2022 Readers Choice Awards

2022 Readers Choice Awards


You cast your votes, and the results are in for Southern Boating’s 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards. Every vote was counted, including the write-in candidates, and tallied in a secure location without any bias…or stuffing of the ballot box. More than 75,000 readers voted for their preferences in 40 categories from favorite center console to long-range cruiser and must-have galley item to favorite fishing reel. Safety products, best boatyard, favorite marina (both domestic and international), navigation equipment, marine audio speakers, and sunglasses are a sampling of what’s included in this year’s choices. In some categories, first and second place were separated by only a few percentage points, but overall, there was a definite winner. Thank you to all of our readers who participated. Once again, your input made this event a huge success.

Boat of the Year

1st place: Boston Whaler 420
Outrage Anniversary Edition
2nd place: Tiara 48 LS
3rd place:  Formula 500 SSC

The Boston Whaler 420 Outrage Anniversary Edition sports the revolutionary Mercury 600-hp V12 Verado outboards with two-speed transmission and the first-ever independently steerable gearcase. Besides cruising at 38 knots, Joystick Piloting for Outboards, Skyhook/autopilot functionality, and Seakeeper’s gyrostabilization system are a few of the features and options, including a flybridge with full helm controls. bostonwhaler.com

Favorite Boating Resort

1st place: Hawks Cay Resort
2nd place: Abaco Beach Resort
3rd place: Marlin Bay

Seakeeper eliminates up to 95 percent of boat roll on vessels 23 feet and longer to ensure a smooth ride for all. seakeeper.com

Favorite Boating Insurance Company

1st place: GEICO
2nd place: Progressive
3rd place:  Chubb

GEICO lets you customize your boat insurance and offers a discount if you take a boating safety course. Customer service is available 24/7 for claims and boat towing assistance. geico.com

Favorite Fishing Reel

1st place: Penn
2nd place: Shimano
3rd place: Abu Garcia

High-tech style, durability, precision, reliability, and corrosion-resistance in saltwater make Penn reels the favorite among boaters. pennfishing.com

Favorite Boat Stabilizer

1st place: Seakeeper
2nd place: Naiad
3rd place: Smart

Seakeeper is designed to eliminate up to 95 percent of boat roll on vessels 23 feet and longer to ensure a smooth ride. seakeeper.com

Favorite Inboard Engine

1st place: Volvo Penta
2nd place: Caterpillar
3rd place: Cummins

Volvo Penta inboard engines deliver powerful acceleration, comfortable cruising speed, and an extended range. volvopenta.com

Favorite Express Cruiser

1st place: Tiara
2nd place: Sea Ray
3rd place: Cruisers Yachts

Tiara’s model lineup, including the 43 LE (below), combines sport styling, luxurious amenities, and thrilling performance in a yacht that is ready to meet the demands of a day cruise. tiarayachts.com

Favorite GPS Navigation Equipment

1st place: Garmin
2nd place: Raymarine
3rd place: Simrad

Garmin’s navigation equipment lets you pinpoint your location, mark points of interest, find fish, and pilot safely. garmin.com

Favorite Marine Audio Speakers

1st place: JL Audio
2nd place: Fusion
3rd place: Kicker

JL Audio marine speakers are optimized for all boating conditions. You will get perfect sound quality for enjoyable listening at any volume. jlaudio.com

Favorite Marina (U.S.)

1st place: Newport Yachting Center
2nd place: Palm Harbor Marina
3rd place:  Marina Jack

Well-known for the numerous events held there, such as the Newport International Boat Show, the Newport Yachting Center has dockage service and amenities, and is just steps away from many of Newport’s attractions. newportyachtingcenter.com

Best Power Catamaran

1st place: Aquila
2nd place: Leopard Catamarans
3rd place: World Cat

With models ranging from 28 to 70 feet, every Aquila Power Catamaran delivers exceptional performance and reliability and offers best-in-class features. The latest design is the 28 Molokai (below). aquilaboats.com

Favorite VHF Radio

1st place: ICOM
2nd place: Garmin
3rd place: Standard Horizon

Boating enthusiasts choose ICOM VHF marine radios for their durability and ease of use. icomamerica.com

Favorite Sunglasses

1st place: Maui Jim
2nd place: Ray-Ban
3rd place: Costa

Maui Jim offers hundreds of different styles of polarized sunglasses with 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays. mauijim.com

Favorite Cruising Itinerary

1st place: The Bahamas
2nd place:  Florida Keys
3rd place:  BVIs

From fishing to diving to ecotourism, The Bahamas is still a fan favorite. Comprising 700 islands and more than 2,000 rocks and cays, the archipelago is easy to reach from the East Coast. There are plenty of places to explore, so boaters can make a cruising itinerary for a few days or a few weeks. bahamas.com

Favorite Marine Watch

1st place: Rolex
2nd place: Garmin
3rd place: Tag Heuer

Rolex watches are crafted from the finest materials and assembled with precise attention to detail. The Sea-Dweller (right) is among the ultra-resistant divers’ watches for deepsea exploration. rolex.com

Favorite Cooler Brand

1st place: YETI
2nd place: Igloo
3rd place: RTIC

YETI’s hard- and softsided insulated coolers are extremely durable and ready for any outdoor adventure. Available in a variety of sizes and colors, they are built to be by a boater’s side for each catch or cruise. yeti.com

Favorite Lighting for Boat

1st place: LED

LED (light emitting diode) lighting produces light up to 90 percent more efficiently than incandescent bulbs. These stylish lights give your boat a radiant glow both inside and out.

Favorite Binoculars

1st place: Steiner
2nd place: Bushnell
3rd place: Fujinon

Waterproof, corrosion-proof, and crystalclear with special coatings and capabilities, Steiner binoculars are specifically created for a water-borne life. steiner-optics.com

Favorite Marine Generator

1st place: Northern Lights
2nd place: Cummins/Onan
3rd place: Westerbeke

Northern Lights generators are designed for easy installation and long life and durability in the harshest marine environments. northern-lights.com

Favorite Boatyard

1st place: Cable Marine
2nd place:  Lauderdale Marine Center
3rd place:  Safe Harbor

Cable Marine is a full-service boatyard with two locations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, specializing in painting, refits, fire restoration, haul-outs, and all other services. cablemarine.com

Favorite Charter Company

1st place: The Moorings
2nd place: MarineMax Vacations
3rd place: Sunsail

With a fleet of more than 400 yachts in 20 destinations worldwide, The Moorings creates unforgettable charter vacations ideal for boaters of all skill levels. moorings.com

Favorite Long-Range Cruiser

1st place: Marlow
2nd place:  Grand Banks
3rd place:  Ocean Alexander

Marlow Yachts, such as the Explorer 58E (below), can cross the oceans in luxury, comfort, and reliability. These yachts shine in performance and appearance. marlowyachts.com

Must-Have Galley Item

1st place: Microwave
2nd place: Keurig Coffee Maker
3rd place: Icemaker

A microwave can be used to cook fish, chicken, and veggies in minutes, so it’s no surprise that it was voted the No. 1 must-have galley item.

Favorite Marina (non-U.S.)

1st place: Highbourne Cay Marina
2nd place: Resorts World Bimini
3rd place:  Abaco Beach Resort

Highbourne Cay Marina features 750 feet of face dock for yachts up to 180 feet and 16 back-in slips for boats up to 75 feet. Amenities include fuel, water, ice, Wi-Fi, and more. highbournecaybahamas.com

Favorite Life Raft

1st place: Viking
2nd place: Winslow Marine
3rd place: Revere Survival

Viking life rafts of the throw overboard type, like the 25DK+ (above), are essential when it comes to safety at sea. viking-life.com

Favorite Aluminum Fishing Boat

1st place: Tracker
2nd place: Ranger
3rd place: Triton

Tracker aluminum boats are designed to be dependable fishing machines that deliver unmatched performance and trouble-free maintenance. trackerboats.com

Favorite Center Console

1st place: Boston Whaler
2nd place:  Grady-White
3rd place: Intrepid

Boston Whaler center consoles, such as the 380 Outrage (below), feature a cutting-edge design and first-class amenities for offshore cruising, water sports, and fishing. bostonwhaler.com

Favorite Personal Locator

1st place: Garmin
2nd place: ACR

Garmin’s InReach Mini is a palm-sized satellite communicator for maintaining off-the-grid contact. It allows two-way messaging, interactive SOS alerts, and location sharing via a global Iridium satellite network. Weather forecasts are provided upon request. garmin.com

Favorite Boating Snack

1st place: Cheese and crackers
2nd place: Snacking nuts
3rd place: Beef jerky

Relaxing on your boat can give you the munchies. From salty to sweet, there are many types of snacks, but our readers chose cheese and crackers as their favorite treat.

Favorite Boating Apparel Item

1st place: Columbia PFG
2nd place: Sperry Topsider
3rd place: Helly Hansen jacket

Columbia PFG (performance fishing gear) is designed to keep anglers comfortable and protected from the sun while looking good all day long. columbia.com

Favorite Alcohol

1st place: Grey Goose Vodka
2nd place:  Tito’s Vodka
3rd place:  Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

Grey Goose Vodka is made in France from two ingredients: Picardy winter wheat and natural spring water. It is 100 percent traceable from crop to cork. Enjoy this vodka shaken, stirred, or as a complement to a mixer. greygoose.com

Favorite Non-Alcoholic Beverage

1st place:  LaCroix
2nd place:  Diet Coke
3rd place:   Iced tea

LaCroix is a naturally essenced sparkling water free of sugars, calories, sodium, and artificial ingredients. Available in a variety of flavors. lacroixwater.com

Favorite Outboard Engine

1st place:  Yamaha
2nd place:  Mercury
3rd place:   Suzuki

Yamaha offers a full lineup of outboard engines that provide excellent fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions in a lightweight, compact design. yamahaoutboards.com

Favorite Boat Security System

1st place:  Garmin
2nd place:  Raymarine
3rd place:   Siren Marine

Garmin products, such as its OnDeck System (right), let boaters monitor and control their vessel from a distance. garmin.com

Favorite Safety Product

1st place:  EPIRB
2nd place:  GPS tracking device
3rd place:   Strobe lights

EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) provide global coverage, accurate position location, a reliable transmitted signal, an encoded message to identify the distressed vessel, and a faster response time. An EPIRB like ACR’s Bivy Stick (right) is a two-way satellite communicator that allows you to text message, check-in, share tracking, and initiate an SOS rescue. acrartex.com

Favorite Marine Radar

1st place:  Garmin
2nd place:  Raymarine
3rd place:   Furuno

Garmin’s line of radome and open array radars include the GMR Fantom 18x/24x (left) used to detect targets on the move. garmin.com.

Favorite Sportfisherman

1st place: Viking
2nd place: Bertram
3rd place: Hatteras

Viking sportfishers, like the new 54 Convertible, (below), are designed for the ultimate luxury tournament fishing and yachting experience. vikingyachts.com

Favorite Vacation Destination

1st place: The Bahamas
2nd place: Florida Keys
3RD PLACE: British Virgin Islands

With crystal-clear blue waters, gorgeous white-sand beaches, and plenty of islands to explore, there’s no doubt The Bahamas is the No. 1 vacation destination! bahamas.com

Favorite Foul-Weather Gear

1st place:  Helly Hansen
2nd place: Grundens
3rd PLACE: Gill

Diesel is the boaters’ choice because the engine is more fuelefficient and tends to last longer.

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