16 ShowBoats Design Awards 2016 winners

11.4m limo tender

Tender Design Award winner

Naval Architect: Michael Peters

Exterior Styling, Interior Design: Michael Peters and  Hodgdon Yachts

Builder: Hodgdon Custom Tenders

A total of 12 tenders were entered in the ShowBoats Design Awards and it was clear that the limousine-style tender has truly come into its own.

This category goes first to a subcommittee to compare the entrants on such issues as horsepower-to-weight ratios, launch and retrieval methods, carrying capacity, speed, range and mission features. Those deemed the “smartest” are presented to the full panel.

Top marks went to a new development by U.S. builder Hodgdon Yachts for a longer, aft helm version of its Venetian water taxi-inspired limo. Here, Michael Peters has evolved the graceful lines of the taxis into an elegant yet sexy sculpture on the water.

The aft helm model offers the option of being inside or outside. Ample outside seating forward, a climate-controlled cabin for 10 with standing headroom and a generous aft deck with commanding views is manifested in a low profile with a rigid bimini that powers down for stowage in the tender bay. Twin Volvo outdrives power her to 34 knots while the paint and interior appointments complement the mothership.


Exterior Design & Styling Award - Motor Yacht Below 500GT winner

Exterior Styling: AB Studio - Omega Architects

Builder: Heesen Yachts

The ShowBoats Design Award for exterior design and styling on motor yachts below 500GT had nine finalists featured yachts from 32 meters to 50 meters and styles from raised pilothouse to expedition.

The runaway winner was the second longest yacht in the group – Sibelle – whose radical styling combined a slight reverse or destroyer bow with a hard chine and a knuckle to broaden the bow above the waterline and blunt it at the sheerline. The spray rails at the bow were envisioned as part of a strong, deliberate horizontal design vocabulary that includes dark bands of glass that although stepped, appear continuous and help make the yacht appear longer than her actual 49.9-meter length.

The bullnosed shape of the side and aft deck overhangs reinforces the powerful look of the exterior while mirroring the curves of the built-in aft deck seating areas. Symmetry is a strong secondary design theme and this is particularly noticeable on the mast and sun deck. The surprise of skylights in the sun deck hardtop, however, and the picture window opening onto the aft swim platform add a light touch and remind us that Sibelle is a yacht of delightful, engaging contrasts.

This award is sponsored by MAST.


Exterior Design & Styling - Motor Yacht Above 500GT winner

Exterior Styling: CG Design

Builder: Feadship, De Vries

The nine finalists in the exterior design styling category for yachts over 500GT ranged from 55 meters in length to nearly double that, which gave considerable real estate for exterior stylists to exploit.

This is the first exterior design for CG Design, a Paris-based architectural firm, although principal Cristina Gherardi designed the interior of the owner’s previous semi-custom yacht. This relationship and a thorough grounding in contemporary architecture established a design envelope for Savannah that deviated little from the first sketches brought to Feadship and De Voogt Naval Architects.

The key design exercise is to allow guests to maintain a functional relationship with the sea. In fact, there is an unbroken cascade of main deck living areas from the dining room, through the open salon, across the pool deck and down to the sea. In other places, huge expanses of glass link the interior with the world beyond, from her partially submerged “Nemo” room at the stern to the bow’s hidden observation room.

The slim, smooth silhouette and plumb bow convey a sense of speed while the metallic silver-green exterior finish extending even to the exterior deck overheads magically reflects the changing colours of sea and sky.

This award is sponsored by Blohm+Voss.


Exterior Design & Styling - Styling Award winner

Exterior Styling: Nauta Design

Builder: Baltic Yachts

Of the six sailing yachts chosen as ShowBoats Design Awards 2016 finalists for their exterior looks, two were very traditional. While the judges appreciated their adherence to iconic style and gleaming brightwork, it was the efforts the balance of the designers made to distinguish their projects among the fleet of modern yachts that captured their interest, especially considering that the same combination of naval architect Judel/Vroljik and exterior stylist  Nauta Design had two remarkably different yachts in the running.

The judges chose to make  Nikata the winner because of Nauta Design’s sympathetic response to the owner’s brief to not compromise the yacht’s regatta-style performance in delivery of an attractive profile and a high level of comfort at sea.

The very low deckhouse is a masterwork of joined geometric shapes that create a single line and subtle contrast between the smooth, iron grey hull and the light silver top. The fact that the pale teak deck is splined with grey caulking showed a comprehensive approach that took the styling that extra step. From the opening transom that will create a grand entrance for guests to the well-designed crew access point aft, her functionality is beautifully designed.

This award is sponsored by Cantieri di Pisa


Interior Layout & Design Award - Motor Yacht Below 500GT winner

Interior Design: Sorgiovanni Designs

Builder: Alia Yachts

The hotly contested ShowBoats Design Award for interior layout and design of yachts below 500GT always draws a lot of entrants and this year was no exception, thus the shortlisting committee was hard-pressed to limit the number of finalists to just 10.

The interior designers ranged from newcomers to well-known industry stalwarts and their concepts ranged from traditional to industrial chic. What excited the judges most was the design by Australian Sam Sorgiovanni for a compact five-stateroom yacht that lives large thanks to a nearly nine-meter beam and features smart flow for excellent crew service. Among Rüya's interior features is a three-deck atrium staircase clad in a marble surround.

The owner’s brief was for a casual, family-oriented yacht with an upscale yet unpretentious resort ambiance. Sorgiovanni’s design keeps things fresh and lively with a broad array of materials and textures used to geometric effect and a colour palette of ochre and turquoise blue inspired by northwestern Australia. The open grains of the wood surfaces — primarily bamboo and Australian silky oak — and patterns of hand-hewn stone are allowed to take center stage to create a compelling and modern backdrop for exploring the world.

This award is sponsored by Boutsen Design.


Interior Layout & Design Award - Motor Yacht Above 500GT winner

Exterior Styling: CG Design

Builder: Feadship, De Vries

The rarefied air of exclusivity pervades the category for interiors of the largest motor yachts. It is the world where knowledgeable and sophisticated owners challenge their design teams to produce beautiful and personalised statements. Such is the case with Savannah, and although it is only this architectural team’s second yacht, the owner was well known to them and made clear his interest in continuity of indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces, visual contact with the sea and having a variety of living spaces for different activities.

Turning convention on its head, Paris-based CG Design responded with a layout where walls, ceilings, furniture and surface patterns are developed on curved lines to accentuate fluidity via natural and organic forms – there are no boxes. The window architecture is fresh and inspiring and from the interior, draws less attention to window shape and structure than to the views outside. This, plus a semi-underwater lounge and cinema, a secret observation room in the bow, stunning lighting design, a floating catwalk, and a main deck living area that is one continuous space from salon to swim platform left the judges applauding.

This award is sponsored by Tai Ping.


Interior Layout & Design Award winner

Exterior Styling: Nauta Design

Builder: Baltic Yachts

Because Nikata is the third custom Baltic build involving Nauta Design, the firm was well aware of the yard’s capabilities for lightweight construction. In fact, to meet the performance characteristics and speed required by her owner, the overall light displacement of the yacht was kept to just 88 metric tons, yet he was not interested in compromising on modern conveniences or comfort.

Another of the interior constraints was that the design needed to accommodate a lifting keel, which meant designing the owner and VIP guest accommodation around a large, vertical keel box. The layout smartly places crew cabins, navigation station, galley and access to machinery spaces aft with direct access to the helm area on deck.

The use of pale oak paneling and furniture keeps the four-stateroom (plus crew) interior light, while an innovative T-shaped coachroof skylight offsets the small window area of the deckhouse and brings plenty of light to the open plan living space below that features a separate TV area off the salon. The contemporary theme is matched by the smooth and simple interior décor style distinguished by consistent use of natural materials.

This award is sponsored by Videoworks.


Naval Architecture Award - Displacement Motor Yacht Below 500GT winner

Naval Architect:  Van Oossanen Naval Architects

I__nterior Design: Sorgiovanni Designs

Builder: Alia Yachts

Rüya’s owner wanted to focus on cruising comfort rather than speed. While the brief insisted on keeping gross tonnage under the 500 GT limit, he nevertheless envisioned the amount of living space typically associated with yachts of 45 to 50 meters.

The solution was a clever exploitation of the benefits of advanced composite construction, which allowed significantly more accommodation on the main and upper decks without compromising weight and stability. An ample waterline beam of 8.7 meters enhances seaworthiness and comfort. A relatively deep forefoot allowing a surprising tank deck under the crew area forward trails to a long, comparatively deep 2.4m keel protecting the running gear, which is set in slight tunnels.

The lines of the displacement hull flatten aft for stability and added buoyancy. Able to cruise very quietly at 10 knots and with enough range to cross the Atlantic at 11 knots, the yacht’s 750 kW Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines can deliver top speeds of between 14 to 15 knots thanks to the weight savings of the construction.

This award is sponsored by Clyde & Co.

Madame Kate

Naval Architecture Award - Displacement Motor Yacht Above 500GT winner

Naval Architecture: Amels and Damen Group

Builder: Amels

Pictures can be deceiving when it comes to naval architecture. The Amels Limited Editions 199 Madame Kate presents such a big, bold face to the world that her efficiency numbers were run twice to make sure they were correct.

The magic, of course, resides under water and in the long waterline length that begins with Tim Heywood’s scimitar bow. This innovation from Damen’s Axe Bow commercial concept was developed and tested in partnership with Delft University and the MARIN tow-test facility to provide the owners with a dry, comfortable, stable ride and minimal vertical acceleration.

Two pairs of short bilge keels augment the beam for stability but not at the expense of excessive drag. The yacht measures 1,140 GT and has a full-load displacement of 1,145 metric tons, yet relatively modest 1500kW diesels deliver a top speed of 16 knots. Together with one genset, she consumes 320 litres per hour at 13 knots. Of equal interest is that putting that much volume forward brought about new crew pathways and technical spaces that enhance owner privacy.

This award is sponsored by Fincantieri.

Iron Man

Naval Architecture Award - Semi-displacement Motor Yacht winner

Naval Architecture: Azimut Benetti SpA

Builder: Benetti Shipyard

Benetti’s 38.1m Vivace model _Iron Man _presents an interesting application of azimuthing propulsion in a relatively small motor yacht and an innovative hull designed to transition smoothly from displacement speeds to semi-planing and a sprightly top end of 24.5 knots — two knots faster than predicted.

An 18-month development period of what Azimut Benetti calls its D2P hull utilised CFD to refine every element and appendage, evolving a hull shape with a pair of asymmetrical chines and a wave-piercing bow. Its smooth underwater profile and reduced forward resistance result in a 20 percent higher cruising speed. At 11.5 knots Iron Man burns 100 litres per hour. A weight control budget utilising carbon fibre in the hull resulted in 40 percent less weight when compared to traditional structures. Azimut Benetti chose pod drive propulsion with a forward pulling propeller for increased efficiency and enhanced maneuvering.

The ShowBoats Design Awards judges were also impressed with the efficient design of Palumbo Group’s 40.1-meter motor yacht, Divine, with naval architecture by Hydrotec. This all-aluminum yacht achieved nearly the same efficiency rating as Iron Man, but, it should be noted, with diesel/electric power and traditional shaft propulsion.

This award is sponsored by JFA Yachts.

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