On Saturday the 18th of May the World Superyacht Awards 2019 took place at the Old Billingsgate in London, celebrating the very best builds, refits and conversions over the past year, as well as an individual’s lasting contribution to the industry with the Legacy Award.
Organised by Boat International magazine, the awards ceremony was attended by almost 600 guests, who included Owners, builders and designers. Find out below which sailing yachts and motor yachts have added an accolade to their names following the glamorous awards ceremony:
Sailing Yacht of the Year
106.7m/350ft sailing yacht BLACK PEARL from Oceanco and 42.2m/138ft VIJONARA from Pendennis Yachts went against each other for the title of Sailing Yacht of the Year, the former winning out due to her technical achievements.
While the judges agreed that S/Y VIJONARA was a well-constructed and visually dynamic vessel, she could not compete with BLACK PEARL in terms of engineering. Oceanco designed mega yacht BLACK PEARL to recharge her battery banks while under sail, thereby reducing dependence on the generators on board and returning sailing yachts back to a more environmentally friendly state: It is possible for BLACK PEARL to cross the Atlantic Ocean without consuming any diesel fuel, and this factor was significant in the Judges’ final decision.
Also of note was the amount of space, luxury and facilities on board, which are more often traits associated with motor yachts than sailing yachts.
Motor Yacht of the Year
For this category there were several vessels to choose from after winning their selected categories within the semi-displacement and displacement motor yacht categories, however, the judges needed to take into account the lasting impact on future superyachts.
After a secret ballot, it was clear that 90m/295ft luxury yacht DAR from Oceanco was the winner, selected because of her nature-inspired exterior lines and excellent proportions for deck space and amenities. Within, there is plenty of room for the Owner on the private deck in addition to well-proportioned staterooms for the rest of the guests. There is an abundance of space on board for guest amenities and the crew also have excellent facilities for dining and recreation, and the cabins provide ample room.
The innovative glass in the superstructure and flush-mounted doors required carefully considered engineering for installation and continued use. Oceanco’s timely and on-budget delivery of M/Y DAR to her Owners for the cruising season also helped to seal her win.
Megayacht DREAM began life as a 93m/305ft cruise ship that was extended to a final length of 106.5m/349ft for an Owner who intended to use her for worldwide cruising.
The Owner’s team, Olympic Yacht Services, acted as project managers, builders, naval architects, and collaborative exterior stylists for the duration of the project, which saw the hull stripped down to bare steel, the superstructure and surplus structures removed and the interiors gutted and sandblasted.
320 tonnes of steel was removed and replaced with 550 tonnes of new fabrications which include a superstructure and 112 automated sliding windows, each weighing 500 kg.
The engine room was installed with heavy equipment as well as new stabilisers, then superyacht DREAM was faired and painted ahead of her relaunch.
In line with the SOLAS 36 Passenger requirements, following her launch new pipework was installed, rewiring was done, and her new interior was placed on rubber mounts to reduce noise transmission.
The extent of the changes modified and improved her external appearance as well as producing a contemporary minimal interior that abounds in space and amenities. For all of these reasons, the Judges selected M/Y DREAM as the winner of this category.
The classic 71m/233ft motor yacht HAIDA 1929 (ex.ROSENKAVALIER, DONA AMELIA) was built by Krupp Germaniawerft and as her name suggests, was launched in 1929. Over the years she has been used both privately and as a luxury charter yacht, dining and entertaining guests in timeless surroundings. Now almost a century old, she has undergone an extensive refit at the Pendennis shipyard with naval architecture and exterior styling from Cox & Stevens, and interiors by Adam Lay.
When she arrived at the Pendennis shipyard under new ownership in 2017 multiple issues were evident and more were concealed within. The refit wished to remain true to her heritage while tastefully updating the interiors for modern-day use, including the installation of several amenities. Over 17 months, the refit replaced 110 tonnes of steel and 90% of the pipework, while a hairdressing salon, a spa with a Hammam and a massage room were incorporated.
The dip pool was replaced by a larger swimming pool and original features such as exterior staircases were reinstalled, and the original engines were rebuilt to their original specifications instead of replaced.
The extent, direction and quality of the refit has made HAIDA 1929 a prime example of how to restore a heritage yacht and keep her a desirable prospect for modern event charters, special occasions and much more.
Originally built by Vitters and refitted at the Pendennis facilities, 38.2m/125ft motor yacht G2 received significant changes to her original 2009 appearance. Tripp Design were her initial naval architects and have re-imagined her exterior styling to remove the aft cuddy and create a flush deck space, complete with an extended main cockpit to form a larger alfresco dining area. 40% of the old teak decking was replaced and the caulking also replaced. Two new skylights were cut into the deckhead of the main salon to better illuminate the interior, which also received considerable attention.
The now dated ochre-coloured panelling was replaced with a lighter wood from Nauta Design, and 11 larger portlights were added to the guest accommodation. The Master suite was given a new layout and increased in size, which required the moving of structural bulkheads.
In addition, maintenance requirements aboard S/Y G2 were minimised wherever possible through servicing, replacing or upgrading systems and machinery – including her navigation and communications equipment. Her 10-year Class Special Survey was also brought forward in preparation for her intended circumnavigation.
To complete her award-winning 11-month refit she received a repaint to her hull, mast and superstructure.
Sailing Yachts 30m – 59.9m
It was the character and charm of modern classic sailing yacht VIJARONA that won the hearts of the judges in this category: The Truly Classic 127 from Andre Hoek has a classic outer appearance from naval architects and exterior stylists Hoek Design, who also worked in conjunction with the Owner and Hermès to produce her stately and comfortable interiors.
The quality of the craftsmanship was rated outstanding by the Judges, who were particularly taken with the woodwork and the leather trim crafted by Hermès, which decorated the spacious en-suite cabins.
More than beauty, S/Y VIJARONA has excellent responsiveness while under sail – even in light breezes – which makes her strong competitor for any regatta she enters.
Sailing Yachts – 60m and Above
Mega sailing yacht BLACK PEARL was considered a true successor to S/Y MALTESE FALCON, which was the first sailing yacht to use the Dynarig system and heralded a new era for sailing yachts in the 21st Century.
S/Y BLACK PEARL is comparable to a motor yacht for her on board facilities, speed, space and comfort, however she has a major advantage in being able to cross the Atlantic without using a drop of fuel. The wind is able to propel her across the waters, and as the batteries are recharged at the same time, there is no disruption to onboard systems while remaining environmentally friendly.
An interesting aspect of the design is that the designers have provided for the future possibility of solar energy captured in her sails – a technology that is still under development.
Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 30m to 32.9m
The Arcadia 105 motor yacht RJ by Arcadia Yachts stood out amongst the other high-quality entries for her on-trend amenities as well as her top-quality construction: Many of the large windows open to provide fresh air into the interior, saving on air conditioning while allowing guests to control where the breeze comes from and how much.
Glass sliding doors open to fold-down balconies on both sides of the main salon, and the glass-covered aft portion creates more of a winter garden feel for admiring the views in all weather. A forward observation lounge looks out over the bow and offers guests clear views through the glazed bulwarks, while a glass deckhead is covered in solar panels for powering onboard systems as well as allowing light to filter through.
Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 33m to 39.9m
The Owner of luxury yacht BRIGADOON said he was looking for a ‘classic timeless look, embracing quality and reliability’, and the judges agreed that Moonen had created a well-constructed modern motor yacht with impressive engineering as well as style.
The brilliant interiors are further enhanced by natural light flooding through the large windows and ensuring fantastic views. The crew area, in particular, impressed the judges, offering a spacious working environment in the engine room, a well laid out and fully equipped galley, a large laundry room and substantial crew quarters.
Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts 40m and Above
Rossinavi luxury yacht UTOPIA IV was the fastest in her class at 33 knots thanks to her four MTU engines, which give the four Kamewa water jets 7,756 kW of power.
Sleek lines formed the exterior styling around the well-proportioned outer decks, while the elegant interiors have a general arrangement that provides for a beach club and tender garage as well as ample guest and crew quarters.
Displacement Motor Yachts Below 299GT
Expedition yacht MIMI LA SARDINE excels in her role for exploration in comfort, created as she was with a sturdy build and long-term autonomy at sea with a cruising range of 5,000 nautical miles.
The exceptional interiors also drew attention due to the dedicated dining on the bridge deck instead of a second salon. Despite her small size, MIMI LA SARDINE has incorporated a beach club within the lower deck stern, and the laid back decor continues throughout the rooms.
Displacement Motor Yachts Between 300GT and 499GT – 30m to 47.9m
Poland-based Conrad Shipyard created the 40m/131ft luxury yacht VIATORIS won this category based on the attention to detail given the traffic flow through her general arrangement and her well-planned technical aspects. Diana Yacht Design was responsible for her naval architecture with the exteriors styled by Reymond Langton Design which particularly impressed the judges.
The interiors also left an impression with the judges with her excellent volume evenly distributed between technical and social spaces for guests and the crew. Four fold-down balconies and sizeable windows create a greater connection with the surrounding environment as well as introducing an abundance of natural light to the interiors.
Although M/Y VIATORIS only has a cruising speed of 12 knots, she has a staggering range of 11,100 nautical miles at an economical 8 knots. The sound insulation also ensures minimal noise for a sound sleep for all guest and crew – which can be a crucial luxury on long and challenging journeys.
Displacement Motor Yachts Between 300GT and 499GT – 48m and Above
Luxury yacht CECILIA is a Wider 165 model from Wider Yachts, and won the category based on her technical systems: Her propulsion system uses diesel generators that drive electric-powered motors fitted to azipods in the stern. What is novel in this propulsion system is the placement of the engine room in the bow, leaving the amidships area free for accommodation. As a result, the crew accommodation has been moved to the aft, where pitch and roll are felt less severely. Her two 535 kW gensets also increases her fuel economy, using a third of the power of her competitors and producing low noise levels.
Luxury yacht CECILIA also impressed judges with her stern float-in tender dock that can store a tender as well as a submarine in a separate bay. Once the side doors are opened and both vessels launched, space becomes a light-filled beach club.
Displacement Motor Yachts Between 500GT and 1,999GT
69m/226ft Benetti superyacht SPECTRE was built for an Owner whom had previously owned luxury yachts and had very specific requirements, among which was a top speed of 21 knots – 5 knots faster than previous builds of the same size. Naval architects Mulder Design achieved this by creating a fast displacement hull that is 133 tonnes lighter than a hull of similar design. Carbon fibre reinforcement is used to maintain structural integrity, and motor yacht SPECTRE is capable of an exhaustive 6,500 nautical miles at economical speed.
Giorgio Cassetta also wowed the judges with the flowing exterior lines that conceal a volume of 1,790 GT within. The Master suite and VIP stateroom are ideally sized and laid out, and the gym has direct access to the sea with a fold-down swim platform. The tank deck is also put to good use with a generous crew area, laundry and technical area for additional equipment that allows for a more orderly engine room.
Displacement Motor Yachts 2,000GT and Above
The judges had to choose between six superyachts for the award, of which motor yacht DAR won by a small margin in a secret ballot. Judges were impressed with the exterior styling from Luiz de Basto, where natural flowing lines within the form that earned DAR the name ‘PROJECT SHARK’ while under development. A waterfall from the bridge deck aft feeds into a large swimming pool that is the centrepiece around a sunbathing area. Here, the smart storage solutions allow the sun umbrellas to fold into the bulwarks when not in use. Most notably, nearly 400m²/4305ft² of dark glass covers the superstructure and each panel is 1.8m/5.9ft wide, 3m/9.8ft tall and resistant to rocking in open seas.
The judges also entered DAR and saw in person her nature-related motifs and her invigorating choice of colours combined in the high-quality fabrics, leathers and pale wooden panelling and matching joinery. Overall, the original design, innovative technology and high-quality materials all contributed to her award-winning status.
The Judges also gave a commendation to motor yachts ELANDESS and WHITE RABBIT: ELANDESS from Abeking & Rasmussen wowed with her semi-submerged Neptune Lounge, stately exterior appearance and excellent amenities both inside and out for the Owners’ family and close friends.
WHITE RABBIT from Australian shipbuilder Echo Yachts is the world’s largest luxury trimaran at 85m/279ft. Elegant on the outside and voluminous on the inside, she is fitted with a diesel-electric propulsion package with three generators in each outrigger hull to drive a pair of electric motors and variable pitch propellers in the middle hull.
For this award, the same group had to remain on board during an adventurous itinerary considered far from the typical luxury yacht cruise. Superyachts BELUGA and SILENTWORLD entered the category along with 56m/183ft PERINI NAVI sailing yacht ROSEHEARTY, the former two cruising to the Coral Sea islands off the coast of Queensland, Australia. ROSEHEARTY instead crossed the Drake Passage at the southern tip of South America before heading down to Antarctica. Although all three luxury yachts undertook incredible journeys that were worthy of mention, ROSEHEARTY was the most ambitious and this swayed the secret vote.
While the initial trip undertaken by ROSEHEARTY took her from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal to the Galapagos, past Tahiti and Fiji to Patagonia, across the Drake Passage and on to King George Island, this section of the trip could not be considered as the Owners and various charter parties used ROSEHEARTY during this time. Instead, the judges took the period from when the Owners flew into King George Island and then headed southwest to Deception Island, a flooded volcanic cone crater with a named passage named the Devil’s Bellows leading to the interior. Here, the thermally warmed waters and beaches create a beautiful panorama and the waters are rich in sea life.
Next on the journey was Trinity Island, then Melchior Islands, Port Lockroy, US scientific base Palmer Station on Anvers Island, followed by a return trip to Port Lockroy. From here, S/Y ROSEHEARTY visited Paradise Bay on Antarctica and then headed along the coast to cross the Antarctic Circle before a turbulent journey through the Drake Passage and on to Cape Horn and Puerto Williams.
This exceptional journey by a sailing yacht was considered the trip of a lifetime.
The Legacy Award
His Highness the Aga Khan
For his dedication to environmentally friendly tourism both in terms of environmental preservation and the vessels used to travel there, His Highness the Aga Khan has received The Legacy Award.
After he became aware of the beauty of the north-eastern Sardinia coast in the later 1950s, he has worked to establish a destination where luxury tourism thrives while preserving the natural wonders that made the region so attractive in the first place.
In 1962 the Costa Smeralda Consortium was established to endorse sustainable development in this area of the Mediterranean, and five years later the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) followed as a non-profit sporting association with founding members also including Andrè Ardoin, Giuseppe Kerry Mentasti and Luigi Vietti. Today, YCCS and Porto Cervo is famous for hosting international regattas during the summer Mediterranean Yacht Charter season, of which the Maxi Yacht World Championship and the Swan World Cup have been running since 1980. His Highness is also known for his interest in motor yachts, and in 2014 Devonport delivered 50m/164ft motor yacht ALAMSHAR, the world’s only all-gas turbine-powered luxury yacht.
As the 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims, he has been dedicated to improving living conditions for the most vulnerable populations in developing countries since the age of 20.