Last night, the winners of the 2014 Motor Boat Awards were unveiled at a Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony, attended by more than 250 international guests and hosted by IPC Marine Media at The Landmark Hotel in London. Motor Boat Awards went to winning boats in nine categories, varying in size from 16-foot Starterboats to super-luxury Custom Yachts. Additional seven boats were Highly Commended by the judges.
The Award Ceremony was co-hosted by the editors of Motor Boat & Yachting and Motor Boats Monthly, Hugo Andreae and Rob Peake. These two IPC Marine Media titles launched the Awards in 2007 and their experienced journalists make up the judging panel.
The US-built Bayliner Element won the ‘Starter Boat’ Category, which Motor Boats Monthly editor Rob Peake described as: “the perfect first step afloat financially, as well as practically”.
The Austrian-built Frauscher 1017 GT yacht tender collected top spot in the ‘Performance Boat’ category thanks to its “outstandingly fast, agile hull and outrageously beautiful design”.
The ‘Wheelhouse and Walkaround’ category was won by UK builder Trusty Boats for its new Trusty T28, which the judges praised as “a handsome and adaptable craft with a classic ‘little ship’ feel”.
The Outer Reef 700 yacht took the honours in the ‘Trawler Yachts and Aft Cabin’ category, with Motor Boat & Yachting editor Hugo Andreae saying: “it does everything a world class trawler yacht should and matches it with a level of build quality and customisation that we would never have believed possible at this price.”
The first of two Italian winners from Azimut-Benetti was the Azimut Atlantis 34 in the ‘Sportscruiser up to 45ft’ category with Rob Peake praising the way clever cost savings had given “ordinary motorboaters a chance to buy into one of boating’s most exclusive marques”.
The ‘Sportscruiser over 45ft’ category was dominated by UK boats, but it was the Sunseeker San Remo that took the prize on the night. Motor Boat & Yachting editor Hugo Andreae admitted that this was one of the hardest fought categories saying the Sunseeker won through because “it perfectly balances the demands of sleek, sporty looks with generous space below decks. It’s also beautifully built and huge fun to drive”.
Plymouth-based UK builder Princess Yachts International won the ‘Flybridge up to 55ft’ category with its new Princess 43, which the judges described as being “so refined, spacious, classy and capable that it’s hard to see why buyers at this price would look anywhere else”.
The Azimut 80 superyacht made it two wins from two for the Italian yard Azimut-Benetti when it was announced as the winner of the ‘Flybridge over 55ft’ category because “it delivers on every level, matching designer looks with sophisticated finishes, fabulous entertaining spaces and a driving experience which exceeded all expectations”.
Ferretti made it a third win for the Italians as the superyacht Ferretti 960 won the highly-prized ‘Custom Yacht’ category. Motor Boat & Yachting’s specialist custom yacht contributor, Alan Harper, said: “It stretches the limits of customer expectations to a whole new level, delivering a genuine superyacht experience without the associated costs, complexities and risks”.
Alongside the three UK-manufactured boats that won on the night, a further three were highly commended by the judges – the English Harbour Yachts 16, the Hardy 62 and the Pearl 75 yacht in the ‘Starter Boat’, ‘Trawler Yachts and Aft Cabin’ and ‘Flybridge over 55ft’ categories respectively. This reflects the UK’s continuing position as a leader in the design and manufacture of leisure boats.
This year the reader-nominated Garmin Europe Outstanding Service Award was presented to Norfolk Yacht Agency whose customers “convinced the judges not just with sheer force of numbers but with their heartfelt enthusiasm for the service they’d received”.
The final award of the night, The Judges’ Special Award, was given to Williams Performance Tenders for its outstanding contribution to the marine industry. On presenting the award to founding partners and brothers Matthew and John Hornsby, editor of Motor Boat & Yachting, Hugo Andreae said: “Williams are one of the outstanding stars of the British boat building industry. From a small shed in their parents’ back garden, they have grown into the UK’s most prolific boat builder.”
Simon Owen, Publishing Director of IPC Marine Media, congratulated the winners, summarising, ‘The wide range of nationalities we have welcomed onto the stage tonight perfectly reflects the growing international reach and appeal of Motor Boat & Yachting and Motorboats Monthly. Despite the harshness of recent years, it’s enormously gratifying to be in the company of winners and finalists who have once more impressed our judges with their mixture of high quality construction, design innovation and outstanding on-water performance.’
The 2014 Motor Boat Awards Pre-Dinner Drinks Reception was sponsored by Intellian and, after dinner, guests enjoyed a celebratory drink at the Motor Boat Awards Post Dinner Bar, sponsored by Dometic.
WINNERS OF THE MOTOR BOAT AWARDS 2014
Winner: Bayliner Element
Manufacturer Brunswick Corporation (USA)
• High Commended – English Harbour Yachts 16 (UK)
Winner: Frauscher 1017 GT
Manufacturer Frauscher (Austria)
Wheelhouse and Walkaround
Winner: Trusty T28
Manufacturer Trusty Boats (UK)
• High Commended – Contest 52MC (Holland)
Trawler Yachts and Aft Cabin
Winner: Outer Reef 700
Manufacturer Outer Reef Yachts (USA)
• High Commended – Hardy 62 (UK)
Sportscruiser up to 45ft
Winner: Atlantis 34
Manufacturer Azimut-Benetti (Italy)
• High Commended – Elan Power 30 (Croatia)
Sportscruiser over 45ft
Winner: Sunseeker San Remo
Manufacturer Sunseeker International (UK)
Flybridge up to 55ft
Winner: Princess 43
Manufacturer Princess International (UK)
• High Commended – Monte Carlo 5 (France)
Flybridge over 55ft
Winner: Azimut 80
Manufacturer Azimut-Benetti (Italy)
• High Commended Pearl 75 (UK)
Winner: Ferretti 960
Manufacturer Ferretti Group (Italy)
• High Commended – Monte Fino ecHo 85
Garmin Europe Outstanding Service Award
Winner: Norfolk Yacht Agency
The Judges’ Special Award
Williams Performance Tenders