The European Yacht of the Year competition is considered to be the biggest and best awards programme for production sailing yachts in the world, and for 2014 four worthy winners have just been announced.
At a glittering awards presentation during the first evening of Boot Dusseldorf, (Saturday 18th January) the winners for the four main categories were revealed to be:
• Performance Cruiser: Dehler 38
• Family Cruiser: Beneteau Oceanis 38
• Luxury Cruiser: Contest 42CS
• Special Yacht: Saphire 27
A panel of 11 judges from the major European sailing magazines decided who stood out in 2014, so here’s a bit more detail about what impressed them:
Performance Cruiser: Dehler 38
The jury was impressed by the sailing characteristics, innovation, comfort and technology. “Her specification on deck makes her an easy boat to handle shorthanded, with the provision to bring control lines close to hand for the helmsman,” says Yachting World magazine. This was felt to be a versatile boat in this competitive size.
Family Cruiser: Oceanis 38
Shown for the first time at the Festival de la Plaisance de Cannes (Cannes Boat Show) last September, the Oceanis 38, was up against the Bavaria Cruiser 37, Dufour 410, Allure 39.9 but came out on top, as the European Yacht of the Year 2014, in the Family Cruiser category. The Oceanis 38's highly innovative evolving concept earned it this victory. Its seaworthiness, as well as the style of the fittings also impressed the jury.
Luxury Cruiser: Contest 42CS
In the Luxury Cruiser category there was very tough competition but the Contest 42CS shone out. “The Dutch have introduced an approachable sized family cruiser that still manages to shine,” says Yachting World. “And they have done so by retaining the seaworthy design and build quality on which Contest built its name, while clearly showing the big boat mentality they have applied to their larger semi-custom boats.”
Special Yacht: Saphire 27
In the Special Yachts category, a newcomer to the tests for Europe’s yacht of the year consistently came out on top, whatever the wind conditions. The Saphire 27 from Switzerland is a modern sports boat that is perfect as a sprightly day sailing vessel or for one-design regattas. The Saphire 27 is also suitable for touring, and was considered to be good value considering features such as the high performance steel fin and lead bulb keel.
Photo: Dehler 38
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