The World’s Most Show-Stopping Superyacht Designs
This year’s winners of the ShowBoats Design Awards include a superyacht with a beach club, a glass elevator and a fireplace lounge for warming up after diving.
From a 90 square metre beach club to a staircase that seemingly defies gravity, the annual ShowBoats Design Awards held by media group Boat International Media, highlighted a new breed of superyacht innovation.
At the eighth ShowBoats Design Awards held last week, over 50 superyachts were finalists in 19 categories. Awards were given for innovation, recreational spaces and lighting design, among others. Highlights on show included an open-plan deck large enough for a basketball court, a wellness space featuring everything from a hair studio to a hammam, and asymmetric lighting that creates the illusion of floating walls.
Winners were picked by an influential panel of judges from the worlds of architecture, vehicle, industrial, lighting, interior and furniture design, including Mercedes-Benz’s Steffen Köhl and Gosling’s director Tim Gosling. Also judging the awards were leading naval architects, a superyacht captain and three yacht owners, who formed a diverse analysis of the 149 individual entries.
Nauta My Song
Abeking & Rasmussen Cloudbreak
Heesen Galactica Super Nova
Heesen Yachts’ Galactica Super Nova was awarded the Judge’s Special Award for a groundbreaking staircase designed by Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design. Open steps floating off a lighted support column and surrounding a glass elevator give the appearance of defying gravity, while the stainless-steel elements of each step end in dramatic arcs.
The ShowBoats Design Awards also celebrate up-and-coming designers. The award for Young Designer of the Year — Student Designer was awarded to France’s Thibaud Le Merdy and his design concept Comète, which stood out for its sophisticated combination of modernity and elegance. Meanwhile, the award for Young Designer of the Year — Professional Designer went to France’s Eric Laurent and his design concept Hearsay, particularly for his hand-drawn renderings that were the most accomplished among this year’s entries.
Finally, the Lifetime Achievement award went to the talented Argentinian Germán Frers. After growing up in racing dinghies and crewing some of the world’s most powerful yachts, it was no surprise when Frers followed his father into naval architecture. Frers moved to Italy in 1989 to design Raul Gardini’s America’s Cup challenger, creating Il Moro di Venezia, the fastest challenger of the new America’s Cup class of yachts. The Frers team joined Prada for the 2000 Cup and the Frers-inspired Luna Rossa also won the Louis Vuitton challenger series. In recent years, he has shone in the world of superyachts, including Indio in 2009, 2013’s multi-award-winning Inukshuk and Unfurled, which was named Sailing Yacht of the Year at the World Superyacht Awards 2016.