Companies or individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the industry during the past year were nominated in any of the eight award categories and had a chance to win the awards.

See all nominations »

Retail marketing initiative

Azimut Benetti Group
The Azimut Summer Wave saw fleets of the latest Azimut motor yachts host potential customers and other guests in some of the most attractive waters in the Mediterranean and Aegean, including Porto Venere in Italy, Bodrum in Turkey, Mykonos in Greece, closing at an event in Mallorca and Ibiza. Reinforcing the on-water experience, Azimut arranged exclusive shoreside entertainment and shared the Made in Italy lifestyle with all participants as part of its ‘La Dolce Vita 3.0’ brand strategy.

Dominator Yachts
To ensure a high profile, exclusive launch for the new 28M Ilumen motor yacht, Dominator Yachts engaged with dancers from the world-renowned Cirque de Soleil and with Monte-Carlo ballet dancers to create an extra-ordinary theatrical event at the Yacht Club de Monaco.

Mercury Marine
“There’s a giant world out there, where amazing things happen, the world is 71% water and 100% awesome.” Those are the opening messages from Mercury Marine’s Go Boldly video which foregoes the usual approach of product advertising and instead, sells the passion, excitement and benefit of boating and watersports in a series of dynamic, enticing short scenes. The film then closes out with Mercury connecting its brand to this great experience.

Boat Builder International Distributor/ Dealer Development

Sponsored by Lumishore

Correct Craft
With domestic sales bottoming out and a weak dollar offering an export lifeline in 2010, Correct Craft’s CEO Bill Yeargin started living out of a suitcase and travelled to Europe, Australia, the Middle East and even Africa in the search for new dealers. He has barely had time to unpack since. From a starting point of 30 overseas dealers, the US company now has 70, turning the boatbuilder’s Nautique operation into a globally recognised brand.

Fairline Yachts
This UK boatbuilder has not only emerged safely from its time in administration, but has turned adversity to opportunity with its dealer network. At considerable cost, it guaranteed the deposits of customers who had already ordered to rebuild confidence. It then completely reviewed its dealer relationships to create a fairer climate that encouraged local investment and loyalty, moving from fixed term contracts to rolling contracts, transparent pricing and fixed allocation ordering to rolling stock orders. As a result it is seeing investment in its brand at dealer level and enhanced demand for its product.

Boat Builder & Equipment Manufacturer Collaborative Solution

Sponsored by Ultraflex

Beneteau, working with Multiplast
In a very successful project, delivered to time and budget, Multiplast has created 100 foils over just 18 months for Beneteau’s new Figaro One Design – Figaro 3 at a cost around four or even five times less than a classic composite process would have yielded. With very high repeatability in factors such as weight and spring back, this effort from Beneteau and Multiplast looks to open a door for the much more widespread adoption of foils.

Buster Boats, working with Nextfour Solutions
Finnish aluminium boatbuilder Buster Boats wanted to bring integrated systems as standard to many of the models in its range and partnered with Nextfour Solutions to create the BusterQ infotainment system. Launched in the summer of 2016, BusterQ has already been installed on more than 1000 Buster boats. Its software has been designed to be fully upgradable and new features are being continually added to its navigation, engine management and entertainment features, through close collaboration with many of the industry’s leading equipment manufacturers.

Ferreti Group, working with Simrad and Naviop
The pilot house of the new Ferretti Yachts 780 and Ferretti Yachts 920 was designed at the outset as an exclusively futuristic technical area, with the entire vessel managed from this space. To achieve this, the company partnered with Simrad and Naviop to create an integrated system called Naviop Loop. It features a large control station with multiple touchscreen displays that fully connect all of the on-board monitoring, navigation and propulsion systems. The information is presented through easy-to-read numeric and graphical displays, logically arranged on pages related to specific areas of functionality.

Zodiac Nautic Group, working with Torqeedo
The Avon eJET Concept is a purely electric-powered tender that avoids fuel, oil and maintenance issues aboard a yacht, as well a providing clean method of transport from ship to shore. The customisable eJET has remote connection capabilities, enabling diagnostic and upgrade functions as well as letting users track their location in real time, saving their trips, and turning on the lights from a distance. Zodiac worked collaboratively with Torqeedo to achieve this project, which is expected to enter production in 2018.

Innovative On-board Design Solution

Sponsored by Fusion

Buster Boats
Finnish aluminium boatbuilder Buster Boats has brought integrated systems as standard to many of the models in its range. The BusterQ infotainment system was launched in the summer of 2016 and has already been installed on more than 1000 Buster boats. Its software has been designed to be fully upgradable and new features are being continually added to its navigation, engine management and entertainment features, through close collaboration with many of the industry’s leading equipment manufacturers. The aim is to deliver a completely integrated user experience for Buster boat owners.

Ferretti Group
The Riva 56’ Rivale features a new concealed stairway solution to ensure continuity between the cockpit and the bathing platform, whether it is raised or lowered. Developed by the Ferretti Engineering Department, the steps on portside are connected to the lifting platform, and when this lowers the stairs also slide down, revealing additional steps in the hull and providing a single most convenient stairway for getting into the water and back on board without having to use the steel ladder.

KM Yachtbuilders
Seeking the best solutions for a highly adventurous single-handed circumnavigating customer, Dutch boatbuilder KMY has developed a retractable propulsion train and rudder for its massively strong aluminium 78ft Polar Explorer Yacht. This allows the owner to deal with extreme conditions in polar regions by enabling the yacht to sit on top of the ice, rather than be frozen into it and trapped. The keel, propeller and propulsion train will all automatically retract if a collision occurs with ice, or another obstruction.

Sunseeker International
The launch of Sunseeker’s Manhattan 52 last year not only marked the emergence of its smallest flybridge yacht for a decade, but also introduced to the market superyacht-style ‘beach club’ features on a much smaller vessel than the norm. Researched and designed from the outset as the ideal family-friendly space, the stern of the Manhattan 52 contains a host of obvious and disguised features to optimise pleasure and safety for children and parents when at anchor.

Innovation in a Production Process

Sponsored by Dometic

Azimut Benetti Group
Carbon fibre is still seen as a relatively exotic material in mainstream production boatbuilding. In contrast, Azimut Yachts is incorporating the material extensively in seven models now, particularly in superstructure, hard top and flybridge mouldings, as well as for local hull reinforcement. This has been enabled by investment in Finite Element Analysis and through collaboration with structural experts and Azimut’s in-house engineering team. The result is increased strength and reduced weight.

Bavaria Yachts
Modular working outside of the hull has been relatively commonplace for some time, but German boatbuilder Bavaria Yachts has elevated the method beyond the norm to include much of its production – it even creates very large modules off yacht with all systems installed. This enables ergonomic work organisation, shorter manufacturing time, greater flexibility and safer, more controlled processes.

Best Apprenticeship and Trainee Scheme

Sponsored by Marine Resources

If you visit the Nobiskrug shipyard you will now see a 12m tug in service called Bagalut. This was built by its team of apprentices, who independently executed all tasks from design and building through to the commissioning under the mentorship and support of all necessary company departments. During the entire process Nobiskrug directed the apprentices to challenge its workflow, internal processes and interfaces – conclusions and solutions will be taken forward into new builds at the shipyard.

Sunseeker International
Sunseeker has been recruiting apprentices since 1979 and has continued to invest in the learning and development of young people. It recruited a record 41 apprentices at the start of September 2017, bringing the total under training to 116. Many of the students who have completed the scheme have progressed internally, benefiting Sunseeker with a talent pool and enabling growth. The high number of apprentices that the company recruits means that other local marine businesses benefit hugely from the advanced marine training facilities in Poole, through continued government investment. Since 2010, Sunseeker has also run a Team Leader Academy to train its circa 250 team leaders across the company.

TaShing Yachts
One third of TaShing’s employees have been with the company for more than 30 years. The Taiwanese boatbuilder runs two schemes to ensure it can compete for skilled workers and retain them. The first provides a financial incentive to a worker who recommends their family members or friends to work in TaShing for more than three months. The second rewards mentors for nurturing new recruits and ensuring these apprentices work for over a year and become qualified. The mentor educates the apprentice on working skills, morale, positive working attitude and understanding of company policy such as job safety.

LifeTime Achievement Award

Sponsored by Side-power

The most anticipated category of the METSTRADE and IBI Boat Builder Awards each year is the Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Side-power. We make no announcements about the individuals being considered for this category. In 2015 the judges were very pleased to honour Paolo Vitelli, the founder and chairman of Azimut Benetti. In 2016, there was equal pleasure in honouring Robert Braithwaite, CBE, the founder of Sunseeker International. All we can say ahead of the Boat Builder Awards dinner and presentation on 15 November 2017 is that the Judges have been considering nominations for other very influential people who have similarly shaped the boatbuilding industry in a very influential way. Do please join us to share in the celebration of an extraordinary contribution made to the marine sector.

Environmental Initiative

Campion Marine
Canadian builder Campion Marine is committed to reducing its environmental footprint, while maintaining the quality of its high-performance boats. It is the first boat manufacturer in the world to utilise Enviro Responsible Resin, a renewably sourced bio-derived resin from Ashland Performance Materials that uses a substantial amount of soybean oil and corn derived ethanol in its formulation. The use of Ashland’s MAXGUARD LE gelcoats further reduces emissions. The company has switched to Ecomate floatation foams and now uses Acrastrip, an acetone replacement that is recognised in partnership with the Design for the Environment division of the US EPA.

Eco Sail The World
The BLUE OCEAN project is a collaboratively based mission to construct a 45-foot sailing yacht specially designed to meet the environmental challenges of the 21th Century. Attention is being paid to construction, operation and end of life to minimise impact and this French-based project now has 26 marine industry partners from across Europe and further afield.

The Hinkley Company
Hinckley is developing its first fully electric luxury launch, the 28ft 6in Dasher. Constructed from carbon-epoxy composite on quasi traditional lines, Dasher has a high focus on weight saving and uses the hand painted lightweight composite, Artisanal Teak, to keep with the classic look of Hinckley. Titanium hardware and console details are 3D printed to achieve shapes and precision unavailable in typical construction methods. Power is by twin 80hp electric motors and dual BMW i3 lithium-ion batteries, with fast charging capabilities.