If you’re like us, you’ve noticed the years just seem to keep whizzing by. Before you know it, another is slipping by in the wake as a new one grows on the horizon. While 2011 wasn’t the best year the world — or boating — has ever seen, taken as a whole, there was still a lot to celebrate. Here are, in no particular order, our picks for some of the best boats, noteworthy events, interesting people and great nautical reads, and some other yachting flotsam and jetsam we’ve thrown in just because we can, damn it.
NISI 2400 Motoryacht (above, right): 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. See our picks for some of the best launches of 2011.
The Perini Navi Cup at Porto Cervo, Sardinia, qualifies as one of the best events of the 2011 season because of its superb organization, fabulous food, camaraderie among the owners and the fleet’s outrageous total amount of tonnage. Seeing the owners of these hyperexpensive and beautifully crafted yachts racing around the buoys as though it were a Wednesday night beer-can regatta simply has to bring a smile to one’s face. See more of our picks for the best events of 2011.
Several new products that have come out in the last year — like the ACR Aqualink PLB, the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger and the DeLorme inReach — are bringing an increased ability to communicate location and short text messages from almost anywhere, inexpensively. See our picks for some of the best new products, apps, and developments of the new economy for 2011.
Eagles Nest, New Zealand is a little slice of heaven that features five custom villas that are so tastefully executed they would stimulate the dead. See more of our favorite destinations of 2011.
Larry Ellison earned the reputation of a hard-nose billionaire who engaged his BMW Oracle syndicate in a mighty pissing match with the equally wealthy Ernesto Bertarelli and his Alinghi syndicate, leaving a bad taste in a lot of sailors’ mouths. That was 2007-2008. Now he’s trying his best to return the spirit of competition to the Cup and is keeping costs in check. BMW Oracle is responsible for building the AC 45 and bringing technology to the races so fans can watch from shore. The excitement is back. Bravo, Mr. Ellison.
Nigel Cliff’s Holy War: How Vasco da Gama’s Epic Voyages Turned the Tide in a Centuries-Old Clash of Civilizations is one of our picks for the best nautical read. See the rest here.
Weekends on the hook in quiet anchorages never go out of style. See more here.