The annual honors of Cruising World magazine’s Boat of the Year competition were highlighted by the Catalina 545 (above), a rangy, full-fledged bluewater cruiser, which was named the overall Boat of the Year for 2020. Designed by longtime Catalina stalwart Gerry Douglas, the 56-foot 2-inch sloop was also honored as the year’s Best Full-Size Cruiser Over 55 Feet.
“The Catalina 545 really struck a chord with our judging team,” said Herb McCormick, Cruising World Boat of the Year director. “Among its many attributes are collision bulkheads fore and aft, which speak to the boat’s overall structural integrity, and inboard shroud placements that really make it easy and safe to move around on deck.
“The judges also gave the boat high marks for its comfortable interior layout and contemporary good looks. It’s safe to say the boat really surprised them, and ultimately won them over.”
In addition, Cruising World presented awards to seven more winners in specific categories related to size and purpose.
The 2020 Boat of the Year competition drew 22 nominees: 16 monohulls, 5 catamarans, and a trimaran. Dockside testing and sea trials were conducted by an independent panel of three marine-industry professionals in October during and after the 2019 U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, and on Chesapeake Bay.
The other winners were:
• Beneteau Oceanis 30.1 (Best Performance Cruiser)
• Hallberg-Rassy 44 (Best Midsize Cruiser Under 45 Feet)
• X-Yachts X46 (Best Full-Size Cruiser 45 to 55 Feet)
• Excess 12 (Best Midsize Cruising Catamaran)
• Neel 47 (Best Full-Size Cruising Multihull)
• Fountaine Pajot Elba 45 (Best Charter Boat)
• Eagle Class 53 catamaran (Most Innovative).
For further information: www.cruisingworld.com/boat-of-the-year-2020