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SAIL’s 2022 Best Boats Awards

Published on January 8th, 2022

The SAIL Magazine team of Tom Hale, Adam Cort, Charles J. Doane, Zuzana Prochazka, Lydia Mullan, and Tom Dove provide the results of the best boats from their 2022 nominees:

In case you hadn’t heard, the fall 2021 boat show season was one for the record books. If there was ever any doubt the sailing public still enjoys making its way to Newport, Rhode Island, or Annapolis, Maryland, to see the latest in boat design, those doubts were put to rest this past fall.

Boat sales were through the roof, and the lines to get in to see the various boats on display at the Annapolis show, in particular, were unprecedented. Even the weather was outstanding!

Adding to the fun was the fact the marine industry also pulled out all the stops this year. Even in the very darkest days of the pandemic, the naval architects and boatbuilders of the world never lost hope as they continued to do what they both love and do best. The result was another outstanding crop of new boats and as a strong class of Best Boat winners as we’ve seen in years.

As in the past, there were plenty of big new boats to be seen, including, of course, this year’s Best Boats contest flagship winners, the Dufour 61 and Kinetic 54. Equally fun, though, were some of the smaller boats on offer, including two great daysailers that received a nod as Best Boats winners: the J/9 from Rhode Island-based J/Boats, and a brand-new performance catboat of all things. How cool is that!

On a personal note, it sure was nice being able to enjoy the energy out on the docks and reconnect with old friends.

The kind of “maritime road show” that the industry put together last year to connect buyers with boats was interesting, but it sure was nice getting back to running SAIL’s Best Boats contest the old-fashioned way—fanning out at the boat shows and having a chance to see all the industry has to offer in one place.

As always, congratulation to the winners of this year’s Best Boat contest, and thanks to boatbuilders, naval architects and sailors everywhere for keeping the faith. – Full report

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