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2022 Boat of the Year: Special Judges’ Awards

As deliberations wrapped up, Cruising World’s team of expert judges handed out two more prizes to boats that stood apart from the fleet. The Kinetic KC 54 earned a Judges’ Special Recognition award and the Voyage 590 was named Best Charter Boat.

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During and in the four days immediately following the US Sailboat show in Annapolis, Maryland, the Cruising World judges inspected and sailed on 27 boats vying for recognition. Learn more about the boats in our 2022 Boat of the Year »

Over the course of the competition, in concept, innovation and execution, one boat never seemed far from the judging team’s collective mind. The Kinetic Catamaran KC54 is a new player in the class of what might be called Super Cats, the progenitors of which are notable brands like Gunboat and HH Catamarans. These light, fast craft put a high premium in flat-out performance, but also have the cool, comfortable, contemporary features and amenities of a stylish, forward-thinking cruising boat. They are, in the realm of performance cruisers, at the very cutting edge. 

Kinetic KC54

Judges’ Special Recognition

Kinetic KC54 Jon Whittle

“This was the Tesla of sailboats,” Gerry Douglas said. “This boat was built without compromise. They wanted the best in every aspect. Superb.” Douglas’ colleagues agreed and together, they gave the KC54 their Judges’ Special Recognition award.

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The other standout boat to win a special prize from the judging panel was the Voyage 590, named Best Charter Boat. For 2022, perhaps more than in recent years, builders across the board stated that a significant percentage of their new models were destined for charter fleets. But perhaps nobody targets that segment of the sailing market with the same verve and intensity as the business known as Voyage Yachts, the South African builder that supplies multihull yachts exclusively to its partner and family-run company, Voyage Charters.

Voyage 590

Best Charter Boat

Voyage 590 Jon Whittle

“We’ve seen this company for a while,” judge Tim Murphy said. “For 30 years, they’ve been building boats and exclusively operating them in the charter business in the British Virgin Islands. They sail them up from South Africa, so they’re very seaworthy. And they have everything you’d want for a great vacation.”

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