Sailing World Announces Boat of the Year Winners for 2008

Laser SB3 wins overall honors; winners named for four other categories.

Sailing World magazine announced today the winners of the biggest annual honors in sailboat building, the Boat of the Year awards. Topping the list for 2008, the Laser SB3 was named overall winner. The Laser SB3, a 20-foot high-performance sportboat, was selected over 17 other new designs. The 2008 contest marked the 24th time the top magazine for racing has honored the best in boat design and building. (For SW's complete 2008 Boat of the Year coverage, click here.)"One of the coolest boats was the SB3, our overall winner this year," remarked BOTY judge Chuck Allen, a former college All-American dinghy sailor. "The judges liked the boat's simplicity, legs-in style sailing, and strong one-design class rule." The Laser SB3 is Europe's fastest growing one-design raceboat. Vanguard Sailboats (Portsmouth, R.I.) and its parent company, Performance Sailcraft Europe (England), introduced the SB3 to U.S. sailors for the first time this fall.Sailing World awarded honors for Best One-Design Dinghy to the Laser Vago XD, another product of Vanguard and Performance Sailcraft Europe. The Best Daysailer award went to the Sabre Spirit, built by Sabre Yachts (South Casco, Maine). The Danish-built X-41 One-Design took the Best Crossover title, and the Club Swan 42, built by Finland's Nautor's Swan, was selected as the Best Offshore One-Design. All the winners will be featured in the January/February issue of Sailing World, due to hit newsstands in mid-December. The Sabre Spirit, winner of the Best Daysailer, was a favorite among the judges. "Sabre has put together a polished product that sails well and is easy to handle, both shorthanded and fully crewed," said BOTY judge Alan Andrews, a noted yacht designer from Long Beach, Calif.The winner for the Best Offshore One-Design, the Club Swan 42, was heralded for its performance and concept. "The sailing capabilities, layout, overall construction and finish of the CS42 will make this boat very much a force on the international playing field," stated BOTY judge Barrett Holby, a boatbuilder from Bristol, R.I. The X-41 One-Design took the award for Best Crossover, a boat that bestrides the gulf between racer and cruiser with aplomb. "X-Yachts has paid a lot of attention to both the broad-brush concept and also to details with the 41," said Andrews. "It has a combination of hull shape, keel, rudder, and rig that sails as a race boat should, is relatively easy to keep in the groove and wins races."The Laser Vago XD took honors as the best One-Design Dinghy, a boat capable of sailing with one or two sailors, and boasting great performance up and downwind. "The XD is, quite simply, a ton of fun to sail," stated Allen. "The Vago has plenty of versatility, and the spacious cockpit enables you to tack and jibe with ease and pull off quick maneuvers."An independent panel of experts picked the winners from the 17 nominated boats announced during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, in October. For more information on all the winners, go to www.sailingworld.com.2008 Sailing World Boat of the Year WinnersOverall WinnerLaser SB3Best One-Design DinghyLaser Vago XDBest DaysailerSabre SpiritBest Offshore One-Design Club Swan 42Best CrossoverX-41 One-Design

For SW's complete 2008 Boat of the Year coverage, click here