SAIL’s 2021 Best Boats Awards

Published on January 6th, 2021

by SAIL editors
The past year has been a strange and tragic one, to say the least. A funny thing happened, though, on the way to everybody just saying to hell with it and giving up. Namely, people—and sailors, in particular—didn’t.

Despite the uncertainty, sailors from coast-to-coast took to the water like never before, regardless of the almost complete lack of rallies, regattas, and, of course, boat shows. Similarly, the marine industry didn’t stop doing what it’s always done, whether it be designing and building new boats, or reporting on the latest crop of boats to set sail here in North America.

The result was a kind of low-key, nomadic boat show this past fall, as the SAIL staff made its way up and down the Eastern Seaboard at the same time those same boatbuilders who usually congregate at the Newport and Annapolis shows set out on a series of treks of their own making connections with potential customers.

Truth be told, we (and I suspect the boatbuilders, as well) weren’t entirely sure we were going to be able to pull it off. But the end result far exceeded any of our expectations, both in terms of the number of boats we were able to sail and the boats themselves.

Annapolis, in particular, felt a little like a kind of low-key gathering of the tribes. We only wish more of our friends could have been there. Fingers crossed we’ll all be getting together again the way we should in the fall of 2021.

In the meantime, congratulations to everyone—the sailing public as well as the boatbuilding industry—for not losing faith. And congratulations, especially, to this year’s Best Boats winners. Kudos on another outstanding effort in these challenging times.

For the winners recognized in seven categories, click here.

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