Boat International Media, the global authority on superyachting, announced last night the distinguished winners of the World Superyacht Awards 2017. Now in their 12th year, the prestigious awards celebrate the most remarkable and innovative superyachts from across the globe that have launched over the last 12 months. This year, the winning superyachts ranged from the most complex and challenging vessels ever built to magnificent explorer yachts capable of taking on waterfalls, and a new category of insanely fast yachts.
60 nominations from 14 different countries make this year’s awards the most competitive to-date, with a total of 15 stand-out winners recognised for their outstanding ingenuity, innovation and high quality design. Multi-award-winning superyachts Dilbar and Sybaris took home two Neptune Trophies apiece, following a fiercely-debated judging process involving a panel of 23 serial superyacht owners. The renowned judges, collectively bring with them hundreds of years of experience owning, running and managing superyachts.
“The World Superyacht Awards celebrate the best of the best. We’re very proud that we have built such a well-renowned platform that rewards truly exceptional yacht owners and shipyards from around the globe. Each year we see a staggering number of outstanding entries, making the panel’s job even harder. 2017 was no different. The unrivalled quality and creativity of this year’s winners is proof that the prestigious Neptune trophy is the definitive exemplar of yachting excellence.” – Stewart Campbell, Editor at Boat International Media
The Winner Of The World Superyacht Awards 2017
- Voyager’s Award: Glaze
- Displacement Motor Yachts of 3,000gt and above: Dilbar
- Displacement Motor Yachts of between 1,500gt and 2,999gt: Cloudbreak
- Displacement Motor Yachts of 500gt to 1,499gt: Joy
- Displacement Motor Yachts of below 500gt of 43-metres and above: La Passion
- Displacement Motor Yachts of below 500gt – 30-metres to 42.9-metres: X
- Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 50-metres and above: Galactica Super Nova
- Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts of 40-metres to 49.9-metres: Amore Mio
- Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts of 34-metres to 39.9-metres: Gipsy
- Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts of 30-metres to 33.9-metres: Botti
- Sailing Yachts of 40-metres and above: Sybaris
- Sailing Yachts of 30-metres to 39.99-metres: My Song
- Quality & Value Award: Narvalo
- Rebuilt Yachts: Legend
- Refitted Yachts: Aquila
- Sailing Yacht of the Year: Sybaris
- Motor Yacht of the Year: Dilbar
- Legacy Award: Alex Dreyfoos
The Voyager’s Award, which honours the most daring and inspiring expeditions by a superyacht, went to the 49-metre Glaze, which is currently circumnavigating the world. The element of the cruise submitted to the panel of judges was in North West Australia, which featured spectacular and rugged coastline. The intrepid cruise took the owners and their young family through poorly or totally unchartered inlets and rivers, allowing Glaze – whose builder is Trinity – to dip her bow in waterfalls tumbling down the vertical red cliffs and battle whirlpools and rapids.
Lurrsen’s Dilbar, which is not only the most complex and challenging motor yacht ever to be built, but also the largest in Gross Tonnes (gt), making the yacht the winner of the Displacement Motor Yacht of 3,000gt and above. The ten judges who visited this inimitable yacht unanimously agreed that not only did she qualify for a trophy in this category, but that she was also the most spectacular yacht they had ever seen. Dilbar’s 180 cubic metre swimming pool is believed to be the largest on any yacht, while her 30,000kw diesel electric power plant is also thought to be a record for a superyacht and gives her a cruising speed of 22.5 knots. For this reason, Dilbar also picked up the highly-coveted Motor Yacht of the Year award.
Cloudbreak, built by Abeking & Rasmussen, immediately stood out to the panel of judges for her unique purpose as an explorer-style vessel tailored to the owner’s wish to practise adventure sports on land and at sea at both low and high latitudes around the world. This bespoke yacht was designed to support mountaineering, hiking and snow sports, with feature highlights including a fully equipped ski-room that would not be out of place in the French Alps, along with certified helicopter facilities. The unusual exterior design and interior layout make this yacht very special and a deserving winner of the Displacement Motor Yachts of between 1,500gt and 2,999gt.
Motor yacht Joy’s dynamic looks, forward-thinking design and excellence of construction by Feadship allowed her to stand out from the stiff competition in the Displacement Motor Yachts of between 500gt and 1,499gt category. The yacht’s scalloped surfaces – a huge challenge to construct – were praised by the judges, along with her spacious decks and full height sliding glass panels, giving her a strikingly modern look. Joy’s technical innovation, in the form of an active noise attenuation system for the gearboxes that keeps internal noise levels much lower than usual when underway, were also heavily praised by the judges.
The Displacement Motor Yachts of below 500gt of 43-metres and above category is always hotly contested, with the judges dedicating a lot of time to examining all aspects of each entrant before submitting their secret-ballot sheets. The vote saw La Passion – the first vessel to be launched by Turkish-based SARP Yachts – emerge as the narrow winner, making it a particularly noteworthy achievement for her builder. The judges were impressed by the yard’s dedication to ‘getting everything right’, from her seaworthiness and efficiency of the hull, to the quality of construction of its steel hull. The interior was designed by British design house Adam Lay Studio, who created on board guest spaces that match La Passion’s exterior. The resulting appearance was described as ‘clean simplicity’ and ‘elegantly modern’.
Explorer yachts are often given their name by virtue of their styling, rather than their suitability for long-range expeditions in all climates. The judges were therefore immediately impressed by X, constructed by San Lorenzo, which they deemed a true explorer. The well-constructed, steel and aluminium vessel is powered by 970kW Caterpillar diesels, enabling her to travel at speed with a nautical mile range necessary for her transoceanic role. Her superstructure has been shifted forward to leave plenty of space on the main deck for the storage of toys – ranging from a submarine and a seaplane, to sailing fishing boats and a large tender (up to 10m). These features make her a well-conceived explorer and the deserving winner of the Displacement Motor Yachts of below 500gt – 30 metres to 42.9-metres award.
Another worthy recipient of a Neptune trophy was Heesen Yachts’ Galactica Super Nova. This vessel is an example of a newly developed category of fast yachts whose hull form provides optimum performance. Her magnificent length – 20m longer than the next largest yacht in her class – meant she was put into her own category. Stand-out features on Galactica Super Nova include a 9m2 cinema screen, which is fitted with night-time lighting so that it can easily transform from an outdoor cinema to a superyacht night club. Overall, the judges were impressed with her high-quality build, enviable appearance and superb facilities and therefore deemed her the worthy winner of the Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 50-metres and above award.
The Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts of 40-metres to 49.9-metres class tested the judges’ analytical skills, with every entry heavily scrutinised. Another Heesen Yachts’ build, Amore Mio, ascended as the panel’s favourite. The judges were impressed by the versatility of the vessel, which combines a unique ‘summer house on the sea’ design with excellent technical capabilities, including the possibility to cleverly deploy life preservers at the push of a button. Her toy box is ample, with everything from Seadoos flyboards and high-flying towables, to stand-up paddle boards and a 5.9 metre Boesch mahogany tender is stowed in the garage.
Equally impressive is Otam’s Gipsy, a compact but extremely well designed yacht, which took home the award in the Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts of 34-metres to 39.9-metres category. The judges were drawn to her clean ‘no nonsense’ exterior lines and the highly practical optimisation of exterior space. A more detailed examination of the yacht revealed a thoughtfully laid out interior that positions the dining area forward on the main deck, and a saloon which incorporates a movie theatre. Throughout Gipsy, contemporary art is integrated with the interior design; since the yacht is lived on year-round, a lot of storage space is obtained behind each piece of fixed furniture.
The judges noted that the Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts of 30-metres to 33.9-metres class was highly diverse, comprised of high-speed two-deck sports boats, as well as raised pilothouse and tri-deck vessels, thus increasing the difficulty of comparing individual yachts. The 32.3m Botti, designed as a raised pilothouse and built by Monte Carlo Yachts, was ultimately chosen as the winner. Her exterior design permits a large bimini-covered sundeck with dining and lounging, a second dining area on the main deck aft and a foredeck lounge with cinema, not to mention a sizable bathing platform.
When it comes to sailing yachts, one particular vessel shone above the rest, picking up two highly coveted awards. Perini Navi’s 70m Sybaris, an ultra-large yacht designed to cruise the extremities of the world in comfort, was the worthy winner in both the Sailing Yacht of 40-metres and above and Sailing Yacht of the Year categories. The owner’s designers worked with the builder’s in-house teams to provide an impressive interpretation of the owner’s request for elegant, low-profile styling, uninterrupted internal volumes and wide views. Sybaris’ sailing ability, luxurious interior, optimum division of internal volume and technical innovation determined her as a yacht that is supreme for its purpose.
Another victor was Baltic Yachts’ My Song, who was awarded the trophy for Sailing Yacht of 30-metres to 39.9-metres. With an interior and exterior styled by Nauta Design, she’s packed with cutting edge design and technology; a comfortable yet feature-filled cruising yacht. She also performs well on the race course, regularly reaching 20-plus knots and boasting a top speed in excess of 30 knots in optimum conditions.
Narvalo was deemed the rightful winner of the Judge’s Special Award for Quality and Value. This ‘pocket explorer yacht’, constructed by Cantiere delle Marche, combines sought-after characteristics with excellent value for money. She offers all the essential elements of an explorer, including long range, good autonomy, high internal volume and a sturdy well equipped tender. Narvalo also embodies the elements of a more traditional motor yacht, with well-sized cabins, an internal dining saloon and two lounges, as well as spacious well considered deck areas.
Out of the four yachts that entered the Rebuilt Yachts category, the judges immediately agreed that Legend stood out from the competition. The owner’s objective was to create a world-roaming expedition yacht with Lloyd’s A1 Ice Class and Polar classification, choosing a 34-year-old ex-Russian tug boat as his starting point. Very little of the original yacht was left intact aside from the hull, which was extended by 3.6m to incorporate a bathing platform and a 16-person swimming pool, and her main engines could. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the rebuild, carried out by ICON Yachts, was the installation of a fully classified helipad with refueling facilities. The judges deemed this a highly successful rebuild that readied her for operations in high latitudes, where she has already cruised.
This year’s event saw eight yachts enter the Refitted Yachts class, but the judges were on the look-out for a yacht that had completed visionary upgrades, or whose endeavours had resulted in significant improvements. 85.6m Aquila, formerly known as Cakewalk, immediately caught the eye of the judges., thanks to the extensive work by Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth, UK. This overhaul resulted in Aquila being unrecognisable from her former self, both internally and externally.
Finally, the Legacy Award went to Alex Dreyfoos, an MIT and Harvard graduate. Dreyfoos, an arts philanthropist and keen scuba diver, has previously won an Oscar for his technical contribution to the world of film and has aided oceanic research by carrying scientific equipment aboard Silver Cloud. This 41m superyacht was built so that Alex’s wife Renate could share his ambition for far-ranging explorations, without suffering from motion sickness. Alex investigated a variety of hull-forms that would help limit motion sickness and discovered the SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) concept. Tests confirmed the benefits of this design and so Dreyfoos commissioned Abeking & Rasmussen to build the distinctive vessel, in which the owners have enjoyed many adventurous cruises.