2009 BOTY Contest: Rules


Following are the Cruising World and Sailing World Rules for Boat of the Year 2009. Please read carefully and contact us if you have any questions.

1. Entry Deadline
Materials for your entry must be received by June 20, 2008.

2. New Production Models
The Boat of the Year competition is open by invitation of Cruising World and Sailing World magazines to new cruising sailboats and performance sailboats introduced between October 2007 and October 2008.


A new model refers to any boat that represents a new design and is built from new hull and deck molds. To qualify, an entry must have been introduced between the end of the United States Sailboat Show, in Annapolis, in October 2007, and the beginning of that show in 2008. If the boat has been introduced as a prototype within that period but has, in your opinion, not been sufficiently completed to compete in that year, you may enter it the following year. If the boat was introduced abroad in the current year, but not in the United States, you may enter it the following year. To be “new,” a boat must be substantially different than any predecessors; such changes should include but are not limited to, changes in tooling for hull and deck. Moving bulkheads or rearranging cockpits or accommodations will not necessarily qualify the boat as “new.” If you feel this may be an issue for your boat, you are invited to submit material to demonstrate that your boat is new. The nominating panel will consider and carefully weigh this issue.

3. Entry Material
Included with this packet are BOTY Entrance Forms for both magazines from which we’ll also draw for our roundup of new models which will appear in the October issues. Please return it along with other supporting material (design and construction details, sales brochures, line art, photos, etc.) to:

Kathy Gregory
Cruising World/Sailing World
Boat of the Year 2009
55 Hammarlund Way
Middletown, RI 02842


For further information, you may e-mail Kathy Gregory at or fax her at (401) 845-5180.

4. Awards
• 4a. Cruising World Awards: All Cruising World entries must be cruising sailboats. They will be judged according to levels of seaworthiness, comfort, safety, ease of maintenance, sailing performance, design and construction, suitability for purposes intended, and other factors. Please choose the general category in which you’d like your boat to be judged; the category sheet is included in the Boat of the Year Entry form. These are general categories that may be refined by Cruising World once a final list of nominees has been selected. We also ask you to provide a design statement, elaborating on the boat’s design purpose; your written statement will be an important factor considered when assigning awards. Cruising World winners will be selected from categories either based on size and price, or based on type, such as multihull. Special awards, taken from the entire fleet, may also be given for innovation or special purpose. Cruising World will also name an overall Domestic and Import Boat of the Year.

• 4b. Sailing World Awards: The Sailing World event emphasizes consideration of racing and performance boats. Sailing World will select the best boats from the whole field regardless of category. The following categories are expected to be included, but judging won’t be limited to them: Crossover, Sportboat, One-Design Dinghy, Multihull, Day Sailer, Best Value, and Innovation. Sailing World will also award an Overall Boat of the Year.


5. Nominating Round: Special nominating panels, consisting of each magazine’s editors and select members of the judging panels, will scrutinize the boats at the Newport Boat Show (Rhode Island Sep. 11 – 14) and in the days just before the opening of the United States Sailboat Show (Annapolis, Maryland). Nominees will be announced just prior to the opening of the Annapolis Show; only these nominees will move to the judging round. At this time, nominated builders will receive nominee banners and appointments for onboard judging; the dockside judging will occur throughout the show, and sail tests will occur during the following week (Oct. 14 – 17). Nominated builders will be informed at this time of the categories in which their boats will be judged.

6. Availability for Judging and Test Sailing: Participating boats must be available for test sailing by the judges on one or more of the four, or possibly five, days immediately following the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis (Oct. 9 – 13, 2008). They must also be available for dockside inspection before and during the show. This is necessary for the judges to have adequate time aboard, both at the dock and in sea trials, to give your boat the attention and thoroughness of consideration it deserves. Entrants will be notified of their dockside-inspection and test-sail schedules, as established by the magazines. We will reserve time on Saturday, October 18, to retest boats selected by the judging team if, in the judges’ opinion, these boats did not receive a fair sailing opportunity because of weather and if, in the judges’ opinion, such retesting could prove relevant to the outcome of judging decisions.

7. Equipment: On all sea trials and during any other times the participating boat is involved in any manner in this event, it must be both fully equipped with all safety equipment as required by law and prudent seamanship as well as fully insured, covering, but not limited to, personal injury and property damage. At any time the vessel is under way and/or involved in any manner in this event, said vessel shall have aboard a designated representative and agent of the owner or builder who shall have ultimate authority and responsibility for the vessel. Entrants shall include the enclosed Release of Liability and Indemnity Agreement with the entry form, signed by an authorized representative of the boat owner and any other persons or entities entering the boat in the contest. Entry and participation in this event certifies acceptance of all of these terms and conditions.