Matthew Sheahan reports on the winners at the awards ceremony in Dusseldorf

At a prestigious evening ceremony at the Dusseldorf Boat Show on the opening night, the Shipman 50 won the European Yacht of the Year award. The 50 foot performance cruiser also won the award for the most innovative boat of the year.

The aft cockpit deck saloon cruiser designed by Slovenian based J&J Design, impressed the international panel of judges with her creative design and impressive performance under sail. But it was her overall construction and price tag that attracted the most interest.

Constructed entirely from pre-preg carbon using SP Systems’ Sprint laminate, the Shipman 50 uses similar materials in her layup to those more commonly found aboard top racing yachts, but at a fraction of the price with a price tag of £300,000 ex VAT. A large part of the cost saving comes down to her construction in which all the components of her structure are bonded to the hull and deck without using any secondary laminating. Savings are also achieved through the use of the five axis milling machine which produced much of the tooling for moulds.

Of the remaining five categories the winners were;

Under 10m – Dragonfly 920 Extreme, a Danish built folding trimaran with exceptional performance for a cruiser.

10-12m – Dufour 34 – A simple and appealing cruiser racer from one of France’s top production builders

12-15m – Dehler 47 – The new 47ft flagship to the Dehler range

15m – Najad 511 – A bluewater cruiser from Swedish builders Najad