Cruising Spirit Award: Presto 30

The judges rewarded this boat for being in a class of it's own and having the potential to attract a new group of sailors.

Presto 30 BOTY winner
“This boat talks to you. It’s just a very friendly little boat.” beth LeonardBilly Black

This year, the judges had a decision to make: Is it fair to punish a good boat that defies categorization? In the end, the answer was no, and the judges, at their own discretion, responded by giving the Presto 30 the Cruising Spirit Award for being a boat unlike any other that also has the potential to attract a whole new group of sailors to a different way of voyaging.

The Presto 30 is an innovative, well-built, good looking cruising boat that satisfied its stated design brief as well as any other boat the judges looked at, though it’s not what you might expect from an average cruising boat. Its narrow hull, dual carbon masts, square-topped sails, and wishbone booms are quite distinctive; more important, all these design features combine to produce a trailerable cruising boat that’s up for any adventure.

Specifically, the judges remarked on how the well-balanced hull slices effortlessly through the water under sail. They were intrigued by the dual rigs that split up the sail area and make it so easy to sail wing and wing dead downwind. They also found that the cockpit layout worked well, and above all else, they felt that the boat produced the visceral joy of sailing that embodies all the reasons we set off on a journey or a daysail. And just because the interior lacks headroom, it doesn’t mean that the boat won’t work on an overnight, or longer, adventure. Sure, it’s a bit more like a camping experience, but then again, it might not matter when you realize the Presto can take you to shallow places that many coastal cruisers can’t. Can you say Bahamas, anyone?

Winning Details

  • The centerboard and kick-up rudder make the boat easy to launch from a trailer and extremely shoalwater friendly.
  • Under sail, the boat was light, responsive, and sneaky quick.
  • The interior isn't fancy, but it does have all the cruising comforts you'd need to head out on an adventure.