Best Boat Nominees 2023

Published on September 21st, 2022

It’s boat show season in the USA which triggers the magazines to host their ‘best boat’ contests. Here is the preview from SAIL magazine:


The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. Some of it is timing. Some of it is just the way of the world. Either way, it can be fascinating to see the evolution of the boatbuilding industry over the years, as has been evident in SAIL magazine’s annual Best Boats contest.

Recently, for example, it really looked at times as if it was becoming a “multihull world,” so to speak, with cats and tris occupying an ever-larger segment of each new Best Boats class. Same thing with the ever-increasing size of the boats coming down the way, as the world’s production builders began inching their way into megayacht territory. The class of 2023, though, has largely turned these trends on their head.

This is not to say there aren’t some fine new multihulls out there, including the Balance 442 and a number of other comfy-looking cruisers from Bali, Lagoon, and Fountaine-Pajot. However, the monohull contingent is more than holding its own this time around.

It also feels like a whole lot of mid-sized boats are leading the charge these days as opposed to the big boys. Examples include the J/45, the Dehler 38SQ, and a pair of Beneteau’s in the mid-30ft range. Then, of course, there’s the latest inflatable skiff from France’s Tiwal. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, indeed!

One thing that hasn’t changed is the way SAIL’s Best Boats panel will once again be fanning out across the industry throughout this year’s boat show season in search of its favorite new designs. Look for our selection of winners in SAIL’s January issue. For nominees, click here.

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