Seven winners and two honourable mentions were announced last night in Amsterdam at the 2017 Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement, held in association with Raymarine. In a fitting finale for the evening, over 300 guests witnessed David King, co-founder of Princess Yachts, honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Amsterdam’s National Maritime Museum.

This third edition of the Boat Builder Awards received its largest field of entries yet from right across the globe and several of the categories were closely contested. There was strong evidence that many companies are planning for the different desires of future customers, illustrated perfectly by the first winner of the evening in the Retail Marketing Initiative category, sponsored by RAI Amsterdam. Brunswick Boat Group and Mercury Marine’s Go Boldly video focuses completely on the experience of boating and watersports and impressed the judges with its very modern approach to marketing.

The next category, International Dealer or Distributor Development, sponsored by Lumishore, was so close that the judges eventually decided to make a joint winner award to Correct Craft and Fairline Yachts. Both companies were commended for taking two very different but similarly successful paths to improving their sales networks.

The Boat Builder & Equipment Manufacturer Collaborative Solution category, sponsored by Ultraflex, drew an impressive field of entries, from which the judges named Zodiac Nautic Group and Torqeedo for the Avon eJET concept tender as an honourable mention. The winner was a similarly technologically driven project, with Groupe Beneteau and Multiplast being commended by the judges on substantially bringing down the timescale and cost for foil production on the boatbuilder’s Figaro 3 yacht – with significant potential for more widespread use of foils on production boats.

The Innovative Onboard Design Solution category, sponsored by Fusion, was similarly notable for the very broad spread of entries it attracted this year, with everything from integrated electronics to innovative deck and hull features under consideration. In the end, it was Sunseeker International’s Manhattan 52 Beach Club concept that was chosen by the judges as a winner for its family focused features. KM Yachtbuilders’ retractable rudder and sterngear, designed for its 78ft Polar Explorer Yacht was named as an honourable mention.

Focusing attention on vital aspects of future boatbuilding, the Innovation in a Production Process, sponsored by Dometic, was awarded to Bavaria Yachtbau for its MODUTEC modular construction techniques, the judges recognising the very widespread use of the company’s off-hull manufacturing techniques. Campion Marine was named winner of the Environmental Initiative, sponsored by UCINA, for its use of environmentally friendly hull construction materials. Sunseeker International was then called back to the podium to collect its second award of the evening, the Best Apprenticeship and Training Scheme category, sponsored by Marine Resources.

The recognition of such a strong mix of innovative initiatives provided the perfect platform for The Boat Builder Awards to honour one of boatbuilding’s pioneers, David King, the co-founder of Princess Yachts, with a Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Side Power. In his citation, IBI publishing director Nick Hopkinson said: “I’m sure we would all agree that David is one of the industry’s great visionaries who built a globally recognised brand through enormous personal commitment during more than 50 years of involvement in all aspects of the business. He is a real boater and product developer with an understanding that is totally unique among his peers.”

IBI editor and chair of the Boat Builder Awards judges, Ed Slack, said: “The Boat Builder Awards was conceived to champion the vision and dedication of the people that build boats today and the great efforts they are making to ensure the marine industry continues to provide the right products for its current and future customers. It is also vital that all sectors of the industry collaborate closely, to ensure the very best user experiences. Our winning and shortlisted companies this year provided brilliant examples, not only of individual excellence but also the great results that occur when teams and businesses work closely together.”

The final list of all winners, honourable mentions and shortlisted companies is as follows:

Retail Marketing Initiative, sponsored by RAI Amsterdam

Winner: Brunswick Boat Group

Shortlisted: Azimut Yachts

Shortlisted: Dominator Yachts


Boat Builder International Distributor/Dealer Development, sponsored by Lumishore

Joint Winner: Correct Craft

Joint Winner: Fairline Yachts


Boat Builder & Equipment Manufacturer Collaborative Solution, sponsored by Ultraflex

Winner: Multiplast and Beneteau

Honourable Mention: Torqeedo and Zodiac

Shortlisted: Naviop and Ferretti

Shortlisted: Next Four Solutions and Inha Works


Innovative Onboard Design Solution, sponsored by Fusion

Winner: Sunseeker International

Honourable Mention: KM Yachtbuilders

Shortlisted: Inha Works

Shortlisted: Ferretti Group


Innovation in a Production Process, sponsored by Dometic

Winner: Bavaria Yachts

Shortlisted: Azimut Yachts


Environmental Initiative Award, sponsored by UCINA

Winner: Campion Marine

Shortlisted: Eco Sail The World

Shortlisted: The Hinkley Company


Best Apprenticeship Scheme, sponsored by Marine Resources

Winner: Sunseeker International


Shortlisted: Ta Shing Yachts


Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Side Power

Mr David King, Princess Yachts