And the winner is …

May 21, 2019
Did you hear that the winners of the World Superyacht Awards were announced last weekend?

This is the yachting equivalent of the Oscars, and it is very exciting to see which beautiful yachts get the highest honors in the various categories.

I was especially pleased as some of my personal favorites ended up taking home several of the big prizes! From a cruise ship converted into a private luxury yacht, to a sailing vessel reminiscent of the old fearsome pirate ships, and a superyacht resembling the lines of a shark, this year’s winners were as interesting as they were exceptional.

And this year’s winners are …… :[1]

  • Motor Yacht of the Year: DAR (Oceanco)
  • Sailing Yacht of the Year: Black Pearl (Oceanco)
  • Voyager’s Award: Rosehearty (Perini Navi)
  • Converted Yachts: Dream (Halic Shipyard, conversion: Olympic Yacht Services)
  • Rebuilt Yachts: Haida 1929 (Krupp Germaniawerft, rebuild: Pendennis)
  • Refitted Yachts: G2 (Vitters, refit: Pendennis)
  • Sailing Yachts 30m to 59.9m: Vijonara (Pendennis)
  • Sailing Yachts 60m and Above: Black Pearl (Oceanco)
  • Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 30m to 32.9m: RJ (Arcadia Yachts)
  • Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 33m to 39.9m: Brigadoon (Moonen Yachts)
  • Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 40m and Above: Utopia IV (Rossinavi)
  • Displacement Motor Yachts Below 299GT: Mimi La Sardine (Cantiere delle Marche)
  • Displacement Motor Yachts Between 300GT and 499GT – 30m to 47.9m: Viatoris (Conrad Shipyard)
  • Displacement Motor Yachts Between 300GT and 499GT – 48m and Above: Cecilia (Wider)
  • Displacement Motor Yachts between 500GT and 1,999GT: Spectre (Benetti)
  • Displacement Motor Yachts 2,000GT and Above: DAR (Oceanco)
  • Judges’ Commendation: Elandess (Abeking & Rasmussen)
  • Judges’ Commendation: White Rabbit (Echo Yachts)

All of the winners (and nominees)[1] have of course their own merits, amazing features and achievements. For example, Dream was an aging 93-meter cruise ship, which was converted into a 106.5-meter personal luxury yacht. “The Judges concluded that this was an extraordinary conversion that not only changed the whole exterior profile of the vessel, improving it beyond recognition, but also gave her a completely new interior, which has a refreshingly understated and modern appearance that abounds in luxury.”[2]

I like how such refits give new life to boats which otherwise would most likely have whiled away and decayed in some port, sad and unused. It could also be part of a solution to some of the environmentally related issues in yachting, part of an ultimate “end of life” and recycling strategy, but until then, continuing to improve and modernize propulsion systems, fuel efficiency, technology and materials.

Black Pearl (106.7 meter), sometimes likened to a new and improved version of the iconic Maltese Falcon. She not only has an amazing exterior look, with three imposing black sails (which can be set in just seven minutes), but is also packed with innovations and has been designed with the intention to reduce the yacht’s environmental impact. She can cross the Atlantic without fuel, has a diesel-electric hybrid system, as well as a host of other features such as an onboard waste heat recovery system. In addition, her shaft generators can meet total demand for household electricity, and “provision has been made for the future integration of solar power generated from her sails – an emerging technology that is not yet ready for service.[3]

DAR (90 meters) is an amazing and very elegant yacht with exterior lines inspired by sharks. Her code name while in build was aptly designated as Project Shark. Builder Oceanco, naval architect Azure/Oceanco, exterior designer Luiz de Basto, and interior designer Nuvolari Lenard, all came together to design this yacht. DAR incorporates “… almost 400-square-meters of darkened glass panels form part of her superstructure, allowing dramatic views from the interior while ensuring privacy when viewed from the exterior. The Judges appreciated the complexity of installing the completely flush panels, each 1.8-metres wide and up to 3.0-metres in height, to the superstructure in a way that they are resistant to the inevitable movement of the yacht in a seaway.[1]

DAR also features a waterfall that cascades into a large swimming pool. I love how DAR stands out from the crowd with her unusual but beautiful appearance and how you can really see the shark inspired lines on her exterior.

[1] Boat International, op cit.

Elandess (74.5 meters) won a Judges’ Commendation “… for its extremely attractive exterior design, superb deck facilities, its semi-submerged ‘Neptune Lounge’ and a general arrangement plan incorporating a wide range of amenities that were perfectly tailored to the requirements of the owners’ family.”[1] The Neptune Lounge, similar to Savannah’s Nemo Lounge, is an above- and under-water observation lounge with “… three-meter high ceilings and an exterior wall of near full-height glass, one-third of which is below the waterline.”[2] This feature certainly adds a new dimension to the design trends aiming to increase the outdoor-indoor living experience on board, and to connect people on yachts more closely with the water and the environment.

Finally, GO (76.8 meters) didn’t win an award this year, but was she was nominated in the category “Displacement Motor Yachts 2,000GT and above”. I love her stylish flowing lines, and especially her color (and matching tender)! In fact, she was painted in Awlgrip’s Island Turquoise, same as our own boat. I just love how using color allows you to personalize your boat and add some character …  to help it stand out from the white yacht crowd! Check out my blog on painting your boat.

Fun fact: This turquoise boat was built by Turquoise Yachts. In the spirit of bringing people closer to the water, her swim platform also includes some unusual cutouts.

It seems that the judges this year rewarded “out of the box thinking”, which has produced some innovative designs with striking and unusual looks, and with daring exterior and interior features. I can’t wait to see what new and exciting yachts the future holds. I hope we will see more yachts designed to increase people’s connection with and exploration of the ocean and the environment, while also stepping up designs and innovations that will improve the environmental impacts of yachts and yachting.

Indeed, I hope that the environmental aspects of yachts will gain importance rapidly, and why not even take center stage in the creation of a new award category? @Boatinternational, how about it?

What amazing, cool, out of the ordinary features would you like to include on your dream yacht? And how amazing would it be if you dared to #dreambuildplay your next yacht in a way it will be recognized with one of the World Superyacht Awards?

Follow my journey @yachtambassador