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Boating’s Boats of the Year 2000-2020

The best boats from a variety of categories have won Boat of the Year honors.

Updated:

December 15, 2020
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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

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Bertram

2000: Bertram 450

2000: Bertram 450 Forest Johnson

Combining speed, luxury and a mastery of the boat builder’s art, this iconic boat left all others in its wake.

Boat of the Year: Bertram 450

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

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Grady-White

2001: Grady-White 330 Express

2001: Grady-White 330 Express Forest Johnson

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

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Donzi

2002: Donzi 38 ZR

2002: Donzi 38 ZR Forest Johnson

One of the first truly competitive stepped-bottom go-fasts you could buy straight off the showroom floor.

Boat of the Year: Donzi 38 ZR

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

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Mastercraft

2003: Mastercraft Maristar 280 VLD

2003: Mastercraft Maristar 280 VLD Forest Johnson

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Sea Doo

2004: Sea-Doo 3D

2004: Sea-Doo 3D Sea Doo

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.

Boat of the Year: Sea-Doo 3D

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Intrepid

2005: Intrepid 475

2005: Intrepid 475 Forest Johnson

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Pursuit

2006: Pursuit LS 345

2006: Pursuit LS 345 Pursuit

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Yamaga

2007: Yamaha AR230 High Output

2007: Yamaha AR230 High Output Boating Magazine

Yeah, jet boats are common now. Check out the boat that led the wave.

Boat of the Year: Yamaha AR230 High Output

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Chaparral

2008: Chaparral 400 Premiere

2008: Chaparral 400 Premiere Forest Johnson

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Pursuit

2011: Pursuit ST-310

2011: Pursuit ST-310 Forest Johnson

They say every boat is a compromise. We say: “Pursuit didn’t.”

Boat of the Year: Pursuit ST-310

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Sea Ray

2012: Sea Ray 370 Venture

2012: Sea Ray 370 Venture Bill Doster

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Cruisers

2013: Cruisers Sport Series 328

2013: Cruisers Sport Series 328 Bill Doster

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Chris-Craft

2014: Chris-Craft Launch 36

2014: Chris-Craft Launch 36 Boating Magazine

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Boston Whaler

2015: Boston Whaler 420 Outrage

2015: Boston Whaler 420 Outrage Bill Doster

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Regal 29 OBX BOTY

2016: Regal 29 OBX

2016: Regal 29 OBX Tom King

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

2017: Sea Ray SLX 400

2017: Sea Ray SLX 400

2017: Sea Ray SLX 400 Sea Ray Boats

Sea Ray’s SLX 400 delivers performance and attention to ­detail above the rest.

Boat of the Year: Sea Ray SLX 400

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

2018: Yamaha 210 FSH
2018: Yamaha 210 FSH Courtesy Yamaha Motor Corporation USA

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

Boat of the Year: Solace 345
2019: Solace 345 Solace Boats

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.

Boat of the Year: Solace 345

Axopar 28 Cabin jumping waves
2020: Axopar 28 Cabin Courtesy Axopar

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

For more best boats picks check out Best Boats of 2013, Best Boats of 2012 and Best Boats of 2011.

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