Best of 2011: Launches

Here are our picks for some of the best launches of 2011. For more of our Best Of 2011, visit www.yachtingmagazine.com/BestOf2011.

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NISI 2400 Motoryacht: Concept by NISI Yachts, design by Setzer Design Group and launched this past spring. NISI gave the design team a big problem to solve when the company commissioned this new motoryacht. She had to be fast, stingy with fuel, spacious, comfortable and wrapped in an unusually stylish package. (Visit www.yachtingmagazine.com/nisi2400 to read our design review.) If you buy a NISI, give up the notion of traveling under the radar. Who could not pay attention to this yacht? www.nisiyachts.com

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NISI 2400 Motoryacht

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NISI 2400 Motoryacht

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Riva Iseo: There's a certain topic of argument that we hear a lot and have grown a little tired of: What defines a yacht? Our response is that generally you know it when you see it. Take the 27-foot Riva Iseo. This classic craft is a runabout, a tender and, yes, without a doubt, a yacht. www.riva-yacht.com

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Riva Iseo

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The unique Wider 42 is stirring the pot from the Monaco Grand Prix spectator fleet to the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Critics may ask why. Wider's developer, Tilli Antonelli, will be quick to respond "why not?" The most unique feature is the 42's ability to grow — you guessed it — wider. With a few quick releases and a push of a button the deck area expands to nearly 194 square feet, creating a suitable platform for lounging, entertaining and water sports.
Expanding waistline aside, it's the numerous details in this new build that really make the 42 stand out. They're remarkable in their simplicity and flawless execution. Take the featherweight carbon-fiber bench that pulls out from under the fixed bench to form a dinette. Where's the table? It's actually part of the deck that rises up. If additional seating is required, take the 12-volt pump and inflate one of the two sofas that can also morph into chairs. Do you want to take a nap after a large bowl of pasta? The inflatable sofas unfold to form a floating mattress. The helm of the 45-knot, surface drive-propelled boat reflects Antonelli's experience with high-speed craft. The multifunction steering wheel is similar to those used in Formula 1 cars, placing a display in the center of the wheel to make high-speed maneuvers safer. A larger engine package propels the 42 to a speed of more than 50 knots. And what's our favorite detail on the Wider? It would have to be the carbon-fiber toilet crafted by the same company that builds the carbon components for Bugatti. Very cool. www.wider-yachts.com

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Wider 42

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Lionheart Concerto: With naval architecture by Bob Perry and styling by Ken Sawyer, her owner, Lionheart Concerto officially launched in her final form this autumn. Our review of this design, "One Man's Symphony," November 2008, suggested that the boating public might ask what type of pharmaceuticals Mr. Sawyer had taken to conceive this look. It's so unlike "normal" boats. Compromises? We dare you to find one. www.perryboat.com

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Lionheart Concerto

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Lionheart Concerto

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Paul Mann 81: There are certain boats that create a positive buzz along the docks and get people talking. Then there are boats that create screams accompanied by church bells and shouts from mountaintops. Such a boat is the Paul Mann 81 Georgia Girl. Marlin magazine's Dean Travis Clarke recently wrote, "Each time I head to Wanchese [North Carolina] to sea-trial a Paul Mann vessel, I suffer some disbelief: I can't imagine the new one being better or more advanced than the last. But I've also learned that that attitude denies the inevitable. It's not difficult to figure out why this builder remains in demand even in this challenging business environment." www.paulmanncustomboats.com

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Paul Mann 81

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Hatteras GT63: As our editor-at-large, Jay Coyle, said, "While the Hatteras GT63 pays homage to the Carolina fish-boat tradition, in my opinion it is the Hatteras pedigree that makes the GT series special. One should expect a lot from a builder that helped invent the modern fiberglass yacht and coined the term convertible — Hatteras does not disappoint us with the GT63. In taking inspiration from the classic, it has created one." Read Coyle's complete review here. www.hatterasyachts.com

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Hatteras GT63

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Hatteras GT63

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Hemisphere
Designed by VPLP (Van Peteghem Lauriot Prevost), interior by Michael Leach and built by Pendennis, Hemisphere was launched this summer. At 145 feet long by 54 feet 6 inches across the beam, she holds the distinction of being the largest privately owned sloop-rigged sailing catamaran in the world — planet Earth, that is. She'll be available for charter through Burgess Yachts (www.burgessyachts.com) in tropical locations throughout the world, and she carries enough toys to keep a village entertained for weeks. www.pendennis.com

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Lady Trudy: Every now and then a new build comes along that sends a wake-up shot across our bow, leaving us speechless. Enter_ Lady Trudy,_ the 43-meter Navetta from Italian shipyard CRN. The white bulkheads with raised panels and traditional furnishings exude a nautical chic, without descending to the cliché of shell lamps and driftwood sculptures. While some large yachts seem more like a New Orleans funeral parlor, Lady Trudy is all about soothing the soul. She is the seventh hull produced in the Navetta 43 range and, in our opinion, the best. www.crn-yacht.com

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Lady Trudy

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Lady Trudy