What is the Point of Holding Superyacht Awards Ceremonies?

As photographs of top superyacht designers wearing dinner suits weaving in and out of Istanbul traffic during rush hour began to hit Facebook yesterday I was made aware that it is the season of the superyacht award.  Asia Pacific have recently held theirs in Hong Kong and now the Boat International Media group has held theirs in Istanbul.

It got me thinking, what is the point of holding superyacht awards ceremonies?

Do not get me wrong I neither approve or disapprove and I neither love them nor indeed hate them, I am after all a judge on the panel that awards a whole host of them so it is probably best that I do not have a view.

But I am also a journalist and that prompts me to ask the question Why?  What is their point?  What do the winners get out of them and perhaps more importantly who benefits most by holding them?

You see, I do not need to know that Philipe Briande is an award winning yacht designer and naval architect, it makes no difference to me.  I have seen his work, I have seen the yachts he has designed and to me it is obvious the man is a genius.  So what difference does the fact that that he has won an award make?  Dickie Bannenberg and Simon Rowell are two of the most talented interior designers in the Superyacht business.  Does it matter that they have won an award?  If Espen Onieo does not win an award one year does that mean that suddenly he is no good as a designer?  Of course not.

Does Feadship build a better yacht than Heesen?  The answer is yes if you want a steel displacement hull, but no if a lightweight fast all aluminium superyacht is what you are after.  So does it matter that Feadship has won and Heesen has not?  The answer is no and anyway, chances are next year the result will be the other way round.

The cynic in me says none of it matters to anyone except the organisers of the event who make megabucks inviting people to attend a Gala Dinner.  Lets take say, ten award categories with say, five contenders to each category.  For the sake of argument lets assume each of those eager hopefuls’ brings a tableful of guests that’s 10 x 5 x 10, each paying for example, £200 a ticket which sees an ticket income of  £100,000 for every ten categories.

But if you don’t win this year the answer seems to me to be simple. Just take even more full page advertisements next year and apply for a bigger table, chances are you will win eventually.

I would love to hear your views.

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One comment

  1. Hard to resist that invitation. I wonder if my comment will be seen in the mass of other comments from designers and builders.

    Having been to a few award ceremonies over the years I must say I have forgotten who won what. But that said I think it does give a builder and a designer a certain type of validity. Not that certain builders and designers need it in my book, I know what I like, and I know what it is like to go to sea in a vessel that was designed by someone that never has, not that pleasant.

    That said many yacht owners have not been to sea (and some never will) either. So perhaps that shiny looking Neptune in your office and on your web site might just make all the difference. Perhaps it would also be nice to see more of the voting being done by people that work on the yachts.

    So I guess my vote is that the awards are good for the industry and so keep them coming. Maybe some more categories, best designed tender storage (safe). Most efficient hull. Most effective yacht steering system to dock. Best exterior design for use for owners space and still offer safe functionality to dock and go to sea.

    Anytime they need any more judges from a human factor perspective, just let me know.

    Simon Harvey
    Neurons 2 people skills (N2)

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