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Sail Away for the Day

Howard Walker

Alerion Express AE38
  The Original
   Twenty-one years ago, Pearson Marine Group in Warren, Rhode Island, was credited with creating the gene of the “gentleman’s day sailer” with its swift and elegant Alerion 28-footer.
Pearson Marine Group - Alerion Express AE38 - luxury day sailers   It was a hard-to-beat combo of a drop-dead gorgeous boat with classic lines cloaking the latest technology, the emphasis on cockpit rather than cabin and the ease of sailing that lets one person slip the lines, head out and simply enjoy the ride.
   It’s a concept that’s been carried through to each of Pearson’s Alerion models that these days include 20, 28, 33, 38 and a brand new 41.
   But it’s the elegant AE38 that makes our pulse race. With its sleek, low cabin and trademark elongated, stainless-rimmed oval windows, along with a stretched cockpit capable of accommodating eight in comfort, it defines the term ship-shape.
   Its rig definitely falls into the category of “keep it simple.” It features an I-beam strong carbon mast that does away with the need for a backstay. That allows a whopper of a mainsail and smaller, self-tending, self-tacking jib up front. Give it a stiff breeze and it comes alive and sails like a dream.
   And of course it’s equipped with all the toys, like electric winches, single-line furling, 48-inch teak wheel, and a punchy 39-horse three-cylinder Yanmar diesel coupled to an easy maneuvering Saildrive leg.
   Sailboats just don’t come prettier than this.


  • Length: 38’3”
  • Beam: 10’8”
  • Draft: 5’11”
  • Displacement: 11,000 lbs.
  • Sail area: 879 sq. ft.
  • Power: 39-hp Yanmar diesel with Saildrive
  • Price: From $384,000 (


Morris 36
  New England Glam
   Flag-blue hull. Check. Teak decking. Check. Lashings of mirror-finished varnish. Check. Timeless elegance. Check.
   If you’re craving some true Maine boat-builder craftsmanship and quality, the ravishing Morris 36 has your name on her stern.
   Founder Tom Morris launched Morris Yachts in 1972 and has been turning out some of the most magnificent handcrafted sailing vessels ever since. For the M36, the company partnered with legendary New York yacht design firm Sparkman & Stephens to create this truly splendid model.
   Simple to sail—Morris Yachts offers a complimentary one-on-one training course in your home waters to help you quickly learn the ropes, literally—this sleek 36-footer features a self-tacking jib, push-button electric winch-operated main and a high-tech carbon mast and boom.
Morris Yachts - Morris 36

   There’s room in the cockpit for six adults and space below for a couple and two guests. Headroom in the cabin is understandably low at 4 feet, 10 inches to keep the exterior elegance, but there’s a small galley and separate heads, as well as a comfy double berth in the bow.
   This is the boat for a relaxed sunset cruise with friends or a long weekend in the Bahamas. Or a rail-down trot past the yacht club to watch jaws drop. After all, the M36 is the boat Yachting World magazine described as “the nautical equivalent of a Stradivarius.” Well said.


  • Length: 36’1”
  • Beam: 10’1”
  • Draft: 4’6”
  • Displacement: 8,900 lbs.
  • Sail area: 558 sq. ft.
  • Power: 21-hp Yanmar diesel with Saildrive
  • Price: From $398,000 (


Hinckley DS42
  High-Tech Classic
   In the quest to combine old-world charm with twenty-first century technology, look no farther than the absolutely gorgeous Hinckley DS42 day sailer. Admiring that stately wooden mast towering into the sky? Actually, it’s a fake.
Hinckley Yachts - Hinckley DS42   You see, a real wooden mast is just too darned heavy. Today’s solution for reduced weight is super-stiff and lightweight carbon fiber. The only trouble is a black carbon rig looks a little out of place on a classic yacht. Kind of like Justin Bieber wearing pinstripes.
   So the craftsmen at Hinckley Yachts in Warren, Rhode Island have the carbon spars painstakingly painted by a local artisan to mimic real wood grain. In the design world, it’s known as faux bois.
   All we can say is the end result is indiscernible and complements perfectly the classic lines of the DS42.
Of course, the high-tech construction doesn’t stop there. The hull features a process called Dual-Guard, which involves the bonding of layers of Kevlar on an inner skin of carbon fiber for maximum strength and stiffness.
   All this adds up to a yacht that sails as beautifully and elegantly as it looks. And part of this is down to the Hinckley’s hydraulically operated lifting keel, which can vary the depth of the 4,800-pound lead bulb from seven feet to a very Florida-friendly four feet.
   If there’s a benchmark or standard setter in this ever-growing day sailer class, this stunning Hinckley DS42 is it.


  • Length: 42’3”
  • Beam: 10’6”
  • Draft: 4’–7’
  • Displacement: 14,000 lbs.
  • Sail area: 730 sq. ft.
  • Power: 27-hp Yanmar diesel with Saildrive
  • Price: $750,000 (

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February 2015