For Immediate ReleaseContact: Dean TurcolCommunications Director 407-571-4732Dean.Turcol@worldpub.net Cruising World and Sailing World Announce Boat of the Year Winners for 2004St. Petersburg, FL, Nov. 6 -- Considered the Oscars of the sailing industry, the Cruising World and Sailing World 2004 Boat of the Year Awards were handed out here tonight at an all-star gala. Top honors for best overall vessel went to the Hallberg-Rassy 40 and the J/133, which beat out 31 other nominees.Members of the marine industry attended the gala awards reception at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club to learn which boats would join the rank of the BOTY winners. All guests raised glasses of Champagne Mumm to toast the Hallberg Rassy 40 which captured the top honors in the cruising category and the J/133, the overall performance winner, and the 10 other category winners (see list below). Judges for Cruising World, the nations leading magazine for people who cruise under sail, raved about the Hallberg-Rassy 40, calling it a true sailors boat. It was designed by Germán Frers and built in Sweden. The Hallberg-Rassy has maintained a lot of traditional types of quality while updating the underbody to produce a boat that sails and handles well, said judge Steve Callahan. Judge Nonnie Thompson added, It met my desire for balance, comfort and safety with class. I would be proud to row away from this yacht.In Cruising Worlds January issue covering its 10th annual Boat of the Year Awards, Executive Editor Tim Murphy further describes the highlights of the Hallberg-Rassy 40, noting the quality of its sandwich construction of fiberglass and Divinycell foam, through-bolted hull and deck, light-mahogany interior and ideal cockpit layout. Through and through, shes a vessel that was thought out for a couple who want to be underway comfortably, he writes.The Sailing World judges had just as many kind words for the J/133 in that magazines 20th annual competition. The J/133 has remarkable acceleration for a boat of its size, said judge Chuck Allen. A great feel for a dinghy sailor. We had it locked in at 7.6-7.9 knots upwind, and you had to really work to get it to fall out of the groove. Downwind was even better; the kite is huge.Sailing the 43-footer made its selection as Sailing Worlds Boat of the Year a done deal. Experience shows, especially when it comes to boat design, and very few boat builders have as much experience as J Boats, said Tony Bessinger, Sailing Worlds Boat of the Year Director. The awards ceremony, held at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, also honored a variety of boats in several categories:Cruising World· Best Liveaboard Cruising Boat: Hallberg-Rassy 40 · Best Production Cruising Boat: Etap 37s· Best Performance 40-Footer: Elan 40· Best Performance Cruising Boat: J/133· Best Full-Size Cruising Boat: Saga 48· Best Deluxe Cruising Boat: Discovery 55· Best Value: Beneteau 373· Most Innovative: Gunboat 62_Sailing World_· Best Value Racer/Cruiser: Wauquiez Centurion 40s· Best Performance Design: Farr 36Models introduced to the North American market between the 2002 and 2003 U.S. Sailboat Shows in Annapolis, Maryland were judged by two independent panels, which evaluated and tested boats for the respective magazines. The Cruising World awards focused on production boats laid out and equipped for coastal and offshore cruising and voyaging. Sailing World concentrated on boats designed and built with racing in mind.The celebration for the winners was also supported by Mount Gay Rum, Heineken and Amstel Light. Cruising World, published monthly by World Publications, is considered the bible for blue-water sailors. Cruising World nurtures cruising sailors dreams with practical how-to information and stirring real-life adventure articles.Sailing World is published 10 times a year by World Publications. Advice on the latest boat models and equipment, as well as racing tips, tactics and techniques, make it a must-read for sailors who race to win.