Photography by Elisa Smook
In a dramatic black and gold themed night within the amphitheatre of Amsterdam’s National Maritime Museum, more than 350 guests also honoured the Lifetime Achievement of Viking Yachts’ Bill and Bob Healey and applauded the Rising Star talents of Angela Pernsteiner from Dominator Yachts and Riviera Australia’s Kyle Davison.
The fifth edition of the Boat Builder Awards, jointly organised by IBI and METSTrade, received a record total of 82 nominations this year, with strong entries in every category.
The Retail Marketing Initiative category, sponsored by Glomex, commenced the evening in inspirational style. Riva’s branded Lounges, Privées and Decks located in Venice, Monte Carlo, Palm Beach, Paris and other aspirational destinations was named winner for providing fully immersive brand experiences for guest users and Riva owners.
Azimut received an Honourable Mention for a bold initiative bringing its brand and design values to the attention of a wider US audience by placing an 18-metre Azimut S6 in New York’s Times Square.
It was an equally bold picture in the International Dealer or Distributor Development, category, sponsored by Volvo Penta.
In a field of entries all demonstrating significant expansion, Galeon took the award for its very focused regional expansion plans that resulted in sales growth of nearly one-third in 2019.
Marking one of the strongest marine / automotive collaborations yet seen, Marquis Yachts and Toyota Motor Corporation were named as winners for their partnership on the LY 650 motor yacht in the Collaborative Solution Between a Production Boat Builder and its Supply Chain Partner category, sponsored by Ultraflex.
Hallberg-Rassy and Lewmar received an Honourary Mention for their innovative work on a cassette-style drop-in steering system for the Hallberg-Rassy 340.
The Collaborative Solution between a Superyacht Builder and its Supply Chain Partner category, sponsored by Lumishore, drew a very strong selection of entries illustrating incredible examples of design, craftsmanship and innovation. The winning collaborative team of Rondal, Comm&Sens and Gurit illustrated the point perfectly with their load sensing rudder for a Royal Huisman 81-metre sailing superyacht.
The Innovative Onboard Design Solution category, sponsored by Fusion, was awarded to Benetti for its very advanced 100-metre FB272 that offers up to 12-hour engineless operation thanks to a very advanced hybrid propulsion system. Equally forward thinking, Grand Banks’ use of a robotic 8-axis mill was the winner in the Innovation in a Production Process, category, sponsored by Dometic.
The Environmental Initiative, sponsored by UCINA, drew a broad range of entries highlighting many of the boat building industry’s recent responses to sustainable production. Spirit Yachts’ win recognised its environmental efforts not with the recently launched Spirit 111 superyacht but also with manufacturing and business processes.
The Best Apprenticeship or Training Scheme category, sponsored by Marine Resources, recognised Princess Yachts for its apprenticeship scheme and leadership pathway which trains its new recruits holistically and nurtures them through the business.
The positive effects of encouraging and retaining talent were also perfectly illustrated by the presentation of two Rising Star awards, sponsored by Gurit – to Angela Pernsteiner, the dynamic CEO of Dominator Yachts and Kyle Davison, who progressed in a decade from the ground floor to appointment as the Supply, Planning and Production Director of Riviera Australia.
The evening’s finalé honoured the nearly six decades of remarkable service of Robert T. Healey, Sr.and William J. Healey. Bill and Bob built Viking Yachts into the world’s largest manufacturer of high-end sportfishing and motor yachts by following their mantra of building a better boat every day. They also both made a significant and selfless contribution to the general well-being of the boating industry. The Lifetime Achievement award, sponsored by Side-Power, was presented to Bob’s son, Robert Healey Jr, Executive Co-Chairman of the Viking Group.
IBI Editor and chair of the Boat Builder Awards judges, Ed Slack, commented: “The Boat Builder Awards celebrates the achievements of the people and companies that build the boats that drive our industry. They also recognise the invaluable work of those that supply vital equipment and services.
“In our fifth year of the Awards we have seen a record number of entries from across the globe that were accepted for final assessment by our panel of judges. They spanned small craft production, right up to large superyachts and from niche producers through to volume manufacturers.
“Their entries demonstrate encouraging response to current challenges, from finding new customers, workforce talent development and environmental diligence, to exploiting new technology. Our congratulations go to all who participated.”