The annual Motorboat Awards in association with IPC have become very well respected here in the UK. For evidence of that, you need only take a brief look around the London Boat Show, where various builders proudly display their ‘Nominated’ badges each January. However, while there are up to seven finalists in each of the categories, only nine category winners are selected. Here, we take a look at the special boats that won through.
Starter Boat – Bayliner Element
It was evidently a close-run thing between the excellent English Harbour Yachts 16(which was ‘Highly Commended’) and the Bayliner Element, but in the end, the Bayliner’s victory makes perfect sense.
After all, it’s a very affordable and unintimidating open boat that costs as little to run as it does to buy. Yes, it’s simplistic, hard riding and rather wet, with a jetboat style configuration that has the helmsman stretching to reach the wheel but it’s exactly where most of us need Bayliner to be – and the judges plainly appreciate that.
Search all Bayliner vessels for sale in the UK on www.boats.com
Performance Boat- Frauscher 1017 GT
If the idea of a performance boat conjures up images of brash neon speed machines, Austrian builder Frauscher is likely to come as a breath of fresh air.
In the company’s own words, its 1017 GT is designed to be “a top-class gentlemen racer” rather than a populist crowd-pleaser and it shows. This eight-man teak-lined missile can be specified either with the standard twin 300hp engines or a pair of 430hp units but either way, it comes with radical hull steps, a fine entry and beautifully modern, clean and pared back internals. Also available as an open boat (known as the Lido), this Frauscher flagship is a deserving winner.
Search all Frauscher boats for sale worldwide on www.boats.com
Wheelhouse and Walkaround – Trusty T28
The diminutive Trusty T28 does the simple things very well.
Designed by John Moxham with the intention of increasing performance while retaining the sea keeping traits that have defined the brand’s name, the T28 is a tremendously well-built and capable displacement cruiser - and given that John’s CV includes the Kingfisher 34, the Osprey 28 and several military and commercial vessels, so it should be. In addition to the quality hull, you get two separate two-berth cabins and a choice of three Yanmar diesel engines, enabling speeds of up to 16 knots. It’s a well-deserved accolade for this British stalwart.
Search all Trusty boats for sale on www.boats.com
Trawler Yacht and Aft Cabin – Outer Reef 700
I refuse to believe that any boat in this category could beat my own personal favourite, the Marex 370 ACC – but apparently the judges disagree.
While the new Hardy 62 achieved a special mention, it was the Outer Reef 700 that took the title courtesy in no small part to a combination of vast inboard space and impressive running efficiency. Powered by a pair of 503hp Caterpillar C9 diesels, the use of a third tank (in addition to the standard 6,400 litre fuel capacity) will apparently generate a range well in excess of 4,000 nautical miles at around 6 knots. It’s difficult to argue with that.
Search all Outer Reef boats for sale worldwide on www.boats.com
Sports Cruiser up to 45 feet – Atlantis 34
The new Elan Power 30 was beaten into second spot by the rather lovely Atlantis 34.
Built by renowned Italian yard, Azimut, it combines sporting pedigree with all the external elegance and quality you would expect. Inside, that means a private main cabin, lashings of oak trim and plenty of natural light. Up top, it means open air sport courtesy of the soft-top, plus an elegant dinette and the pleasure of “avant-garde instrumentation” for the skipper as he pushes this four-man sports cruiser to a serene top end of 31 knots.
Search all Atlantis 34 for sale worldwide - www.boats.com
Sports Cruiser over 45 feet – Sunseeker San Remo
According to Sunseeker, the new San Remo is designed to be “an icon of tomorrow” so snatching victory in the Motorboat Awards as the best Sports Cruiser over 45 feet is a very auspicious start.
Volvo Penta’s IPS Pod Drives enable the San Remo to hit a top speed of 30 knots while freeing up space below for a pair of generously proportioned cabins. Easily capable of swallowing four guests for an extended weekend away, the San Remo also features an attractive main deck with a bright and spacious saloon and a pair of expansive sunpads. Was it ever in doubt? Possibly not.
Search all Sunseeker San Remo sports cruiser for sale worldwide - www.boats.com
Flybridge up to 55 feet – Princess 43
As the march of time tarnished the undoubted novelty value of the lovely Monte Carlo 5, the door was left ajar for some fresh boats to catch the eye – and in swept the new Princess 43 to take the plaudits.
It offers a truly ingenious combination of swept windows and a galley that straddles the space between the main and lower decks. The result is a flybridge with tremendous visibility, great natural light and unparalleled integration between the internal spaces. Its price tag is certainly challenging but its cleverness is not in question.
Search all Princess 43 for sale worldwide - www.boats.com
Flybridge over 55 feet – Azimut 80
Azimut claims to have employed “a new approach to space layout, furnishing design and interior lighting” in its attempt to combine a clean, minimalist style with genuine comfort - and while this all sounds rather grandiose, the sheer variety and scale of the seating options (whether on the bow, the aft deck, the flybridge or the saloon) is certainly striking.
The fact that the galley can be either enclosed or open also adds an extra degree of versatility to the main deck, making it ideal for charter work as well as private ownership. There’s nothing revolutionary here but the 80’s combination of clear thinking design and quality execution is extremely impressive.
Search all Azimut 80 for sale worldwide - www.boats.com
Custom Yacht – Ferretti 960
A 96-foot, 87-tonne planing boat capable of 31 knots? That alone is deserving of an award, so I am pleased to see the Ferretti 960 win through here.
In addition to being the largest planing boat ever built by Ferretti, it is also the builder’s first yacht with the master cabin on the main deck, well away from the four ensuite guest cabins below. Notable big boat features include three crew cabins with access directly from the galley, plus an immersible swim platform and a floodable garage to aid with the davit-free launching of a tender. Available with three engine options (from 4,436 to 5,276hp), this Ferretti flagship even comes with an Anti-rolling Gyro system as standard. It’s a class act and a deserving winner.
Search all Ferretti Yachts for sale in UK on www.boats.com