Just as Spring finally arrives in Newport, I'm busy packing my bags to head for Strictly Sail Pacific. But before I trade one chilly sea breeze for another, there are a couple new boats to catch up on.
The company formerly known as Switch Catamarans has regrouped and now goes by the name of Swiss Catamaran Concept SA (www.switch-cat.com). Based in Geneva, the company no longer makes the Switch 51, but is developing a new 55-foot catamaran that they expect to launch in 2009.
A little closer to the sea, Dutch boat builder Contest Yachts(www.contestyachts.com) plans to unveil its new 60CS at the HISWA Amsterdam Seaport Boat Show in September. The boat, designed by Georg Nissen, has twin helms and follows the current rig trend of a large mainsail and small genoa for ease of handling. Hull number one hit the water in March and the company reports six more are on order.
As one catamaran builder put it this week, there continues to be good activity at the large end of the market. Not as many leads, but the same number of qualified buyers.