Cruising World Magazine released their “Boat of The Year 2017” winners in early December 2016. The prestigious judging panel declared: “Catamarans, catamarans, catamarans: Never in the 22-year history of our annual Boat of the Year competition have we seen so many catamarans.” Yup, we had a big slew of great new catamaran designs hit the boat shows in 2016 and each of them found a niche!
Two of the award winners, the Xquisite X5 and the Leopard 45, are also on Catamaran Guru's list, 2016 Top 5 Cruising Catamarans Picks. Two more catamarans, the Balance 526 and the Lagoon 42, were also high on our list of considerations. We did not pick the Balance 526 because we simply have not been on the boat and do not know enough to give an informed opinion but we hope to meet up with Phil Berman to get an education. Any new owners of a Balance 526, we would love to hear from you!
As for the Lagoon 42 (read here our quick review) – we love this cat, particularly the cockpit layout. But the mast in the middle of the saloon is not a favorite feature. However, with moving the mast aft, Lagoon was able to expand the fore-triangle and fit a bigger headsail (self-tacking jib), which translates into more power in the headsail. The mainsail is therefore smaller and more manageable. Lagoon tried to make the sails more manageable for a cruising couple by reducing the mainsail and fitting a bigger self-tacking jib. We are not entirely sure about this arrangement yet. We would love to hear from our readers about this!
One of our longtime followers (Bob S) mentioned that he just bought a Seawind 1190 Sport and the models should also be on that list! We wholeheartedly agree that it is a great boat with very neat innovations. Bob commented, “We personally love the helm position…I also like sitting sideways by the helm - it feels much more like the half-a-boats we've owned/sailed.” So, we really should give this cat a second chance or “special mention”. Maybe next year?
Congratulations! See all the winners here>>.
What do you think of these catamaran winners?