European Yacht of the Year 2010 Winners
- Sun, 24 Jan 2010
The European Yacht of the Year 2010 winners were announced last night, during the first evening of the Dusseldorf Boatshow. The Performance Cruiser section was snatched by the Grand Soleil 46, while Halberg Rassy's 372 took the Luxury Cruiser award. In the Family Cruiser section, it was Dufour's 405 that won the most votes from the 11 judges, while in the Multihull section, the nimble bluewater Outremer 49 cat stole the show. And the final category was indeed clinched by a 'Special Boat': the Seascape 18 from Slovenia.
Our March issue will feature a full report of the Nominees and winners, but below are a selection of Judges comments on the overall winners.
HR 372 (Luxury Cruiser)
Batnytt: An unusually complete cruiser. An easytravelling, surprisingly fast yacht especially upwind in a breeze and a pleasure to helm with a distinctive light pressure. Innovative decklayout, with all lines under a cover and fed to stoppers in the coaming, to make use of either forward or aft winches possible and provide fun trimming.
Inside volume can match low cost boats and is very well used with deep lockers, drawers, and seagoing pantry. Standards in detailing are seamless with beautilful selected Khaya Mahogany, well varnished, perfect fit everywhere and no shortcuts. The atmosphere shows it is possible to marry traditional quality in materials with modern taste for light interiors. Not a low price yacht, but still worth the money. Not least in the long run.
Seilas: Hallberg-Rassy 372 is a cruiser who matches the performance cruisers
in speed and sailing performance. This has all the Hallberg-Rassy's well known qualities, but in a more modern package. It's seaworthy, fast and comfortable.
Yachtrevue: Fantastic sailing performance in rough seas; there is no vibration, no bumping, you feel only the powerful surfing through the waves - this is luxury sailing, with good feeling on the helm. She is a bluewater-yacht, but sails nearly as well as a performance cruiser; build quality as expected.
Yacht&Sail: Fast and fun while still a real HR, even if a bit more sporty. If luxury is honest, well-made boats with traditional style, HR is the queen of it. Good, safe and practical solutions and incredibly good sailing!
Yachting World: Pleasurable and easy to sail, this performance-tweaked coastal cruiser still retains that superior level of build and fit out and boasts a well-proportioned interior. Nimble, quick and easy to tack, she provides excellent cockpit comfort for both crew and helm, and is simple for a couple to manage. A quality boat that provides fast yet comfortable push-button sailing.
Swissboat: The sailing performance of HR 372 is a thrill for a boat from this yard! But always the same is the excellent quality of construction and the exclusive standard in interior design.
Voile Magazine: It sails better than the previous generation, the look is rather classic, so it will still be in the future. You can open the transom to access to the sea. And, most of all, the build quality is very good. This might well be the best you can get in this size, and one that will last for long time.
Yacht: Through decades of persistence Hallberg-Rassy has become one of the most valuable and cherished trade marks in international boatbuilding. The HR 372 still looks much like her older siblings, but it adds one more thing to the quality, safety and style the yard is famous for: surprising performance. A joy to steer she is the perfect epitome of luxury - over-achieving your expectations. And doing so without making much fuss about it.
Waterkampioen: The first win for a "Rassy", but more than earned. HR has very carefully implemented ‘new' trends - especially in the interior-styling. So the yacht might maybe not look very modern, but for the yard it is. She's the perfect balance between their own tradition, new trends and contemporary sailing abilities: this is a VERY good sailing yacht, which might be able to compete with modern performance cruisers. Of course she's built with the well-known HR building quality. A great job by the Swedes.
Grand Soleil 46 (Performance Cruiser)
Batnytt: Superior Italian elegance is what those sailors looking for performance meet in the Grand Soleil 46. Luxury look with the brandīs typical low, flat coachroof and stylish long black windows, speak of style and clever taste. In exterior design no other yard has match eddel Pardo for some years and the 46 is again proof of how set goals are kept. Neat decklayout that makes her easy to control as a soloskipper or with a crew. Inside furnishings are best in class. Again Grand Soleil maintain their high ambitions with great sense of quality in the details.
Seilas: A stylish and fast cruiser with a bit of taste from bigger yachts. It's very hard to point out the boat's weak points, and the price makes it a good buy. Grand Soleil contemporary style is impressive.
Yachtrevue: A well done compromise between racing and cruising; one of the best cockpits I have seen; nice styling under deck; fantastic acceleration in light gusts; easy behaviour in rough seas.
Yacht&Sail: A good example of how a Grand Soleil is supposed to be, she showed a fantastic sailing ability even with her spacious and luxurious interior arrangements. Good results in high level racing confirmed the performance capability of the Botin design. The deck is a good compromise between racing ergonomics and cruising comfort, with some "maxi-yacht" items, such as flush hatches and the wide toerail. Last but not least, the interior style is in typical Italian, simple and linear but warm and cosy. At last Pardo is back!
Yachting World: Superb Botin&Carkeek hull form, spacious cockpit layout and modern, workable interior. Sexy in a way only Italians can do, with her grey caulked deck matched with light oak inside, she's stable and easy to handle, in rough weather too. Her balance and response makes her a true delight to helm. An extremely tight category that's been clinched by this dictionary definition of a modern performance cruiser.
Voile Magazine: Stunning look, impressive deck, wide cockpit, rather modern and well designed accomodations, and something more: it performs extremely well. For sure the quality of the mast and the good sails takes a good part in this judgement. But if you want to have the first boat on the finishing line, the boat everyone looks at in a marina, and you can afford the state of the art technology, then go for it ! The Grand Soleil 46 is the performance cruiser of the year and deserves it.
Yacht: Grand Soleil have found their tracks again. What started promisingly with the 43 in 2006 has turned into a really great overall package with this latest performance cruiser. A-best-of-both-worlds-boat: offering lots of cruising comfort as well as race-winning potential. And it comes with a distinctive look and feel as well.
Waterkampioen: Grand Soleil made with this model a step forward in building quality and finishing. A very good sailing yacht, both in light airs and in windy conditions. However we have to make the comment that this particular yacht, owned by the director of Hall Spars in Breskens, was fitted out very well with carbon spar and boom, hydraulics and electric/hydraulic winches which make trim in general much easier. However: a good looking boat, well built and finished with very good sailing abilities. Very ‘2010'.
Dufour 405 (Family Cruiser)
Batnytt: A happy marriage between taste, volume, design and good gimmicks. She is setting new standards for families with fully acceptable performance, easy-driven hull, qood stability - and with her beefy sections aft, slick downwind speed with, yet very easy to control. This is proof of a careful analysis from designers Felci & Roseau. Window design is original and make Dufour 405 stand out. But it is inside this boat really works: standing headroom for tall Scandinavians, big bunks everywhere, two big heads and a social galley, sums up to a very practical holidayboat. Also the finish will make you happy with the use of goodlooking well varnished Moabi, round corners and high coamings around benches.
Yachtrevue: Ergonomic cockpit; intelligent folding bathing-plattform - easy to handle; the quality of the woodwork is good, and the interior well-designed.
Yacht&Sail: The perfect family cruiser? Good looking, good sailing, good solutions, good build quality (for her class), good price: very difficult to find fault. All in all, maybe she is the best compromise boat in the actual market.
Yachting World: Modest yet appealing looks, simple and effective throughout, her secure, easy to work cockpit incorporates twin wheel steering which provides easy access both throughout the cockpit and to the fold down transom. Below decks she's well finished, practical and represents good value for money. A tidy package.
Swissboat: Without an absolute positive peak but also nothing really negative, the Dufour rises, thanks to the sum of its qualities, from the crowd.
Voile Magazine: A very interesting compromise between performance and volume, and whose modern design inside can appeal to every sailor. A boat you can be proud of, offering coastal cruises to long distance ones.
Yacht: A worthy winner. Well laid-out, properly built. The best compromise in her class of mid-sized and fairly prized production cruisers.
Waterkampioen: No weak points at all. It sails well, is well built for an industrial production cruiser and has a very good price. The design both out and in is very up to date. A yacht that will sell very well without a doubt.
Seascape 18 (Special Yacht)
Batnytt: Represents an econymy version of an Open 60 or VO 70. Quick, light and fun sailing for a nice price.
Seilas: Scores point on its simplicity - it's not the most innovative or advanced boat, but its the attention to details and well thought ideas which impresses me. The concept of the boat and how the boat is used is well developed. It's got a carbon mast, but it looks like a windsurfing mast. It's light, easy to rig and a very uncomplicated boat.
Yachtrevue: A very good attempt, to transfer a modern VO70-hull-concept to a small boat; it is a very nice feeling, to sail with such a small boat at speeds of 15 Knots or more; excellent downwind performance; well done fittings: simple but functional; you feel the experience of the builders.
Yachting World: A scaled down Mini-Transat-styled One-design sportsboat, that's affordable, versatile and lots of fun. Lifting keel and twin rudders allow her to be both beached and trailed, simple construction keeps the price tag down, while a carbon rig aids performance. Up to 15.5knot surfs on our first kite run! Playful and tamable, with her broad aft stable form sections, this is a both a fun family toy and a potentially thrilling sportsboat class within a commendable budget - definitely special.
Swissboat: Uncomplicated but yet challenging: The Seascape provides fun and speed for beginners and proven sailors - and remains at a very interesting price.
Voile Magazine: The very clever Seascape 18 is a good boat for racing or day-sailing. Maybe not the best for the open sea but a very pleasurable all-rounder, easy to trail and easy to sail.
Yacht: An almost democratic approach to small sportsboats: easy to rig, easy to beach, easy to handle - and a blast to sail when it' s windy. Besides, quite accessible in terms of price, too - at least if one considers carbon mast, boom, bowspirt and laminate sails. And you can camp on the Seascape 18 with a tent over the vast, unobstructed cockpit. The only downside is performance in low wind - too much wetted area and too much weight with three on board.
Waterkampioen: It gives a lot of people the possibility to experience a little bit of the spectaculair sailing that you see nowadays (Open 650, Volvo 70 - you name all the well known downwind flying gennakerboats) for themselves. For a fair price (around 20.000€) and easy to achieve. The boat sails easily, is easy to handle and is more like a ‘fun' performer, than a flat-out racer. It is forgiving, but can reward you with 14 to 17 knots downwind speed without getting in trouble.
Outremer 49 (Multihull)
Batnytt: Faster sailing means travelling longer distances and possiblities to explore distant places seldom reached by other cruising sailors. Daggerboards do not intefere too much and minimiaze drift. Steering a big cat with tillers give sailors chance to relaese the autopilot and show who is the master. Modern style interior with good looks and nice finishing speak for the romance of long-distance sailing.
Seilas: Growing up with Hobie Cats I have always been a bit disappointed with the sailing performance of cruising catamarans, but that was until I sailed the Outremer 49! The boat's response to the wind is impressive. Outremer is not a big cat for it's size but it is well planned, especially for blue water cruising. If I had the time and money to sail away, Outremer would been my choice.
Yachtrevue: One of the most interesting concepts in this category and the proof that cruising cats are able to sail very well; everybody knows that a catamaran has to be as light as possible, but Outremer is the first yard, which kept an eye on the weight and reduced it dramatically.
Yacht&Sail: Even if I was in love again with the Dragonfly technology, the Outremer impressed me even more, as it is the first cruising catamaran that behaves like a real sports cat, even with good interior arrangement. A light boat, she starts under your feet very quickly, providing fantastic feeling even with the engines. Plus some clever items and a light but stuff construction = the first cat able to be EYotY!
Yachting World: Blue water performance that targets a particular niche and confidently satisfies its brief. Innovative and practical cockpit layout, a high standard of build throughout and rewarding performance under sail. On the face of it, another cruising cat, climb aboard and it's easy to see that she's a well thought out, comfortable cruiser that works.
Swissboat: The proof that consistently lightweight can also be realized on large catamarans. The result: a real sailing-feeling and a lot of comfort on a long distance trips.
Voile Magazine: This long distance cruising boat is both big enough to bring a whole family cruising aroud the world and light enough to give pleasure and speed to the helmsman. The Outremers have always been fast cruising boats but they were rather tiny and basic inside. The 49 just gives you the space you need and the performances you expect. The daggerboards make for a good upwind sailing angle, the short pod reduces windage, and the optional tiller combined with a formula one seat makes sailing great. A beautiful winner, considering it's opponents.
Yacht: A must-sail catamaran! If you have not been on the Outremer 49 you have not seen what big multihulls can offer in terms of performance and fun. The optional tiller should be standard, for it makes the boat even more special. A bit small compared to the average white cat, and pricey, too. And in 10 knots of wind it tacks quite slowly. Apart from that: only smiles and thumbs up for the Outremer.
Waterkampioen: The Outremer proves that ‘holding on' to your concept works. A fast cruising catamaran with a lot of engeneering to it. Design and light construction all point to high cruising speeds. The weight of the construction and finishing are as light as possible, but the interior never looks "shabby"; which is a big risk when you try to build a lightweight boat. Features like the double tiller are nice. The boat proved to be very fast when there is some wind (like 10 knots).