The Winners in five categories are: FINNMASTER HUSKY R5 (Best for Beginners), WELLCRAFT 222 FISHERMAN (Best for Fishing), JEANNEAU LEADER 33 (Best for Family), INVICTUS 370 (Best for Fun), DELPHIA BLUESCAPE 1200 (Best for Travel)
On 23 November, for the fourth time, the Best of Boats Awards (BOB Awards) were presented at BOAT & FUN BERLIN. The panel of judges, made up of 17 boat magazine journalists from 15 European countries, selected the best boats in different categories. The Best of Boats Awards represent Europe’s largest international motorboat competition as regards countries and the number of boats tested. Overall, the judges undertook 585 confirmed tests on lakes and rivers involving 170 new models from 19 countries.
Unlike others, this competition looks at boats through users’ eyes, and prizes are awarded by taking the requirements of individual categories into account.
Best for Fun Marco Zuccola (Invictus)
The Best for Beginners award was won by the FINNMASTER HUSKY R5. Anton Cherkasov, editor-in-chief of Motorboat &Yachting from St. Petersburg, emphasised that a boat for beginners must be especially safe and easy to operate. The motorboat from boatbuilders Finn-Marin fulfilled this description. “One could say it was a masterclass in functionality and handling. It is a stylish boat boasting a timeless design”, said Anton Cherkasov. Representing the company, Martin Kortell accepted the award. “Husky is a new brand. We were nominated last year, but unfortunately on that occasion did not win. Naturally, the award will help us to market our company. It also proves that our work is on the right track“, he said.
Best for Family Catherine Trichet und Martin Schemkes (Jeanneau)
In the Best for Fishing category the WELLCRAFT 222 FISHERMAN was able to convince the judges. Julijan Višnjevec, editor-in-chief of the magazine Val Navtika from Ljubljana, commented the decision thus: “In order to have a pleasant fishing trip one needs lots of space, fishing rod holders, fish tanks and a work table. The best thing is a cabin, or at minimum good weather protection, and at the very least the boat should be safe and seaworthy.” Catherine Trichet of the Jeanneau boatbuilder group was grateful to receive the award. Speaking on stage to presenter Thomas Sauermann she said: “This prize is very important for us and proof of our good work.”
Best for Beginners Martin Kortell (Finnmaster)
Holidaying on the water is becoming increasingly popular with families. “Boating is one of the few activities that all members of the family can take part in“, is how Neale Byart, editor-in-chief of the UK magazine Motorboat Owner, explained the trend. He presented the Best for Family award to Catherine Trichet and Martin Schemkes for the JEANNEAU LEADER 33. Commenting on the selection, the panel described the boat as a comprehensive family package. “We are very proud of this award“, said Martin Schemkes of Jeanneau. “The company is currently celebrating its sixtieth anniversary and is continuing to expand. This type of boat is the future for us.”
Best for Fishing Catherine Trichet (Jeanneau)
For those who enjoy boating and a turn of speed the Best for Fun category surely has a special appeal. Jan Sjölund, editor-in-chief of Venemestari from Finland, presented the award to Marco Zuccolà of InvictusYachts for the INVICTUS 370. He praised the boat’s luxury features and room layout. In an emotional speech Marco Zuccolà said: “The panel chose the perfect boat for leisure and fun. I am so proud.”
The DELPHIA BLUESCAPE 1200 was able to secure the Best for Travel award. Boat tester Bernd Hofstätter of Ocean 7 from Klagenfurt commented the panel’s decision thus: “This hydrofoil has all the necessary instruments and with its high-performance engine can carry out rapid manoeuvres. This is a touring boat that is just at home at sea as it is on inland waters.” Ewa Kot of DelphiaYachts thanked the judges: “This award means a lot to us. I would like to thank our team. This award is for you.”