Nominees Announced for Cruising World’s 2024 Boat of the Year Competition

Top boatbuilders from around the globe are set to compete for the prestigious Boat of the Year award at the Annapolis Sailboat Show.
Oceanis 37.1 sailboat
Beneteau Oceanis 37.1 Courtesy Beneteau

Cruising World magazine today announced its roster of nominees for the 2024 Boat of the Year awards. Judging and testing for the awards will take place during and after the Annapolis Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, which begins October 12.

Seventeen boats were vetted and officially received nominations for 2024 Boat of the Year honors. The annual awards, selected by an independent judging team, recognize the best new production cruising boats and multihulls laid out and equipped for coastal and offshore sailing and voyaging. This year’s judging panel is comprised of systems expert Tim Murphy of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), and previous CW editors-in-chief Mark Pillsbury and Herb McCormick. 

For nearly 25 years, Cruising World’s annual Boat of the Year program has been the recognized leader in inspecting, testing and rewarding the best sailboats introduced into the US market by boatbuilders the world over. Throughout the history of the competition, the rotating crew of judges has sailed hundreds of boats, and in doing so, helped the Boat of the Year program earn its reputation as the gold standard of international sailboat awards.

The 2024 Boat of the Year winners will be announced in the January issue of Cruising World. Here is the complete list of nominees. 

Beneteau Oceanis 37.1

The Oceanis 37.1 (photo at the top of the page), the pinnacle of the seventh Oceanis Cruiser generation, retains the line’s hallmark traits while prioritizing eco-friendly sailing. Resembling the Oceanis 30.1 and 34.1, it has an open, backstay-free deck with double spreaders for improved performance. Aft winches enable easier shorthanded handling, accompanied by instruments including a 7-inch plotter at the starboard helm. Stability and power are enhanced through the flared-hull design with integrated ribs, without compromising volume. The interior has a roomy salon offset to port and a forward stateroom with large portholes. The Oceanis 37.1 comes in cruising and performance versions, and an eco-conscious approach is highlighted by electric propulsion, as well as Iroko wood decks suitable for serene inland waters and open seas.

Dufour 41

french sailboat dufour 41
Dufour 41 Courtesy Dufour Yachts

The Dufour 41 introduces a fresh perspective on outdoor living with its spacious cockpit and proven design that’s fast and responsive to sail. This 41-foot-10-inch cruiser offers a sense of space comparable to larger vessels. Sailing performance is courtesy of the shipyard’s relationship with designer Umberto Felci. The Dufour 41 blends modernity and light while keeping the Dufour brand’s DNA intact. The design’s attention to space and flow allows effortless movement on board, while its robust build promises agility on the ocean. The 41 offers options for living areas: The three-stateroom version has an expansive owner’s space, and each stateroom has a bathroom. In the four-stateroom model, which can host up to 10 guests, the Dufour 41 has two forward staterooms with soundproofing. Both versions have long-term stowage and a large galley.

Elan Impression 43

Elan Impression 43 sailboat
Elan Impression 43 Courtesy Elan Yachts

The Elan Impression 43 is the epitome of a modern family cruiser. Designed by Humphreys Yacht Design and styled in collaboration with Pininfarina, this yacht has a wide-beam hull that maximizes interior space. Its 3D VAIL composite technology is used to create superior sailing characteristics, while the twin-rudder design maximizes control and stability, reducing broaching tendencies. The spacious cockpit has seating and a modular table that can be transformed into sun beds for relaxation. Inside are a well-appointed salon and a galley. With options for three or four staterooms, the Impression 43 is versatile enough to accommodate families or groups.

Hallberg-Rassy HR 40C and HR 57

Sailing the Hallberg Rassy 40C. Blue water sailing yacht in sunset.
Hallberg Rassy 40C Courtesy Hallberg Rassy

The Hallberg-Rassy 40C follows the Hallberg-Rassy 44’s legacy. Embodying comfort, performance and aesthetics, it replicates attributes in the salon, galley and aft stateroom. The cockpit mirrors the 44’s dimensions for exceptional sailing. Two galley choices are offered, one with expanded workspace and stowage, and with room for a dishwasher and microwave. Aft-stateroom options include twin berths or a centerline berth with a settee and makeup table. The interior features African khaya mahogany or European oak, with ample ventilation. Exterior design integrates modernity with hallmark features. A user-friendly rig and optional hardtop dodger enhance the sailing experience. The model offers small or foldout swim platforms and a concealed electric windlass.

HR 57 sailboat
HR 57 Courtesy Hallberg Rassy

The HR 57, designed by Germán Frers, will also debut in the United States this fall with a streamlined sail plan.

Hanse 510

Hanse 510 Exterior
Hanse 510 Courtesy Hanse Yachts

The Hanse 510 is a collaboration with Berret-Racoupeau’s designers. This yacht introduces a hull design with bow and aft chines for improved waterline efficiency and performance. The vessel offers notable interior space and has a garage capable of holding an inflated dinghy more than 8 feet long, with the Hanse Smart Tender System for launching. The options list varies from a washing machine in the utility room to flat-screen TVs in the master stateroom and saloon. The builder’s Flagship Package includes fine fabrics and materials, as well as a hidden bar behind a folding backrest.


HH44 catamaran on the ocean
HH44 Courtesy HH Catamarans

The HH44 is a catamaran with electrification and carbon reinforcement for tech-savvy sailors, cruisers, and racers. The HH44-OC is intended for family bluewater cruising with an aluminum mast and mini keels, while the sportier HH44-SC has carbon daggerboards, a carbon rig, and solar panels for race-level performance. Designed for hybrid propulsion and solar power, it offers emissions-free motoring. Folding transoms enhance safety and living space. Clean decks, an enclosed cockpit, and hidden lines ensure security. An angular cabin design, forward-facing windows, and EVA foam decking add comfort. Self-tacking staysails and adaptable helm positions are other notable features.

Italia Yachts 14.98

Italia Yachts 14.98 sailboat on the water
Italia Yachts 14.98 Courtesy Italia Yachts

Italia Yachts’ mission at the outset of designing the 14.98 was to create a boat that was equally stylish and seaworthy. The result was a fusion that will surely appeal as much to long-range cruisers as it should to racing enthusiasts. The 14.98’s lines show a boat with racing DNA but well suited for cruising as well, with vast exterior spaces for family entertainment with a “Made in Italy” flair and style, where aerodynamics blends with functionality. The flat stern features a comfortable one-step swimming platform, while an ergonomic deck layout with embedded recesses in the cockpit keep the make for smooth sailing and clean decks while underway. The interior layout comes in three different options, with two or three heads and ample stowage space for family cruising. In the standard version the salon is fitted with a dining table and a U-shaped settee, and a second sofa on the opposite side. The galley, to starboard, is fully equipped and seamlessly integrated into the living space.

Jeanneau 55

Jeanneau 55 sailboat on the ocean
Jeanneau 55 Courtesy Jeanneau

The Jeanneau 55—a collaboration between Philippe Briand Yacht Design, Winch Design and Jeanneau—finds inspiration in catamarans for space optimization. At 40,878 pounds with a D/L of 125.5 and a 26 percent ballast-to-displacement ratio, it extends its beam throughout, emphasizing a topside chine for interior volume. DWL measures 52 feet, 7 inches; overall length reaches 52 feet, 11 inches with minimal overhang. Twin rudders align with draft choices of 8 feet, 4 inches and 6 feet, 5 inches. The layout includes three staterooms and an unusual galley-salon setup. The cockpit has flanking settees aft of the twin helms. An optional, retractable hardtop arch covers the cockpit. Versatile rig options accompany the yacht’s elegant blend of performance, comfort and style, catering to globe-trotting sailors.

Rapido 40

Sailing the RAPIDO-40 trimaran multihull
Rapido 40 Courtesy Rapido

With a self-tacking jib, carbon spreaderless mast and an option for a rolling furl boom, the Rapido 40 is designed and engineered as a high-tech, all-carbon performance cruiser. Penned by acclaimed designers Morrelli & Melvin, the all-carbon and folding 40 borrows DNA from the Rapido 60, designed for fast passagemaking and classic cruising for couples or singlehanders. Interiors are lightweight yet extremely durable (even the countertops are carbon), and the flooring is made of cork. The 40 employs carbon-foam construction, with watertight bulkheads (including the engine compartment containment) and bulkheads with no through penetrations below the waterline.

Seawind 1170

Seawind 1170 catamaran
Seawind 1170 Courtesy Seawind Cats

The Seawind 1170 blends classic Seawind features into a contemporary design that’s suited for coastal cruising and offshore sailing. Its spacious layout, trifold doors and enclosed twin helms define the boat’s essence. The base model includes inboard 29 hp diesel engines, mini keels, and spade rudders. Notable features include an extended solar-panel-friendly cockpit roof, added headroom, a longeron with an optional bowsprit, and an aft-facing portlight for improved cabin ventilation. Rainwater collection, helm seat stowage and a telescopic transom ladder enhance functionality.

Solaris 44

Solaris 44 sailboat
Solaris 44 Courtesy Solaris Yachts

The Solaris 44 is all about fast cruising or racing with a reduced crew. For easier handling, all lines lead to accessible winches. The boat also has a recessed mainsail traveler and coaming winches for asymmetrical spinnaker deployment. An efficient aft beam with twin rudders enhances performance. Spacious sail and cockpit lockers, separate life raft stowage, and a nearly 14-foot beam characterize the deck layout. Twin berths are in the stern stateroom, which highlights the simplicity of design by Javier Soto Acebal and the Solaris design team. An oak interior with three staterooms, two heads, and a separate shower is standard, with deck options including hydraulic systems and various sail configurations.

Vision 444

Vision 444 catamaran
Vision 444 Courtesy Vision Yachts

The Vision 444 combines design and functionality for sailors. Level, uncluttered decks, calibrated rudders and smart cockpit access enhance performance. A dedicated locker system makes for easy through-hull access, while engine rooms and navigation stations are laid out for convenience. Cockpit lockers allow for extra stowage. Exterior features include a wind-protected sunbathing area. Weight-distributed engine placement and a 24-volt DC electrical system are part of the package, with optional Oceanvolt electric propulsion available. With advanced resin-infusion and gelcoat technology, the yacht has stronger, lighter hulls and streamlined production, allowing for quicker delivery times while maintaining quality.

Lagoon 51

Side view of the Lagoon 51 catamaran
Lagoon 51 Courtesy Lagoon

Created to make long crossings in comfort, the Lagoon 51 (the newest in a long line of Lagoon siblings) aims to be the first production-model catamaran to integrate multiple environmental solutions. Employing woodwork from FSC-certified forests and upholstery entirely created from recycled materials—along with its 2.7 kilowatts of solar panels—the Lagoon 51 emphasizes sustainable building practices and eco-conscious cruising. The flybridge has a modular layout featuring a clever ergonomic design, while the unique aft transoms ensure easy, safe movement on board. Overall length spans 50 feet, 4 inches, with a beam of 26 feet, 7 inches, and a draft of 4 feet, 7 inches. Light displacement weighs in at 34,773 pounds. This bluewater-ready cruising cat carries an upwind sail area of 1,647 square feet, with an optional code zero of 1,087 square feet. Multiple layouts are available including four, five and six cabins.

Excess 14

Excess 14 Courtesy Excess Catamarans

When Groupe Beneteau’s Excess Catamarans introduced its first model in 2019, a test sail in winds approaching 40 knots made it abundantly clear that the 38-foot-7-inch Excess 12 wasn’t just another pretty new face in the ever-growing cat crowd. That boat could sail. A recent outing aboard the company’s newest model, the Excess 14, was equally revealing. On the 14, Excess gave naval architects at VPLP Design some liberty in terms of hull design in their quest for better performance. One revelation of that liberty is highly-efficient, deep, thin fixed foils that make the hull a trendsetter, especially in light winds. Lighter carbon-fiber cloth is employed in key structural areas for strength, and key bulkheads are infused using foam coring. In line with Groupe Beneteau’s emphasis on sustainable boatbuilding, laminates used for the performance mainsail and genoa are recycled material, and hemp fibers are used in place of fiberglass in some nonstructural parts. Buyers can choose between a four-stateroom version (ideal for charter) or various three-stateroom options. The salon gets lots of sunlight and fridge and freezer space is abundant in the galley. Dining tables are indoors, at the front of the salon, and in the cockpit. Davits are available, as are canvas Biminis over the wheels for shade, and the boat has an optional seating area on the flybridge.

Fountaine Pajot Aura 51

Rear of the Fountaine Pajot Aura 51
Fountaine Pajot Aura 51 Courtesy Fountaine Pajot

New to the US audience from this French builder of sailing cats is the Aura 51, which has an open living arrangement that connects the salon, galley and cockpit. The flybridge is big enough to accommodate 2,000 watts’ worth of flush-deck solar panels for sustainable ­cruising. The Aura 51, which makes its US debut at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, is available in four layouts, including a “full maestro” version that dedicates the port hull to an owner’s ­stateroom. 

Dragonfly 40 Performance Cruiser

Drone shot of the Dragonfly 40
Dragonfly 40 Performance Cruiser Courtesy Dragonfly

Making its first US splash at the 2023 Annapolis Sailboat Show, the Dragonfly 40 Performance Cruiser sports cutting edge aesthetics with a focus on easy handling and shorthanded sailing. With a spacious cockpit and a stylish modern interior, the Dragonfly 40 is available in four versions: the standard Touring version with self-tacking jib; the Ultimate version has a taller and more powerful rig and larger overlapping furling headsail for higher performance; the C Ultimate Carbon version employing a carbon Pre-Preg system cured in Autoclave; and the C Performance version, which is similar to the C Ultimate version, but with an even taller and more powerful rig and sails. The Dragonfly 40 accommodates a crew of 6 to 8 persons.

More details on featured nominees of the 2024 Boat of the Year field coming soon!