Best Of The Best 2006: Easy Rider
In 1994, Hinckley gave aging sailboat customers a gracious way out of the cockpit when it introduced its Picnic Boat. Now America’s most venerated name in production sailboats may entice them back—and perhaps also lure a new generation to the pastime—by presenting a vessel that eliminates the inconveniences from sailing. The Hinckley DS42, a marvelous day sailer designed by classics master Bruce King that starts at about $700,000, can be sailed by one person while six or eight friends relax in the spacious cockpit. Departing a dock or a mooring is a snap when using the boat’s single-lever joystick, which controls a quiet electric engine powered by a dozen 12-volt batteries and a smooth-purring 4.5-kilowatt generator. Hydraulics control the lifting keel, mainsheet, halyards, and jib furler, and the carbon/Kevlar hull sails joyfully, even in light air.