The Best of Boats Awards (BOB) were presented at BOAT & FUN BERLIN for the third time. Amidst a festive atmosphere at the GALA NIGHT OF THE BOATS representatives of the industry gathered for the prize-giving event.
For the first time the selection panel also awarded the ‘Best for Travel’ title, raising the number of categories in the competition to five. The jury comprised of 17 journalists from 15 nations. They tested the boats under the most adverse conditions, including snow and low temperatures. Over the course of 500 tests they examined 171 boats made by production series boat builders from 19 countries.
The 1st prize to be awarded was in the Best for Beginners category. “Above all, a good boat for beginners must be safe. Not only that, it must also be practical and easy to operate. It should be good value for money and offer 100% fun”, is how Jan Sjölund, editor-in-chief of ‘Venemestari’, simply put it.
In the Best for Fishing category, the winner was the Beneteau Barracuda 8. Panel member Arek Rejs explained why fishing enthusiasts are a special customer group: “They prefer to spend their money on new fishing gear rather than a new boat. That makes it particularly demanding to find the right boat for them”. Plenty of space on deck, good seaworthiness and safety are just some of the aspects that characterise a good fishing boat”.
Immediately afterwards, Mike Keser had to take the stage a second time to accept the award in the new Best for Travel category. In this case it was the Beneteau Swift Trawler 30 which had impressed the jury. “We realised there is a big demand for boats for long distances, where people stay on board for quite some time“, said boat tester Alfred J. Boer from the Netherlands, explaining why this new award was created. Fuel consumption, a sturdy design and safety were the criteria on which the panel based their decision. They chose the Beneteau Swift Trawler 30 because of its storage space, the large lounge area and an amply dimensioned cockpit.
The award in the Best for Fun category was presented by the Swedish journalist Anna Sandgren. “In this category the perfect boat has to satisfy several criteria. It must be good for water sports, for enjoying nature, must have enough space for friends and family and be safe”, she said. The winning boat was the Frauscher 1414 Demon. According to the panel, this Austrian-built boat features an exceptional design combined with outstanding performance. Stefan Frauscher, who manages the boatbuilder, said: “First of all I would like to thank my team back home who did a fantastic job – and naturally the panel members who chose our boat. Today I am very proud and incredibly happy.” Commenting on the Frauscher 1414 Demon he said: “Performance, quality and design all go hand in hand on this model. All this is the work of a family-owned company and that is what makes it special.”
In the Best for Family category the winner was the Sargo 33. The award was presented by Neale Byart, chief editor of Motorboat Owner magazine from the UK. “A family boat needs to be practical, fun and safe – particularly if children are on board“, he noted. The Sargo 33 fulfils all those criteria. Thomas Sarin, Managing Director of the boatbuilder Sarins Båtar, said: “Naturally, this boat would be my first choice for a family outing. We have 50 years of experience in building boats and try to combine safety, stability and a certain amount of sportiness with all of them, particularly the Sargo 33. These three features are what set this boat apart”.
Awards in 5 categories for Bella 700 BR (Best for Beginners), Beneteau Barracuda 8 (Best for Fishing), Beneteau Swift Trawler 30 (Best for Travel), Frauscher 1414 Demon (Best for Fun) and Sargo 33 (Best for Family).