Published on : Monday, January 27, 2014
The European Yacht of the Year awards for sailing yachts was announced on the opening night of the annual Dusseldorf boot Trade Fair show. Due to the category of yachts in various fields the awards were split into four categories with the noteworthy absence of the usual multihull category. There were five contestants in each and only one winner could be picked from each category, Family Cruiser, Performance Cruiser, Luxury cruiser and finally Special Yachts.
The Beneteau Oceanis 38 picked up the award for Family Cruiser of the year, fighting off competition from Allures 39.9 and Dufour 410 Grand Large among others. The Beneteau Oceanis 38 impressed the judges with its stylishness and unique design.
The Performance Cruiser award was presented to the Dehler 38, a sporty model which is equally at home as a luxury cruiser as it is on the racing circuit. The Dehler 38 won the category despite opposition from the Elan 400 and the Pogo 30.
The Luxury Cruiser category was won by the 13 metre yacht, Contest 42 CS. The yacht continues the Dutch shipyard’s tradition of creating impressive luxury yachts and held off strong competition from Gunfleet 58 and Hallberg-Rassy 55.
The Special Yacht award went to newcomer Saphire 27, a Swiss model which is aimed at the racing end of the market. Saphire 27 came out on top of the rigorous tests each boat in the category was put through in a variety of conditions.
The decision for each category was made by a panel of judges, made up of editors of 11 magazines. Each of the 20 nominated yachts were put through the paces extensively at two separate locations; firstly in Southampton, England and then in Porto Venere in Italy, one of the best locations for a luxury yacht charter in the Mediterranean.