small superyacht of 10-15 years ago, but the yard sees the sector above 60ft as being a semi-custom sphere and will work closely with owners to achieve their dream yacht.
Windelo has redesigned the deck and superstructure tooling for its 50 and 54ft models. The result is a lighter and airier boat, with a more curved and sportier look that includes flush glazing.
Eco-responsible materials, forward cockpit with twin helm stations, a modular loft-style living space, plus electric motors with green energy production have been retained. Battery banks are sufficiently large to motor for four hours without running the generator.
Garcia Exploration 60
Following the success of Garcia Yachts’ Exploration 45 and 52 models, which attracted notable clients including Jimmy Cornell and Pete Goss, this Cherbourg-based yard has announced a significantly larger yacht in the same mould.
The Exploration 60 is intended as a tough aluminium centreboarder with a reinforced stem, watertight companionway door, aluminium forward and aft bulkheads, plus skin fittings that are effectively above the waterline. Although this is a much larger vessel than the two existing boats in the range, all essential sail handling can be carried out from the cockpit and there’s a sheltered watch keeping position/navstation in the deck saloon with good forward visibility.
A large sail plan, twin rudders and a massive 3.65m (12ft) draught with the centreboard down help with sailing performance.
At the same time this yacht is configured for exceptionally long periods of autonomy, including diesel tankage of 2,500lt, making high latitude voyages in relative comfort and luxury a viable option. A range of layout options are offered, from a very spacious two-cabin arrangement to four cabins.
The first new model since the sale of the brand by Groupe Beneteau to Solaris a couple of years ago, this 78 met with immediate success when four were sold off plan and an 88 was also announced. CNB remains a very popular name for those looking at managing a large, fast cruising yacht short-handed.
The design team has remained the same in Philippe Briand and Jean-Marc Piaton so the signature styling, particularly around the coachroof and deck saloon, remains with some tweaks to the interior layout below decks. But production has moved to Solaris’s ever expanding yard near Trieste and the construction techniques improved to give a stiffer, lighter result and a promise for higher finish quality.
Beneteau’s Oceanis 38.1 has been a mainstay of the range since its launch nine years ago, yet yacht design has moved on in leaps and bounds since then. For its replacement, Marc Lombard Yacht Design and Nauta Design were asked to improve both performance and accommodation volumes.
As a result, the hull shape embodies much recent design knowledge, with broad forward sections and a marked chine almost the length of the boat. The effect is to markedly improve form stability when the boat starts to heel, without a big increase in light airs wetted surface area. This gives more interior volume, allowing a wider forecabin that’s also pushed further forward in the boat. Two- and three-cabin versions with one or two heads are offered.
Standard deck layouts allow for easy sailing, including a self-tacking jib, while a furling mainsail is offered as an option. The rig is engineered without a backstay, which frees up space at the back of the cockpit, while also allowing the more powerful First Line version to be fitted with a square top mainsail, plus furling 110% genoa, giving 22% more sail area than the standard model.
The launch of the Hanse 460 two years ago marked a step-change for the German yard. New designers Berret-Racoupeau created a yacht with a totally different feel to the existing range, with a bold new look and the feel of a significantly larger vessel than the Hanse 458 it replaced.
Yet, despite the extra bulk, this is a boat with better sailing qualities than earlier cruisers – narrow waterline beam translates to surprisingly good light airs performance, especially using a Code 0 or reaching with an asymmetric kite, yet as with other recent designs, stability builds rapidly as heel increases.
Accommodation includes large cabins both forward and aft, while there’s 2m (6ft 7in) headroom throughout the boat, which helps amplify the feeling of space.
Options include all electric propulsion with a range of up to 55 miles, fuel cell, solar panels, and sails made from recycled material.
Yes it’s a Gunboat… with a flybridge. The first of two in build, the 72V marries Gunboat’s renowned performance with more cruising comfort, particularly the benefit of extra living space and that higher vantage point. As you can see from the photo above, somehow VPLP has managed to blend that higher tier into the aerodynamic lines too.
While it’s not the super-clean look of Gunboat’s modern range, a glance at the fine entries, hull lines and powerful rig may help explain how it can still match windspeed from 8 knots true plus. We saw this in build, including where Gunboat added the central extensions to the 68’s mould and it’s very impressive. One can only start to imagine what the 80 will look and sail like, which is due to be at the Maxi Worlds in September.
Fountaine Pajot 80
Full details of FP’s new flagship are still emerging, but at 24m LOA and over 11m beam it will eclipse even the Lagoon SEVENTY7 as the giant of production cruising yachts. The Berret Racoupeau design boasts the equivalent volume and space of a 20-30ft longer superyacht monohull (including the 66-tonne displacement). Key features include fold out wings each side of the cockpit, a full beach terrace, a covered flybridge and dedicated toy spaces. The cabins (4-6) look equally plush, especially the owner’s suite with its accompanying jacuzzi.
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