This year’s Design & Innovation Awards were unusual to say the least but, despite the Covid-19 crisis, builders still managed to deliver outstanding yachts and submit them for our prestigious event by the third week of October 2020. It was a competitive year, and 15 judges – all designers and industry professionals – selected winners by studying supporting materials including photos, videos, statements and specifications from a large field of entrants. Since in-person meeting was impossible, the judges’ debate was moved online. The virtual meeting took place over two days of discussion and voting, and we are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards – and two special Judges' commendations.
Revealed: BOAT Design & Innovation Awards 2021 Winners
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 24m to 39.9m: SX112
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 40m to 59.9m: Blue II
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 60m and above: Lana
Outstanding Exterior Design, Sailing Yachts: CeFeA
Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 499GT and below: Club M
Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 500GT and above: Artefact
Best Interior Design, Sailing Yachts: Geist
Best Naval Architecture, Semi Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts: Touch Me
Best Naval Architecture, Full-displacement Motor Yachts: Artefact
Best Naval Architecture, Sailing Yachts: Sea Eagle II
Outstanding Lifestyle Feature: Luminosity Beach Club
Best New Series: Riva 88’ Folgore
Eco Award: Geist
Innovation of the Year: DC Hybrid Power Grid on board Artefact
Tender of the Year: T/T Radiant
Lifetime Achievement Award: Tim Heywood
Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 60m and above: La Datcha
Naval Architecture, Sailing Yachts: Morgana
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 24m to 39.9m
In this very competitive category, the SX112 distinguished itself for its great use of space and glass. The flagship of the SX line presents several new features, but one engineered with great care, is particularly interesting. An integrated davit in the boat’s side is invisible until it pivots to offload a tender stored on what is an exceptionally large beach platform/aft deck (8.5 sq. metres) for a boat of this length. With its unusual layout, styling features that emphasize connection with the environment and oversized beach club with multiple openings, the judges felt it creates an entirely new boating lifestyle.
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 40m to 59.9m
Judges were impressed by the charm and nostalgia of the design, its colour scheme and its well-considered open deck spaces. The cleanness of lines and consistency of details update a familiar look for a genre that never really existed in the past – explorer yachts – and helped the boat’s appearance remain true to itself in form without compromising function. The long open aft deck houses two large tenders or a submarine below yet this open deck is also classic workboat style. The proportions of the superstructure are pleasing and appropriate to the style
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 60m and above
The boat’s sleek proportion belies its huge size. Smooth surfaces and long lines created by tinted glass and metal structures (such as the brows along the main deck’s bank of windows) pull the eye toward the horizon, which is in keeping with a yacht of such long range. The eight-metre pool structure forward is an interesting twist on typical placement and helps divide various functions of the sundeck, which is an important consideration for a yacht that can carry many guests. Combining this open area with the open space requirement for a helipad on the deck below shows clear thinking in terms of balancing the yacht’s look, and the plumb bow supports the modern style.
Judges' Commendation Exterior Design: La Datcha
The judges debated at length about shapes and proportions in the exterior design above 60 metre category and how subtle features can get lost is very large boats. While Lana pulled ahead in the final point tally, the judges were impressed with the impact of the styling from Azure Naval Architects for the Damen Yachting SeaXplorer La Datcha. They felt her strong, inventive lines created an instantly identifiable, purpose-driven look for this booming genre of explorer yachts.
Outstanding Exterior Design, Sailing Yachts
Modern styling with an ultra-sleek coach roof and two separate spacious cockpits, one connected to the owner’s stateroom for privacy, won the nod from the judges. They also appreciated how shrouds, winches, runners sheets and mooring lines were kept well away from guest areas for safety. The twin wheels are well positioned up and aft of the guest area so that the captain has a clear view of crew and guests during maneuvers, which judges noted was a good safety feature. The innovation of casting the upper half of the aft bulkhead of the master suite in glass to overlook the private aft cockpit is a feature that deserves to be repeated.
Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 499GT and below
This interior tailored to the owners was deemed the standout thanks to plethora of architectural details – curved shapes in the ceiling and seashell-inspired steps on the main stairs, for example – and sophisticated and soft materials that convey warmth and luxury. Achille Salvagni chose most materials for their softness and ability to bend around curves and even stones were fashioned to look supple. The designer drew nearly every piece of furniture to create a fantasy that allows the owners to escape to their own private world while maintaining a purity of line from the exterior.
Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 500GT and above
From an outstanding owners’ office to the stunning luxury of space and the perfect integration of artwork, Artefact was a clear winner in this category. The unusual layout is perfectly suited for the owners’ plans to spend extended stay on board with family. The custom furniture, including a stunning table made by Silverlining, plays off the yacht’s abundant windows, which Reymond Langdon smartly integrated into its design. Materials and shapes were chosen strategically to achieve the owners’ desire for a cosiness that is hard to achieved with walls made of glass. The layout also shows great attention to the needs of the crew.
Best Interior Design, Sailing Yachts
Innovative and stunning are words that just touch the surface when it comes to one of the most bespoke yachts we have seen. Following the directive for organic shapes and no straight lines, Rhoades Young and Spirit Yachts have created a yacht interior that truly flows. The all-wood interior hides all systems, support and structural elements – indeed all storage, too – behind a gleaming curvaceous façade of clear-finished sipo, which forms the interior skin of this cold-moulded yacht. There is no reliance on loose designer furniture or decorative elements. Light, shadow and sensuous shapes define a saloon and four staterooms that seem simply to unfold like a dream. As evidenced by the fact the yard had to invent a new way to steam-bend walnut for the furniture, the joinery skills and labor hours needed to execute this interior are off the chart.
Best Naval Architecture, Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts
In the popular category of yachts that have to do two things well, Touch Me stood out for stunning performance achieved through smartly modifying the yacht from the standard Pershing envelope first shown in 2019. The owner’s requirement for a top speed of 38 knots sent the design and build team back to their computers to rethink appendages, weight and balances as well the horsepower required to propel a 43.3m yacht with a luxury interior to high speed. Hull tweaks, including use of interceptors for trim and water jets for propulsion, were developed in CFD and then proven in model testing. Even the angles of the raw water intakes were adjusted to reduce drag and gain the last fraction of speed. Designers also provided a detailed weight management plan for the construction.
Best Naval Architecture, Full-Displacement Motor Yachts
Aside from looking at numbers that show efficient fuel consumption and form stability, the judges in the naval architecture category evaluate how well the platform answers the owners’ criteria – which Artefact does so well, since it was in fact built from an extremely detailed brief that went in depth into performance expectations and means to achieve them – but also how well it helps advance superyacht engineering. Artefact was rigorously tested from top to bottom to ensure it met the owners’ expectations in terms of stability, noise, comfort and efficiency. Tunnel test and several tank tests helped fine tune the results. Not only do the numbers work, the innovative hybrid propulsion and DC grid electrical architecture, which will help future proof the yacht, helped the 2,999 GT yacht stand in a class of her own.
Best Naval Architecture, Sailing Yachts
Sea Eagle II
In the most intricately quantitative category, the numbers determined the two top candidates to be the ones most unalike, one a race-ready yacht and the other a cruising schooner. Surprisingly the science behind their designs, their hull and sail plan efficiencies and performance under power were very similar. While both are custom designs, Sea Eagle II was the more novel concept and presented the larger design and innovation, given the owner’s brief and the loads and complexities associated with her size and 1,027-tonne displacement. She is not just a large cruising yacht with global capability but a beautiful boat that sails well.
Judges' Commendation Naval Architecture: Morgana
Based on a performance calculation total almost identical to the winner and on the work shown for design refinement via CFD, plus tank and wind tunnel testing by her naval architects Reichel Pugh and builder Southern Wind, the judges award a special commendation to 30.5m Morgana.
Outstanding Lifestyle Feature
Luminosity Beach Club
As the largest yacht entered in competition by gross tonnage, you would expect Luminosity not to disappoint when it came to the lifestyle offered by her enormous beach club and wellness area, and it did not. It really is a guest destination with an enormous pool offset to starboard and an icy plunge pool on centreline, a treat for those who might have enjoyed a steam in the hammam or dry heat in the sauna. There is an area to dine decorated in cabana colours, a juice bar and areas to relax, work out, do stretches and yoga or grab an update on news. Changing rooms and all manner of tenders and water toys are at the ready. With hull doors open on both sides providing limitless views and fresh air it is the ultimate indulgence.
Best New Series
Riva 88' Folgore
This new addition to the Riva brand seduced the judges with its sleek exterior and warm and elegant interior. Built in composite and finished with mahogany and stainless-steel detailing (as well as carbon fibre), its design does not break with tradition but rather reinterprets the Riva brand for modern times. Judges remarked on the beauty of the boat’s fleeting lines and a highly developed interior package that can easily be replicated or tweaked to suit different tastes. With a top speed of up to 39 knots, they remarked, not only does it look like a Riva, it handles like one.
The owner’s clear wishes that this yacht have minimum environmental impact in both build and operation impressed the judges, as did the yard’s ability to deliver on all counts – even to the use of aluminium anodes, which do not contain hazardous cadmium. Built primarily of a renewable resource – wood – Geist is almost exclusively powered by wind and water. When she is sailing, the propeller on her Torqeedo electric motor becomes a shaft generator, delivering power to 160kWh of Lithium batteries that can be used to run the household conveniences at anchor or power this vessel silently through an anchorage. Lights and appliances, including cooling and air conditioning, were selected for efficiency ratings. Even the mattresses use biodegradable materials, and the sails are EU-certified recyclable.
Innovation of the Year
DC Hybrid Power Grid on board Artefact
Artefact’s DC Grid-based hybrid power system by ABB was a runaway winner in innovation. This DC-based Grid enables simple and flexible integration of various energy sources, from variable speed gensets to batteries. Computer controlled, it does not require the intervention of a ship’s engineer and automatically and instantly allocates energy in optimal fashion, according to the ship’s operation requirement, resulting in important energy savings. Its modular design allows making the yacht future proof because it can be upgraded to newer technologies as they become available, for instance the integration of fuel cells in place of generators.
Developer: ABB, Nobiskrug, owner’s team
Naval Architect: Nobiskrug
Exterior Design: Gregory C Marshall
Interior Design: Reymond Langton
Tender of the Year
This 12-passenger, 45-knot tender was designed to replace the yacht’s previous owner’s limo tender with one that was quieter and had extra luxury features such as a fully opening glass roof, a galley and a day head. It had to precisely match the mothership’s livery and ethos, have both fore and aft boarding options and complete separation of guests and crew. Its AV and lighting package includes thoughtful amenities such as fold-down armrests with USB ports and illumination. All lights and entertainment electronics, including an underwater camera, are controlled via a Crestron touch screen just like the mothership. Technical features such as a near-silent gearless bow thruster are matched with ultimate luxury such as the dove grey interior leather seats stitched by a master saddler who works with supercar brands.
Interior Design: Yachtwerft Meyer, Dolker & Voges
Exterior Design: Yachtwerft Meyer
Naval Architect: Yachtwerft Meyer
Builder: Yachtwerft Meyer
Lifetime Achievement Award
Armed with a degree in Industrial Design Engineering and hunting for a job in London, the young Tim Heywood was referred to a yacht design firm named Jon Bannenberg Ltd (JBL). Showing his technical drawings and a five-metre boat he had sketched the night before, he was hired on the spot. The year was 1972, and the rest has become part of the history of superyachts.
Until the early 1970s yachts were drawn by naval architects. Heywood quickly became part of a sea change when designers began styling yacht exteriors for owners who were seeking individualisation. It was an unimaginable trajectory from drawing the electrical scheme for a 21-metre to working alongside Bannenberg on 85-metre Nabila. Bannenberg assigned him the details and construction supervision of 67-metre Siran in 1992, and projects such as these reshaped expectations for luxury yachts.
Heywood’s 24-year tenure at JBL culminated in a 96-metre yacht called Limitless – a Bannenberg commission with Heywood as lead designer. Their amicable parting in 1996 left Heywood supervising the final design and build of Limitless as he formed THD studio with his partner and wife, Vanessa.
The first boats under his own banner were stunningly large – 115-metre Pelorus and 97-metre Carinthia VII. They shared a look that was to become pure Heywood. Until Perfect Prescription in 2003, he also designed interiors for his clients, but realising it was the shapes that made his heart beat faster, he has since styled decks and GAs exclusively.
In the mid-2000s Amels hired him to design a large yacht that could be built in series and started on spec. A 52-metre named Deniki became the cornerstone of the Limited Editions semi-custom program when she went to the slipway in 2007. Heywood has created seven models in the Limited Editions series totalling 46 boats to date.
Believing that owners would appreciate tenders that looked like their motherships with equal creature comforts, Heywood ventured into superyacht tenders with matched pairs for Cedar Sea II (1986), Stefaren (1989) and Siran (1992) while at JBL. But today’s custom luxury tender genre can be traced to four he designed with Gunnar Vikingur and Sam Sorgiovanni in 2003 for Pelorus. His tenders even grace yachts he did not design such as Flying Fox.
Including his projects at Bannenberg’s studio, Heywood has created 95 yachts – 20 under his banner alone are among the pantheon of stars in the Top 200. For defining spaces and shaping proportions that have elevated superyachts for nearly 50 years, Tim Heywood is the recipient of our 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Nominations for the 2022 BOAT International Design & Innovation Awards are open and close on October 28 2021. Find out how to enter.