Winners of the “European Yacht of the Year 2020” and “European Powerboat of the Year 2020” awards were announced at Boot Dusseldorf’s Flagship Night on the opening evening of the show

A range of boats nominated as Europe’s best powerboats and sailing yachts took centre stage in Dusseldorf Saturday evening during ’Flagship Night,’ with some 450 industry members in attendance.  Organised by Boot Dusseldorf and publishing house Delieus Kasing Verlay on the opening evening of the industry’s biggest consumer show, the annual event presented awards in ten categories, and also honored an industry presonality for outstanding services in watersport with the SeaMaster Award.

The “European Yacht of the Year” awards were presented for the 17th time and the “European Powerboat of the Year” award for the fourteenth time in 2020, with winners chosen by an expert jury consisting of boat testing organisations and the editors-in-chief of 12 sailing and 8 powerboating magazines covering the European market.  

In all, the trade journalists sailed almost 2,500 sea miles, or more than 4,500 kilometres aboard the nominated yachts in the course of a week. All decisions are made on a majority basis and a nationality clause ensures that the jury members do not favour candidates from their own country.

With the nominated boats mirroring what is happening in the market, the press stratement noted this year’s winners reflect a trend towards increasingly larger yachts with customised interiors and onboard extras, while sport yachts are enjoying a notable resurgence as well.

European Yacht of the Year 2020

  • Beneteau Oceanis 30.1 - Family Cruiser
  • X-Yachts X-4.0 - Performance Cruiser
  • Amel 60 - Luxury Cruiser
  • Dehler 30 OD - Regatta Yacht
  • Nautor ClubSwan 36 - Innovation

European Powerboat of the Year 2020

  • Silver Tiger DCz - Small powerboats (up to 8m)
  • Beneteau Flyer 10 - Powerboats (up to 10m)
  • Pardo 38 - Powerboats (up to 14m)
  • Solaris Power 48 Open - Powerboats (up to 20m)
  • Vedette Navigator 35 - Displacement hull class    
  • Volvo Penta DPI Drive - Innovation  

See pictures and judges comments about the winning boats below. 

This year’s winner in the Family Cruiser category was the Beneteau Oceanis 30.1. Built by subsidiary Delphia Yachts in Poland, Beneteau’s touring sailboat ”offers a remarkable degree of luxury and comfort, despite its compact dimensions,” according to the jury.  They also praised the model’s sailing properties and quality of manufacture, deeming it a handy and affordable starter model for four crew members.   

In the Performance Cruiser category, the winner was the X 4.0, by Denmark’s X-Yachts. The jury said the boat offers plenty of readily available power – alongside tasteful and comfortable furnishings.

In the Luxury Cruiser category, the Amel 60 triumphed with the jury noting that its spacious cockpit – almost completely covered by a deckhouse – provides maximum protection against the elements. Below deck, the jury commended the high-quality, stylish interior offering three double cabins and a bright, well-laid-out lounge ”to rival that of a five-star hotel.”

In light of a growing number of fast, easy-to-manoeuver racing yachts, the jury created a new category for Regatta Yachts this year, with the Dehler 30 OD claiming the title. Part of the Greifswald-based Hanse Group, the brand was recognised for success with a boat optimised for small crews, with a ”lightweight build and consistent design,” with the jury calling it ”the most attractive model of its kind.”

The Innovation-Award was presented to the ClubSwan 36, the latest model from luxury builder Nautor. According to the jury, “this radical, modern racing yacht has all the ingredients of a high-tech yacht – from the extreme hull shape to a carbon hydrofoil in the centre of the boat, easily positioned by the crew – the faster it goes, the greater the hydrodynamic effect, making the boat even lighter and faster. “It feels like being on a flying carpet,” says Jochen Rieker, editor-in-chief of YACHT magazine and chairman of the jury. 

On the powerboat side, the jury nominated the top 23 contenders while at the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, from among 200 new boat designs launched last year. Besides quality indicators such as solidness of construction and performance properties, the jury also considered the overall model concept and value for money proposition in evaluating contenders. 

In the small powerboat category up to 8 metres, the Silver Tiger DCz was named the winner, with the jury highlighting its excellent, safe driving properties and favourable price-performance ratio, as well as a fully sealed cockpit offering maximum safety for the full crew.

Criteria for powerboats up to 10 metres included an offering of practical solutions, a solid finish and safe handling. In this category, the Beneteau Flyer 10 won the award for the ”success full transfer of various concepts from larger yachts  to the 10-metre class, providing a skilful mix between a day boat and a cruiser.”

The winning entry in the powerboats up to 14 metres class was the Pardo 38, credited with outstanding driving properties, paired with exceedingly high-quality craftsmanship, providing the “perfect large-format day cruiser.”

In the powerboats up to 20 metres class, the jury selected the Solaris Power 48 Open, praised for setting new standards for its class in design and manufacturing quality. Balanced driving properties, while the boat’s foldable “cockpit terraces” were also noted as pluses.

In the length-independent displacement hull class, the “European Powerboat of the Year” award 2020 went to the Vedette Navigator 35. ”The Vedette Navigator is the modern version of the classic steel yacht concept,” stated the jury. ”The quality of the materials and manufacture is excellent throughout.”

The Innovation Award 2020 – presented within the scope of the “Powerboat of the Year” awards – went to Volvo Penta’s DPI drive. “Once again, Volvo Penta has set new benchmarks in drive technology. The hydraulic clutch of the DPI drive enables silent, low-wear shifting, extending the lifespan of the Z-transmission,” explained BOOTE’s editor-in-chief Torsten Moench, summarising the jury’s winning choice in this category. ”In addition, the electric steering unit provides greater convenience and safety in practice.”

Boris Hermann

Boris Hermann was presented with the 2020 SeaMaster Award as an ambassador for watersports while giving activist Greta Thurnberg a lift to New York aboard his yacht Malizia

The SeaMaster Award 2020 award was presented to German sailing professional Boris Herrmann who made headlines with his zero-emission, trans-Atlantic transport of Greta Thunberg to the UN Climate Summit in New York last summer. A reported 800 million people followed the sailboat’s arrival on television and via online streaming – more than any other sailing event to date.  In 2020, the sailing ambassador will be the first German to participate in the prestigious Vendé Globe, a non-stop regatta for single-handed sailors, with the yacht “Malizia II”.

The award was presented by another accomplished sailort, Dee Caffari, the first woman to complete a non-stop solo trip around world, sailing against the prevailing wind direction.