New Boat Showcase 2023: Excitement Abounds

Heading into fall boat-show season, builders are bringing a slew of new models for all kinds of sailing, itineraries and adventures.

A logjam of boat debuts that were postponed during the pandemic finally broke free in 2022, bringing a heavy influx of new models to the docks. Thus, the question on our minds heading into this fall boat-show season is: What will be left for the 2023 model year? The answer: plenty. The lineup of new boats set to debut at venues this fall and into next year remains stout, with a wide variety of creative new designs, many of which are nominees in this year’s CW Boat of the Year awards. In the following pages, we offer a sneak peek of the most buzzworthy launches. You can follow the URLs for a deeper dive into boats that pique your interest, then inspect them in person at a show near you. 

Oyster 495
Oyster 495 Courtesy The Manufacturer

Oyster Yachts collaborated with Humphreys Yacht Design on this elegant 50-footer, which focuses on couples and other shorthanded crews who are headed for bluewater adventures. An in-mast furling main and electric winches are standard, as are twin wheels in the cockpit, located a bit forward on the clutter-free deck. The 495 has three staterooms below.

J/Boats J/45 Onne Van Der Wal (J Boats)

With more than 15,000 J’s built since 1977, the team at J/Boats is now adding this 45-footer, which has a carbon, double-spreader fractional rig. The boat is built tough with SCRIMP resin-infused molding for the foam-cored hull and deck. Below, French interior designer Isabelle Racoupeau added an elegant touch to the decor.

First 44
Beneteau First 36, First 44 Courtesy The Manufacturer

Bridging the gap between high-tech racing and performance cruising, the First 36 is designed to fully plane in a moderate breeze. Or, owners can ditch the racing gear altogether and take the family out cruising aboard the three-stateroom model, which has a galley and a central fridge. Part of the same model line is the First 44, which is available in a performance version with a different deck plan, and options for keels and masts.

Excess 14
Excess 14 Courtesy The Manufacturer

Excess Catamarans in France, following up on the launch of the 37-foot Excess 11, has added the 52-foot Excess 14 to its model line. The boat has a low boom, reduced windage thanks to lower freeboard, redesigned hull windows, an aft-set coachroof, a forward stepped mast, a composite bowsprit and an exposed forefoot. Three- and four-stateroom versions are available with an option for a sky lounge. 

Bali 4.4
Bali 4.4 Courtesy The Manufacturer

With piercing bows and exterior lines drawn by designer Xavier Fäy, the Bali 4.4 has a forward cockpit with dedicated lounging and sunbathing areas, as well as separate interior access. There are living areas amidships and aft, and a helm station with panoramic views on the coachroof, accessible from both sides.

Italia 11.98
Italia 11.98 Courtesy The Manufacturer

Limited wetted surface and a generous sail area help the Italia 11.98 perform well, even in light air. This boat is designed for shorthanded ease of use. There are three staterooms below (one forward, two aft) and two heads. Owners also can outfit the boat with a full race package.

Aura 51
Fountaine Pajot Aura 51 Courtesy The Manufacturer

New from this French builder of sailing cats is the Aura 51, which has an open living arrangement that connects the salon, galley and cockpit. The flybridge is big enough to accommodate 2,000 watts’ worth of flush-deck solar panels for sustainable ­cruising. The boat is available in four layouts, including a “full maestro” version that dedicates the port hull to an owner’s ­stateroom. 

Contest 49CS
Contest 49CS Sander Van Der Borch

The Dutch builder’s first aft cockpit model in the 50-foot range includes options for all-electric propulsion and sustainability. Living areas forward of and abaft the inboard twin helm stations create space for guests to spread out. The three-stateroom accommodations plan leaves space for a tender garage and a submersible swim platform. An integral carbon-fiber A-frame mast configuration has an incorporated hydraulic furler for easier off-wind sailing.

Dehler 46SQ
Dehler 46SQ Courtesy The Manufacturer

The Dehler 46SQ strikes a balance between performance racing and relaxation. The ­redesigned cockpit is uncluttered, with fewer plastic parts and more elements stowed out of sight. An integrated footrest allows for extra comfort at the helm, and folds flush to the deck when not in use. There’s a remote-control-­operated swim platform for water access. For race days, owners have membrane sails and carbon rigging.

Dufour 37
Dufour 37 Courtesy The Manufacturer

The Dufour 37 is built to handle easy coastal cruising, ocean itineraries and performance sailing. The 37 is available in two- or three-stateroom versions, and the design emphasizes outdoor living, with extra space in the cockpit. The 37’s new hull form is built to deliver a greater power-to-weight ratio, and the mast has been ­elongated for increased sail area.

Elan E6
Elan E6 Courtesy The Manufacturer

Elan Yachts worked with Humphreys Yacht Design and the technical team at Gurit to create the 50-foot E6. The team used 3D Vail technology to enhance lightness and stiffness, and to optimize the hull with a T-shaped keel. Performance characteristics are the result of scale-model in-house testing with an Olympic sailing team. This boat is designed to be sailed by an experienced couple, with twin rudders and helms, and with Harken winches positioned for precision trimming and fast, unobstructed movements.

Grand Soleil 40
Grand Soleil 40 Courtesy The Manufacturer

The GS40 from Grand Soleil Yachts is designed for speed and responsiveness without sacrificing volume and comfort. Multiple versions are available: performance, which includes four winches and a self-tacking jib; standard, with three staterooms, one head and a technical compartment for added stowage; and a three-stateroom, two-head layout. A 72-footer is also on the way. The builder says it will have an Italian aesthetic.

Hallberg-Rassy 400
Hallberg-Rassy 400 Courtesy The Manufacturer

Swedish builder Hallberg-Rassy is premiering a sporty-looking 40-footer designed by Germán Frers. The HR400 has a sizable cockpit, and twin wheels and rudders. Owners can choose a slightly overlapping genoa or self-tacking jib, one or two heads, and a two- or three-stateroom layout below. 

B-Yachts Brenta 34
B-Yachts Brenta 34 Courtesy The Manufacturer

The first of a new generation of B-Yachts, the Brenta 34 is billed as a luxury racer that can sail fast in all wind conditions, yet remain easy to handle with a crew or singlehanded. Performance comes from the boat’s light weight, minimalistic interior and sleek waterlines. Owners who want to use the B34 for cruising can opt for a removable cockpit table, spray hood, hot shower in the cockpit, and removable swim ladder.

Hanse 460
Hanse 460 Courtesy The Manufacturer

The Hanse 460 is the first Hanse yacht designed by French design team Berret-Racoupeau. Innovations include a hydrodynamic hull shape, a tall rig for a maximized sail plan, and a standard bowsprit with an integrated anchor arm. Accommodations can include six to 10 berths, with a roomy owner’s stateroom and an upsize galley.

Lyman-Morse 46
Lyman-Morse 46 Performance Cruiser Courtesy The Manufacturer

Few builders are creating wood performance cruisers these days,  but Maine’s Lyman-Morse yard is. The cold-molded 46-footer is designed by Kiwi Kevin Dibley, and is fashioned from Douglas fir and western red cedar. Double headsails and twin wheels help make the boat easily capable of 10-plus-knot speeds, while the onboard ambience comes in part from Herreshoff-style white ­bulkheads and varnished trim below.

Jeanneau 55
Jeanneau 55 Courtesy The Manufacturer

Following recent launches of the 60 and 65, Jeanneau now offers the Jeanneau 55, which is a collaboration between Phillipe Briand and Winch Design. Its dual-cockpit deck plan leaves the aft cockpit dedicated to relaxation, with the forward cockpit set up for handling. Below, the owner’s stateroom is forward and occupies about two-thirds of the interior.

Lagoon 51
Lagoon 51 Gilles Martin Raget (Lagoon 51)

The flybridge on the Lagoon 51 spans 80 percent of the coachroof, helping to create enough space on board for separate sunbathing and dining areas, roomy stern platforms, and more than 3,000 watts of integrated solar panels for greener cruising. The boat is available with three to six staterooms for private cruising or charter. To help with flow when more people are aboard, the salon has improved circulation with the mast set forward, which also increases the volume in the owner’s stateroom.

Moody DS41
Moody DS41 Courtesy The Manufacturer

The DS41 is a sporty design with a slender bow, steeply pitched stem, and convex sheerline. The hull windows and a sweeping roofline blend the deckhouse into the overall aesthetic for a one-level living concept. A high-performance sail plan helps with speed, while the minimalist interior belowdecks is warm and inviting.

Nautitech 44 Open
Nautitech 44 Open Courtesy The Manufacturer

The 44 Open is the first new Nautitech model in three years, and it focuses on the needs of private owners such as couples, families and other shorthanded crews. Naval architect Marc Lombard drew the slippery hull. The boat has a reversed bow, a boom mounted low above the coachroof, and a sweeping curve to the deck line.

Neel 43
Neel 43 Courtesy The Manufacturer

The Neel 43 is the smallest yacht in the builder’s lineup, but it’s built to be big on performance. Designed by Marc Lombard, the 43 is intended to be easily operable by a shorthanded crew. The helm station is to starboard with a triple seat for comfort and commanding views.

X-Yachts X4.3 Courtesy The Manufacturer

The X4.3 underwent a serious makeover for 2023, essentially becoming a smaller version of the X5.6. The modifications are ­aplenty, including are designed hull shape with the max beam brought further aft and with soft chines, allowing improved downwind performance and a wider cockpit; a redesigned deck and deck liner; a new sprayhood layout for added protection from weather at sea and improved sightlines at the helm; and larger berths aft, thanks to a slight ­raising of the cockpit floor.

Signature 650
Privilege Signature 650 Courtesy The Manufacturer

Designed by Franck Darnet and Marc Lombard, the Privilege 650 is an evolution of the builder’s 640. New features include an adjustable interior layout, more windows and headroom, a redesigned foredeck and sun lounge, and an aft-facing cockpit lounge. The optional carbon rig adds 19.7 inches to the mast and 11.8 inches to the boom, adding 32 square feet to the genoa and 64.5 square feet to the mainsail.

Oceanis 34.1
Beneteau Oceanis 34.1 Courtesy The Manufacturer

attention to making the onboard experience feel even roomier. For starters, the Oceanis 34.1 has more volume forward in the owner’s stateroom than the 35.1 it replaces in the builder’s model line. That volume is thanks in part to a flared bow and hard chines that run from stem to stern. On a larger scale, Beneteau’s new flagship, the Oceanis Yacht 60, has the same volume as the brand’s 62-foot predecessor.