Paolo Vitelli, founder and chairman of Azimut Benetti, has been presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement. The presentation took place at a gala dinner in the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam on the second day of the METSTRADE show.

The inaugural Boat Builder Awards were jointly organised by IBI, METSTRADE and RAI Amsterdam. Vitelli, whose name the judges said had become synonymous with Italian boatbuilding at its best, was joined by daughter Giovanna and more than 200 industry guests under the spectacular glittering dome of the Museum’s historic courtyard.
 
In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was sponsored by Sleipner, there were five other categories of winners at the Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement in association with Raymarine.
 
Monte Carlo Yachts picked up the Innovation in a Production Process award sponsored by Whale for its game-changing modular production technique. This enables semi-customised boats to be built up to 50% more quickly on a full scale production line.
 
Dominator was named winner of the Retail Marketing Award sponsored by Saltwater for its Ilumen Virtual Reality system. The judges praised the technology as a genuine innovation, the like of which has not been seen before in the maritime business.
 
Galeon Yachts and the ‘beach mode’ that the judges felt brought a little bit of big boat functionality and superyacht chic to its new 500 Fly, was named winner of the Innovative On-Board Design Solution category sponsored by Fusion.
Brunswick Marine EMEA’s expansion of its Quicksilver line outside of Europe earned it the podium spot in the Boat Builder International Distributor/Dealer Development category sponsored by Lumishore, while
 
Last but not least, Jenneau and Harken’s three-year collaboration on the Assisted Sail Trim system, which has the potential to revolutionise cruising and shorthanded sailing, was deemed a worthy winner of the Boatbuilder & Equipment Manufacturer Collaborative Solution award, sponsored by Ultraflex.
 
There were also three honourable mentions. Karnic was recognised in the Innovation in a production process category for its Smart Production Controller. Fairline Boats and Falcon were mentioned for the engineering feat of creating frameless windows that can be fitted to any hull form. Mastervolt’s CZone digital control and monitoring network was also commended by the judges.
 
“We congratulate the winners and those short-listed companies that ultimately made the event the success that it was,” said IBI publishing director Nick Hopkinson, who went on to thank chairman of the judges John Maxey, praising the judging panel’s efforts in whittling down the considerable number of award entries to find the best of the best. “
“Awards were long overdue to recognise the work of the boatbuilding industry and to celebrate the individuals and innovations which make it unique. We look forward to crowning more winners at the Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement 2016.”