9 Top Sailboats for 2013
The 2013 Boat of the Year awards represent a wide spectrum of winning designs. Meet this year's nine winners! Boat of the Year from our January 2013 issue.
Best Multihull Under 45 Feet
+ Fine layout for offshore work, with numerous touches that will promote safe sailing, including an abundance of handrails above and below deck and good visibility.
+ Long-range voyaging capability, with a rig set up for transoceanic adventures, such as a powerful sail plan with square-topped main and full battens.
+ Extremely sound structurally; very good performer under power; also available in a twin-helm version (the Nautitech 442) with aft, outboard steering stations with tillers.
One of the toughest classes for this year’s BOTY panel to sort out was the smaller of the two multihull divisions, but when all was said and done, the judges came up with a clear-cut winner, largely due to its established builder’s long-term presence in the marketplace. As a proven all-oceans voyager, the choice for Best Multihull Under 45 Feet, was the Nautitech 441.
“This is a French-built boat and I think the build quality may have surpassed the other boats in this group, which is saying something,” said Ed Sherman. “Down below it’s a very quiet boat. We sailed it on a windy day with a lot going on and yet down below there was no creaking, groaning, or cracking noises whatsoever. Even under power, we registered some of the lowest decibel readings for our entire fleet of boats.
“Two other things I noted,” he continued. “First, we were moving along quite quickly today in heavy air and there were good handholds everywhere, there were no issues there. And there was sort of an eyelid over the wraparound window parameter around the cabin top, and underneath the fiberglass is all nice and smooth and finished off, with no shard potential. They’ve done a really nice job.”
“I sort of come in as the cheapskate judge and my mantra is always value, value, and more value,” said Alvah Simon. “And I can’t help but think that in this class, even though it isn’t the cheapest boat, that the Nautitech offers more value for money. In terms of overall quality, long-term maintenance, and even longevity for its owner, I have to go with the 441.”