For the past quarter-century, the sailboat industry has recognized the best in sailboat building through Sailing World and Cruising World’s annual Boat of the Year awards. Today at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., the ’09 BOTY awards took center stage as the two magazines announced the latest nominees.
Boat models introduced to the North American market between the 2007 and 2008 Annapolis Shows were eligible to be nominated. First-round nominating judges scrutinized the latest boats at the Newport International Boat Show in Rhode Island and earlier this week before the U.S. Sailboat Show got underway; over the next week, nominees will be evaluated by independent judging panels during dockside inspections and sail testing on Chesapeake Bay.
Sailing World has nominated 16 performance-oriented models for its awards as follows: Archambault 35, Archambault 40, Andrews 28, Bavaria 38, BC 27, Bug, Dufour 40 Performance 40 +, Grand Soleil 43, Jeanneau Sun Fast 3200, Melges 20, Open 6.50, RS Tera, Santa Cruz 37, Summit King 40, Summit MD 35, and the X-34.
Cruising World nominated 21 boats, split into 6 categories:
All-Purpose Cruisers (30 to 40 Feet) Beneteau 34, Catalina 375, Bavaria 38 Cruiser; Mid-size Cruisers Dufour Performance 40+, Grand Soleil 43, Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 44i, Hunter 45 DS
Full-size Cruisers Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49i, Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 50 DS, Dufour 525, Beneteau 54
Long-Distance Cruisers Malo 37, Southerly 42 RST, Island Packet 460
Racer/Cruisers Archambault A40, Santa Cruz 37, X-34
Special-Purpose Cruisers Hunter’s The Edge, Moxie M37 Island Hopper, Moorings 43.3, Sunsail 44
“This year’s new models offer innovative design, good value, and, in more cases than usual, outstanding performance,” said John Burnham, editorial director for the magazines. “Our judges are looking forward to eight rigorous days of full-scale dockside inspections and on-water.”
The Cruising World awards will focus on production boats laid out and equipped for coastal and offshore cruising and voyaging, while judges on the Sailing World panel will concentrate on boats designed and built with racing in mind.
The nominees and the public will find out who won in the January issue of Cruising World and the January/February issue of Sailing World, both available on newsstands in mid-December. The 2009 awards mark the 25th anniversary of the BOTY awards from Sailing World and the 16th for Cruising World.