SAIL’s 2018 Best Boats Awards

Published on November 11th, 2017

SAIL Magazine has announced the winners of SAIL’s 2018 Best Boats Awards. If there’s one word that sums up the Best Boats Class of 2018, it would have to be “performance.” This is most obvious in the simple fact that the panel of judges exercised its editorial prerogative to create an additional third performance category, to accommodate three great new speedsters.

However, as any old salt can tell you, there’s a lot more to good performance afloat than pure boatspeed. Equally important is the way a boat treats its crew, whether it’s resting on the hook in a quiet anchorage or off soundings battling a gale.

A perfect example of this alternative kind of performance can be found aboard the winner in the smaller cruising monohull category, which features a host of innovations aimed at increasing comfort and usability afloat.

Similarly, the winners in the two cruising multihull categories combine outstanding handling under sail with outstanding accommodations, no mean feat aboard a boat type in which light weight is critical to performance. Then, of course, there is the winner in the “systems” category, in which performance means being able to store and easily sail the boat even if you happen to live in, say, a postage-stamp-sized loft in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

Finally, a special shout-out to the smallest of the performance-category winners. Every now and then a boat comes along that moves the world of sailing forward, think the Hobie 14 or the Laser. Could the Foiling UFO follow in these boats’ footsteps? Time will tell. In the meantime, it sure is fun to see this kind of innovation is still alive and well at the cutting edge of naval architecture.

The winners of SAIL’s 2018 Best Boats Awards are as follows:
• Large Monohull 50ft and above: Hanse 588
• Large Multihull 50ft and above: HH66
• Monohull Cruising Boat 40-50ft: Fountaine Pajot Saona 47
• Multihull Cruising Boat 40-50ft: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440
• Performance Boat 30 to 40ft: J/121
• Performance Boat over 40ft: ClubSwan 50
• Multihull Cruising Boat Under 40ft: Maine Cat 38
• Performance Boat under 30ft: Foiling UFO
• Daysailer: RS Zest
• Systems: Reverso AIR

Source: SAIL Magazine

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