The 18 winners of the ShowBoats Design Awards 2017

Best Exterior Design & Styling Award - Motor Yacht above 48m


Length: 70m

Exterior styling: Bannenberg & Rowell Design

Builder: Feadship

There is a lot of talk about the increase in outdoor living spaces aboard modern yachts and Joy sets a new benchmark in this area. Shaded and open exterior spaces abound and lengthening the bow during the design phase created a family hang-out space for basketball and other diversions. The chiselling and nipping into the traditional superstructure forms give the yacht a unique look – “like a block of snow and ice that has been shaped by the wind”, said one judge. The chamfered edges of the overhangs create an illusion of more space between decks. The profile, originally drawn by Feadship’s De Voogt Naval Architects, was reimagined by Bannenberg & Rowell and, believe it or not, Joy is its first exterior styling project.

Best Exterior Design & Styling Award - Motor Yacht below 48m

Wider 150

Length: 47.1m

Exterior styling: Fulvio de Simoni

Builder: Wider

"Clean lines and taut, smooth surfaces were the order," says Fulvio de Simoni, who assisted Wider’s managing director Tilli Antonelli with the development of exterior spaces that are long on liveability. The 90m² beach club includes a 7m floodable garage perfectly shaped for tender stowage that becomes a swimming pool when the tender is deployed, while large port and starboard opening panels create ample sunning areas at the water’s edge and enhance the enjoyment of the pool. While the judges appreciated the sensible military shapes of the hull and superstructure, it was the curves in the upper side decks to facilitate full walkarounds and an expansive flybridge deck, plus the innovative hidden covered seating area forward of the wheelhouse that put the Wider 150 ahead of the other finalists.

Best Exterior Design & Styling Award - Sailing Yacht

My Song

Length: 39.6m

Exterior styling: Nauta Design

Builder: Baltic Yachts

The owner’s brief was for “elegant, intriguing and sexy deck lines, where a full set of the most advanced racing gear and hardware had to find places to hide in the most discreet possible way”. Designed by Nauta as a racer/cruiser for use in the Med and Caribbean, the goal was an eye-catching yacht with proportions so balanced that it is impossible to judge the yacht’s length from a distance. The small, glass-enhanced coachroof is almost hidden by 30cm high gunwales, a welcome feature that certainly improves crew footing. Crew deck access is well placed aft of the guest cockpit. At anchor, the wide stern creates a sheltered sunbathing area that features hydraulically operated seating integrated into the flush decks.

Best Interior Layout & Design - Motor Yacht above 500GT


Length: 72.3m

Interior design: Christian Liaigre

Builder: Abeking & Rasmussen

The freshness of the layout and décor of this purpose-built yacht created for a young owner obsessed with outdoor sports quickly captured the attention of the judges. They appreciated the open spaces and huge windows for taking in the surroundings, as well as the uniqueness of a fireplace lounge, in which to warm up after skiing or diving adventures, and the winter garden, both indicating the yacht’s extreme latitudes cruising agenda. Christian Liaigre used angled walls, unusual strip lighting and a dramatic stair column to present surprises at every turn. The judges were also impressed by smart features such as a corridor that allows guests direct access from their cabins to the gym and an excellent crew arrangement with a separate crew mess and lounge and thoughtfully placed cabins for pilots and sports instructors.

Best Interior Layout & Design - Motor Yacht below 500GT

Sexy Fish

Length: 39.3m

Interior design: Tansu

Builder: Tansu

Beach house ease, pure and simple, won the day. The yacht’s layout and décor is a follow on from the original Tansu yachts in the Mothership series, the 35.2m Ceylan and the 36.4m Preference. Designer Riza Tansu took this yacht a step further by adding a central interior stair column from the wheelhouse to the main deck to facilitate service to the upper bar area, which can be either an open or protected space with sliding roof and louvred side panels. Beds and cabinets that appear to float off the wide-planked, natural floor timber appealed to the judges as did the round portholes in the cabins. The shapes of the rooms and the built-in furnishings created a harmonious match to the exterior design and profile.

Best Interior Layout & Design - Sailing Yacht


Length: 70m

Interior design: PH Design

Builder: Perini Navi

While the layout of sailing yachts is more constrained by necessity, their designers have to be more cognisant of using available space to its best advantage and recognise that the yacht is rarely level when the boat is underway. None of the finalist yachts this year had what could be described as a traditional interior, which set the judges to happily evaluating contemporary, minimalist and avant garde design ideas on their own merits. All of the yachts had strong owner input and the three top contenders also had the challenge of showcasing and lighting modern art collections. The winner of the secret ballot was not the contender with the greatest area but the one the judges felt was the most cohesive and elegant in design and showing the greatest attention to details. As one of the judges put it: “On Sybaris, the furniture, the lighting and the materials are all relative to the design intent.”

Best Naval Architecture - Displacement Motor Yacht

Galactica Super Nova

Length: 70.1m

Naval architect: Van OossanenHeesen Yachts

Builder: Heesen Yachts

This is the most complicated of our categories, requiring a mathematical analysis of each boat’s, dimensions, weight, propulsion and fuel efficiency, plus evaluation of the rigorousness of the design process. For Galactica Super Nova, CFD analysis and tow tank testing for hull and interceptors were augmented by wind tunnel tests of the superstructure. The all-aluminium Full Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) design presents literally two boats in one; her 20-knot displacement hull becomes a 30-knot semi-displacement performer courtesy of a booster engine and waterjet. While small compromises show at the ends of the yacht’s speed spectrum, this yacht, displacing a somewhat modest 645 tonnes, scored 18 out of a possible 20 points for fuel economy. A single point separated runner-up Samurai, which at 70 meters and 935 displacement tons, is the largest steel FDHF hull designed to date and also by Van Oossanen.

Best Naval Architecture - Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yacht


Length: 35.3m

Naval architect: Umberto Tagliavini

Builder: Otam

While there were no radical designs among this group’s 2016 launches, three finalists stood out among the contestants. In the objective analysis, Gipsy moved to the front for her efficiency. This 35 metre tri-deck design is a well-considered upsizing of a 28 metre sister drawn by Umberto Tagliavini for Otam several years ago and developed through a tow-tank review. For Gipsy, the builder specified a hull shape capable of a comfortable ride in sea conditions likely to be encountered by a yacht with 2,000 nautical mile range.The brief also specified a 20-knot top speed for the relatively large volume yacht. The naval architect responded with a deep-V bow that transitions to an asymmetrical aft section with 14-degree deadrise, short, sharp chines and propeller semi-tunnels. CFD analysis further refined the bow and stabiliser fins’ position to best advantage. The yacht achieves her 14.1-knot fast cruising speed at just 51 per cent power.

Best Naval Architecture - Sailing Yacht


Length: 86m

Naval architect: Tripp Design Naval Architecture

Builder: Vitters Shipyard & Oceanco

This yacht moves into new territory. A ship by virtue of her equipment and gross tonnage and certainly comparable to a large motor yacht in size, displacement and appointments, this is nevertheless a true sailing yacht for safely circumnavigating the globe. In fact, she will have to, as her masts are too tall for passage through Panama. Two hulls were developed through CFD and 1:15 models tested in towing tanks produced the final shape. Wind tunnel simulations refined the superstructure and sailplan. Twin rudders to boost feedback and control and a lifting keel minimise her harbour draft to 5.23 metres. At full draft of 11.66 metres, the ballasted foil provides ample stability. With a sail area to displacement ratio typical of smaller racer/cruisers, she performs remarkably in light air – 10.5 knots close hauled in 8 knots of breeze – while she can exceed 20 knots reaching with reefed sails in a 30-knot blow. As the leader of the naval architecture panel aptly put it: “She’s an amazing piece of work”.

Most Innovative Motor Yacht

Wider 150

Length: 47.1m

Naval architect: Fulvio de Simoni / Wider Engineering & Sydac

Interior design: Ideaeitalia

Exterior styling: Fulvio de Simoni

Builder: Wider

Following the transformer nature of the Wider sport boat, it was clear that the builder’s first true superyacht would also be a “shapeshifter”. The corollary to the adage “form follows function” is that when function changes, so must the form, and that is what Wider CEO Tilli Antonelli has arranged throughout the yacht, allowing it to live bigger than its actual LOA. The float-in tender garage/swimming pool/beach club maximises options without compromising on living spaces or tender size. But the true innovation of the Wider 150 is the propulsion system that fully leverages the hybrid concept, eliminating the traditional engine room and locating the electrical generators far away from owner and guest areas, thus opening up a new world of barrier-free interior layout possibilities. Insulated electrical cables powering Veth azimuthing pods replace the traditional shafts and propellers and an Emerson Industrial Automation system utilises batteries and one to four gensets to deliver just the right amount of power for hotel use or navigation.

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