Catalina 309, Malö 40 Win CW's Boat of the Year Contest

Beneteau 49, Seawind 1160, Trintella 50, and Morris M42 also recognized for excellence

Catalina309

Judges named the Catalina 309 Domestic Boat of the Year for its simple, user-friendly designBilly Black

Cruising World has picked the Catalina 309 and the Malo 40 as the top overall boats for 2007. The winners, along with the rest of the Boat of the Year award winners, will be featured in the January issue of Cruising World, due to hit newsstands on December 15. This marks the 14th edition of these prestigious awards by the nation's foremost cruising title.

Despite being one of the smallest sailboats in the running, the Florida-built Catalina 309 hit the bull's-eye in claiming the top overall Domestic Boat of the Year award. "I think that for the purpose it was put on the water, to be able to walk down, jump aboard, and simply go enjoy it on a weekend, the boat not only hit the price in terms of value but also hit the mark in terms of use," remarked judge Alvah Simon, a world voyager.

Cruising World judges also noted that this easy-to-handle boat may attract new sailors to the sport so they can learn the ropes and then trade up to another model, an approach that's important to the health of the entire industry. In addition to the overall title, the Catalina 309 picked up the Best Small Cruiser award as well.

The judges' decision to crown the Malo 40 as Import Boat of the Year came after lengthy discussions that involved a number of high-quality boats. However, the Malo 40 prevailed because of, in the words of one of the judges, "a superb job of meeting the needs of long-distance cruising couples in terms of sailing ability, safety, and price."

The Malo 40's systems stood out, earning an A rating from judge Ed Sherman, a stickler for detail. He said, "It's a sweet-sailing boat. Everything on the boat that we tested was of maximum quality." The Malo 40 was also judged as Best Midsize Cruiser.

The award for Best Full-Size Production Cruiser went to the Beneteau 49, which offers comforts dreamed of by cruising families and couples. The Seawind 1160 was judged as both Best Multihull Cruiser and Most Innovative, an award the judges were unanimous in bestowing. "This is the first production multihull that I've ever seen that I'd consider buying myself," said Peter Wormwood, a BOTY judge and catamaran designer and racer. Best Full-Size Cruiser was the Trintella 50. "It's that perfect balance between safety and sailability that made this boat go to the top of my list," said judge Simon. Morris Yachts' M42, which was described by the judges as "the prettiest, best-built, and most delightful new boat," was declared the champion in the Special-Purpose Cruisers category.

An independent panel of experts named the winners after inspecting and then testing the 23 boats that won nominations to the contest announced during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, in October.

Cruising World Boat of the Year Winners 2007

Domestic Boat of the Year
Catalina 309

Import Boat of the Year
Malo 40

Best Full-Size Production Cruiser
Beneteau 49

Best Full-Size Cruiser
Trintella 50

Best Midsize Cruiser
Malo 40

Best Special-Purpose Cruiser
Morris M42

Best Multihull Cruiser
Seawind 1160

Best Small Cruiser
Catalina 309

Most Innovative
Seawind 1160