A fleet of 17 contestants vied for top honors in the 2023 edition of Cruising World’s annual Boat of the Year competition.
It’s not every year that every nominee in our yearly BOTY competition gets tested in superb conditions. Chesapeake Bay can be a fickle test bed in mid-October, particularly on flat-calm mornings, when it takes some time for the capricious sea breeze to fill in. Truthfully, sometimes it never does. But not this year. And while the winds did fluctuate somewhat over the next 72 hours, when our panel conducted sea trials for this year’s fleet of 17 entries, overall the conditions were almost ideal—some of the best, most consistent pressure in the 20-odd-year history of the event. Each entry got a fair opportunity to strut its stuff.
And it was a great year for that to happen, because while the fleet may not have been the largest ever, in terms of sailing prowess and performance, it was exemplary across the board. The sailing, quite simply, was outstanding.
When the spray had settled, at the top of the leader board was a pair of yachts destined for blue water and beyond: the Lyman-Morse LM46, the Domestic Boat of the Year, and the Hallberg-Rassy 400, the Import Boat of the Year.
In ideal conditions on Chesapeake Bay, a taut fleet of 17 contestants vied for top honors in the 2023 edition of Cruising World’s annual Boat of the Year competition.
It was terrific to see a trio of boats in the mid-30-foot division, but also to discover that all three yachts in the class were exemplary sailboats.
This division truly lived up to its name, with a solid lineup of five nominees that lit up under sail.
The popularity of boats with more than one hull, especially catamarans, is more evident with each passing year.
This Euro-centric class had one important factor in common: The sailing performance across the quartet was top-notch.
As deliberations wrapped up Cruising World’s team of expert judges handed out two more prizes to boats that stood apart from the fleet.
This year’s team of judges put 17 sensational new models through their paces, under multiple points of sail and power, after dockside inspections in Annapolis, Maryland.