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 Bluewater Cruiser
+ Here’s a state-of-the-art example of no-holds-barred, completely uncompromised modern yacht construction and design.
+ Sparkling sailing performance, lavish accommodations, sensational craftsmanship: The list of wonderful features is endless.
With the class winners selected, the judges were still faced with a nagging quandary. Two of the boats they’d inspected were unquestionably among the best introduced for 2013. Yet they were both outliers that, unlike the other nominees, didn’t fit into neat and tidy classifications. Therefore, the judges decided to honor these vessels with special awards. The first was the Oyster 625, which the panel unanimously felt was the Best Bluewater Cruiser for 2013.
The nearly 64-foot Oyster was originally slotted in with a trio of boats in the Full-Size Cruiser group; however, it was soon apparent that in terms of size, systems, construction, purpose, and potential, it was truly in a class of its own. Of course, with a price tag over $3 million, it should’ve been. But that fact didn’t preclude the judges from recognizing, and rewarding, the overall excellence of the Rob Humphreys design.
“When we step aboard a boat, we always ask the builder to describe it, and when we heard ‘a serious world-cruising boat,’ that was no exaggeration,” said Tim Murphy.
“If you have the money, in this case it will buy you a lovely, powerful, elegant, classic, highly technical yet somehow approachable very big boat,” said Alvah Simon. “You can get boats of this size and complexity that are intimidating, yet I stepped aboard the 625 and felt that an experienced couple could jump on it and in a few hours sail it safely. You can drive it and you can dock it because it all worked. We pressed the boat hard when we sailed it, but once we found the groove, we learned what a 70,000-pound yacht with a big rig can really do. It felt beautiful to be sailing at 9 knots with that kind of power and ease of motion. I mean, what else is there to say?”