As far as holidays go, Thanksgiving is one of the greatest. You just can’t beat a day filled with turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, football, family, and gratitude. It’s the one day of the year when you can truly show your appreciation for all the good in your life—from friends and loved ones to the careers you love, everyday blessings, and of course, your favorite on-the-water vessels.
Recently we polled our editors at boats.com to find out about the boats that hold a special place in their hearts this holiday season. While some are new and others old, some have a personal connection to our editors and others are just plain cool. Take a look at the boats we’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Celestial 48 (Cruising Sailboat)
Every Thanksgiving, I can be found aboard my Celestial 48 center cockpit, bluewater cruiser that is my happy place. She's a modified Ted Brewer design of which few were built (1984-2001), so they rarely get the notice they deserve. Not many vintage cruising boats can boast a good turn of speed, extraordinary tankage, and phenomenal two bed/two bath accommodations in a neat package that always gets compliments in the anchorage. Every year, she takes me to Santa Catalina Island for some turkey and hiking and for that, I'm happy to give thanks. – Zuzana Prochazka
Take a look at a Celestial 48 listing on YachtWorld.
Holland 32 (Lobsterboat)
It's easy to be thankful for the Holland 32, a classic lobsterboat design with some of the sweetest lines on the water from any angle. Whether they're built for work or play, they light up any harbor. – Doug Logan
Check out a Holland 32 listing.
MasterCraft NXT20 (Watersports boat)
The boat I’m most thankful for is MasterCraft’s NXT20. A rarity in today’s towboat market, the NXT20 is a well-built, world-class towboat in the $50k range. It doesn’t have all the electronics that contemporary high-end towboats have, but it’s a brand-new MasterCraft, complete with a warranty and that new-boat smell. That’s something any watersports fanatic can appreciate. – Brett Becker
See MasterCraft NXT20 listings
Nautico 20 Explorar (Fishing Boat)
It's excruciatingly difficult to narrow down just one boat among the many I'm grateful for having known, but I have to land on the Nautico 20 Explorar. This model was only in production for a couple of years before the builder went out of business, and only a couple dozen hulls exist; the one you see here is owned by my brother. I never owned a 20 Explorar myself but I had one for a season, and it opened my eyes to the world of power catamarans. It was my introduction to the smooth ride of twin hulls, and with my bad back, the powercat ride allows me to stay out longer, fish harder, and run farther.
Getting to know the 20 Explorar has led to many different power catamaran boats in my life—Twin Vees, World Cats, Glacier Bays, and more—and for opening my eyes and expanding my boating choices beyond monohulls, I will be eternally grateful to this nauti little kitty. – Lenny Rudow
Have a look at a 1999 Nautico 20 Explorar listing.
Palm Beach 42 Express (Express/Flybridge Cruiser)
Of all the boats I've run in 2016, the one that I am most thankful for is the Palm Beach 42 Express. Carefully crafted, designed, and executed, this nimble and luxurious express has twin Volvo IPS pod drives, impressive acceleration, and a top end of 32 knots. Best of all, it has one of the nicest riding hulls I've ever encountered. Oh, and it goes without saying that it's one of the most beautiful boats out on the water. – Gary Reich
While we don’t currently have any 42 Express models listed on boats.com, we do have other similar Palm Beach models available. Take a look at our Palm Beach listings.
Sea Ray 180 (Bowrider)
One boat will forever hold a special place in my heart and receive all my gratitude each Thanksgiving: my little Sea Ray 180. At the age of 15 I received my boating license, and every summer since I’ve practically lived on this 18’ bowrider. As my Dad always likes to tell me, I’ve “beaten the heck” out of this boat—so I can personally validate its durability. Although smaller in size, I never noticed as I packed it to the brim with its max capacity of eight wild teenagers. From learning how to kneeboard and wakeboard, to throwing my friends off of every inflatable tube we’ve ever owned, this is one stern-drive boat that to this day still deserves a round of applause and many thanks. – Kim Koditek
See Sea Ray 180 listings.
Bullseye Sloop (Daysailer)
Of all the boats I could mention, the one that stands out at Thanksgiving is the Bullseye, because it's been a family boat across generations. It's a lead-ballasted, full-keel, Herreshoff-designed daysailer that my Dad grew up crewing in back in the 1940s. My Uncle Bill bought a glass version in the '60s, which he generously loaned to me for junior races, and in which I subsequently taught sailing for four summers. My Dad bought #80, which introduced us to our first regattas outside of our harbor at Fishers Island. My Dad, who thought it was special fun to sail the engineless sloop from Long Island Sound to Buzzards Bay for a regatta, competed in his first Bullseye race aboard #80 in 1974 and his last in 2013 at the age of 85. Today, my nephew sails #80 with my brother, and at Thanksgiving, when the extended family gathers, he'll no doubt look across the table at the skippers and crews of two or three boats he'll be racing against next summer. It's not the fastest sailboat on the water, but the Bullseye is a stable, dependable boat for all ages, and for that I'm forever grateful. – John Burnham
Do you have a boat that you’re grateful for this Thanksgiving? Share it with us on the boats.com Facebook page and let us know all the reasons you want to give thanks.