The winners of the Best of Boats Awards (BOB Awards) were presented at the Boat & Fun Berlin boat show in Germany last week.
The panel of judges, made up of 17 boat magazine journalists from 15 European countries, selected the best boats in different categories. Overall, the judges undertook 585 confirmed tests on lakes and rivers involving 170 new models from 19 countries.
The Best for Beginners award went to the Finnmaster Husky R5 from Finn-Marin. Anton Cherkasov, editor-in-chief of Motorboat & Yachting from St Petersburg, emphasised that a boat for beginners must be especially safe and easy to operate. “One could say it was a masterclass in functionality and handling,” he said. “It is a stylish boat boasting a timeless design.”
In the Best for Fishing category, the Wellcraft 222 Fisherman convinced the judges. Julijan Višnjevec, editor-in-chief of the magazine Val Navtika from Ljubljana, said: “In order to have a pleasant fishing trip one needs lots of space, fishing rod holders, fish tanks and a work table. The best thing is a cabin, or at minimum good weather protection, and at the very least the boat should be safe and seaworthy.”
Neale Byart, editor-in-chief of UK magazine Motorboat Owner, presented the Best for Family award to Catherine Trichet and Martin Schemkes for the Jeanneau Leader 33. Commenting on the selection, the panel described the boat as a comprehensive family package.
For those who enjoy boating and a turn of speed, the Best for Fun category has a special appeal. Jan Sjölund, editor-in-chief of Venemestari from Finland, presented the award to Marco Zuccolà of InvictusYachts for the Invictus 370. He praised the boat’s luxury features and room layout.
The Delphia BluEscape 1200 picked up the Best for Travel award. Boat tester Bernd Hofstätter of Ocean 7 from Klagenfurt said: “This semi-displacement has all the necessary instruments and with its high-performance engine can carry out rapid manoeuvres. This is a touring boat that is just at home at sea as it is on inland waters.”