Cruising World magazine has named the Passport 545 the Overall Winner of the 2016 Boat of the Year competition. In addition, the Passport 545 took home the prize for Best Full-Size Cruiser Over 50 Feet.
This year’s fleet of 20 nominees represented 11 different countries, including China, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Described by BOTY judge Alvah Simon as “art you can leave out in the rain,” the Passport 545 is an all-oceans cruising yacht built in China to exceedingly high standards. Simon also noted that the Passport represented great value, stellar sailing performance and exquisite craftsmanship, including custom stainless-steel fabrications and high-quality joiner work.
“This is an heirloom-quality boat,” added judge Ed Sherman. “It will still be going strong 50 years from now.”
“This year’s fleet of 20 nominees was truly diverse, and gave our independent panel of judges plenty to consider in their tests and deliberations,” said Herb McCormick, Cruising World’s executive editor and BOTY director. “In the end they came up with very worthy winners in seven categories, and the no-holds-barred Passport 545, the Overall Boat of the Year for 2016.”
Other winning boats recognized in the 2016 Boat of the Year contest included:
- Best Full-Size Cruiser Over 50 Feet: Passport 545 (China)
- Best Full-Size Cruiser Under 50 Feet: Xc 45 (Denmark)
- Best Midsize Cruiser: Dufour 382 (France)
- Best Multihull Cruiser: Bavaria Open 40 (France)
- Best Performance Cruiser: Italia Yachts 13.98 (Italy)
- Best Charter Boat: Fountaine Pajot Ipanema 58 (France)
- Best Value: Hanse 315 (Germany)
Every year, Cruising World recognizes the Boat of the Year winners based on the results of inspections by an independent panel of three judges. Testing takes place in two segments: dockside during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, followed by sea trials on Chesapeake Bay. This year, the sailing portion of the contest took place in winds ranging from a mere zephyr to over 30 knots.
The winning boats in the seven divisions were determined by how well each builder’s entries met their stated design purpose. The judges’ impartial mission was to reward excellence, without regard for the bottom line. Boats ranging from 31 to 60 feet, with prices ranging from $140,000 to over a million dollars, competed for the top prizes.
“There really is something for everyone in the new-boat marketplace for 2016,” said McCormick.
For a complete list of 2016 nominees and to read more about the Boat of the Year contest, visit cruisingworld.com/boat-year-2016.