The winners of the World Superyacht Awards 2017

Sailing Yacht of the Year: Sybaris

The choice of Sailing Yacht of the Year was between two very different yachts – My Song, the extremely fast yet at the same time elegant racer/cruiser that has already demonstrated its winning abilities in competition, and Sybaris, an ultra-large yacht designed to cruise the extremities of the world in comfort. It was a difficult decision, but when the ballot was counted it was Sybaris that came out on top, being a ground-breaking world class sailing yacht.

Sybaris not only impressed the judges with its sailing ability – particularly in light airs when many yachts of this size resort to mechanical power – but also in the yacht’s supreme comfort and optimum division of internal volume that entirely suits the owner’s needs. Some technical innovations have already been mentioned, but there are more in that the sail plan, rig and underwater appendages were subjected to extensive CFD testing, which allowed detailed optimisation of rig, hull shape and appendages. Beautiful, capable, comfortable, and technically advanced this is a yacht that was considered supreme for its purpose.

Voyager's Award: Glaze

There were three entries in this year’s Voyager’s Award and as the judges considered them all to be of high merit, the task of selecting a winner was not easy. But a winner had to be selected and the judges homed in upon a particularly well-planned cruise by the 49 metre Glaze, which is currently engaged on a circumnavigation with the owners and their young family. The element of this cruise submitted to the jury was in North West Australia, between Wyndham and Broome, where they visited the remote, spectacular and extremely rugged coastline known as The Kimberleys.

This adventure-packed cruise explored the region’s many inlets and rivers, mostly poorly or totally uncharted, and included many sightings of crocodiles and sharks, as well as experiences such as dipping their yacht’s bows in waterfalls tumbling down the vertical red cliffs, whirlpools, tidal rapids, and visits to Aboriginal cave art, and even the well-preserved remains of a DC3 aircraft downed in WWII. This voyage will surely be an inspiration to all who follow.

Rebuilt Yachts: Legend

Legend, one of the three yachts entered for this year’s Rebuilt category stood out from the others. When an owner’s objective is to create a world-roaming expedition yacht with Lloyds A1 Ice Class, and Polar classification, an ex-Russian tug is a pretty good starting point, despite the vessel being 34 years old. This vessel had already been converted into a superyacht but the new owner’s additional requirement for full SOLAS and MCA 13-36 passenger status meant that only the hull, which was extended by 3.6 metres with a remodelled stern to incorporate a bathing platform and 16-person swimming pool, and her main engines could remain intact.

The superstructure was modified to soften her lines but perhaps the most difficult aspects of the rebuild, which was carried out by ICON Yachts, was the installation of a fully classified helipad with refuelling facilities while bringing her into SOLAS compliance. In the view of the judges, this was a highly successful rebuild that readied her for operations in high-latitudes, where she has already cruised.

Judges’ Commendation: RH3

This top-to-toe rethinking of a proven explorer into a comfortable, intimate family yacht that will soon embark on a circumnavigation brought RH3 a worthy commendation from the judges.

Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 34m to 39.9m: Gipsy

The appearance of a yacht is always an important factor and the judges were drawn to Gipsy, a three-deck 35 metre aluminium-built yacht, for her clean ‘no nonsense’ exterior lines, together with the highly practical optimisation of her exterior spaces. They also felt that her top speed of 20 knots and 2,000 nautical mile range at a cruising speed of 11-knots further added to this appeal.

A more detailed examination of the yacht revealed a high volume, thoughtfully laid-out interior that positions the dining area forward on the main deck and the owner’s cabin aft of the bridge, and one that also provides good access between the crew and guest areas on the lower deck to aid the servicing of the cabins. A stylishly modern style of interior decoration perfectly complements her exterior lines, particularly the highly functional main saloon that incorporates a movie theatre. The judges considered that this compact but extremely well designed yacht, which completely meets the needs of her experienced owner, is a worthy winner in this class.

Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 40m to 49.9m: Amore Mio

This class tested the judges’ analytical skills and every yacht was treated to detailed scrutiny and discussion. Following this, the secret ballot proved the 45 metre Heesen Amore Mio to be their favourite. The judges admired the versatility of this vessel, which offers an unusual blend of 30-knot performance and a 2,750 nautical mile range at its 12-knot cruising speed.

Her owners’ requested a ‘summer house on the sea’ and the judges felt this to be well met, with spacious open decks offering admirable dining and lounging areas on two levels aft, while the foredeck offers additional sun-lounging and seating. With so much space devoted to outside areas, the interior layout had to make intelligent use of every available square metre, and the judges felt that this was achieved without compromising either the guest or crew quarters. The technical aspects of the yacht were also praised, particularly the build quality, the gyro-stabilisers that provide low speed and ‘at anchor’ stability, and the possibility to deploy life preservers at the push of a button.

Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 50m and Above: Galactica Super Nova

This vessel is an example of a newly developed category of fast yachts whose hull form provides optimum performance at both full displacement speeds and well above. Whether this 30-knot yacht has a full-displacement or a semi-displacement hull is arguable, but it has been placed in the Semi-Displacement Class for this event because, being a high performance vessel, she shares a semi-displacement yacht’s need for lightness of construction, in that any excess of weight will seriously detract from her performance.

Given this decision, the judges also felt that, because Galactica Super Nova is 20 metres longer than the next largest yacht in her class and therefore able to pack in far more luxury, it was impossible to compare her with the smaller boats. She was, therefore, put into her own category and the judges applied the test of whether she is worthy of a Neptune. In view of her build quality, appearance and high level of superb facilities, she passed this test with flying colours and was rewarded with a Neptune.

Displacement Motor Yachts Below 500 GT - 30m to 42.9m: X

Explorer yachts are often given this name by virtue of their styling, rather than their suitability for long range expeditions in all climates. But the judges found X to be a true explorer – a rugged yacht with a good range that carries the tenders and equipment required for the owner and his family to cross the largest oceans and explore the world in comfort and safety.

This well constructed, steel and aluminium vessel is powered by twin 970kW Caterpillar diesels that provide a 15.5 knot top speed, while her 14 knot cruising speed provides the 4,000 nautical mile range necessary for her trans-ocean role. While the main deck aft is devoted to tenders and PWCs, the remaining two decks provide the usual facilities for open air living in a mild climate while in adverse weather, large saloon windows allow guests to view the scenery in comfort. The judges also admired the crew areas that provide accommodation for up to eight as well as ample storage and laundry facilities. This, they believe, is a well-conceived explorer.

Displacement Motor Yachts 3,000 GT and Above: Dilbar

The rules of the event dictate that should only one yacht be entered in a class, this class is amalgamated with the most appropriate alternative. Dilbar, being the only vessel to qualify for the ‘Displacement Yachts of above 3,000 GT’ class, was therefore placed in the class below. But when it came to judging, the judges decided that it was impossible to fairly decide a winner for this class when Dilbar was seven times larger in terms of Gross Tonnage (a measure of internal volume) than Cloudbreak, the next largest yacht.

A similar situation had occurred in the past when it was decided that a Neptune would only be awarded if the lone yacht was truly worthy of an award, and this precedent was followed. Ten judges had visited Dilbar and they were all sure that not only was she worthy of a Neptune, but she was also the most spectacular yacht they had ever seen. Put to a vote, it was unanimously decided that this award should be presented to Dilbar.

Judges' Special Award for Quality & Value - Narvalo

The judges were impressed by the design, build quality and price of Narvalo, which they felt was a perfect example of a ‘pocket explorer yacht’ that combines sought-after characteristics with excellent value for money. Built by Cantiere delle Marche to a design by Nauta and naval architecture by Hydrotec, Narvalo offers all the essential elements of an explorer, including long range, good autonomy in respect of supplies that allows her to remain at sea for extended periods, high internal volume, a sturdy and well equipped 5.5 metre tender and good seaworthiness.

On top of this, she can also fill the role of a traditional motor yacht, with well-sized cabins, an internal dining saloon and two lounges, as well as spacious well considered deck areas. Importantly for a vessel that will remain at sea for long periods, the volume and facilities of the crew spaces provided in a yacht of this size, were also admired by the judges. Finishing second in her class to a much more costly vessel, she is a worthy winner of this award.

Legacy Award - Alex Dreyfoos

Alex Dreyfoos has been a yacht owner throughout his life, first owning a Rybovich sport-fisherman in 1963, followed by a Burger and a 43.6 metre Feadship. So that his wife Renate could share his ambitions for far-ranging exploration, he investigated a variety of hull-forms that might reduce her suffering from motion sickness and he discovered the SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) concept and he approached Abeking & Rasmussen, who were not only builders of superb yachts but were also experts in commercial SWATH vessels. Tests confirmed the benefits of this design, and he commissioned A&R to build his current 40.8 metre SWATH superyacht, Silver Cloud. This vessel, in which the owners have enjoyed many adventurous cruises, has proved most successful.

Dreyfoos, an MIT and Harvard graduate has earned an Oscar for his technical contribution to the world of motion pictures, holds many patents for innovations in electronics and photography. He is also an arts philanthropist, a scuba diver, an exceptional photographer, and has aided oceanic research by carrying scientific equipment aboard Silver Cloud.

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World Superyacht Awards 2024
World Superyacht Awards
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World Superyacht Awards 2024

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