Built in Florida, the new Catalina 545 takes top honors in Cruising World’s Boat of the Year contest.
Cruising World Boat of the Year Judges sail and test 22 boats for 2020.
It was the calmest of times; it was the windiest of times. During the sea-trials portion of the competition on Chesapeake Bay, a couple of contestants got skunked for breeze; a handful were sailed in torrential downpours; and a pair of catamarans were tested in the sportiest of conditions, complete with gale-force gusts. Another nominee went hard aground—a Chesapeake ritual—when its skipper found himself on the wrong side of a channel marker. Finally, two boats weren’t tested at all, stuck in the mud in marinas and unable to make their appointments, the victims of historically low tides and huge northwesterlies funneling the water down the bay.
In other words, in over 20 years of conducting our annual Boat of the Year contest, there was never an edition quite like BOTY 2020.