Want to know which are the best new production yachts on the market at the moment? The European Yacht of the Year, the world’s most thorough competition for production yachts, is the best place to start.
Now in its 12th year, the European Yacht of the Year is judged by journalists from 11 different magazines from 11 different European nations. Each jury member tested every yacht from the five different categories, over two separate weeks in two different locations – from La Rochelle in September and from Santa Margherita following the Genoa Boatshow in October.
The standard of nominees that made the shortlist for the European Yacht of the Year 2015/2016 awards was particularly high – see my full breakdown of nominees here
The voting in the multihull, family cruiser and special yacht categories was especially tight. After the decisions were finalised, the five category winners were announced this evening (January 23) at an Oscars-style prizegiving held during the opening night of the Dusseldorf Boatshow.
The nominees and winners of each category for the European Yacht of the Year awards 2015/2016 are:
Category 1: Family Cruiser
Nominees: Dufour 460, Hanse 315, Jeanneau 54, Maxus 26, RM 1070
WINNER: Hanse 315
Just as we were starting to focus on the large end of Hanse’s range, with its flagship 675 launching this year – out slides this slick, family-friendly pocket cruiser. The 315 has a seductive hull shape – quite like a Dehler in fact – one that proves a delight to sail and has the beam for cockpit and aft cabin space.
She may not quite hit that ‘entry-level’ price point, but the 315 stimulates the small end of the new yacht market admirably. Space is apportioned wisely, with standing headroom and a great aft cabin.
This is a highly versatile and impressive new compact cruiser.
Standard pricing starts at: €59,900 ex VAT
See our full report in the February issue of Yachting World out now
Category 2: Luxury Cruiser
Nominees: Adventure 55, Grand Soleil 46 LC, Maxi 1200, Oyster 475, Sunbeam 40.1
WINNER: Grand Soleil 46 LC
The first real cruiser from Cantiere del Pardo in over 40 years is one that addresses a clever gap between the mass production cruisers of France and Germany and the high-end and typically more traditional style cruisers from northern Europe.
The 46LC is for those after something a bit sexier, a little more luxurious, a bit classier, and a bit quicker than the norm. This thoroughly Italian product has bold, angular if somewhat stark styling that combines with a very light, spacious, inviting interior. She particularly suits warm weather cruising. The deck design offers both plentiful comfort at anchor and practicality at sea – she is easy to handle and nimble enough to enjoy light-wind sailing.
Standard pricing starts at: €369,000 ex VAT
Category 3: Performance Cruiser
Nominees: Django 9.80, Ice 52, Italia Yachts 9.98, J/112e, Solaris 50
WINNER: Solaris 50
This is the most current, desirable new production yacht design, a bonafide trendsetter, with engineering quality to match her looks. She represents the melodious meeting of South American design flare with Italian styling. The result is luxurious performance.
The Solaris 50 is sexy, elegant and sophisticated, a positive delight to sail, and, to my mind, the most contemporary Mediterranean production yacht to date.
Standard pricing starts at: €480,000 ex VAT
Category 4: Multihulls
Nominees: CometCat 37, Dazcat 1495, Dragonfly 25
WINNER: Dragonfly 25
Jens Quorning does it again! The founder and designer of Dragonfly has that uncanny knack of keeping a family look, yet one that is updated to look contemporary – in the 25’s case, particularly with the reverse stem floats.
As well as being genuinely towable, this new baby of the range is perhaps the most sporty, fun Dragonfly yet. Innovative outrigger designs and the ability to helm from either float ensures an exhilarating ride.
I just wish it was more affordable – a Dragonfly does hold its value remarkably well however. Standard pricing starts at: €69,900 ex VAT
Check out how easily she flies a hull, plus designer Jens Quorning’s original test sail comments here:
Category: Special Yacht
Nominees: Bente 24, Corsair Pulse 600, Fareast 28R, Farr 280, Quant 23
WINNER: Quant 23
I can’t remember ever seeing our jury so excited about sailing a boat before! Here is a design that promises much but somehow delivers even more. Even if you didn’t even fit the foils you’d still have a blast on this super-fresh sportsboat – a lake sailer that ensures scows continue to have cult status.
Add Hugh Welbourne’s Dyamic Stability System and you have a sportsboat on steroids, a craft that puts serious fun back into sailing, and makes foiling approachable.
The Quant shows exactly why we created the ‘Special Yacht’ category.
Standard pricing starts at: €60–65,000 ex VAT