On Thursday, 29 November 2018 the Best of Boats Awards (BOB) were presented at Boat & Fun Berlin. For the fifth time a jury of 17 international trade journalists honored the best motorboats in the categories Best for Beginners, Best for Fishing, Best for Family, Best for Fun and Best for Travel, having previously tested 550 boats in 19 countries.
”The Best of Boats Awards have established themselves as the biggest motorboat awards in Europe and in the world. As an international team representing 15 countries we are grateful to the large and small boatbuilders who made these tests possible. We are delighted that they have come here this evening together with their bosses”, said Stefan Gerhard.
”When we test these boats our focus is on the user. Thus, the BOB Awards are a seal of approval for boats that stand out from the greater market.”
Best for Beginners
The Best for Beginners category was won by the FALCON BR7. Representing the trade magazine ‘Żagle’, Stanislav Iwinski praised the boat for its light handling on the water, its safety as well as low purchase and maintenance costs. ”A beginner’s boat makes or breaks a prospective boating enthusiast “, is how the journalist commented the award’s importance.
Accepting the award, Ari Kuikka of the Finnish company Bella Boats, which launched the Falcon model series, said: “We are extremely grateful to the jury. This boat offers beginners perfect handling and it is very robust. Bella Boats has been building fibreglass boats for some 50 years. Two years ago we launched the Falcon brand with alloy boats which have sold really well. That is why this award belongs to our design team, to whom we owe this innovation and who will continue to develop it still further.”
Best for Fishing
In the Best for Fishing category the BOSTON WHALER 170 MONTAUK impressed the jury. Julijan Višnjevec, editor of the magazine ‘Val Navtika’ from Ljubljana, commented the decision thus: ”It is not that easy to find a good fishing boat, because anglers would rather spend money on their equipment than on a boat. That means the cost of buying and maintaining it are an important factor, as well as sufficient room and safety.“
”We are honoured and very proud to be holding this award on behalf of close to 1,000 workers at the Florida boatyard, who make sure our dreams come true by building these beautiful boats. It comes in time for the company’s sixtieth anniversary“, said a satisfied Alessandro Lorenzon of Boston Whaler Europe, commenting on the award.
Jan Sjölund, editor of the Finnish magazines ’Venemestari’ and ’Totalvene’, presented the Best for Family award for the PARKER MONACO 110, which he found to be a particularly safe, roomy and practical boat. ”Family boats are the key to a relaxing time on the water. They should combine travelling, lifestyle and leisure in a unique way. This is the category that attracts the next generation of boating fans, so it is important for the entire industry“, said Jan Sjölund.
He presented the award to Chris Scott, the director of Parker Poland. ”We are very proud of this award. This is one of the first larger boats we built, and it has been selling extremely well. I spent my holidays on a MONACO and can highly recommend it. I am confident that we will announce more surprises this year, as we are putting out other new products on the market“, said Chris Scott.
Best for Fun
In the Best for Fun category the jury picked the JEANNEAU CAP CAMARAT 9.0 WA/CC. Arek Rejs, the head tester of the Polish magazine ‘Wiatr’, presented the award. He emphasised that this category was not all about speed. The model in question is particularly versatile. It features a cabin so it can be used both for fishing and family trips.
Jean-Paul Chapeleau, the general manager of Jeanneau/Prestige, and Armin Burchardi of Aquamarin Boote from Werder an der Havel, accepted the award. ”The boat is very versatile and one can do lots of things with it. I feel honoured that we have received this award“, said Jean-Paul Chapeleau, and Armin Burchardi added: ”We are proud that a boat from Jeanneau has won again. We believe in Jeanneau. It is an excellent make which we have been selling for 18 years. That makes us very proud.”
Best for Travel
The winner in the Best for Travel category was the BENETEAU SWIFT TRAWLER 35 which features 360-degree visibility and room for all the family. Alfred J. Boer, who tested the boat and writes for the Belgian magazine ‘Varen’, said: ”A boat in this category must not be too noisy. It has to feel like home.“ Mark Averhoff, an area sales manager at Beneteau, expressed his gratitude: ”We are very proud that the TRAWLER 35 has managed to continue the success story of its predecessors. There will be more models in the years to come. The trophy belongs to our design department.”
About the Best of Boats
The Best of Boats Awards was launched in 2014 by boat journalists from many countries and different editorial offices which had and have two things in common: Their very large experience as boat testers and their particular interest in the practical needs of boaters.
Future-bound categories, which do not stop at defined boat lengths or types of ships, present the full range of boating, based on the user’s point of view, in the Best of Boats Award. Why not, in the future, have a sail yacht and a motorboat together in one category, if both are appropriate for beginners?
The Best of Boats Award categories currently are Best for Beginners, Best of Family, Best for Fun and, new in 2016, Best for Travel. Additional Award categories are Best for Fishing and Best for Nature for sustainable and resource-friendly innovations in the boating sector. A Special Award for a pioneering technology or other innovation was given for the first time in 2015. [» More about the Categories]
Enrichment for the boating industry
The Best of Boats Award is founded and powered by individual boat journalists from all over Europe who do real boat tests. Jury members are also coming from, so far poorly recognized, classic producers countries such as Poland, Greece and Slovenia.
With this setting, the Best of Boats Award is fundamentally different from other boat comparisons, awards and „boating industry Oscars“. To events of that kind not at all in competition, the Best of Boats Award is a complementary enrichment that adds more diversity, open-minded discussion and, of course, more fun to the boating industry. [» More about the Jury]
Only expertise matters
The Best of Boats Award does not know national restrictions (several judges in one country are possible) and combines passionate boat journalists of different media types: Native web magazines are represented as well as TV formats and classic printed magazines. Expertise is the only thing that counts.
The Best of Boats Award is given since 2014 in november in Berlin, the vibrant capital of Germany, during the Boot & Fun boat show, one of the leading exhibitions for motorboats in Europe. [» More about the Partners]