Design & Innovation Awards 2022: the winners from yachting's Oscars
BOAT International's hotly anticipated award ceremony took place in Milan this week, with some stunning designs being commemorated
This week saw the boating world descend on the iconic Italian city of Milan for the most prestigious night in the industry's calender: the BOAT International Design & Innovation Awards.
The ceremony, which this year took place at The Mall Milano on Wednesday evening, commemorates the finest examples of boat and yacht design, engineering and architecture from around the world, as well as highlighting the efforts made by manufacturers to adapt to changes in this rapidly shapeshifting industry.
So with the red carpet having been rolled out, the winners announced and the champagne thoroughly popped, Tempus Magazine takes a look at the night's big winners from across the industry.
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 24M to 39.9M: Koju
This group of awards is designed to honour the most "aesthetically pleasing, operationally sound and innovative design and styling approach" for a yacht exterior, according to BOAT International. And this year, the winner in the 24-39.9m category was Koju, a 36.8m motor yacht designed by the Italian shipyard Benetti, and featuring interior styling by Lazzarini Pickering.
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 40M to 59.9M: Al Waab
In the larger 40-59m category, Al Waab took home gold. This gorgeous 55m super, designed by Dutch studio Vripack and constructed at Antalya-based shipyard Alia Yachts, features accommodation for up to 12 guests in six cabins, including a split-level owner’s suite. Its name means "a vast area or place that accommodates things" in Arabic.
Outstanding Exterior Design, Motor Yachts 60M and Above: Viva
The winner in the largest of the exterior design categories was the astonishing Viva, a 94m behemoth from Feadship in the Netherlands, who delivered it in 2021. This extraordinary vessel includes a movie theatre, beauty salon, elevator, underwater lights, beach club, gym and air conditioning.
Outstanding Exterior Design, Sailing Yachts: Taniwha
Named for a dragon-like creature found in Maori mythology, Taniwha is another sleek design with a light configuration and a generous sail plan, brought into service by Southern Wind, a yacht manufacturer from South Africa.
Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 499GT and Below: Al Waab
The first design to pick up two awards on the night was Al Waab, which also took home the Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 499GT and Below. Vripack's carefully designed interior space features glass, diffused light, blonde wood surfaces and gold accents for a comfortable yet spacious living area.
Best Interior Design, Motor Yachts 500GT and Above: Synthesis
Envisioned by British design house Winch Design and delivered by Amels shipyard in the Netherlands, Synthesis can house 12 guests in six suites comprising two VIP cabins, and is also capable of carrying up to 19 crew onboard in a light, airy and ultra-modern interior.
Judges’ Commendation: Bliss's staircase
A unique award handed to a yacht with a specific, notable design feature, this year's Judge's Commendation went to Heesen's Bliss for its eye-catching lit mirrored spiral staircase, linking guest areas together. The yacht was freshly refitted in 2019, having originally been constructed in 2007.
Best Interior Design, Sailing Yachts: Audrey the First
Away from the monster motors, sailing yachts have their own dedicated category for interior design which this year was won by Audrey the First, a 36.4 m vessel built in Finland by Nautor's Swan in 2021. The interior of the yacht was designed by Mark Whiteley, who went for a muted, classy look with taupe furnishings and a gorgeous dark wooden floors.
Best Naval Architecture, Semi-Displacement or Planing Motor Yachts: Stefania
Built in Italy by Dynamiq and delivered in 2021, Stefania is an Art Deco-inspired all-aluminium yacht that caught the attention of the judges, with its sleek golden exterior nabbing it the Best Naval Architecture award in the semi-displacement or planing motor yachts category.
Best Naval Architecture, Displacement Motor Yachts: Al Waab
In the full displacement yachts category, Al Waab could scarcely have had a better night, picking up a third award for its stunning naval architecture. Despite its significant hull length of 55m, she comes in below the 500 gross-tonne mark, showcasing Vripack's innovative use of materials and lightweight, airy design.
Best Naval Architecture, Sailing Yachts: Perseverance 1
According to BOAT International, the superb Perseverance 1 "ticked the boxes for best performance in light air thanks to her advanced construction materials and methods, carbon-fibre spars and standing rigging", scoring "extra points for a rig geometry that enables quick sail adaptation to match environmental conditions".
Best New Series: Motopanfilo 37m
In a field that requires almost all facets of a vessel's design to be second-to-none, there was one clear winner: Benetti's Motopanfilo 37m. The looks, lifestyle and price point were the drawing factors for this gorgeous design, according to BOAT International, with one judge saying: “It’s very easy to see why this yacht hits the sweet spot.”
Eco Award: Perseverance 1 for its reduction in power consumption
Perseverance 1 took home a second award of the night for its innovative green credentials. The vessel picked up the Eco Award for its zero-emission electric propulsion motor, waste heat recovery, auto controls on lights and AC zones. But what wowed the judges the most was its innovative ability to eliminate individual seawater cooling pumps and replace them with a shared central unit and using a frequency converter to control its speed and limit the flow of seawater to demand.
Outstanding Lifestyle Feature: WHY200 – Master Cabin
No yachting award show in 2022 would be complete without a mention of the WHY200, one of the most polarising yacht designs to hit the headlines in years. As BOAT International notes, the judges were "divided" on the vessel's controversial, unique exterior design, but were unanimous in their praise for the interior cabin, which features a stunning 270-degree window wrapping around the bow of the ship.
Innovation of the Year Winner: 90 Ocean – X-Tend
Sunseeker International's 90 Ocean picked up the award for Innovation of the Year for its unique X-Tend feature situated in the aft deck. It effectively acts as an enormous fold-away lounger, allowing users to choose whether or not to have it down and transform the stern into a beach club, or stow it away to create an enormous space for social functions.
Tender of the Year: T/T Viva - Limo
Viva's second award of the night came courtesy not of its architecture or interior design, but of its tender; the smaller boat house within that shuttles passengers back and forth from the vessel to shore. Viva's limo-sized tender was described by the judges as having "pure aesthetics", featuring sport-tender-like exterior designs, but cushy, luxurious tender interiors within.
Young Designer of the Year: Ignacio Bourbon
Spanish designer Ignacio Bourgon was crowned winner of the Young Designer of the Year Award, garnering praise from the judges for his 65 metre yacht concept Air. The concept makes use of "biophilic" elements throughout its five decks, and contains a master suite with its own interior garden.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Gerard Dijkstra
Luxury yacht designer Gerard Dijkstra received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. A master designer who has built 150 workboats, BOAT International describes the Dutchman as a "stickler for solving complex engineering problems through innovation and research".