2014 ShowBoats Design Awards - superyacht exterior design & styling and naval architecture winners

14 February 2014 • Written by Risa Merl

Form and function play equal roles to the success of a superyacht, and in the ShowBoats Design Awards the creativity and skill of both the designers and naval architects are recognised. Here we present the exterior design and styling winners and the winners of in the categories of naval architecture for both motor and sailing superyachts.

Exterior Design & Styling Award – Displacement Motor Yachts 60m+ – sponsored by Blohm + Voss

Andrew Winch Designs for 99m Feadship Madame Gu

Feadship superyacht Madame Gu running alongside her helicopter and tender

The fact that only two of the judging panel did not award her top marks speaks volumes about how the judges felt about Madame Gu. The long open bow that houses a helicopter garage, multi-stepped sheerline abutting innovative cantilevered balconies offering uninterrupted views from the sun deck and owner’s balcony, and superstructure lines that imply the speed and sleekness of an arrow garnered multiple repetitions of the word, ‘stunning.’ The bright Empress Blue hull color, gold and silver grill work on the fashion plates and the regal open deck areas supporting an active lifestyle of the largest Feadship delivered to date are icing on the cake.

The aft deck view of superyacht Madame Gu

Designer's Statement:

Madame Gu’s owner requested an exterior that would break the mould. Combining powerful exterior lines and a unique decorative scheme, Madame Gu sits low in the water. Enhanced by a slim beam, flowing lines create a powerful 99-meter profile that appears even longer. Well-appointed boarding areas allow seamless guest arrival and departure with direct access via a welcoming guest lobby.

Exterior Design & Styling Award -Displacement Motor Yachts 30 to 59.99m – sponsored by Swarovski


Reymond Langton Design for 39.7m Hakvoort Apostrophe

Superyacht Apostrophe was a joint winner in exterior design for displacement motor yachts 30-59.99m

It was obvious that all of the finalists put forth by the shortlist committee were visually inspiring. Equally obvious was the fact they were quite different in tonnage, in style—classic to futuristic—and especially, in the owner’s brief—weekend retreat to circumnavigator. The challenge was to evaluate how each managed its requirements while critiquing design principles, functionality and innovation. From the beginning, the proportions of Apostrophe were noted as outstanding, as was the use of glass and metal to create curves and the illusion created by the black, white and grey colour scheme to accentuate length. All of the owner’s needs for various exterior living spaces and water access were met with style.

Designer’s Statement:

Apostrophe’s dramatic exterior looks reflect the owner’s desire for a very modern looking boat with dynamic, curved lines. The way those lines are drawn from the front of the boat to the aft further emphasizes the length, while the curved surfaces add extra dynamism to the profile and sculptural form.

René Van Der Velden for 39.16m Alloy Yachts CaryAli

Superyacht CaryAli was a joint winner in her category in the ShowBoats Design Awards

The excitement of this design, the judges agreed, was in her outstanding functionality and to this end they appreciated the classic sheerline that dominates her profile along with the high bow and substantial mast and crow’s nest. They noted how her owner’s request for a trawler-type yacht with a touch of elegance had been turned into a cab-aft style expedition boat with a sturdy yet modern appearance and plenty of multi-climate, yacht-style outdoor living and entertaining spaces, including ample water access at the stern. The design of multiple wave brakes to protect the bridge deck and the large tenders stowed forward at the owner’s request show thorough understanding of the rigorous type of cruising indicated in the brief.

Designer’s Statement:

Although the exterior design was to be classical, I felt it should not look old. We kept the elements that make classic yachts so appealing such as a good sheerline, which has become undervalued these days, and added soft, multi-curved surfaces to create a yacht with a classical appearance yes, but not like it has been done before.

Exterior Design & Styling Award – Semi-displacement motor yachts – sponsored by DKT Artworks

Luca Dini Design / Admiral – The Italian Sea Group for 40m Admiral Cacos V

Superyacht Cacos V debuted in Monaco

This category seeks to identify the yacht that is the most visually inspiring yet practical, while providing deck features demanded by the owner. The judges’ analysis of the quality of design also takes into account the design’s impact on the crew’s ability to perform their jobs. For the latter, they noted the treatment of the large bridge wings and the reverse windows of the wheelhouse, which they also felt were in keeping with the yacht’s masculine character, and the crisp geometric style that was consistent throughout Cacos V.

Judges’ Commendation

Team for Design By Enrico Gobbi for 48m Rossinavi Vellmari

The striking vertical windows on Rossinavi's new Ketos 48m superyacht, Vellmari, are best highlighted lit up at night

The judges were also taken with Enrico Gobbi’s design for a 48m Rossinavi; the lines, proportion and the vertical windows wrapping the upper deck saw Vellmari awarded a Commendation for outstanding exterior design.

Exterior Design & Styling Award – Sailing Yachts – sponsored by Hodgdon Yachts

Frers Naval Architecture & Engineering for 32.64m Baltic Yachts Inukshuk

Superyacht Inukshuk has won both her interior and exterior designers an award

Because more than half of the judging panel this year comprised experienced sailors, all of the sailing design categories were highly anticipated—and debated. As yet another example of a successive design for a previous client, Inukshuk shows the seamlessness of the design vocabulary between naval architect and owner. There is nothing contrived about the exterior—everything supports the aim of fast and safe family sailing in exceptional comfort and even utilitarian things such as cockpit table supports have been well designed. The deck layout is uncluttered, even to the absence of a mainsheet track, and sports flush hatches and a retractable bimini cover. Although the yacht is built of carbon fibre, its forms are sculptural and rich.

Designer’s Statement:

Everything contained in the brief of_ Inukshuk_ spells out the call for enjoyment of sailing and fun cruising with family and friends. Stunning good looks, sparkling performance and great comfort on deck and below are the main ingredients. Large deck areas were reserved for sunning, relaxing and dancing, accompanied by a very sophisticated sound system.

Naval Architecture Award – Motor Yachts – sponsored by JFA Yachts

Sparkman & Stephens for 39.3m Newcastle Marine/Tyneside Yachts Ltd Safira

Naval architect Sparkman & Stevens won an award for explorer yacht Safira

From the development of the specifications, it was obvious this was a yacht for experienced owners. Safira appears a traditional displacement explorer-type yacht with a very good-looking hull, an extremely well-thought-out design package and high efficiency levels particularly in regard to the fuel load she carries and her range requirements. Her steel hull is reinforced for contact with ice and her layout is optimized for owners who will make passages. The choice of a Schottel drive system reduces fuel consumption by about 20 per cent and allows her to hold position without need for a stern thruster. We note that on her maiden voyage to Greenland, her fuel burn averaged 20 gallons per hour at nine knots.

The hull of award-winning superyacht Safira

Designers’ Statement:

These clients wanted to explore beyond the typical locales they had visited with their previous yachts. Alaska, Greenland and remote South Pacific locations topped the short list. As the design took shape, the clients brought one other requirement to the project—environmental responsibility for construction and operation similar to LEED building certification. We are proud to have shared in this development.

Naval Architecture Award – Sailing Yachts – sponsored by Front Street Shipyard

Finot-Conq for 30.48m Maxi Dolphin_ Nomad IV_

Maxi Dolphin sailing yacht Nomad IV won for naval architecture in the ShowBoats Design Awards

Qualified nominees for this category were submitted to a naval architecture subcommittee first for number crunching and hydrodynamics analysis. This analysis was delivered to the full jury alongside the brief for a thorough discussion of performance, seaworthiness and elegance. This process led to the nod to Nomad IV, which we note is a departure for Finot-Conq and shows a fresh approach to problem solving and application of technology such as water ballast. This boat is not built to any rule other than the owner’s demand that it be the fastest cruising 100-footer in the world and sail close to its maximum speed while not healing more than 12 degrees. All this and it needed accommodation for 12 plus crew and a cockpit able to host 50 people for parties.

The hull of Nomad IV, with naval architecture by Finot-Conq

Designer’s Statement:

Our response to the owner’s unusual design brief has created an exciting yacht with proportions that set her apart from today’s 100-foot landscape. She is a very wide boat for maximum righting moment and below deck living spaces and features hard chines for the entire length.

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