This year’s Boat International Superyacht Design Festival – an annual event bringing together the biggest names in superyacht design and renowned speakers from the wider luxury and design community – kicked off by honouring the world’s most innovative and outstanding superyacht designs at the globally acclaimed Design & Innovation Awards. The awards honour the creative talents behind the most innovative, elegant and inspiring new yacht designs from the boards of the world’s leading yacht design studios. An impressive 151 entries across 14 categories were put to an international jury of industry experts for rigorous judging, whose scoring took into consideration both technical excellence and aesthetic criteria, as well as awarding marks for innovation. Although as superyacht designer and judge Donald Starkey revealed: “This year’s entrants have been so varied, demonstrating the scope of what’s possible in the world of superyachts – but making it a tough task to score and award a single winner for each category!”
The Winners of The Boat International Design & Innovation Awards:
Outstanding Exterior Design (Motor Yachts 24m to 49.9m) – Race
Riva’s 49.9m flagship Race combines the beauty typical of a Riva yacht with the owner’s demand for an all-encompassing and uninterrupted experience at sea. Exterior stylist Officina Italiana Design used strong horizontal lines and masculine angles to define the decks, unlike the feminine curves of many of Race’s predecessors. The 120 metre-squared sundeck boasts a substantial hardtop for shaded al fresco dining alongside a mix of sunning spaces, including a walkaround bridge deck and forward seating area plus an elegant cockpit at the bow. The built-in exterior furniture is crisp and neat – in keeping with the yacht’s lines – and covered in dark mahogany veneer.
Outstanding Exterior Design (Motor Yachts 50m and above) AND Best Motor Yachts Interior Design (Above 500GT) – Lady S
Lady S is the result of a lengthy design and build process where perfection was paramount. Outside, Michael Leach Design cleverly conceals the high volume of the Feadship-built superyacht within a contemporary low profile which uses complex shapes and beauty lines to draw upon shadow to break up the surfaces. The striking black glass stretching across the hull is there to undoubtedly emphasise the yacht’s 93m of length. Lady S is the epitome of sleek with no exposed hinges nor opening panels in sight; each one being smartly concealed throughout. The owner’s demand for a feeling of openness and transparency called for plentiful glass inserts to open up the decks and even the gym’s full-beam skylight transitions to opening glass walls. Stepping inside, Reymond Langton Design has created a complex, multi-layered interior that manages to pair extreme elegance with fun and entertainment – most notably being home to the world’s first floating IMAX cinema. The owner’s deck lounge can even transform into a disco with an interactive dance floor. A range of exquisite materials and details, mostly in the purest white, can be seen throughout the flexible living layouts with folding terraces and balconies off cabins.
Outstanding Exterior Design (Sailing Yachts) AND Best Sailing Yachts Interior Design – Liara
The 34.1m Liara, designed by Malcolm McKeon and built by Baltic Yachts, is not a huge yacht but her owner has big cruising plans. She is designed to take him and his wife on a safe and easy circumnavigation with careful thought on how to keep the cockpit dry and warm but equally shaded from the broiling sun; the answer being a carbon-fibre removable hardtop. Demonstrating impressive innovation and aesthetics, her profile remains striking in both cruising and racing modes. Inside, the owner wanted to recall the look of the Channel Islands as the backdrop for world cruising. Liara‘s open-plan layout is dressed with weathered-looking oak joinery throughout and textured materials in warm colours soften the finishing look. The dining and coffee table surface finishes mimic ripples – as when a pebble is dropped into a pond. Hanging locker doors are also designed to echo the appearance of water or tree bark, and lighting is carefully positioned to highlight these elements.
Best Motor Yachts Interior Design (Below 500GT) – Calypso
The 36m Calypso boasts a rich and detailed beach-house-styled interior where designer John Vickers cleverly incorporates Mulder Shipyard’s history in design elements and construction techniques throughout. Her standout interior styling features include an illuminated art wall that hints at a wooden sailing ship and a bar featuring diagonal planking reminiscent of cold-moulded construction techniques. The easy, well-proportioned layout, featuring built-in furniture to direct traffic flow, is appropriate to the relaxed, raised pilothouse form and fits in a generous main-deck master suite and a full-beam VIP below. The layout creates a comfortable, family-centric yacht which is suited to the her long-range cruising capability. The decor relies on pale bleached oak, stainless steel, leather, light fabrics, louvred doors and lots of natural light spilling in through large windows. It is a beachy, barefoot yet elegant look with an upmarket Ibiza vibe.
Best Naval Architecture (Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts) – Zalanka
Dominator’s Illumen 28, Zalanka, the fourth hull in this model series, achieved the best total score for her seaworthiness, hydrodynamics and cruising range. The hull shape uses a combination of methods to increase efficiency and was developed using computational fluid dynamics followed by model testing in a towing tank. The entire naval architecture solution included finite element analysis to pinpoint ways and places to reduce weight aloft for greater cruising economy and passenger comfort.
Best Naval Architecture (Displacement Motor Yachts) – Najiba
The 58m Najiba has a core mission to deliver comfortable long-range cruising. The work of Feadship De Voogt and Philippe Briand is an efficient hull form, a relatively narrow beam at 11m, and a forward-looking approach to naval architecture. In sea trials, Najiba had average fuel consumption of just 11.4 litres per nautical mile at 12 knots and a range of 6,000nm-plus, more than 1,000nm over the estimate.
Best Naval Architecture (Sailing Yachts) – Canova
The 43.3m Canova, a fully custom yacht, displayed an exceptional naval architecture profile along with outstanding hydrodynamics thanks to the innovative work of naval architects Farr Yachts Design and builder Baltic Yachts. She is the first large yacht fitted with a DSS foil developed by Infinity Yachts, contributing to the science on this method of enhancing stability.
Best New Series – LeVen 90
The 28m LeVen 90 recalls the day when boating was an uncomplicated family recreation. Designed for day-trip island-hopping in the Bahamas but with full luxurious overnight accommodations below deck, the yacht combines the best of both worlds, especially considering its balance of quality finishes and attractive price. What’s under the water is equally innovative, with Vripack’s beamy “slide” hull reducing drag and draft, and the first application of Voith’s semi-tunnel linear jet drive in a yacht. With its multi-level living area unobstructed from sports deck to galley, there is nothing quite like it for an easy-living, no-shoes-required lifestyle. The yacht began as a custom one-off but became a prototype when Dutch builder Van der Valk and the creative team convinced the owner to share the design and naval architecture.
Eco Award – Vanadis
Cerri Cantieri Navali’s Vanadis has the most comprehensive diesel-electric power system yet. She carries the first Hybrid Yacht certification for an Italian-built yacht and is the most advanced seen on a boat of this size. Featuring efficient size power sources, it matches machine to the mission and includes two modes of stabilisation as well as Dynamic Positioning. Ten years ago, the yacht’s owner began conceptualising an environmentally friendly, high-tech project with maximum propulsion efficiency for long-range cruising. Less than two years ago, he took his challenge to Cerri Cantieri Navali, which co-ordinated the build and a large international cast of specialist companies, including Guido de Groot for exterior style and interior design.
Outstanding Lifestyle Feature – Bold
The 85.3m Bold is the latest offering from SilverYachts, a brand known for innovation, where designer Espen Øino puts a new spin on the typical sky lounge or owner’s deck saloon by creating a multi-function, multi-season loft-style winter garden space. On those occasions when a helicopter needs to be housed in the hangar below, a section of the winter garden floor can be raised to accommodate it and appears as a table/room divider. As if the floor-to- ceiling windows surrounding the full beam space weren’t enough, these glass walls are capable of folding, sliding and stacking out of the way, fully or in part, to create an outdoor living space in the same footprint, allowing the owner to entertain guests for indoor or outdoor dinner parties. Glass balustrades on the fixed railing prevent any intrusion into the endless views.
Innovation of the Year – 4-ply complex curve structural glass on board Syzygy 818
Syzygy 818, the first superyacht designed by naval architect Jarkko Jämsén, features various frameless curved structural glass bulwarks and walls created at the request of an owner who wanted all of his views to be unbroken by frames or supports. Giant slabs of perfectly clear, unframed glass that are both vertically and horizontally curved display a remarkable feat of engineering and construction. This all-glass envelope is an integral part of his theme, bringing the outdoors into intimate contact with the interior. The floor-to-ceiling panels are unsupported by frames or mullions with their connections constructed so that the boat flexes around the glass. Famed glass engineering firm Eckersley O’Callaghan contributed to this remarkable solution.
Limousine Tender of the Year – Solas
Tenders are an extension of the yacht itself and key to fully enjoying the nautical lifestyle. The 11m Solas, part of a pair custom-built at the Knierim Yachtbau yard in Kiel for a Lürssen, offers something new. It can serve both as the guest tender with comfortable accommodation in a sheltered, air-conditioned interior that will deliver 15 dry guests to shore at speeds up to 30 knots. At this speed, even water-skiing is an option too. The Solas tender can also hold up to 38 people when acting as a rescue boat in an emergency. Along with uncommon features such as a bar with a refrigerator and a comfortable wet room, its design and construction comply with stringent SOLAS rules. It is fire-resistant and can be dropped to launch, plus it is certified to withstand the most rigorous sea conditions.
Open Tender of the Year – Tender 15
The Tender 15, built in carbon composite by German custom boat builder Schaaf Yachtbau, presents a simple design and petite dimensions for ease of use, which make it a good option for smaller yachts. At 4.5m long by 2m of beam, and just 1m high, it is small enough to be stowed on many a yacht’s bathing platform, which means it can be launched and retrieved without the use of expensive equipment or heavy cranes.
Young Designer of the Year – Valentin Weigand with Plato
The aim of the Young Designer of the Year competition is to identify the best trainee designers and encourage them to join the superyacht industry. The task that is set for entrants is, by intention, always difficult. This year it was especially so, as it tested four essential skills of a yacht designer – digital rendering, hand sketching, planning a yacht’s general arrangement, and creating a decorative style for its interior. Competitors were also required to look into the mind of a young client and create a yacht that was both future-proofed and complementary to his lifestyle requirements. Among others, these featured a love for fine dining and good wine, partying, cinema and adventurous sports. The honours eventually went to Valentin Weigand, whose accomplished forward-thinking design fulfilled every aspect of the given task with his forward-thinking and wellbeing-focused concept, Plato.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Martin Francis
Throughout his career from architecture to fine art, Martin Francis has brought to the table innovation and collaboration, enthusiasm for his craft and a profound artistic nature. From his first 14m sailboat, Prototype, to 119m Motor Yacht A, from a Rolling Stones stage set to Swarovski crystal fabrics, and from his work with architect IM Pei on the Louvre’s glass pyramid to inflatable Tour de France event platforms, Martin Francis is a designer who can’t be pigeon-holed into just one field. Born in Britain, Francis started out as a cabinet-maker for private clients in London. He soon began to work with structural engineer Tony Hunt, who introduced him to a rising architect named Norman Foster. They collaborated for two decades. Boats came about by accident, following a family decision to sail around the world in his self-designed, self-built 14m sailboat, Prototype. Racing it locally led to his calling for the 28.2m Diablesse, establishing him in yachting, followed by his first motor yacht project 73m Eco, 59m explorer yacht Senses and one of today’s the most distinctive superyachts in the world, 119m Motor Yacht A.
To find out more about the 2020 Boat International Superyacht Design Festival, held in association with Riva and Yachting Partners International, click here. For full details of all the 2020 Boat International Design & Innovation Awards winners, click here.