Wow, what a year 2023 was! Such great racing in every imaginable condition around the Salish Sea. And the 48° North Top 25 returns to honor the best performing racing keelboat teams in the region. Participating in many events increases a boat’s likelihood of landing in the top section, and nine out of the top ten boats sailed more than the five events for which they were scored. These boats also sailed extraordinarily well, and did so very consistently.

How do we select these boats? The qualifying races for our Top 25 offer a good representation of keelboat racing in the Pacific Northwest, and include a mix of distance and around-the-buoy races, single-race events, and multi-race regattas. Our scoring system is on a percentage basis, depending on the size of the class: 0% (did not finish) to 100% (first in class), where the event score = (Finishers – Place) / (Finishers – 1). Overall scores are an average of a boat’s best five finishes. There is no minimum number of races required to qualify. Multi-race events (like the Southern Sound Series) are scored as single events. Ties go to the boat with the greater average fleet size.

This year’s #1 boat, the Wauquiez C 40s, Different Drummer, is skippered by Charles Hill and represents Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle and Sloop Tavern Yacht Club. The always competitive crew is a perennial Top 25 boat, but takes the top spot in our rankings for the first time since 2016 with a score line of four class wins and one second place in a class of 12. Perhaps not coincidentally, all of these scores were in distance or mid-distance races. Superbly done, Different Drummer!

Congratulations to every one of 48° North’s Top 25 racing sailboats! It is always a privilege to present this list and we offer our admiration and appreciation for those in the racing community who live it and love it, and sail so well.


  • SSSS Southern Sound Series
  • CYCS Center Sound Series
  • STYC Blakely Rock Benefit
  • WVYC Southern Straits Classic
  • CYCS Spring Regatta
  • SYC Tri-Island Series
  • CYCP Pacific NW Offshore
  • RVicYC Swiftsure
  • Anacortes Race Week
  • CBSA Cowichan Bay Regatta
  • CYCE Foulweather Bluff
  • CYCS Puget Sound Sailing Championship
  • SYC Grand Prix Regatta
  • OIYC/FHSC Round the County

Photos courtesy of Jan Anderson.