Our picks for the finest yachts, designs and technology of 2017.

Yacht technology took a few substantial leaps forward in 2017, in everything from eco-friendly propulsion to satellite communications to the use of structural glass in design. And in a handful of impressive examples, form evolved to match new functions, giving yachtsmen exciting features, styling and onboard experiences to enjoy. 

Each of us at Yachts International has individual tastes and sensibilities, but we all agree that the following choices represent the best of what the industry offered this past year.

Best New Supersail 

Oceanco S/Y Black Pearl

Oceanco S/Y Black Pearl

WINNER | Oceanco Black Pearl

Black Pearl, the groundbreaking 350-foot (106.7-meter) Oceanco, is the world’s largest privately owned sailing yacht. Conceived by a passionate owner, she has exterior and interior styling from both Ken Freivokh Design and Nuvolari Lenard, and her interior décor is by Gerard Villate. Black Pearl's three mesmerizing 229-foot (70-meter) DynaRig carbon masts and forward-thinking sailing system were devised by Dykstra Naval Architects, who served as the naval architects of the build. Reportedly, the 31,215 square feet (2,900 square meters) of sail area can be set in seven minutes. Other innovative features include a hybrid propulsion system that has the ability to regenerate energy. Subsequent to her sea trials, Black Pearl’s captain, Chris Gartner, said, “She performed very well, reaching very good speeds at all points of sail.” builtbyoceanco.com

Runners-Up

Vitters Svea, Baltic Pink Gin, Perini Navi Seven, Wallycento Tango, Royal Huisman Ngoni

Best New Motoryacht (80 meters+)

Oceanco M/Y Jubilee

Oceanco M/Y Jubilee

WINNER | Oceanco Jubilee

Jubilee, built by Oceanco to the Passenger Yacht Code, is not only the yard’s largest yacht at 361 feet (110 meters) but to date is also the largest yacht built in the Netherlands. She’s the most beautiful yacht we have seen in a long time. The yacht’s superstructure dominates her profile, a combination that made her a standout during her debut at the Monaco Yacht Show. Ostensibly, we should see six decks within the blue horizontal lines when gazing at her superstructure side-on, yet designer Igor Lobanov designed a couple of illusory decks to make the yacht appear less bulky. Built for a Middle Eastern client, her opulent interior by Sam Sorgiovanni is truly fit for a king. builtbyoceanco.com

Runners-Up

Abeking & Rasmussen Aviva, Lürssen Areti, Oceanco Barbara

Best New Motoryacht (50 to 80 meters)

Amels M/Y Here Comes the Sun

Amels M/Y Here Comes the Sun

WINNER | Amels Here Comes the Sun

The definition of a family boat might begin with something as simple as a 20-foot bowrider. The definition of an extended-family boat might include a bit more space and a few more creature comforts. In your wildest imagination, the definition of a two-owner, extended-family boat might look like the Amels Limited Editions 272 Here Comes the Sun. Her owners are friends and longtime yacht partners who hail from separate continents. Both now have grandchildren and wanted a bigger, lifestyle-focused boat. This yacht, which could have ended up as a mishmash of disparate tastes, instead is a sublimely elegant example of design and outfitting from Tim Heywood (exterior) and Winch Design (interior). amels-holland.com

Runners-Up

CRN Cloud 9Benetti Seasense, Lürssen Aurora, Sanlorenzo Seven Sins

Best New Motoryacht (30 to 50 meters)

Turquoise M/Y Razan

Turquoise M/Y Razan

WINNER | Turquoise Razan

The 154-foot (47-meter) Razan, with exterior and interior by H2 Yacht Design, is a landmark yacht for the Turquoise yard. She is the first launch since Turquoise underwent shareholder changes and facilities investments, and is built to showcase the new leadership’s craftsmanship and ingenuity. While Razan’s hull started at an Italian yard, both her hull and superstructure were revamped at Turquoise. She received larger hull windows, a lengthened swim platform, an enlarged beach club, a revised foredeck arrangement and a sundeck with hot tub. The lower deck was reimagined to create a pair of VIP staterooms and two guest staterooms with Pullmans, and a stateroom was added on the bridge deck to accommodate extended family members. The interior décor is light and bright with mother-of-pearl, marble, onyx and leather. turquoiseyachts.com

Runners-Up

Rossinavi Aurora | Dynamiq GTT 115 | Cantiere delle Marche Galego | Tankoa Vertige | Heesen Home

Best New Motoryacht (20 to 30 meters)

Adler Yacht Suprema 76

Adler Yacht Suprema 76

WINNER | Adler Yacht Suprema 76

Adler Yacht’s 76-foot (23.1-meter) Suprema is a forward-thinking design that embraces natural form to provide exceptional function. She’s the first flybridge yacht in her size range to offer a true hybrid diesel-electric engine package; the first hybrid yacht from a team of automotive, aviation and marine specialists; and the first yacht in her class built almost completely of carbon fiber. The Suprema 76 is Italian designed and built, and German and Austrian engineered, with a concept by Venice-based Nuvolari Lenard, a firm known for pushing yacht-design boundaries. The Suprema’s Hybrid Marine System (by TTControl, Aradex and Akasol) has carbon propellers with twin diesel Caterpillar engines and twin ATE high-efficiency 100-kW E-unit generators, which provide three modes of cruising: electric, hybrid and diesel. In electric mode, the Suprema can run at 8 knots on battery alone for as long as two hours. She also packs plenty of Italian sex appeal. adleryacht.com

Runners-Up

Monte Carlo Yachts 96, Baltic Bill and Me, Hatteras M90 Panacera, Cheoy Lee Bravo 72 IPS, Azimut S7, Van der Valk Anemeli

Boat of Distinction (under 20 meters) 

Hinckley Dasher

Hinckley Dasher

WINNER | Hinckley Dasher

Maine’s The Hinckley Company changed the game in 1994 with the introduction of its iconic Picnic Boat. The 36-foot, jet-drive, joystick-controlled day boat not only reset the bar for boat control, but it also looked elegant on every mooring and in every marina it graced. While the yard still builds the Picnic Boat and other Down East-style yachts, it again rocked the small-boat world this past fall with the introduction of the all-electric Dasher runabout. Incorporating a design philosophy centered on communal fun, ease of operation, high-tech materials and systems, and looks that kill, the Dasher offers 40 miles of cruising at 10 miles per hour on a four-hour charge. hinckleyyachts.com

Hinckley Dasher

Hinckley Dasher

Runners-Up

Vanquish VQ54, Vicem 46 IPS, Sabre 45 Salon Express, Ocean 1 Tender, MJM 35z

Best Interior Design (Sailing Yacht)

Baltic S/Y Pink Gin

Baltic S/Y Pink Gin

WINNER | Baltic Pink Gin VI

The 176-foot (53.9-meter) Pink Gin VI has a stunning interior by Design Unlimited, with appointments found more often on motoryachts—including a pink lacquered self-playing baby grand piano. Some of the interior woods are petrified with great artistic results, particularly on the master stateroom’s bulkhead, which has a mix of painted timbers. Other materials include salmon skin, zinc, pewter, hammered copper, sandcast hardware, tufted leathers and velvets. The cockpit leads to an extendable swim platform, and there are—perhaps for the first time on a sailing yacht—fold-down balconies, one amidships and one to starboard in the forward master suite. balticyachts.fi

Best Interior Design (Motoryacht)

Rossinavi M/Y Aurora

Rossinavi M/Y Aurora

WINNER | Rossinavi Aurora

The 160-foot (49-meter) Aurora has an open-concept layout of spaces that flow without long companionways. Windows add light and bring the outside in, creating the vibe of a modern penthouse apartment. Designer Achille Salvagni added sumptuous furnishings in metro-chic style. As you can see in the photograph above, his choices of fabrics and shapes combines with natural light and picturesque views to create memorable guest spaces. The beach club with cinema on the lower deck was playing a film of a welcoming fireplace when we were on board, adding to the yacht’s unusual ambience. rossinavi.it

Rossinavi M/Y Aurora

Rossinavi M/Y Aurora

Best Hybrid 

Heesen M/Y Home

Heesen M/Y Home

WINNER | Heesen Home

The 163-foot (50-meter) Home is Heesen’s first foray into hybrid power. With exterior design by Omega Architects, the yacht has a lightweight aluminum hull for performance and efficiency. She can be operated in four modes: hybrid, cruising, economical and boost. Home draws on two sources of power for propulsion: diesel mechanical and diesel electrical, creating what Heesen calls a flexible, quiet and vibration-free system. When we were greeted on board, the first words we heard were, “Welcome home.” Naturally. heesenyachts.com

Runner-Up

Dynamiq GTT 115

Best Refit

Feadship M/Y Broadwater

Feadship M/Y Broadwater

WINNER | Feadship Broadwater

The 165-foot (50-meter) Broadwater, built by Feadship in 2000 with exterior and interior styling by Donald Starkey, underwent a seven-month refit in 2017 at Lauderdale Marine Center. The new owner brought in California-based designer Adam Voorhees, who updated the yacht to accommodate a multigenerational family and charter clients. All guest spaces were stripped; a new VIP stateroom was installed on the main deck; and the bridge deck aft and exterior lounge were reconfigured. The new interior has a theme that’s “Mad Men” inspired, with a central-staircase focal point that includes a mural of 1,000 hexagonal plates in anodized aluminum, fabricated by Neal Feay in Santa Barbara. Voorhees also added lighting and furniture. adamvoorhees.com; lauderdalemarinecenter.com

Runner-Up

Icon Legend

Best Concept Yacht 

Project Cosmos

Project Cosmos

WINNER | Oceanco/DeBasto Designs: Project Cosmos

Luiz DeBasto’s idea behind Oceanco’s 295-foot (90-meter) Project Cosmos was to have a yacht where guests could be in touch with and enjoy their surroundings, yet still be in a controlled environment. This concept led to the creation of a glass dome that covers the upper deck. The dome looks simple but is complex, appearing to float above the hull in what Oceanco says is a feasible construction idea. The type of glass specified would control ultraviolet and solar exposure, reducing air-conditioning needs. An iPad menu would turn the glass opaque, creating privacy when necessary, and would allow mood settings by individual panel, by zones or globally. builtbyoceanco.com; luizdebasto.com

Runners-Up

Tankoa/Exclusiva Design: Bolide, Amels/H2 Yacht Design: Pollux

Elec-Tech Innovation Award

Flat-Panel Satellite Antenna (Kymeta Corp.)

Flat-Panel Satellite Antenna (Kymeta Corp.)

WINNER | Flat-Panel Satellite Antenna (Kymeta Corp.)

As a new generation trends toward a streamlined aesthetic, the days of big, white domes may be numbered. The first-of-its-kind, flat-panel satellite antenna from Washington-based Kymeta Corp. is designed to integrate into a yacht’s superstructure. The mTenna is lightweight, flat and thin, and electronically steered. It automatically acquires a satellite and provisions itself on a network. A single panel can track satellites within a 140-degree angle above the yacht, which is ideal for yachts that cruise in a fixed region. For global cruisers, at least four panels are recommended. Each costs around $30,000, which Kymeta says makes the flat panels more economical than domes for two VSAT antennas and two TV antennas. Kymeta’s yacht-specific distributor is e3. kymetacorp.com, e3s.com

Runners-Up

i-Bridge Air Wings integrated nav-com system (Team Italia), Green Exhaust (MarQuip)

Best Pool

Benetti M/Y Seasense

Benetti M/Y Seasense

WINNER | Benetti Seasense

Seasense’s pool looks like it belongs at a hotel or swim club. Measuring 33 feet by 13 feet (10 meters by 4 meters), it holds 7,132 gallons (27,000 liters) of water. The steel pool is built into the hull structure with space for collecting the water when the pool is empty, so as not to waste fresh water. And when the sparkling blue pool is covered, it becomes a basketball court. One could hang out around this feature all day. benettiyachts.it

Best Beach Club

Sanlorenzo 52Steel M/Y Seven Sins

Sanlorenzo 52Steel M/Y Seven Sins

WINNER | Sanlorenzo 52Steel Seven Sins

Conceived with alfresco living in mind, the Sanlorenzo 52Steel Seven Sins has a standout drive-in tender garage that transforms into a beach club with a full-beam gym, sauna and steam room. When the louvered transom door is raised and the 26-foot (7.9-meter) tender is floated out, a teak-sole platform lowers from overhead to cover the bay. Two lateral shell doors in the hull can lower to extend the waterfront real estate further. More natural light filters in through the glass-bottom swimming pool on the main deck above. Guest use of this space is possible because the crew tender and water toys are housed in a side-loading garage forward. Seven Sins is the only yacht of her size with a 15-foot (4.5-meter) pool equipped with a current for swimming, according to the builder. While many beach clubs are cavernous, the skylights and deployable platforms on Seven Sins turn the space into a light-filled pied dans l’eau. sanlorenzoamericas.com

Best Bar

Heesen M/Y Home

Heesen M/Y Home

WINNER | Heesen Home

Italian designer Cristiano Gatto designed an unusual bar for Heesen’s 163-foot (50-meter) Home. The asymmetrical bar is the sundeck’s focal point and complements the clean, white, modern elements within the interior. The bar is 70 percent natural stone powder, 25 percent resin and 5 percent natural pigments. The result is an undulating shape that looks fluid and organic. At night, LED lighting adds a dramatic glow, and unlike bars with porcelain or granite countertops, this one is warm to the touch. heesenyachts.com

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