2014 ShowBoats Design Awards superyacht tenders, holistic design and innovation awards

24 February 2014 • Written by Risa Merl

The ShowBoats Design Awards pays homage to every aspect of design that makes a superyacht comes together. This ranges from the tenders to looking at superyachts that work towards total cohesiveness with holistic design. The ShowBoats Design Awards also honour a famed designer with the Lifetime Achievement award, while also look to the future of superyacht design by recognising new talent with the Young Designer of the Year Award. Look no further for the award winners making a name for themselves in design trends, technology and innovation.

Holistic Design Award – Motor Yachts – sponsored by Swarovski

Hydro Tec (exterior stylist) and Hot Lab Yacht & Design (interior designer) for 40m Palumbo Columbus Sport Hybrid 40M

The open main saloon of Palumbo's Columbus 40S Hybrid superyacht

This award debuted last year to reward those designers who optimised a singular design theme. This year, there are awards for both the motor yacht and the sailing yacht considered to have the finest example of a harmonious combination of interior and exterior design. For the motor yachts category, it was a quick decision as the judges felt the entire team involved with this project was firmly on the same page. Not only does the profile and naval architecture support the builder’s request for a ‘greener’ sport boat, but the design and the sourcing of lightweight, environmentally sustainable interior materials follows the plan. The contemporary nature of both the interior and exterior signals that this model and its approach are something new, even before delving into the mechanics of the hybrid propulsion.

The sporty, yet green Columbus 40S Hybrid superyacht

Designers’ Statements:

The brief was to create a line of innovative yachts that are sporty and fast yet highly efficient and at the same time as comfortable and quiet as traditional displacement yachts. The success we have achieved with this collaboration is an incentive to do better, to go even farther and dare with new proposals.

Holistic Design Award – Sailing Yachts

Perini Navi (exterior stylist) and Christian Liagre (interior designer) for 60m Perini Navi Seahawk

The main saloon of superyacht Seahawk

With the first model in its new 60-meter series, it was clear that the builder had concentrated numerous design, technology and architectural innovations within a new, well-proportioned hull. The focus is on improvements in weight-saving, sailing ability, speed and design changes to reduce the superstructure and enhance the outdoor lifestyle. Christian Liaigre’s charge was to honour the innovation without losing sight of the marine tradition. A completely rethought main deck layout accomplishes the former and improves traffic flow while such touches as exposing ‘ribs’ and curving the edges of floors and overheads to meet the hull reflect the genesis of ships. The use of traditional interior materials used in modern ways resonates perfectly with the brief.

Perini Navi 60m sailing superyacht Seahawk underway

Designers’ Statements:

This project is a standout for the abundance of exterior living space with both fore and aft cockpits allowing guests to enjoy the open air in maximum comfort. The foredeck tender well feels like a terrace on the sea with abundant spaces for outdoor living and this is the first Perini with an enclosable aft deck. The modern interior is in keeping with this evolution.

Tender Design Award


Andrew Winch Designs for Compass Yachts Open T/T Madame Gu

The open tender to superaycht Madame Gu

Tenders have become both big business and a big part of an owner’s enjoyment of yachting. This year there were nine submissions in this category, 30 per cent more than last year, and the judges saw that tenders were breaking into two types of vehicles doing very different jobs of equal importance: as general service or sport boat tenders and limousine tenders. They demanded two awards and present the first award for an open tender to the bespoke vessel created for Madame Gu. They appreciated the fact she features all the luxuries of teak deck and custom seating balanced with a 40-knot ride, while still being mindful of crew issues by featuring a built-in fender collar, covered toy stowage and an automatic flip-out boarding platform. The Empress Blue hull complemented by gold painted grills, carbon fiber features and polished stainless steel leaves no guessing as to who she belongs to.

Designer’s Statement:

The custom 11-meter open tender for Madame Gu guarantees guests the ultimate in sport boat experience. Combining beautiful design with the most precise engineering, it offers luxury, liberty and reliability to guests and crew. An optional spray hood/bimini has been designed for protection and privacy should guests require it.

Andrew Winch Designs for Hodgdon Yachts Limo T/T to Sea Owl

The limo tender to superyacht Sea Owl

This is a limo tender many of the judges said they would like to own as it makes a lovely day boat as well with air conditioning, heating and an enclosed stand-up head, but unlike a Venetian water taxi, it features an open stern deck for easier boarding. Fledgling, as she is named, is a perfect complement stylistically to her mothership, Sea Owl, and features the same level of finish detail and joinery style as the Feadship she serves. Just as_ Sea Owl_ is a fantasy, this tender would seem so as well as its half glass roof can slide away to create an indoor/outdoor atmosphere or the roof can lift vertically to provide an open air option. The charging and docking stations for phones and iPods are a nice touch, as is the 40-knot top speed.

Designer’s Statement:

This 8.6-meter tender echoes the clean lines, green hull and teak finishes of her mothership. She is designed to transport children and family with ease and luxurious comfort. The cockpit is situated in the bow and passengers can feel part of the cruising experience thanks to the iPad and information system that keeps them informed of location and navigational data.

Environmental Protection Award – sponsored by RINA Group

Palumbo for 40m Columbus Sport Hybrid 40S

Hybrid power comes to the forefront in the Columbus 40S Hybrid superyacht – a photo of the engine room

The Environmental Protection Award is sponsored by RINA, the first classification society to encourage designers and yacht owners to minimise noxious emissions of all types from their yachts. The award is open to all yachts over 30 meters delivered in the qualifying year with the winner decided by RINA.

From the finalists, the jury chose the Columbus Sport Hybrid 40m. They noted this semi-displacement all aluminium motor yacht really raises the bar of Clean Yacht Design. The hybrid propulsion, coupled with the aerodynamic lightweight hull, enables the yacht to run on generators at low speeds ensuring low environmental impact.

A running shot aerial photo of Palumbo's new Columbus 40S Hybrid superyacht

This cutting-edge technology is not the only reason why the project deserves to win this award. All the equipment and solutions on board the Columbus Sport Hybrid have been chosen to respect nature and the sea, from the extensive optimisation studies of the hull shape and propeller, to the innovative conditioning plant that uses water in the secondary circuit. As a final note of merit, it is worth mentioning the implementation on board of a comprehensive environmental management plan that controls electrical consumption, establishes separate garbage collection and prevents any pollutant discharge overboard.

Columbus 40S Hybrid – Palumbo’s 40m superyacht brings hybrid power mainstream

Young Designer of the Year Award – sponsored by Oceanco

Raphael Laloux for Project Symphony

Raphael Laloux's Project Symphony superyacht concept won him Young Designer of the Year

The judges received an impressive selection of original yacht concepts from student and trainee designers from America, Europe and Asia. A particularly high standard of finalists resulted in a split decision and an equal fifth place. This year’s competition is based around the SWATH concept. The contestants’ task was to exploit the advantage of the exceptionally stable platform provided by the unconventional underwater lines of the concept, creating an elegant and seaworthy yacht. Candidates were given a shorter time frame and a more complex design brief than in previous years and the judges were pleased with the innovative ways in which the finalists approached this challenge. The winning entry is that of Raphael Laloux, a three-time competition entrant, who is studying for a Master’s Degree in Transportation Design at the elite Institut Superieur de Design in France. In the judges’ opinions, he created an elegant, well balanced vessel that entirely fulfilled the hypothetical owner’s wishes for a world cruising family vessel, while introducing novel ideas.

Designer’s Statement:

Symphony characterises a harmonious combination of elements that respect her surrounding environment. The prevailing feature of the design is an architectural promenade that defines the exterior design and the interior layout of the yacht and allows guests to explore all family activities at leisure.

Lifetime Achievement Award – sponsored by Fincantieri Yachts

Terence Disdale has won the Lifetime Achievement Award

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