2011 Chicago boat show

Check out all the new boats that CW senior editor Bill Springer found at the Strictly Sail Chicago boat show.

Check out all the new boats that CW senior editor Bill Springer found at the Strictly Sail Chicago boat show.

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Chicago's Navy Pier was the place to see the latest boats and gear during last weekend's Strictly Sail Show.Bill Springer

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The Catalina 355, CW's Midsized Boat of the Year, was one of several BOTY winners in Chicago.Bill Springer

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The zippy Beneteau First 30 won BOTY awards from both Sailing World and Cruising World. But people did ask me: "What's up with the pink decals on the hull?" All I could say was: "The boat sure does stand out."Bill Springer

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Sailing World associate editor Mike Lovett (far left) and I (far right) presented Beneteau's Mike Lecholop (second from right) and Wayne Burdick framed photos of their two BOTY award winning boats, the First 30 and Sense 50.Courtesy of Bill Springer

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The bulb keel on the First 30.Bill Springer

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Dual rudders are another go-fast feature that sets the Beneteau First 30 apart from most other 30-foot cruising boats.Bill Springer

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Island Packet's bow sprits and long keels were also on display.Bill Springer

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The Smartkat is an inflatable catamaran that you can roll up, pop in a bag, and take with you where ever you go.Bill Springer

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Cleveland-based Tartan and C & C Yachts had one of each on display.Bill Springer

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I liked the hard roof on the Tartan 4300. It has all the benefits of a hard roof without making the boat look clunky or top heavy.Bill Springer

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Trailersailers like this one from Com-Pac Yachts were well represented.Bill Springer

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Check out the sweet transom on the C.W. Hood 32 daysailer.Bill Springer

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All the overhangs on the C.W. Hood 32 are from a bygone era. But the under water profile is not.Bill Springer

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The J/111 was also there. Man that boat looks fast even when it's in a convention center in ice-bound Chicago.Bill Springer

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Here's the Jeanneau 409.Bill Springer

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The lifting-keel equipped Seaward Eagle by Hake Yachts was also on display.Bill Springer

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Kids and adults alike enjoyed sailing the radio-controlled boats. The wind was simply provided by a bunch of fans.Bill Springer

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