The winners of the prestigious 2013 Motor Boat of the Year Awards were announced at London’s Savoy Hotel. Every boat nominated for an Award had been personally tested by the panel of experienced and talented boat testers. The boats shortlisted were those that most impressed the judges with outstanding design and performance.
Sixty boats were shortlisted for this year’s Awards (see European Powerboat of the Year 2013: The candidates) which featured nine categories ranging from the smallest ‘Starterboat’ to luxurious 'Custom Yachts'... here we take a look at the nine winners..
Winner: Quicksilver Activ 705
Highly Commended – Bayliner 642
From the first moment we saw the new Activ range from Quicksilver, the merits of its clear-thinking design were obvious - and in the form of the range-topping, cabin-equipped 705, those merits are particularly prominent. Designed to accommodate eight people, with a large dining area and permanent galley, the surprisingly stylish Quicksilver Activ 705 is usefully arranged for social gatherings. And with a private double berth and enclosed heads, plus two extra convertible berths, it also proves very versatile as a family weekender. See our reviews on other Qucksilver designs Quicksilver Activ Open: an ideal starter boat and Quicksilver Activ 675: A Quick-Witted Drive.
2. Performance and Superboat
Winner: XO 240 RS
XO is a Finnish boat building company responsible for the construction of a small range of aluminium craft of between 20 and 27 feet in length. The 240 RS is a particularly sporting 24-footer, capable of carrying eight people and offering a very soft ride courtesy of an extremely fine entry which tapers to a (still surprisingly acute) 24-degree deadrise at the transom. It’s a great looking and fine handling boat with GRP topside mouldings adding a quality finish and two configurations (Open or Cabin) to help tailor it to your needs.
3. Wheelhouse & Walkaround
Winner: Minor Offshore 36
Highly Commended – Duchy 27
Finnish boat builder, Minor Offshore, enjoys a deserved reputation not just for seakeeping ability but also for its ingenious use of space. And here, in the form of the award-winning 36, that brings you the ability to sleep five, with the luxury of a separate head and shower room, a generous galley and a large, sliding sunroof to help generate the feeling of an open boat. Famous for its ability as a four-season craft, you get a large L-shaped bench in the aft cockpit, a sunbed on the foredeck and engine options from 400 to 800hp in both single and dual rigs. It’s not cheap but it’s a class act.
4. Trawler Yacht and Aft Cabin
Winner: Marex 320 ACC
The eight-strong Marex fleet starts with the amusingly named 21-foot ‘Duckie’ and is topped off with the magnificent 370 Aft Cabin Cruiser. The 320ACC is the smaller sibling of that award winning flagship and it inherits a great many of its strengths. You get a broad, well-lit, panoramic aft cabin of a scale and quality rarely seen in the sub 35-foot sector. And despite the generous walkaround deck, space up top is also very generous. In terms of outright performance, a top end of around 28 knots is nothing extraordinary but the quality of materials, excellence of build and intelligence of design are all absolutely first rate.
5. Sportscruiser up to 45ft
Winner: Princess V39
Highly Commended – Gradezza 39CA
The sub 45-foot category is considered relatively modest in the world of the modern Princess. In fact, as things stand, the V39 is the smallest craft of a 23-strong fleet that extends right up beyond the 130-foot mark - so it is little surprise that, despite its sporting posture and diminutive size, the ‘little’ V39 feels very much like a superyacht in miniature. Resin infused mouldings are matched by tremendous attention to detail both inside and out. It looks fantastic, it drives beautifully and it is priced with a degree of modesty that belies its calibre. Small wonder it won top honours in this category.
6. Sportscruiser above 45ft
Winner: Delta 54 IPS
Highly Commended – Azimut 55S
As the name suggests, the Delta 54IPS comes with Volvo Penta’s ultra-intuitive joystick control, both at the helm and outside on the aft deck - and yet despite its name, the 54 actually measures in at around 59 feet. Described by Delta as ‘the only mass-produced carbon fibre boat in the world’, the 54IPS comes with a main ensuite cabin in the forward section and two ensuite guest cabins, one on either side - each with its own sound system, air conditioning and underfloor heating. With internal trim in satin teak and stainless steel, plus an extensive options list to aid customisation, the 54 comes either in twin or triple configuration to deliver a top end between 32 and 38 knots and a cruising range of around 350 nautical miles.
7. Flybridge up to 55ft
Winner: Bavaria Virtess 420
Highly Commended – Sealine F48
There are currently just two models in the new Virtess line from Bavaria and they are already well accustomed to critical acclaim. Based on the same 40-foot hull as the Coupe version, the 420 Flybridge has previously won the Nautical Design Award in Italy on account of its big cockpit, 360-degree visibility, easy functionality and clever use of space. The huge sliding glass partitions are complemented by a mixture of rounded portholes and square-edged windows to provide excellent internal light and very contemporary styling. With joystick control, German build quality and a generous cruising range, the Virtess looks like a winner for Bavaria.
8. Flybridge above 55ft
Winner: Monte Carlo Yachts 65
Large flybridges are not famed for their stylistic sophistication but from a design perspective, the MCY65 is a beautiful piece of work. Input from Nuvolari Lenard has no doubt played its part here with a classically elevated and flared bow, long smoothly raked topsides and a very free porthole arrangement. And it’s deliciously Italian elsewhere too, with a carbon fibre radar/T-top on the upper level and delectable walnut, oak and leather down below. Expect 30-knot performance and a lot of jealous friends.
9. Custom Yacht
Winner: Sunseeker 28 Metre Yacht
The 28 is the fourth largest of Sunseeker’s seven Yacht line. Designed to offer luxury and long-distance cruising ability, it comes with a 9,000-litre fuel tank for a 400Nm range and space for up to eight guests and four crew. The internal centerpiece is the huge saloon with full-height wraparound glazing, but it’s the external styling of this 94-footer that really strikes home with raked angles and sculpted topsides in very dynamic union. In addition to a cruising speed of 23 knots and a top end of around 28 knots, it also offers a range of cabin plans to enable the client to closely match his needs.
For more top powerboats see Nine top Motorboats and 10 Eye-catching Must See Powerboats.