Now in its 25th year, Sailing World‘s Boat of the Year contest continues to deliver the most anticipated awards in the sailboat-building industry. Topping this year’s field of winners at the overall Boat of the Year is the RS100 by RS Sailing (Hants, England).
The RS100 and five other new boats won awards from an independent panel of experts, who tested 17 nominees following the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., in October. Selections were based on extensive inspections and sea trials of all the boats. Sailing World’s January/February 2011 issue will feature all six winners.
“Other builders have tried to design the ultimate singlehanded dinghy with an asymmetric spinnaker, which is a challenge given the need for one sailor to handle a lot of sail-control systems,” said Sailing World editor and Boat of the Year director Dave Reed. “But over two years of prototype development, the engineers at RS Sailing refined every little detail of this boat, and it shows. It’s an impressively technical 14-footer designed by and for avid performance sailors.
“I was wowed when I saw the boat for the first time,” said Boat of the Year judge and naval architect Greg Stewart. “And when I sailed it, the boat had a very positive feel: a good stiff mast, tight rudder system. The whole package is very well executed, has great builder support, and because of this has excellent prospects for growth as a one-design class.”
Stewart’s sentiments were echoed by Chuck Allen, a professional sailmaker and Boat of the Year judge, who said, “I was able to get into the RS100 and quickly figure out how the controls worked. All the sail-control systems are very clean and work without friction. The RS100 was the best boat we sailed this year — by a lot.”
Other winners in Sailing World‘s 2011 Boat of the Year competition are:
• Best Crossover: Beneteau First 30 (Beneteau USA, Marion, S.C.)
• Best One-Design Keelboat: J/111 (J/Boats Inc., Newport, R.I.)
• Best Daysailor: C.W. Hood 32 (C.W. Hood Yachts, Marblehead, Mass.)
• Best Recreational: Hobie Mirage Tandem Island (Hobie Cat Co., Oceanside, Calif.)
• Best Grand Prix: Gunboat 66 (Gunboat, Newport, R.I.)
More Boat of the Year coverage:**