Shortlisted nominations

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

See all 2018 shortlisted nominees »
See all 2018 winners »


Groupe Beneteau
Band of Boats community services platform

“Just sail, we’ll handle the rest” headlines Groupe Beneteau’s response to increasing demand for pay and play yachting. Working in partnership with charter portal, Sailogy, Band of Boats is an online platform offering a choice of 16,000 boats to use short or long term. Plus, information to make boating more accessible, whether renting or owning. Beneteau’s objective is to break barriers and bring the community of boat enthusiasts together, so that everyone can find the advice they are looking for.

Brunswick Marine EMEA
Quicksilver Rental Platform

Brunswick has tackled four main barriers to boating – cost, hassle, time and the changing world – by piloting a boat rental portal for its Quicksilver range of boats in Spain. Its Book Your Boat function connects consumers with boat rental companies that use Quicksilver brands, encouraging them to explore locations and activities and to simply have fun. The aim is not only to widen consumer appeal but to improve lead generation and grow the company’s wholesale business.

Princess Yachts
Princess R35 communications campaign

Princess Yachts created a communication campaign for its carbonfibre active foiling R35 every bit as revolutionary as the subject matter. From its decision to team up with headline grabbing partners Pininfarina and BAR Technologies, to an automotive style teaser campaign with images of the dazzle camouflaged prototype boat and Japanese Anime and Manga-style TV and print commercials, everything about the R35 campaign breaks the mould. It is strikingly as far removed from traditional boat launch marketing as might be imagined.


Sponsored by Wells Fargo

Rapid expansion of US dealer network

Ukraine-based RIB builder Brig turbocharged its efforts in the US, less than three years after the manufacturer began selling its rigid-hull inflatables there, by signing 15 dealers in 11 months through its distributor, Brig USA. It focused on acquiring dealers that were leaders in their own marketplaces and briefed them to target sales against traditional US strongholds such as watersports boats, pontoons, bowriders and centre consoles, propelling Brig USA to become the company’s second largest global distributorship in 2018.

Sea Ray
EMEA Dealer Development Program

US builder Sea Ray has brought automotive style discipline to its EMEA dealer network. Its international office in Amsterdam has dedicated sales managers and an aftersales team to support dealers, who must adhere to a Five-Star certification scheme and maintain a formalised development plan. Any dealer falling short of the required standards on the plan are required to take corrective action, assisted by Sea Ray’s EMEA team. The Development Program has resulted in proven improvements to customer experience and retention.

Collaborative Solution between a production boat builder and its supply chain partner

Sponsored by Ultraflex

Axopar Boats, working with Brabus
BRABUS Marine luxury boat brand and production improvements

An alliance between Axopar Boats from Finland, and the high-performance German luxury automotive car producer, BRABUS, has created a new luxury boat brand, BRABUS Marine and generated improvements for Axopar’s production facility at its new state-of-the-art factory, opened in early 2018. Boats launched and sold under the two brands of Axopar Boats and BRABUS Marine share the same design, engineering and production platform in common with automotive industry practice, but are designed and successfully marketed to two entirely different types of clientele.

Hanse Group, working with Lewmar
Upgradable sunroof panel for Sealine

Lewmar has worked closely with Hanse Yachts and specifically the Sealine range to enable an attractive price point by offering a fixed glass roof panel on base models, and an optional upgrade to a premium glass powered sunroof as a late configuration. Using the same size of painted aluminium lower frame, Hanse can install either the fixed glass panel or the opening glass powered sunroof at any point from the beginning, during or after the boat is completed.

Prestige Yachts, working with Lewmar
Hybrid patio door

Lewmar was approached by Prestige to develop and construct a stainless steel patio door with an electric vertical drop window to complement the existing bar area. Working with its new hybrid door system, Lewmar incorporated an aluminium anodised black frame with external stainless steel trim to offer reduced lead time, faster installation and improved adjustment to decrease production time and retain a competitive price point.

Solaris Yachts, working with Sailectron
Fully integrated solar system for the Solaris 55

Solaris Yachts wanted to maintain the clean, aesthetic look of its sailboat designs on the Solaris 55, but with a built-in solar panel system. Close collaboration between the engineering teams of Solaris and Sailectron led to a solution that not only blends into the design, but also offers a technically good solution with 540W peak power and distributed maximum power point tracking for optimum shade tolerance. The system has been very well received and is now adapted to other Solaris models.

Sunseeker International, working with Lewmar
ES800 common platform sunroof

Sunseeker approached Lewmar to develop a powered sunroof solution that could be used across multiple boat models. By engaging with the Sunseeker team to optimise the design's size and shape, Lewmar developed a sunroof that could be fitted across multiple boat lines by matching a pre-moulded common shelf in the roof. This common platform approach has numerous benefits to the builder and supplier, including cost saving and increased product volume – driving the economic use of materials and enabling previously machined parts to be investment cast.

Collaborative Solution between a superyacht builder and its supply chain partner

Sponsored by Lumishore

Benetti, working with Naiad Dynamics
Ride control technology on a Benetti FB269

The 69m Spectre is fitted with Ride Control technology specially developed in close collaboration with Benetti by Naiad Dynamics to reduce pitch as well as roll for a testing variety of sea states, headings and speeds. The system significantly increases stability during navigation and improves comfort on board with the help of four stabilising fins and three vertically-adjustable blades. Pitch motion in head seas is simulated to reduce between 25-47 per cent.

Ferretti, working with Francesco Paszkowski Design Studio and Mecaer Aviation Group
Sliding and tilting door for Custom Line 120

This innovative door can either open traditionally by sliding the right panel over the left, or the whole door structure can rotate upwards and disappear into the ceiling. This frees the opening and creates a continuous environment between the lounge and the cockpit of over 80m². The door utilises a black-finished stainless steel frame and utilises electric motors with a fail-safe function. It was designed in collaboration with Francesco Paszkowski Design Studio and developed in conjunction with the Mecaer Aviation Group.

Lürssen, working with BSS Baumann Sicherheitssysteme
HD Lock intelligent electromechanical locking device

BSS and Lürssen have collaborated closely together to produce a lock that can be used at the centre of a state-of-the-art security system. The HD Lock is Modbus compatible and can be controlled intelligently. Constructed predominantly out of stainless steel to IP65 rating, it can be operated remotely and enables the duration of time when locked to be stored. It only operates when the lock is correctly aligned in the door frame and fail-safes to a bolt retraction mode if voltage is lost.

Innovative On-board Design Solution

Sponsored by Fusion

ENATA Marine
FOILER diesel-electric hybrid system and foils

UAE-based ENATA Marine has designed a technologically advanced combination of four foils and two electric torpedo drives powered by a hybrid combination of batteries and twin 320hp diesel engines. Using this arrangement, it has created a visionary looking 9.6m launch with a modular platform interior capable of speeds at up to 40 knots while flying 1.5m above the water surface. The foils are designed to fold so that the FOILER can be easily moored or lifted onto the deck of a superyacht.

Walk though layouts on the 640 FLY and 650 SKYDECK

Polish builder Galeon has a growing reputation for creating innovative layout solutions that are ahead of the field. This nomination cited several notable design features on the 640 FLY and 650 SKYDECK, but these models are especially shortlisted for the execution of the opening front middle panel of the screen and wheelhouse apron, which seamlessly integrates the interior with a highly attractive foredeck layout. Certainly, not the first walkthrough concept, but a highly attractive execution.

MasterCraft Boat Co
FastFill ballast system and U-shaped ballast tank

The new MasterCraft X22, X24 and XStar models feature a new FastFill ballast system that can typically add up to 1590-1955kg of weight in under four minutes, solving the long-standing problem of waiting to ride until ballast tanks are full. Levels can be adjusted for riding style via a touchscreen. A new U-shaped ballast tank design allows water to flow from one side of the boat to the other when the boat is listed for surfing, without making passengers move seats.

Princess Yachts
Princess R35 Active Foil System

Princess Yachts partnered with BAR Technologies to produce the high performance carbonfibre R35 motor yacht so that it could adopt foiling technology adopted from high performance yacht racing such as the America’s Cup. Its Active Foil System reduces drag, improves stability at speed and enables the person at the helm to adjust the foils according to sea state, to optimise the ride.

Retractable foils on the Flying RIB

French builder SEAir’s 5.5m Flying RIB utilises two lateral foils and one on the outboard motor to get airborne, at which point fuel consumption decreases by 30-50 per cent, depending on speed and conditions. The foiling system also offers improved stability and comfort and has been tested successfully in adverse conditions. The foils retract for launching and berthing. Deliveries have already commenced to customers in the early part of 2018 and the Flying RIB is already making its mark.

Innovation in a Production Process

Sponsored by Dometic

Absolute Yachts
Integrated Structure System (ISS)

Developed by one of Absolute’s founders, Sergio Maggi, the Integrated Structure System (ISS) is a complete lean manufacturing system for the company’s yachts that incorporates use of tri-dimensional CAD, CNC, optimised infrastructure, a just-in-time supply chain provided by a robotic warehouse and an extremely organised serial process, from the beginning to the end of the production cycle. ISS results in a very high precision build with no need for prototypes and excellent post build maintainability.

Amer Yachts
3D printed console

Working with La Spezia company, Superfici, Amer Yachts introduced its first 3D printed components in a new Amer 94. The printed helm console is designed to provide a perfect fit with the yacht and to accommodate high technology components like GPS, instruments and a Volvo Penta joystick. The instrument interface can be easily upgraded, thanks to replaceable 3D printed parts. This is the first of what Amer hopes will be a series of 3D printed applications for its yachts in the future.

Environmental Initiative

Sponsored by Ucina

Amer Yachts
Amer 94 sustainable superyacht

The fourth Amer 94 to be built has been constructed from the outset to reduce its environmental footprint. The selection of twin Volvo Penta IPS 1350 drives, new lightweight hull construction using more carbonfibre and vacuum infusion, lithium batteries and efficient variable speed generators has all contributed to range enhancement and discernible reduced fuel burn. This yacht also incorporates cork decks instead of teak, recycled fabrics, submarine film instead of antifouling and other special eco-friendly measures.

Discovery Yachts
Southerly 480 with Integrel generator replacement technology

Discovery Yachts and Triskel Marine worked closely on the development, implementation and final testing of the new Integrel advanced generator replacement technology system on the first production Southerly 480, built for Paul and Sheryl Shard of Distant Shores TV fame. Distant Shores III is destined to spend significant time crossing oceans with paying guests and will support her domestic power needs primarily through the Integrel system coupled to the main propulsion engine, saving fuel and the emissions of a second combustion engine.

Solar powered motorboat range

Austrian builder, SILENT-YACHTS, is nominated for introducing a pioneering range of solar powered catamaran yachts that offer every modern convenience and yet very low or zero emissions, depending on the chosen version. Designed as a self-sufficient ‘personal island’, SILENT-YACHTS’ design their all electric models to be autonomous, long lasting and attractive to people who do not want to sacrifice comfort for environmental friendly operation.

Vita Yachts
Vita electric launch

Vita is a full-production 30ft electric boat inspired by classic boat building traditions but with sustainable materials, powered by a 360hp twin waterjet system with 130kWh liquid cooled lithium batteries and proprietary throttle and touchscreen technology. It is the first boat to achieve a Clearwater Rating Gold Standard certificate for its low environmental footprint. It boasts a cruising speed of 25 knots and builds to a sprint speed of around 40 knots, but saves 120kg of CO2 per charge, compared to equivalent diesel power.

Best Apprenticeship or Training Scheme

Sponsored by Marine Resources

Group Beneteau
Recruitment, adult vocational training and apprenticeship schemes

Groupe Beneteau has successfully carried out recruitment, adult vocational training and apprenticeship schemes on multiple production sites located in France, the US and Poland. Significant efforts were made so that nautical jobs and careers are more visible, to attract fresh talent. Beneteau has hired nearly 600 people in France, 110 in the US and 338 in Poland – in total 550 new jobs in the boatbuilding industry. It has trained over 3000 staff in France, Poland and United States and contracted 200 apprenticeship schemes.

Marine Industry Association of South Africa and National Department of Trade
South African Boatbuilding and Composites training programme

This programme will train 30 boatbuilding apprentices and 350 learners in composite short courses over three years. It is collaborative, with funding from the National Skills Fund, project management, monitoring and evaluation by the South African International Maritime Institute, training from the Boat Building Academy at False Bay College and the Composites Training Academy and work placement by South African Boat Builders Export Council/Boating South Africa (SABBEX/BSA) members. Laminators and composite workers who have trained on the job will be given an opportunity to gain a recognised national certificate and currently unemployed people will be given theoretical and practical skills to find work.

NZ Marine and Composites Industry Training Organisation
New Zealand apprenticeship scheme

The NZ Marine and Composites Industry Training Organisation is key to making sure the required knowledge and skills are passed on in a consistent way so that New Zealand’s reputation for marine excellence continues. It has over 450 apprentices currently in training and the scheme has delivered over 2000 highly qualified tradespeople graduates to-date. It uses on- and off-job training, plus an e-learning system called Rudder Live and a new learning management system – iQualify.

Princess Yachts
Modern apprentice scheme

Princess Yachts has welcomed over 350 apprentices since 1997 in collaboration with City College Plymouth and the company's in-house Development and Training Team. It launched a Carpentry Academy in 2017. Princess has moved away from the traditional style of classroom learning towards a blended approach focussed on the 70:20:10 principle with greater emphasis on coaching and application of learning to work, utilising social media sites such as You Tube and LinkedIn to reinforce key learning points. Learning is applied within day-to-day work by using experienced mentors on each of the Princess boat lines.

South Devon College Noss Marine Academy and Korea Marine Education Academy
South Korea boat technician vocational training scheme

The lifting of government restrictions on access to South Korea coastal waters in 2008 generated 35,000 registered leisure boats in the decade since, but service and repair lagged with no recognised industry standards or vocational training. South Devon College was approached by the Korean Government to address this issue. Despite language, cultural and other difficulties, one-year Essential, Intermediate and Advanced technician level courses were established, delivered by Korea Marine Education Academy. Of 157 technicians trained, 65 per cent have found employment. All newcomers in 2019 will be supported by an industry employer and capacity will rise to 600 students by 2020.

Rising Star

Sponsored by Gurit

This special new category celebrates those aged 35 or under, working for a boat builder, who have been making a growing impact on any aspect of their business. The judges will be selecting a winner, to be announced on the evening.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Sponsored by Side-Power

The awards evening culminates with the much-anticipated Lifetime Achievement Award, presented in the previous three years to Paolo Vitelli of Azimut Benetti, Robert Braithwaite, CBE of Sunseeker International and David King of Princess Yachts.