BOAT International Design & Innovation Award Winners 2018

JUBILEE superyacht

BOAT International Media, the global authority on superyachting, unveils the prestigious winners of its ninth annual Design Awards program. Formerly known as the ShowBoats Awards, it was rebranded this year as the BOAT International Design & Innovation Awards, to reflect the increased focus on outstanding design, technology and innovation in the industry. Celebrating best-in-class design from the world’s leading superyacht designers, almost 60 superyachts presented their extraordinary and original designs, vying for the top spots across 16 diverse categories.

New awards at this year’s ceremony honour the evolution of yacht design itself, including accolades for Best Lighting Design and Best Ecological Design & Operation Innovation. Prizes reflect the developments that drive forward today’s design discussions. Highlights include everything from stunning helicopter hangers and a deck that can be transformed into a games court, to a terrace floor that slides out to become an instant balcony and Swarovski crystal-adorned ceilings.

Sensational superyachts, including this year’s double-winners 49.8m Home, 96.55m Faith and 58m Ngoni, were chosen by an influential panel of 17 judges, encompassing professionals within and beyond the disciplines of yacht design, including Claire German, managing director at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Steffen Köhl, director of global advanced design at Mercedes Benz, and Professor Dale Harrow, dean of the School of Design, Royal College of Art,  as well as two superyacht captains and three yacht owners.

Marilyn Mower, co-chair, books editor and editor-at-large at BOAT International Media, said: “It’s an honour to celebrate the very best of design, naval architecture, technology and innovations. With the industry continuing to transform, and designers becoming even more ingenious in their response to client briefs, safety regulations and exciting new materials, it’s only natural that this year we’re shifting the categories to make room for the high level of innovation that’s thriving, and the creative talents behind them. It continues to be a privilege to witness these incredible design concepts brought to life.”


Best Exterior Styling Motor Yachts Below 45m: Cyclone
Best Exterior Styling Motor Yachts 45m and Above: Jubilee (Photo credit: Rupert Peace)
Best Exterior Styling Sailing Yachts: Ngoni
Best Interior Design Motor Yachts Below 399GT: TELLI
Best Interior Design Motor Yachts 400GT to 999GT: Razan
Best Interior Design Motor Yachts 1,000GT and Above: Faith
Best Interior Design Sailing Yachts: Ribelle
Best Naval Architecture Semi-Displacement or Planning Motor Yachts: 1 of 7
Best Naval Architecture Displacement Motor Yachts: Home
Best Naval Architecture Sailing Yachts: Ngoni
Best General Arrangement & Deck Design: Faith
Best New Production Yacht Design: Azimut Grande 35 Metri
Best Lighting Design: Seven
Best Ecological Design & Operation Innovation Award: Home
Best Lifestyle Feature Design: Aviva
Best Tender Design: Faith – Limousine Tender
Young Designer of the Year – Student Designer: Nicolò Piredda
Young Designer of the Year – Professional Designer: Damien Bovie
Lifetime Achievement: Giovanni Zuccon

Best Exterior Styling, Motor Yachts Below 45m: Cyclone

Cyclone, winner of Best Exterior Styling for Motor Yachts Below 45m, was designed and built in Turkey, The yacht wasrecognised for her impressive external design by the judges with the introduction of sloped forward glass on two decks. The superstructure is nicely integrated within the profile and provides plenty of both open and protected outdoor living space.

Best Exterior Styling, Motor Yachts 45m and Above: Jubilee

The design highlight of this German-built yacht is the deck perimeters, which engage the senses and curiosity with imaginative glazing that calls into question the exact number of decks above the main, making this yacht a true design wonder. The most breath-taking and unique feature of this yacht, is Designer Igor Lobanov’s vision for the exquisite yacht to be seen from the sky as an island and the undulating patterns of light and shadow created by the curvaceous deck shapes. The judges believed the styling of this distinctive yacht, is timeless, and only comes along ‘once in a blue moon’, which defined its place as the winner of Best Exterior Styling Motor Yachts Above 45m.

Best Exterior Styling, Sailing Yachts: Ngoni

Ngoni’s exterior styling shows the impressive results of pushing builders and glass manufacturers to the limit in pursuit of beauty, aerodynamics, and blurring exterior and interior environments. The profile of the boat, designed by the late British naval architect Ed Dubois and built in The Neterlands, from her plumb bow to open stern is low and exciting and separated this sailing yacht from the competition to win, the Best Exterior Styling Sailing Yachts. The foredeck contains a large spa tub that can be sheltered by a modern version of an Arabian tent. The indoor/outdoor lounge aft of the saloon offers a perfect spot for outdoor living underway or at anchor and the stepped stern with its raised sunbed creates a useful and unique experience.

Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts Below 399GT: TELLI

The judges zeroed in on an Italian Navetta 33 model, TELLI, for the way her apparent architectural simplicity harmonised with her exterior profile. Behind the apparent simplicity of clear geometric lines, however, were clever features such as a single piece of saloon furniture designed to hide multiple functions, from the TV and the AV systems, to a bar and the room’s cooling unit. Two of the owner’s material selections, Jerusalem marble and crystal, are used throughout to contribute just the right touch of elegance.

Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 400GT to 999GT: Razan

British-based H2 Yacht Design was tasked to deliver a balance between wow factor and wide market appeal, a challenge our judges felt they met with air. The ability of H2’s designers and the Turkish yard to deliver a sense of spaciousness within a fixed envelope is noteworthy with recessed ceilings featuring undulating gloss panels, while mother-of-pearl, Swarovski crystals and polished stainless surfaces reflect light. Low furniture and window seats preserve views through enlarged windows and reduced mullions, while smart architecture, floating furniture and hidden lighting makes rooms appear larger. Knowing the yard’s capability with stone, H2 emphasised this feature to great effect, especially in the lightly veined Turkish ivory marble central staircase.

Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 1,000GT and Above: Faith

Experienced British yacht designers RWD were teamed with the owner’s personal designer, Chahan Minassian of Paris, to create an interior with transparency as its theme even to such objects as a double-sided replace between the saloon and dining room in this Dutch-built yacht. Horizontal lines repeat in subtle treatments on floors, walls and furnishings, but this classic motif is beautifully modernised by woven leathers, multi-textured stone and stainless steel.

Judges’ Commendation Award: Barbara

Of all the interior elements of all the nominees, the imaginative interplay of elements in Barbara’s main stair column garners special note. A large oval glass elevator shaft wrapped in the beautiful, gnarled and silvered root system of an ancient teak tree rises through two continuous decks. This sinuous, signature decorative item, which took a whole year to complete, is the ultimate expression of the design brief “no straight lines”.

Best Interior Design, Sailing Yachts: Ribelle

The winner of this award proves once again that excellence in interior design is not predicated by yacht size. The smallest boat in the field, Ribelle, built in The Netherlands to the designs of Pari-based Remi Tessioer and the British naval architect Malcolm McKeon, has a contemporary interior reflecting considerable involvement by experienced owners. The palette remains restrained in terms of materials, but dramatic in its varied use of them, while the darkly tinted glass forming the yacht’s coach roof is counterpointed by the gleaming copper bands that cover the carbon frames.

Best Naval Architecture, Semi-Displacement or Planning Motor Yachts: 1 of 7

Striving for optimal performance balanced with comfort, builder Dynamiq added the goal of long range too. Naval architect Vripack created a round bilge hull with a narrow bow and small bulb for reduced resistance and lower fuel consumption, while still being capable of 21 knots at top speed. To improve performance even further, the yacht is fitted with a Hull Vane, a patented horizontal foil fixed below the stern. This innovation increases the yacht’s efficiency and improves seakeeping by reducing pitching and yawing motions, giving this yacht the top score among the finalists for seakeeping.

Best Naval Architecture, Displacement Motor Yachts: Home

All of the entries for naval architecture categories go straight to the pros on the naval architecture subcommittee for review. In this category, that meant crunching numbers on 13 candidates to present finalists to the full jury. This year’s winner was clear-cut on nearly all the categories under scrutiny and showed clear determination by the originator of the project, in this case the Dutch shipyard, to excel in this arena. Naval architects at Van was to Oossanen took its fast displacement hull form and optimised it for displacement speed economy with small engines and a hybrid propulsion package.

Best Naval Architecture, Sailing Yachts: Ngoni

In one of the most difficult categories to crown a winner, the yachts are extremely different in appearance and brief, yet all the finalists are superb designs and each received top marks in at least one of the sub-categories used to determine the winner. Ngoni pulled out the win by one point largely on the basis of innovation, complexity of the vessel, demands of the brief, investigation of keel and rudder options and testing of hydrodynamics. Naval architect Ed Dubois innovated solutions with an approach to stiffness via hull structure not seen before. Also innovative are her general arrangement and myriad design and engineering solutions for managing this sloop’s tremendous sail power.

Best General Arrangement & Deck Design: Faith

Faith shines in all aspects in this category, thanks in part to the owner’s clear brief to create a yacht for intensive use with private spaces and open areas for friends and family gatherings. Driving length and layout was the helicopter hanger; when the air tender is stored, the deck can be used for netted games. The beach club nearly doubles in size when transom and side terraces are open, its sloping ceiling being the bottom of a nine-metre pool. With multiple staircases and separate elevators for crew and guests, guests are treated to a hair salon and pantry next to their cabins, while the owner has a full private deck.

Best New Production Yacht Design: Azimut Grande 35 Metri

To create a new flagship for the Azimut Grande range, the driving force was volume. Keeping the line’s sporty DNA, an innovative wide-body design facilitates all the features the market is seeking, including a side tender garage, stern beach club, main deck owner’s suite and four guest cabins. Add to this a surprising foredeck sunning area with spa tub, a full flying bridge and optional sun deck. Of particular note, the master stateroom’s port “window” opens out while a large terrace floor with integral handrails slides out of the hull creating an instant balcony.

Best Lighting Design: Seven

Lighting design was added to the awards programme in 2017 after the judges commented that lighting lagged behind other achievements in large yachts. By focusing on this area, the awards programme hopes to elevate the quality of lighting design across the range. Of those who submitted their yachts for scrutiny, by far the most complex lighting plan was presented by Dante O Benini & Partners and Italian builder Perini Navi for Seven. Not coincidentally, the owners are experienced yachtsmen.

Best Ecological Design & Operation Innovation Award: Home

Just three teams were brave enough to submit projects for scrutiny in this new category seeking significant investment in design, equipment and operational procedures to reduce environmental impact. the Heesen brief was for low- and mid-speed efficiency with top priority on quiet and comfort. The yacht now known as Home combines aluminium construction and a Fast Displacement Hull Form with relatively small 840hp main engines. Two-speed diesel generators powering electric shaft motors deliver low speed cruising at 9 knots, burning just 45 litres per hour in electric mode while producing only 46dB of noise in the owner’s stateroom.

Best Lifestyle Feature Design: Aviva

Two of the finalists admit that the entire yacht project was driven by the desire to maximise a single activity space. While both are spectacular, one required so much research, engineering and innovation by her British designers and German builder that it claimed top prize. Consider the issues of building a permanent, professional paddle tennis court measuring 10m x 20m x 6.65m inside a yacht without detracting from the profile or other indoor areas. From prescribed flooring and side walls for proper bounce and regulation artificial turf including the two tons of special sand that keep it springy, to sound deadening, HVAC, damaged stability and evacuation concerns, this is a major undertaking. An undulating grand staircase delivers guests from a main deck lobby two decks below to this surprising luxury sports hall.

Judges’ Commendation Award: Seasense

Seasense began as a concept sketch based on the designer’s perception that yachts have disproportionate indoor space. For an owner seeking a yacht with a big pool deck, it was the perfect start. Complete with privacy/wind/sun screens and a misting system and located next to a full open dining room, the judges felt this pool deck deserved recognition.

Best Tender Design: Faith – Limousine Tender

Design perfection was the primary objective for the owner but functionality still had to be paramount for the safe operation of the 40+ knot craft. Indirect lighting for night use is superb. The construction is mahogany veneer over carbon composite with an interior of leather and walnut crafted with the same detail as the yacht. In all it took 18 months to design, 4,000 man hours to execute, 2,500 parts and seven servomotors to make an extraordinarily beautiful tender that goes from enclosed limousine to open top day boat with the touch of one button.

Young Designer of the Year, Student Designer: Nicolò Piredda

In the view of the judges, Nicolò Piredda’s work stood out because he excelled in all three of the requested tasks. The exterior styling of his 60m project was both practical and elegant, while displaying the necessary ruggedness required of a “go-anywhere” explorer. In the interior, the general arrangement plan exactly met the requirement and at the same time provided a workable ow for both guests and crew, while the requested design development sketches were executed in masterful manner. This was considered to be an exceptional effort by a 24-year-old candidate.

Judges’ Special Mention: Guehun Lee

Judges’ Special Mention: Jens de Klerk

Young Designer of the Year, Professional Designer: Damien Bovie

The judges chose Mirage, Bovie’s entry for its combination of excellent presentation, practical ideas, and a nicely drawn general arrangement plan. While the exterior looks could be mistaken for a Mediterranean cruiser, its lines conceal well thought out interior storage for the helicopter; a good range of tenders and toys that, most practically, include a snowmobile; and excellent crew facilities.

Judges’ Special Mention: Yilin Huang

Lifetime Achievement: Giovanni Zuccon

It was Zuccon’s revolutionary idea to create designs that matched a builder’s industrial production skills and objectives while allowing boat owners to satisfy specific needs with semi-custom interiors. In 1978 Gianni and his late wife, Paola, galvanized the core of their design philosophy around the belief that to secure its future, the yachting industry had to create and give space to a new kind of close relationship between craftsmanship and industry. More than 150 completed Zuccon designs for production and custom yachts ranging from a 38-foot open to the 80 metre CRN Chopi Chopi represent literally thousands of yachts in operation today. We salute Giovanni Zuccon for a lifetime of yachting achievement.

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