The premium Dutch yards which are members of the HISWA Holland Yachting Group enjoyed a night of success at the glamorous World Superyacht Awards ceremony in Florence on 19 May. No less than six of the much-prized Neptune trophies went to Feadship, Vitters, Mulder Shipyard and Amels/Damen. Other superb superyachts from Heesen, Oceanco and Royal Huisman were among the finalists on an evening which showcased why superyachts built in Holland are considered the best in the world. To top everything off, the Feadship Faith also took home the iconic Motor Yacht of the Year award.
Organised annually by Boat International Media and now in their 13th year, the World Superyacht Awards recognise the ingenuity and innovation involved in the design, engineering and construction of the finest luxury yachts. The glittering Saturday night ceremony in Florence attracted owners, boatbuilders and designers from around the world to hear which of the 68 finalists would come out top in the various categories. Each prize is awarded after lengthy assessments by a jury of well-known and highly experienced superyacht owners.
Victory for Vitters
The first award to be won by a Dutch yard went to Vitters Shipyard for its 32.6-metre sailing yacht Ribelle in the Sailing Yachts 30m to 49.9m category. The judges descried her as being extremely well designed and constructed, ably fulfilling the specific superyacht racing and fast cruising roles requested by her highly experienced owners. They also admired Ribelle’s well-planned GA, futuristic glass-topped saloon, excellent quality of construction, modern interior decoration and excellent sailing qualities.
The jury also awarded Vitters one of the much valued Judges' Commendation for its 43.6-metre J-class yacht Svea, which they hailed as one of the most elegant yachts in this year’s awards with an outstanding racing performance. Another impressive Dutch sailing yacht that came close to victory was the 58-metre Ngoni from Royal Huisman in the Sailing Yachts 50m and Above category.
The first of four for Feadship
Turning to motoryachts, the Feadship directors were called to the podium for what would be the first of four occasions during the evening when Letani was announced as winner of the Semi-Displacement or Planing Two Deck Motor Yachts 30m to 34.9m category. The judges’ unanimous decision was based on a high quality of build that was evident in all areas, from hull construction to outfitting and detail of finish. Other facets to receive praise included Letani’s modern, masculine appearance, well-considered GA, and efficient fuel burn at all speeds. The fact that the owner was so involved in the design and construction was also impressive, as was the case with the 37.4-metre Feadship CID, which was among the other prestigious nominees for this particular prize,
A magnificent Mulder
There was another triumph for Dutch yachtbuilding in the Displacement Motor Yachts Below 500GT, 30m to 39.9m class, which was won by Delta One by Mulder Shipyard. This 36-metre bespoke yacht was chosen for her spacious design and family-oriented features. The judges described Delta One as a well-balanced yacht offering an attractive masculine profile and well-considered features more normally associated with much larger vessels. These include an admirable beach club in the stern and a transverse garage large enough to house a 6.25-metre tender. The judges were also impressed by Delta One‘s fuel consumption, noting that while running at 10-knots the fuel burn was a meagre 73 litres-per-hour.
As the awards evening progressed, the motoryachts became ever bigger. Two superyachts from Heesen Yachts – the 46.7-metre Book Ends and 49.8-metre Home – were among the finalists in the Displacement Motor Yachts Below 500GT, 40m and Above category, which the judges described as being very competitive. And the next category announced, Displacement Motor Yachts Between 500GT and 1,999GT, also contained a number of Dutch superyachts such as the Heesen-built 55-metre Laurentia and two fine examples of Amels craftsmanship – the 74-metre New Secret and the 55-metre Lili.
Ultimately it was the 73.5-metre Feadship Hasna which took home the Neptune trophy in this category. The judges were won over by Hasna‘s exterior lines as well as the practical layout of her decks. They praised the interior for its well-proportioned public spaces and the judges were particularly impressed with the high quality of Hasna‘s overall construction and finish, from the fairness of the hull and perfection of the interior build to the technical installation.
You gotta have Faith
A good night for Feadship got even better when its 96.6-metre Faith was awarded the prize for best Displacement Motor Yacht 2,000GT and Above against stiff completion from three other magnificent Dutch superyachts – the 88.5-metre Barbara and 110.1-metre Jubilee from Oceanco, and the 83-metre Here Comes the Sun from Amels. The judges expressed their excitement with Faith’s stylishly flowing exterior lines and extremely high quality of construction. In particular they admired the way large windows connect guests with the surrounding seascapes and how the beach club allows unhindered access to the water.
Game changer for Damen/Amels
Last but not least, Amels-sister company [AR1] Damen had two yachts among the three finalists for a new category of Support Vessels, namely the 55.5-metre New Frontiers and the eventual winner, the 69.2-metre Game Changer. The judges lauded Game Changer’s impressive helicopter landing and storage capability, hospital facility and ability to carry or launch four specialist tenders as well as a submarine.
A fabulous evening in Florence ended on a great note for the Dutch as the giant Feadship Faith was also announced as the Motor Yacht of the Year. This was granted for the way her owner combined new standards in design and construction with novel glass technology. The judges concluded that Faith’s combination of elegance, style and the highest quality of design and construction made her a worthy winner of this prized accolade.
“This victory rounded off a memorable evening for our members,” comments HISWA Holland Yachting Group export director Jeroen Sirag. “They came to Florence knowing that the 21 superyachts launched during 2017 in the Netherlands set an incredibly high standard. Both the winners and finalists can all be very proud of the inherent quality of premium Dutch yachts and equipment, which is why Holland also saw its market share in the total value of global superyacht deliveries rise to almost 30% over the past year.”
Photo credit: Boat International