Winners Revealed for the 2020 BOAT International Design and Innovation Awards

Best Naval Architecture Sailing Yachts


Length: 43.3m

Naval architect: Farr Yacht Design

Builder: Baltic Yachts

The entries put forward in this category this year included both cruisers and racer/cruisers yet the system developed by our expert judging sub- committee can quite fairly score them together. Of the finalists, both Liara and Canova are fully custom yachts developed to match specific owner briefs and were able to show more R&D detail. While both achieve their performance targets, Canova steps ahead on innovation, being the first large yacht fitted with a DSS foil and contributing to the science on this method of enhancing stability. Adding up the points applied for all factors, Canova displayed a higher overall naval architecture profile along with a higher mark for hydrodynamics. While our judges noted that the entry did not have enough miles under sail to adequately note the impact of the foil purely on speed, Farr’s hull itself was impressive. Sea trials confirmed predicted performance numbers and showed that Canova could comfortably achieve boat speeds equal to wind speed in moderate to strong conditions. Deployed by the push of a button, the foil’s positive impact on Canova’s stability and righting moment was obvious both in data and in videos of the yacht under way.

Best New Series

LeVen 90

Length: 28m

Builder: Van der Valk

Naval architectVripack

Exterior stylist: Vripack

Interior design: Vripack

Proving our judges are anything but predictable, the top scorers in this category could not be more opposite in style, function, builder location or even the home ports of their owners. The Pershing 140 received high marks but it was Van der Valk’s clever LeVen 90 which accrued the most total points, claiming top score for a product the judges believe will appeal to new owners. LeVen 90 ranked well on innovation; in fact, the judges said there was nothing quite like it for an easy-living, no-shoes-required lifestyle. The yacht began as a custom one-off but became a prototype when the builder and creative team convinced the owner to share the design and naval architecture. With its multilevel living area unobstructed from sports deck to galley, LeVen 90 recalls the day when boating was uncomplicated family recreation. Designed for day-trip island-hopping in the Bahamas but with full luxurious overnight accommodations below deck, the yacht combines the best of both worlds, especially considering its balance of quality finishes and attractive price. What’s under the water is equally innovative, with Vripack’s beamy “slide” hull reducing drag and draft, and the first application of Voith’s semi-tunnel linear jet drive in a yacht.

Eco Award


Length: 31.4m

Builder: Cerri Cantieri Navali

Naval architect: Ginton Naval Architects

Exterior stylist: Guido De Groot

Interior design: Guido De Groot

From an array of worthy entrants, the judges were most impressed by Cerri Cantieri Navali’s well-prepared entry for Vanadis. This is the most comprehensive diesel-electric power system yet on a yacht of modest (31m) length and has the first Hybrid Power certification by Lloyd’s Register for an Italian-built yacht. Ten years ago, the yacht’s owner began conceptualising an environmentally friendly, high-tech project with maximum propulsion efficiency for long-range cruising. Less than two years ago, he took his challenge to CCN, which co-ordinated the build and a large international cast of specialist companies. Key to the success of the project was analysis of efficient power sources and distribution for all navigation and hotel loads based on the owner’s request for both fin and gyro stabilisation and great manoeuvring, including Dynamic Positioning. Siemens combined propulsion control and power generation, plus the management of the energy stored in lithium-ion batteries, in one seven-mode application. This latest generation system uses a single 750V DC network to distribute the power needed for the azimuthing Schottel pod propulsion and the auxiliary systems, including a battery- powered night mode.

Outstanding Lifestyle Feature


Length: 85.3m

Lifestyle feature: The Loft/Winter Garden

Interior design: SilverYachts

Exterior stylist: Espen Øino

Naval architect: SilverYachts

Builder: SilverYachts

This year's judges could not have predicted how varied the 18 entrants in this category would be and how difficult the selection of a winner, even after the field was narrowed to eight finalists. While all were aesthetically outstanding and contributed a unique feature to their yachts, one stood out for showing something new, delightful and undeniably Bold. With this latest offering from SilverYachts, a brand known for innovation, designer Espen Øino put a new spin on the typical upper saloon or owner’s deck saloon by creating a multifunction loft-style winter garden space. On those occasions when a helicopter needs to be housed in the hangar below, a section of the winter garden floor can be raised to accommodate it and appears as a table/room divider. As if the floor-to- ceiling windows surrounding the full beam space weren’t enough, these glass walls are capable of folding, sliding and stacking out of the way, fully or in part, to create an outdoor living space in the same footprint, allowing the owner to entertain guests for indoor or outdoor dinner parties. Glass balustrades on the fixed railing prevent any intrusion into the endless views.

Innovation of the Year

4-Ply Complex curve structural

On board: Syzygy 818, Feadship

Developer: Jarkko Jämsén/EOC Engineering/Feadship

Naval architecture: Feadship De Voogt

Featuring giant slabs of perfectly clear glass that are both vertically and horizontally curved, Syzygy 818, the first superyacht designed by Finnish naval architect Jarkko Jämsén, displays a remarkable feat of engineering and construction. This all-glass envelope is an integral part of his theme, bringing the outdoor environment into intimate contact with the interior. Jämsén took the concept of structural glass a step further by curving the glass to control and slow the movement of reflection across the surface. The glass envelope on two and a half decks is fundamental to the watertight integrity of the yacht and was meticulously examined by Lloyd’s. These panels are coupled to each other on the sides, with connections to the ceiling and floor constructed so that the boat flexes around the glass. Being structural from ceiling to deck, the four-layer panels are made of two types of low-iron glass. One has a reflective coating, while a neutral grey film interlayer controls the amount of sun light entering without distorting colour. Eckersley O’Callaghan, a London-based company famed for its award-winning work with structural glass, developed a unique mathematical formula for each panel, some of which are 3m wide, 2.7m high and 4.5cm thick.

Copyright Feadship

Tender of the Year – Limousine


Length: 11m

Builder: Knierim Yachtbau

Naval architect: Beiderbeck Designs

Exterior stylist: Beiderbeck Designs

Interior design: Beiderbeck Designs

The top tender of the year in the limousine category stood out immediately in a field of very strong candidates with numerous notable features such as good looks, good comfort and, importantly, the ability to fit snugly inside a yacht garage witha total height of just 2.4m. However, this 11m tender, part of a pair custom-built at the Knierim Yachtbau yard in Kiel for a Lürssen, offers something new over all the other candidates. It can serve both as the guest tender with comfortable accommodation in a sheltered, air-conditioned interior that will deliver 15 dry guests to shore at speeds up to 30 knots, thanks to two Volvo Penta D3 220 engines. At this speed, even water-skiing is an option too. And the Solas tender can also hold up to 38 people when acting as a rescue boat in an emergency. Along with uncommon features such as a bar with a refrigerator and a comfortable wet room, its design and construction comply with stringent SOLAS rules. It is fire resistant and can be dropped to launch, plus it is certified to withstand the most rigorous sea conditions. In essence, it serves two functions, solving an issue that has plagued the industry for years: the need to carry several auxiliary boats.

Tender of the Year - Open

Tender 15

Length: 4.5m

BuilderSchaaf Yachtbau

The winner of the open tender category – the Tender 15 – stood out for the judges with its unique features, including its petite dimensions and ease of use, which make it a good contender for smaller yachts – indeed, it was designed and built to accompany a 30m Sunseeker. At 4.5m long by 2m of beam, and just 1m high, it is small enough to be stowed on many a yacht’s bathing platform, which means it can be launched and retrieved without the use of expensive equipment or heavy cranes. Built in carbon composite by German custom boat builder Schaaf Yachtbau, with two integral “skids” to support it without a cradle, it is also light (730kg of dry weight including its 80hp Mercury outboard) and sturdy enough to be parked on the hard in a marina. Those “skids” are also an essential part of the distinctive and modern design language of the Tender 15. If need be, it can accommodate up to seven passengers and carries around 70 litres of petrol or diesel fuel (for the inboard version). The hull shape gives it a dry ride. Easy water access makes it useful for diving or tow sports. Judges appreciated its innovative, simple design that is reminiscent of the original Boston Whaler dinghy.

Young Designer of the Year Award

Valentin Weigand

Concept Name: Plato

Nationality: German

Education: ENSA Nantes

The aim of the Young Designer of the Year competition is to identify the best trainee designers and encourage them to join the superyacht industry. The task that is set for entrants is, by intention, always difficult. This year it was especially so as it tested four essential skills of a yacht designer – digital rendering, hand sketching, planning a yacht’s general arrangement, and creating a decorative style for its interior. Competitors were also required to look into the mind of a young client and create a yacht that was both future-proofed and complementary to his lifestyle requirements. Among others, these featured a love for fine dining and good wine, partying, cinema and adventurous sports. The entrants were given four A4 pages to illustrate and explain their ideas, with the contents of each page clearly specified so that the jury of 15 eminent yacht designers who gathered in the Linley showroom in London could easily compare the submissions. Following a detailed study and discussion of the entries, the field was reduced to 12 before a secret ballot produced the six finalists. The honours eventually went to Valentin Weigand, whose accomplished forward-thinking design fulfilled every aspect of the given task.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Martin Francis

Company: Francis Design Limited

Nationality : British

First Yacht Design: Prototype,1978

From his first 14m sailboat, Prototype, to 119m Motor Yacht A, from a Rolling Stones stage set to Swarovski crystal fabrics, and from his work with architect IM Pei on the Louvre’s glass pyramid to inflatable Tour de France event platforms, Martin Francis is a designer who can’t be pigeon-holed into just one field. Born in Britain, Francis, a furniture design graduate of Central St Martins College of Art and Design, started out as a cabinet-maker for high-end shops and private clients in London. He soon began to work with structural engineer Tony Hunt, who introduced him to a rising architect named Norman Foster. They collaborated for two decades. In 1981, he co-founded RFR, a firm noted for pioneering cable-braced glass walls. Boats came about by accident. Britain’s financial crisis of the mid-1970s sent him packing to the South of France, where he found work building sailboat masts. The decision to sail the world with his family led him to design and build his own boat. Racing it locally led to commissions and the 28.2m Diablesse established him in yachting – by 1985, the four largest sloops in the world were his design. In 1988 Emilio Azcárraga offered him his first motor yacht project, which became 73m Eco. With innovative design, high speed and radical use of glass, Eco was the springboard that launched subsequent commissions for yachts as small as the Silver Arrow Granturismo, as unusual as Senses and as large as Golden Odyssey, and now cruise ships in excess of 120,000GT. Throughout his career from architecture to fine art, Martin Francis has brought to the table innovation and collaboration, enthusiasm for his craft and a profound artistic nature.

Read more

Sponsored listings