Every once in a while a boat model is introduced that stands out in so many way’s it becomes a “category killer.” These are boats that changed the game in the niche they occupy—often rippling other niches as well. We call them Boat of The Year. You can just say “Wow.”
Check the pics, click the links and please add your comments below. We want to know what you think.
–Kevin Falvey Editor-In-Chief
2000: Bertram 450
Combining speed, luxury and a mastery of the boat builder’s art, this iconic boat left all others in its wake.
For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.
2001: Grady-White 330 Express
Redefining the offshore battlewagon, and setting a new standard in quality and innovation, this sportfish broke the mold.
Boat of the Year: Grady-White 330 Express
2002: Donzi 38 ZR
One of the first truly competitive stepped-bottom go-fasts you could buy straight off the showroom floor.
2003: Mastercraft Maristar 280 VLD
Unique construction, a new standard in style and one of the first “yacht-quality” runabouts, this boat set the bar higher.
Boat of the Year: MasterCraft Maristar 280 VLD
2004: Sea-Doo 3D
This PWC debuted as the industry transitioned away from standup watercraft. It offered the quick reflexes and freestyle fun of a traditional standup but was easier to ride.
2005: Intrepid 475
The very first outboard-powered luxury cruiser, this boat, and its key elements would be copied in whole and in concept by many other builders.
Boat of the Year: Intrepid 475
2006: Pursuit LS 345
Pursuit’s LS 345 Drummond Island Runner was so groundbreaking, so trend-setting, and so unique that the decision was easy.
Boat of the Year: Pursuit LS 345 Drummond Island Runner
2007: Yamaha AR230 High Output
Yeah, jet boats are common now. Check out the boat that led the wave.
Boat of the Year: Yamaha AR230 High Output
2008: Chaparral 400 Premiere
Its ground-breaking new hull form was one reason it won. Read on to find out what else this boat impressed us with.
Boat of the Year: Chaparral 400 Premiere
2011: Pursuit ST-310
They say every boat is a compromise. We say: “Pursuit didn’t.”
Boat of the Year: Pursuit ST-310
2012: Sea Ray 370 Venture
Sea Ray’s 370 Venture is powered by outboards, cleverly hidden and ingeniously installed. It reshaped the express cruiser category with its quieter ride and larger accomodations.
Boat of the Year: Sea Ray 370 Venture
2013: Cruisers Sport Series 328
For leading with innovation and excellence in a brand-new boat category and doing so without being the highest-priced boat in that category, we name Cruisers Sport Series 328 Boating‘s 2013 Boat of the Year.
Boat of the Year: Cruisers Sport Series 328
2014: Chris-Craft Launch 36
The Chris-Craft Launch 36 advances the sport of boating. This boat runs like a blue-water fish boat and sports a bold layout that combines the very best elements of an open boat with those of a cruiser.
Boat of the Year: Chris-Craft Launch 36
2015: Boston Whaler 420 Outrage
Boston Whaler’s 420 Outrage combines technology with performance and amenities to win the 2015 Boat of the Year award.
Boat of the Year: Boston Whaler 420 Outrage
2016: Regal 29 OBX
Regal’s 29 OBX exceeds almost every measure by which one might judge a bowrider or day boat.
Boat of the Year: Regal 29 OBX
2017: Sea Ray SLX 400
Sea Ray’s SLX 400 delivers performance and attention to detail above the rest.
Boat of the Year: Sea Ray SLX 400
Yamaha’s affordable, jet-powered center-console for boaters seeking a multimission vessel resulted in a well-designed boat that proved versatile, finely crafted and laden with innovation.
Boat of the Year: Yamaha 210 FSH
The Solace 345’s arrangement, which extends the cockpit aft between widely spaced outboards, is as much a stand-alone innovation as it is an integration of the latest in propulsion, with courageous design and flawless execution.
For 2020, we honor Axopar’s 28 Cabin. It can cruise, entertain and fish, and handles great. It delivers performance, versatility and innovation for a relatively affordable price.
Boat of the Year: Axopar 28 Cabin
In 2021, the Ingenity Nautique GS22E 2021 Boat of the Year: Ingenity Nautique GS22E copped Boat of the Year honors for its implementation of electric power aboard. atop-end towboat. More than green, and quiet, this boat is a technological showcase.
Boat of the Year: Ingenity Nautique GS22E
The Sea-Doo Switch 2022 Sea-Doo Switch 21 Cruise was awarded Boat of the Year for 2022. It delivers excellent dockside handling, a layout that the owner can customize to suit the day and, in all three sizes, is offered at affordable prices relative to other boats. It is “accessible “ for both ease of use and because of its low price, things which should make first-time buyers smile.