2016 Boat of the Year Winners Announced
Published on December 21st, 2015
Middletown, RI (December 21, 2015) – Sailing World magazine revealed the winners of its Boat of the Year Awards program, naming the Fareast 28R as its 2016 Boat of the Year. The 28-foot race boat was built in China by Fareast Trading LLC, and imported by Sturgis Boat Works of Massachusetts.
The magazine’s independent judges – sailmaker Chuck Allen, boatbuilder Tom Rich, and naval architect Greg Stewart – tested 14 performance sailboats following the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis. When the inspections and sail tests on the Chesapeake Bay were all said and done, the Fareast 28R stood out for its value, easy single-point launching, all-around performance and construction quality.
New to North America, the 28R class already sails in Europe and China and was recently approved as an ISAF one-design status. Judge Rich noted the simplicity is what he liked most. “It doesn’t pretend to be anything but a simple, bang-around-the-cans racer.” The Fareast 28R requires a crew of five to six people and compared to boats its size, the judges noted it was a steal.
“Every year we talk about bang for your buck, and this time we have one that really delivers on that,” said Allen. “It sails awesome, it’s really simple, and for someone looking for a new boat for club racing, it’s perfect. It’s a lot of boat for what they’re asking for.”
Other award-winning entries included:
• Best Crossover: Grand Soleil 43 (Italy)
• Best Recreational Racer: Seascape 18 (Slovenia)
• Best Dinghy: Melges 14 (Wisconsin, United States)
• Best Multihill: Nacra 15 (Thailand)
“The fleet was loaded with designs that would appeal to anyone — dinghy sailors, club racers, cat sailors and total neophytes,” said Dave Reed, Sailing World’s Editor and Boat of the Year Director. “The 2016 Boat of the Year judging wasn’t easy, and is a testament to the superb quality and value for the finalists.”
In addition, an innovation award was given out to Whisper (United Kingdom). Made strictly for one-design foiling, it’s rigid and lightweight build had simple foil controls and is valued for excitement. The 17-foot catamaran surmounts the price and complexity barriers with an entry-level, anyone-can-do-it package and can foil within minutes of racing.