BRISTOL – Three Rhode Island companies – J/Boats, C&C Fiberglass Components and Bluenose Yacht Sales – were honored in Bristol on Friday for earning recognition in Sailing World magazine’s Boat of the Year Awards.
Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee and U.S. Sen. Jack Reed joined the state’s civic and marine industry leaders to celebrate the companies’ national recognition.
“The annual Boat of the Year awards are much-anticipated by the marine industry and consumers,” said a release from the R.I. Marine Trades Association. “An independent panel of experts puts new designs launched the previous year through rigorous inspection and sea trials before announcing an authoritative pick of overall and category winners.”
The J/70 from J/Boats and builder C&C Fiberglass Components earned overall honors from the magazine, and the Sparkman & Stephens 30 from Bluenose Yacht Sales and C&C Fiberglass Components won the best daysailer category.
“If you look at a map of our state, it’s not hard to understand why the marine trades have always been one of Rhode Island’s premier economic assets. They are among our state’s oldest and proudest industries, and this legacy continues to the present day with outstanding companies such as J/Boats, C&C Fiberglass Components, and Bluenose Yacht Sales,” Chafee said in prepared remarks. “I offer my congratulations and my thanks for helping to maintain Rhode Island’s reputation for excellence in the marine industries.”
With 400 miles of coastline and its compact size, Rhode Island is a magnet for marine businesses. Traditional and modern boat builders, sailmakers, hardware and component manufacturers, riggers, marinas and other services together form a manufacturing continuum that has created a significant center of expertise.
Joining the senator and the governor as speakers were Peter Van Lancker, president of Hunt Marine Group, who spoke on behalf of RIMTA; David Reed, editor of Sailing World magazine; and George Brengle, director of marketing for Sailing World. Jeff Johnstone, president of J/Boats, and Glenn Walters of Bluenose Yacht Sales spoke to recognize the company teams behind their award-winning boats.
The event took place at C&C Fiberglass Components at 75 Ballou Blvd. in Bristol at 10 a.m. Friday.