Sailing magazines hand out Boat of the Year Awards

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Cruising World and Sailing World 2004 Boat of the Year Awards were handed out yesterday, with honors for best overall vessel going to Hallberg-Rassy 40 and the J/133, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, World Publications reported in a statement yesterday.

The Hallberg-Rassy 40, which took home top honors, was designed by Germán Frers and built in Sweden, the company stated.

"The Hallberg-Rassy has maintained a lot of traditional types of quality while updating the underbody to produce a boat that sails and handles well," said judge Steve Callahan. Judge Nonnie Thompson added, "It met my desire for balance, comfort and safety with class. I would be proud to row away from this yacht."

The Sailing World judges had just as many kind words for the J/133 in the magazine’s 20th annual competition.

"The J/133 has remarkable acceleration for a boat of its size," said judge Chuck Allen. "A great feel for a dinghy sailor. We had it locked in at 7.6-7.9 knots upwind, and you had to really work to get it to fall out of the groove. Downwind was even better; the kite is huge."

"Experience shows, especially when it comes to boat design, and very few boat builders have as much experience as J Boats," said Tony Bessinger, Sailing World’s Boat of the Year Director.

The awards ceremony also honored a variety of boats in several categories:

Cruising World gave out the following awards:

  • Best Liveaboard Cruising Boat: Hallberg-Rassy 40
  • Best Production Cruising Boat: Etap 37s
  • Best Performance 40-Footer: Elan 40
  • Best Performance Cruising Boat: J/133
  • Best Full-Size Cruising Boat: Saga 48
  • Best Deluxe Cruising Boat: Discovery 55
  • Best Value: Beneteau 373
  • Most Innovative: Gunboat 62
  • Sailing World handed out the following awards:

  • Best Value Racer/Cruiser: Wauquiez Centurion 40s
  • Best Performance Design: Farr 36
  • Models introduced to the North American market between the 2002 and 2003 U.S. Sailboat Shows in Annapolis, Md., were judged by two independent panels, which evaluated and tested boats for the respective magazines.

    The Cruising World awards focused on production boats laid out and equipped for coastal and offshore cruising and voyaging. Sailing World concentrated on boats designed and built with racing in mind, according to the company.

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