Winter Park, Fla. – Cruising World magazine’s Boat of the Year judges have rewarded outstanding sailing performance, technical excellence and good old fashion value, naming the Gunboat 55 catamaran the Domestic Boat of the Year and the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 the Import Boat of the Year for 2015.
When the judges tallied their votes, the two top awards, chosen from 19 nominees in six categories, went to two sailboats at opposite ends of the spectrum. The Gunboat, also named Best Multihull Cruiser, is a carbon-fiber rocket ship and was the most expensive boat in this year’s field of entries. The Jeanneau 349, also named Best Pocket Cruiser, was one of the smallest boats tested and also was the most affordable.
Other winning boats recognized in the 2015 Boat of the Year contest included:
- Best Midsize Cruiser: Beneteau Oceanis 35
- Best Cruiser-Racer: Salona 44
- Best Full-Size Cruiser Under 50 Feet: Garcia Exploration 45
- Best Full-Size Cruiser Over 50 Feet: Dufour 560 Grand’ Large
Every year, Cruising World magazine recognizes the coveted Boat of the Year winners, based on the results of inspections by an independent panel of three judges. Testing takes place dockside during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, with sea trials of each boat held in the week following the show. This year, the sailing portion of the contest took place in winds ranging from a mere zephyr to over 30 knots.
The winning boats in the six divisions were determined by how well each builder met the stated design purpose. The judges’ impartial mission was to reward excellence, without regard to the bottom line. Boats ranging from 32 to 57 feet and costing anywhere from $125,000 to $2.1 million were in the race to take home the top awards.
“Thanks to the wide diversity of nominees, our 2015 Boat of the Year contest was one of the most interesting and unusual in the history of the event,” said Herb McCormick, Cruising World‘s senior editor and BOTY director. “The two overall winners couldn’t have been more different. The Domestic Boat of the Year, the Gunboat 55, is a state-of-the-art high-tech catamaran built to exceedingly high standards at the company’s new plant in North Carolina. The Import Boat of the Year, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349, is a compact French flyer that represents true value to both entry level and experienced sailors.”
McCormick later stated as the competition proved, there really is something for everyone in the new-boat marketplace for 2015. For more information, visit cruisingworld.com.
About Cruising World
Cruising World is your passport for exploring the world’s coastlines and oceans while voyaging under sail. Its contributors inspire and entertain through stories, pictures and videos that underscore the beauty and adventure of sailing, while providing instruction on the disciplines of seamanship, navigation and boat handling. The Cruising World community is made up of experienced, committed sailors and boat owners. No matter their long-range sailing plans, Cruising World’s mission is to nurture their dreams with practical how-to information and stirring real-life adventure features.