The wave-piercing bow sheds water, and there's a nice, long waterline, said Greg Stewart, our naval architect of the judging trio. "The back end of the boat is nicely shaped, the chine height is right, and there's fullness forward so it doesn't trip over itself. The reason it's so weight-sensitive is because, at only 2,800 pounds, there's nothing extra in it. It's light and likes being heeled a bit."
Exciting sailing with a bare-bones, trailerable 28-footer — at a price that's more than right for club racers — is what ultimately brought the judges to the Fareast 28R as the overall Boat of the Year. No, it doesn't foil or break new ground, but as Stewart put it, it best delivered on its design purpose. "Because of its price, performance and simplicity, it's a boat that you can have a lot of fun with without much effort. It brings sportboat sailing back to the basics."