Magazine names 2015 Boat of the Year winners

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Cruising World magazine judges named the Gunboat 55 catamaran the Domestic Boat of the Year and the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 the Import Boat of the Year for 2015.

When the judges tallied their votes, the two top awards, chosen from 19 nominees in six categories, went to sailboats at opposite ends of the spectrum.

The Gunboat, also named Best Multihull Cruiser, is a carbon-fiber rocket ship and was the most expensive boat in this year’s field of entries.

The Jeanneau 349, also named Best Pocket Cruiser, was one of the smallest boats tested and was the most affordable.

Other winning boats recognized in the 2015 Boat of the Year contest included:

• Best Midsize Cruiser: Beneteau Oceanis 35

• Best Cruiser-Racer: Salona 44

• Best Full-Size Cruiser Under 50 Feet: Garcia Exploration 45

• Best Full-Size Cruiser Over 50 Feet: Dufour 560 Grand' Large

Every year, Cruising World magazine chooses winners based on the results of inspections by an independent panel of three judges. Testing takes place dockside during the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md., in October, with sea trials of each boat held during the week after the show.

"Thanks to the wide diversity of nominees, our 2015 Boat of the Year contest was one of the most interesting and unusual in the history of the event," Cruising World senior editor and award director Herb McCormick said in a statement.

"The two overall winners couldn't have been more different. The Domestic Boat of the Year, the Gunboat 55, is a state-of-the-art high-tech catamaran built to exceedingly high standards at the company's new plant in North Carolina. The Import Boat of the Year, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349, is a compact French flyer that represents true value to both entry-level and experienced sailors.”

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