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European Yacht of the Year: The Winners

The European Yacht of the Year awards is a worldwide prize that has been hailed as the ‘most important, influential and widely communicated’ international sailing accolade, having previously been referred to as the Yachting ‘Oscars’. The award is presented each year and is celebrated by millions of sailing enthusiasts, yacht owners and industry execs. 
The prize was set up by German magazine YACHT in 2004, but has grown over the years to encompass judges from 12 different sailing magazines from across Europe, all leading voices in their country’s sailing communities. These chosen few meet together 4 times a year to nominate their candidates as well as putting all of the potential winners to the test with several days of sea trials. 
Between January to May each year, the jury research and choose a selection of new yachts that they think offer great potential to the sailing community. The nomination process then takes place in June where they choose the best candidates in each category who are then passed through to the sea trial stage. Seatrials last for up to 5 days with each vessel tested thoroughly and daily debriefs to note their progress. Final decisions then take place in early January the following year. Results are announced at the opening ceremony of boot Düsseldorf, alongside those from European Powerboat of the year awards. 
The 2020 European Yacht of the Year categories this year are as follows:
(Click each category to see the winner and nominees)

Best Family Cruiser

This award focuses on your typical cruising boat that offers both space and comfort as well as being easy enough to sail double or single-handed. This boat should also be relatively affordable and usually fits within the 30-40ft range. 
Oceanis 30.1 Family Cruiser Yacht
This is the latest and smallest design from Beneteau’s highly acclaimed cruising range. It offers a modest price tag as well as a compact design. 
Length: 8.99 m ● Beam: 2.99 m ● Draft: 1.88 m (opt. 1.30 or 0.95 - 2.33 m) ● Displacement: 4.0 t ● Sail area: 39.5 sqm 
Elan Impression 45.1 Family Cruiser
Elan Impression 45.1 
This is the 4th version of this 45 footer complete with an updated deck and renewed interior. Length: 13.00 m  ● Width: 4.18 m ● Draft: 1.90 m (opt. 1.60 m) ●  Displacement: 10.5 t  ●  Sail area: 99.3 sqm
Browse Elan Yachts on Boats and Outboards.
Sun Odysset 410 Family Cruiser Yacht
Sun Odyssey 410
Following on from the success of the Sun Odyssey 440, this model is a slightly smaller version with a hydraulic swing keel. 
Length: 11.99 m ●  Beam: 3.99 m ●  Draft: 1.37 - 2.97 m  ● Displacement: 7.8 t  ● Sail area: 77.1 sqm
Browse Jeanneau on Boats and Outboards.

Performance Cruiser

This award focuses solely on performance, the chosen boat needs to sail at speed whilst also being able to operate at maximum pressure. Other factors are whether the cockpit is organised ergonomically, rudder sensitivity/responsiveness and how well the vessel copes with the sailplan being adapted for changing conditions. 
X-Yachts have become a regular fixture in the EYOTY nominees. Turning 40 this year, the Danish yard has revealed their latest 40 footer, a model featuring in the ‘Pure-X’ range. The X 4.0 provides a high volume hull, light/responsive twin-wheel steering and agile acceleration. 
Length: 11.50 m  ●  Beam: 3.81 m  ●  Draft: 2.10 (optional 2.40m)   ●  Displacement: 8.1 t   ●  Sail area: 78 sqm
First Yacht 53
First Yacht 53
This modern luxury sports cruiser has been created by prominent Italian designers Lorenzo Argento and Roberto Biscontini. The standard carbon rig combined with an ample sail plan is pegged to offer better performance than its competitors. 
Length (LOA): 15.98 m ●  Beam: 5.00 m ●  Draft: 2.50 m (optional: 3.00 m)  ● Displacement: 15.5 to ● Sail area: 165.9 sqm
Browse Beneteau on Boats and Outboards 
Italia 11.98
Italia 11.98
This is one of Italia Yacht’s efforts to create a sportier model with an even more outstanding design. Coming in 2 versions, the race-oriented model or the fast cruiser, you can even select to come with a water-ballast to assist shorthanded racing. 
Length: 11.65 m ●  Beam: 3.98 m ● Draft: 2.10 m ●  Displacement: 6.2 to  ● Sail area: 90 sqm
RM 1180
RM 1180
This model was designed by naval architect Marc Lombard, who has been in the creative process on many racing boats. This version has had a modified build method with an updated GRP/plywood hull to safe weight, as well as powerful lines and a thorough cruising interior.
Length: 11.80 m  ●  Beam: 4.37 m  ●  Draft: 1.95 (optional 2.25 or lift keel 1.30 - 3.20 m)   ●  Displacement: 7.0 t   ●  Sail area: 92 sqm
View RM on Boats and Outboards.


This is the debut of this particular award. The category has been created due to the high volume of newcomers into this field who’s potentially was too great to miss. As you’d expect, the key factors of this prize are performance and ergonomics.
Dehler 30 OD
WINNER: Dehler 30 OD
This latest Dehler model, a brand possessed by Hanseyachts, has been created in line with offshore racing. The vessel is light offering hull lines that have been developed for downwind sleigh rides as well as lightwind and upmind practice.
Length:  10.30 m ●  Beam: 3.25 m  ● Draft: 2.20 m ● Displacement: 2.8 to ● S ail area: tba
View Dehler on Boats and Outboards.
J/99 Yacht
The J/99 sold instantly from the second it was unveiled, with its immediate popularity not just being in the commercial field but she also demonstrated success on the race course. This model offers a lot of flexibility and can be adjusted to suit the owners preferences, offering a choice of single or twin rudders and symmetric or asymmetric spinnaker set up. 
Length: 9.94 m ●  Beam: 3.40 m ● Draft: 1.99 m ● Displacement: 3.8 to ● Sail area: 59.2 sqm
View J Boats on Boats and Outboards.
JPK 1030 Yacht
JPK 1030
This European yard, while smaller in size than its competitors, doesn’t settle when it comes to design, leading the pack as a trendsetter in many ways. This brand new 10.30 has just added another Rolex Fastnet title to the brands long list of victories. 
Length: 10.34 m  ●  3.32 m  ●  Draft 2.05 m  ● Displacement: 3.5 to ● Sail area: 59 sqm
Sun fast 3300
Sun Fast 3300
This follow up model to the award winning Sunfast 3200, has been designed by Daniel Andrieu and Guillaume Verdier, creating a highly efficient hull. Two concave sections beneath the waterline minimise drag while the full bow section, wide stern and straight IRC blade keel aid this model in being a highly relevant and up to date racer. 
Length: 9.99 m  ● Width:  3.40 m  ●  Draft: 1.95 m  ● Displacement: 3.5 to ● Sail area: 60 sqm
Browse Jeanneau on Boats and Outboards.
Club Swan 36 Yacht
Innovation Award WINNER: ClubSwan 36
This Juan Kouyoumdjian construction appears as light as it is sure to be powerful. Lift is generated using a moveable C-foil, this will also counteract heel, making sure that this model will be excellent both up and downwind. 
Length: 11.00 m  ● Width: 3.60  m  ●  Draft:  2.75 m ● Displacement: 2.59 t ● Sail area: 90 sqm
Browse Nautor Swan on Boats and Outboards.

Luxury Cruiser

This prestigious category celebrates craftsmanship in the very upper class of boat building. These rare designs are respected for their refined finish and style. Quality, space and design are very high ranking factors within this prize, with price and performance of much lesser importance. 
Amel 60 Luxury Cruiser
WINNER: Amel 60
Following the victory of the Amel 50, the 60 only looks to build on this success. This model offers: a doghouse sheltering a deep and secure centre cockpit, even more space and a mast constructed with carbon that is offered as standard.
Length: 18.00 m  ●  Beam: 5.40 m ● Draft: 2.35 m ●  Displacement : 27 t  ● Sail area: 170 m2
View Amel on Boats and Outboards.
Grand Soleil 42 LC Luxury Cruiser
Grand Soleil 42 LC
For years sailors have been waiting for this Italian brand to compact their previously victorious 46 foot cruiser into a smaller format. While nearly identical visually, this model comes with a self tacking jib, a Code Zero or asymmetric spinnaker to be flown from the long bowsprit and an updated modern interior design filled with natural light and bright topsides.
Length: 12.95 m  ●  Beam: 4.18 m ● Draft: 2.25 m (opt. 1.80 m) ●  Displacement : 9.6 t  ● Sail area: 103 m2 (Sport version 109 sqm)
View Grand Soleil on Boats and Outboards.
Oyster 565 Luxury Cruiser
Oyster 565
Following an ownership change, this ‘mini superyacht’ has been released displaying a wealth of quality and some additional extras that top off their special design. With clean lines, a flush deck and well integrated cabin top, this model has been heralded as Oyster’s comeback. A unique element is the owners cabin forward that is adjoined to an ensuite private lounge and bathroom. 
Length: 17.22 m  ●  Beam: 5.13 m ● Draft: 2.50 m (opt. 1.66 - 3.96m) ●  Displacement : 25.6 t  ● Sail area: 164 m2
View Oyster on Boats and Outboards.


Growth within the catamaran and trimaran fields have been steadily growing over recent years, with some waiting lists reaching up to 2 years to get your hands on the latest models. Despite this, the multihull category had no winner this year and proved a dissapointing category. There were concerns over the Excess' steering, the finish quality of the Neel 47 and the Lagoon didn't make the sea trials.
Excess 15 Multihull
Excess 15
This is just the beginning of market leading Excess' scheme to develop a brand new collection of catamarans. These models will be aimed at a younger audience, with the 15 being the biggest of them all. The living space has the feel of a trendy hotel while the technicalities such as twin helm stations and high-aspect sail plans with the mast far aft, give everything you need for excellent performance.
Length: 14.31 m ●  Beam: 8.03 m ● Draft: 1.40 m ● Displacement: 18.4 t  ●  Sail area: 159.5 sqm
Lagoon 46 Catamaran
Lagoon 46
Lagoon have hit the nominations again with this second entry from the Bordeaux boatyard. While not top of the specs with special features, this yacht offers a number of innovative solutions, for example the central flybridge steering position. The hull sides are structured lending the model a more muscular appearance and offering the cabins more width. 
Length: 13.76 m  ● Beam: 7.96 m ● Draft: 1.305 m ●  Displacement: 16.6 to  ● Sail area: 137.5 sqm
View all Lagoon on Boats and Outboards.
Neel 47 Trimaran
Neel 47
Neel have worked hard to transform from an innovator in the trimaran concept to an established brand in the sector. This is the follow up to their debut model, a similar vessel but in a more compact size. In a unique layout, raised companionways in the aft part of both the outer floats allow for private access to the crew cabins. 
Length: 14.20 m  ●  Beam: 8.30 m  ●  Draft: 1.60 m  ● Displacement: 10.6 t ● Sail area: 130 sqm
View the Neel 47 for sale.
Abbie Rogers
Boats And Outboards Marketing Team
Published on 2020-01-13