The presentation of the awards for European Yacht of the Year 2015 and European Powerboat of the Year 2015 took place on Saturday, January 17 during the opening weekend of the Dusseldorf Boat Show (Boot Dusseldorf).
Described as the “Oscars of Water Sports”, this is the 12th annual European Yacht of the Year event and the ninth European Powerboat of the Year title. The jury comprises the test directors and editors-in-chief of Europe’s 19 leading yachting and powerboat magazines. Publisher Konrad Delius and Boot project manager Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel once again welcomed more than 400 guests from the international maritime scene to the awards ceremony.
European Yacht of the Year 2015
More than 80 new yachts reach the market in Europe every year, of which 25 are shortlisted and five selected for prizes by a jury from 11 leading European sailing magazines. This year the jury introduced the Bluewater Cruiser category for boats designed and equipped for open sea journeys lasting several months.
Best Family Cruiser: Bavaria Cruiser 46
The laurels in the Family Cruiser category went to the Bavaria Cruiser 46. The previous model had already been nominated for the award in 2010, when it came a close second. Much-improved in both technical and conceptual terms, the Bavaria Cruiser 46 managed to convince the jury. This is regarded as one of the most sophisticated boats in this class.
The nominations in the Family Cruiser category were: Bavaria Cruiser 46, Dufour 310 GL, Nautitech Open 40, RM 890, Sun Odyssey 349 (see First Look Video).
Best Performance Cruiser: JPK 10.80
The title in the Performance Cruiser category went to the JPK 10.80 from France. JPK specialises in single-handed or two-handed craft. During testing, the high-performance craft convinced the judges with top-class data.
The nominations for the Performance Cruiser category were: Corsair Cruze 970, Dehler 46 (see First Look Video), JPK 10.80, Sun Fast 3600 (one of the six best new yachts at London Boat Show 2015), XP-55.
Best Luxury Cruiser: Wauquiez Centurion 57
The winner in the Luxury Cruiser category was the Wauquiez Centurion 57. The sporty flagship of the French Centurion range is characterised by an athletic elegance that is particularly emphasised by the clear layout and modern finish in the finest teak.
The nominations in the Luxury Cruiser category were: Euphoria 54, Italia 15.98, Moody 54 DS (see First Look Video here), Wauquiez Centurion 57, XC-35.
Special Yachts category winner: Advanced 44 (A44)
In the Special Yachts category, the Advanced 44 was a firm favourite with the jury. The smart-looking Italian craft succeeds in uniting two apparently contrary concepts and is a weekender and a racer rolled into one. Loft-style luxury is the dominant impression below deck, while the A44 also scores highly with radical performance on the water.
The nominations in the Special Yachts category were: Advanced 44, Astus 24, Pogo 3, Pointer 25, Saffier SE 33 (see full review).
Best Bluewater Cruiser: Boreal 52
The winner of the hotly-contested new Bluewater Cruiser category was the Boréal 52. The yachts from the French shipyard are regarded as an insider tip for extreme touring, particularly at higher latitudes. The “Boréal 52” has an integral keel and can be allowed to beach.
Nominations for the Bluewater Cruiser category were: Boréal 52, Garcia Exploration 45, Ovni 52 Evolution, Rapier 550, Southerly 535.
European Powerboat of the Year Award winners
Things were equally exciting when it came to the choice of winners in the European Powerboat of the Year 2015 Awards. Each year, more than 250 new powerboat models reach the market and the expert jury consists of the testers from the eight leading European powerboat magazines from Norway, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
Up to 25 feet: Beneteau Flyer 6
Six completely different concepts fought it out in the small class for boats measuring up to 25 feet. In the end the prize went to the Beneteau Flyer 6 (see full-length boats.com review). The jury’s verdict: suitability for new boat owners and trailer handling are extremely important factors in this class. Depending on the specific needs of the owner, the Flyer 6 is available in three different versions: as a space deck, sports deck or sun deck. All three versions share the same Air Step hull with excellent handling capabilities and an attractive price/performance ratio.
Nominations for Powerboats up to 25 feet: Askeladden C75 Crusier, Bénéteau Flyer 6, Flipper 600 DC (see reviews of the Flipper 640 ST, Flipper 520 HT, and Flipper 630 HT), Parker 750 DC, Rinker Captiva 200 MTX (see boats.com review of the Rinker Captiva 236 CC), Yamarin Cross 75 BR (see full review).
Up to 35 feet: Draco 27 RS
Boats in the 35-foot class must feature practical solutions, good craftsmanship and safe handling on all waters. In this category the prize went to the Draco 27 RS (see full-length boats.com review). The Draco 27 RS embodies a modern interpretation of the term “Bowrider”. It also scored highly with the jury for its excellent finish and very good handling. Thus, the 27 RS builds almost seamlessly on the virtues of the predecessor models of this traditional Scandinavian brand.
Nominations for the up to 35 feet category were: Draco 27 RS, Frauscher 747 Mirage, Galeon 300 Fly (see First Look Video), Quicksilver Active 805 (see First Look Video), Wider 32.
Up to 45 feet: Cranchi 43 Eco Trawler
The vote in the 45-foot class favoured the Cranchi 43 Eco Trawler. In this class, as well as handling and safety features, the jury were also looking for boats that scored well for onboard living and efficient use of space. The Cranchi Eco Trawler has lots of customising options, combined with a good 360 degree view and an unusually large flybridge.
The nominations for the up to 45 feet category were: Bavaria Sport 400 Coupé, Cranchi 43 Eco Trawler, Nimbus 405 Coupe (see our First Look Video), Rio Paranà 38, Windy 39 Camira (one of the seven hottest boats at Southampton Boat Show in 2014).
Over 45 feet: Azimut 50 Fly
In the over 45-foot class, the jury chose the Azimut 50 Fly. In the Azimut 50, the Italian designers and engineers have successfully managed to transfer many of the attributes of the boat’s big sister, the Azimut 80 (see photo album review on our sister site, Yachtworld), to a 15-metre vessel. The fittings, spaciousness and cabin layout create a feeling of being on a much larger craft. Nonetheless, the Azimut 50 has lost none of the agility you would expect from a flybridge yacht with a capability of 30 knots.
The nominations for the over 45 feet category were: Absolute Navetta 58, Azimut 50 Fly, Greenline 48, Jeanneau Prestige 750, Korvet 14 CLR.
Trawler class: Panorama 46 FF
Steeler has reinvented the term steel boat with the Panorama 46 FF. This is the first boat in the trawler class to offer around 45 square metres of space without steps or companionways. Combined with large window areas, the visual appeal is quite unique in the boating scene.
The Nominations for the Trawler category were: Aquanaut Andante 438 OC, Fleming 58 (see full review), Jetten 50 MPC, Linssen Classic Sturdy 36 Deckbridge, Steeler Panorama 46 FlatFloor.
This year, the prize for innovation as part of the Powerboat of the Year Awards went to the Evinrude E-Tec G2 outboard motor.
Its innovative direct injection system for 2-stroke engines has made it possible to significantly reduce emissions without compromising on the traditional 2-stroke strengths of high torque and good power-to-weight ratio. In addition, the E-Tec-G2 engines require little maintenance – hence the manufacturer’s 5-year guarantee.
The Seamaster Award went to Lutz W. Lester, CEO of Neander Shark, producers of the world's first turbo diesel outboard motor.
The jury cited the engine's significantly reduced weight and high performance, together with a previously unknown low level of vibration, that enables the Neander Shark's ecologically sound, fuel-saving twin crankshaft turbo diesel technology to be used for the first time in an outboard motor.