Catamarans, catamarans, catamarans: Never in 22-year reputation for our yearly Boat of the Year competition have actually we seen many catamarans. Indeed, of this two dozen nominees when you look at the 2017 competition, completely half the entries sailed in on two hulls; there were so many cats that it took three separate divisions to classify them.
It reminded united states of a vintage tale. a music critic which caught a nj singer’s act before he had been an enormous star famously stated, “I saw rock ’n’ roll’s future, and its own name is Bruce Springsteen.” As cats are now actually solidly established once the fastest-growing segment within the sailboat business, we possibly may now be able to say quite similar thing: We’ve heard of future of boatbuilding, as well as its name is multihulls.
To underscore the point, for 2017, our independent panel of judges (view web page 88) named one of the kitties built-in Southern Africa, the quick and stylish Balance 526, as year’s top import. Heck, perhaps the Domestic Boat of the season invoked the letters “c-a-t” in its name; naturally, we’re speaing frankly about a totally found cruising monohull stated in Florida, the Catalina 425.
The Year of the kitties, but had been definitely the theme of this 2017 fleet. They came in a dizzying, dazzling assortment of stripes. There have been full-fledged South African voyaging kitties (St. Francis 50 MK II, Royal Cape Majestic 530); versatile cruising kitties from France (Lagoon 42 and 450 S, Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40); cats directed right in the charter trade (Bali 4.0 Lounge, Bavaria Nautitech 46 Fly, Leopard 45); a pet with appearance any particular one nautical journalist likened to a “running shoe” (Xquisite X5); an incredibly sporty cat built in Vietnam (Seawind 1190); and another Florida item with an open flooring plan for day charters (Gemini Freestyle).
Kitties weren’t your whole tale, however; actually, they certainly were far from it. Regarding the dozen yachts in the monohull side of the fleet, production cruising ships continued to have larger and larger (Beneteau Oceanis 62, Jeanneau 58). Along with those French products, the worldwide field included yachts from Denmark (X-Yachts X4), Germany (Dehler 34), Italy (Solaris 50), Sweden (Hallberg-Rassy 40 MK II) as well as Slovenia (Elan Impression 45). And it also was a good year for aficionados of overall performance cruisers, with the Alerion Sport 30, Elan E4 and J/112E joining the Dehler in another of the most competitive divisions when you look at the contest.
As always, the judging consisted of separate dockside assessments and water tests, and took place after and during the annual U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, in October. Throughout the after that 16 pages, we’ll delve deep to the individual courses, announce the winners, and explore what separated all of them from their particular competition. After that, on pages 88 and 89, you’ll discover specifications and stats in the whole fleet, email address for the respective makers, judges’ credentials and more.
Like every Boat of the Year competition, the 2017 version took alone unique personality. It could being a season for cats, but once all ended up being stated and done, the champions represented a varied mixture of well-found cruising ships in most manner of shapes, sizes and styles. Step right up and look them aside.