Cruising World - By Herb McCormick
"Out of a fleet of a dozen new models, no other sailboat did as many things well as the Excess 11, which earned it the title of 2021 Boat of the Year.
When you test the fleet of new boats that are introduced every year—year in and year out, as we at Cruising World have been doing with our annual Boat of the Year contest for over two decades now—you begin to identify the shifting trends in boat design and construction as they inevitably occur. (Remember the total proliferation of “deck/saloon” layouts?) For 2021, as we put the dozen yachts that cleared the COVID-19 hurdles to become BOTY nominees through their paces, we began to sense some themes shared by many of the entrants that were unmistakable. It was beyond coincidental.
Superior sailing performance should always be a common denominator in any collection of solid, well-conceived sailboats, but for 2021, it seemed to be a higher priority than in previous years. Which is very cool. With that a given, what struck our judges even more strongly was the way in which space was allocated aboard the nominees, and moreover, that the designers and builders of monohulls and multihulls alike were seeking similar solutions: This is new because catamaran and monohull sailors have often striven—it seemed to us—to underscore their differences, not their similarities."
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