Cruising World magazine has recognized six boats in its annual Boat of the Year contest, with top honors going to the Gunboat 55 catamaran as the Domestic Boat of the Year and the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 as the Import Boat of the Year for 2015.
The two top awards were chosen from 19 nominees in six categories, with sizes ranging from 32 to 57 feet and price tags of $125,000 to $2.1 million. The Gunboat, also named Best Multihull Cruiser, was the most expensive boat in this year’s field of entries. The Jeanneau 349, also named Best Pocket Cruiser, was one of the smallest boats tested and also was the most affordable.
Other winning boats recognized in the 2015 Boat of the Year contest included:
- Best Midsize Cruiser: Beneteau Oceanis 35
- Best Cruiser-Racer: Salona 44
- Best Full-Size Cruiser Under 50 Feet: Garcia Exploration 45
- Best Full-Size Cruiser Over 50 Feet: Dufour 560 Grand' Large
Every year, Cruising World magazine recognizes the Boat of the Year winners, based on the results of inspections by an independent panel of three judges. Testing takes place dockside during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., with sea trials of each boat held in the week following the show. This year, the sailing portion of the contest took place in winds ranging from a mere zephyr to more than 30 knots.
"Thanks to the wide diversity of nominees, our 2015 Boat of the Year contest was one of the most interesting and unusual in the history of the event," said Herb McCormick, Cruising World's senior editor and BOTY director. "The two overall winners couldn't have been more different. The Domestic Boat of the Year, the Gunboat 55, is a state-of-the-art high-tech catamaran built to exceedingly high standards at the company's new plant in North Carolina. The Import Boat of the Year, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349, is a compact French flyer that represents true value to both entry level and experienced sailors.”