Boat of the Year 2019 Specialists

Published on December 26th, 2018

Sailing World magazine named the Figaro Beneteau 3 as its 2019 Boat of the Year in October 2018, after evaluating the latest high-performance raceboats introduced in North America. The 35-foot one-design, built by Beneteau (Chevine, France, and Marion, South Carolina) is designed for shorthanded offshore racing enthusiasts, and utilizes new and innovative foil technology.

Here are some of the 2019 Boat of the Year Category winners:

RS21: 2019 Keelboat
A s finely crafted, enjoyable to sail and otherwise perfect as the RS21 may be, there is one problem. For it to become the next popular keelboat, yacht clubs and sailors beholden to ancient local fleets must step up and embrace change. Today, there is a better boat to set the hook deeper into these sailors, and that boat is the RS21. This a club racer first. A one-design second. Full report.

IC37 by Melges: 2019 Corinthian
For the early years of the New York YC’s Invitational Cup, its biennial Corinthian battle of the burgees, the club relied on privately owned Club Swan 42s. Once the 42s began scattering around the world as owners sold them off, however, the club had to seek an alternative. Committee meeting after meeting eventually led flag officers to agree to bite the bullet and build a fleet from scratch. Full report.

RS Cat 14XL: 2019 Beach Cat
When the time comes for Boat of the Year judge Chuck Allen to test the RS Cat 14XL, he jumps on board and quickly organizes ropes and control lines before cinching the chin strap of his goofy hat with a long neck flap. He pushes off from the Highfield RIB and looks upwind for the next big gust. The catamaran’s tall heavy-duty mainsail fills, and he leans forward, snugs the jib sheet and jets away, with rooster tails spitting from the roto-molded transoms of the catamaran. Soon, the weather hull is skimming above the surface and the boat is in perfect balance. Flying along at speed with ease and grace, Allen’s cap flap is streaming behind his head. He’s perched in the weather hull’s concave seat, comfy and cruising with a cool-guy cat-sailor pose. Full report.

TF10: 2019 Foiler
Seventy-five-year-old foiling fanatic Malcolm Gefter, dressed in tattered neoprene sailing gear, with an impact-padded PFD and sailing helmet loosely clipped and askew, is beaming ear to ear as he watches his 35-foot trimaran stream across the horizon, hovering 3 or 4 feet above the water with plumes of spray spitting from its rudders. We’re chasing them in our RIB, the big diesel outboard humming at full speed. On board the trimaran is one experienced pro and three of our Boat of the Year personnel. The three of them have zero foiling experience and less than 30 minutes on this boat. Full report.

Beneteau First 14: 2019 Dinghy
The thing is fast!” These are the first words from judge Chuck Allen’s mouth after a breezy morning test session with the Beneteau First 14 on which he and the BOTY team carved wakes all across Narragansett Bay. In 10 to 15 knots of wind, the boat most definitely scoots along as promised. Hours earlier, the judges knew very little about the boat, but when it comes time to wrap up the test, they’re like teens on a joyride — they don’t want to get off. Full report.

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