Harken Derm

2017 Boat of the Year Winners Announced

Published on December 19th, 2016

After Sailing World magazine announced the nominees for the 2017 Boat of the Year awards at the U.S. Sailboat Show 2016 in Annapolis, Md, the annual arduous task of selecting the best of the best would follow the show.

Sailing World editor Dave Reed noted the challenge ahead for the judges. “We have an incredible diversity of boats for our judges to experience this year. From the 14-foot foiling Waspz dinghy to the Italian-built Solaria 50, which is a thing of beauty, we have the sport covered.”

Twenty knots of wind will make any good boat fun to sail, but to really appreciate it, you need light air. When the boat is right, you can feel it, hear it and see it. Performance flaws stand out. It was with this understanding that the judges approached the annual Boat of the Year sailing trials.

A high-pressure area parked over Annapolis as sailmaker Chuck Allen, naval architect Greg Stewart and boatbuilder Tom Rich powered their way through 13 new raceboats over five days.

2016-12-19_9-05-03They picked the boats apart on land, drilling builders for details, and two hours on the water with each entry fueled long nightly debates. Winners had to nail three things: design purpose, quality and performance.

The Diam 24 One Design, a French-built 24-foot trimaran for intermediate and advanced sailors, was the judges’ unanimous choice for the overall title, impressing them with its quality build, refined sail controls and impeccable performance. In addition to the top honor, the Diam 24 One Design was also named the year’s best multihull.

Here are the judges’ best new rides for 2017:

Division Winners
• Best Multihull: Diam 24 One-Design
• Best Crossover: J/112E
• Best Recreational Racer: Seascape 24
• Best Dinghy: VX EVO
• Best One-Design: Waszp

Overall Winner: Diam 24 One-Design

“This is the first time in many years where a boat that looked really sexy at the dock actually outperformed everything on the water too,” said Rich, a veteran boatbuilder.

“The Diam 24 is a unique offering in the one-design landscape in that it’s a pure performance trimaran meant to appeal to experienced multihull sailors and newcomers,” said Reed, Boat of the Year director. “Most U.S. racing happens in monohull keelboats, so this boat delivers something different at an attractive price. Plus, with a lightweight trimaran comes exciting sailing and a stable platform.

“The Diam class and its builder have had a few years refining the boat. It showed extremely well, and there’s a lot more to this boat than meets the eye, especially with its construction and handling. Anyone who sails the Diam in fresh breeze will understand why the judges raved about it.”

Details here: www.sailingworld.com/boat-of-the-year-2017

2017 Boat of the Year Nominees:
J/112E
Corsair Pulse 600
Diam 24
Fareast 24
X-Yachts X4
Elan E4
Topaz Cat 16
Alerion Sport 30
Seascape 24
VX Evo
Dehler 34
Solaris 50
Waspz

Source: Sailing World

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