Published: Wednesday, 03 April 2013
Mike Fulton

The 9th edition of the Asia Boating Awards, jointly organised by Asia-Pacific Boating and China Boating, was held on March 29 at the sensational Intercontinental Hotel Serenity Coast Resort. Honouring the best of yachting in Asia and internationally, it took place the evening before the start of one of Asia’s brightest boat shows, the Hainan Rendezvous, held every year in Sanya. The Hainan show has grown rapidly into one of the landmark luxury yachting events in Asia and in just four years is now well known to the world’s major yacht brands. 

The Hainan Rendezvous showcases international yachting brandnames, as well as Asia-based builders, which perfectly matches the aim of the awards. “The Asia Boating Awards are unique in that they bring together international and Asian yacht builders, industry insiders and HNWIs from around the region in one gala ceremony. No other event in the world does this in the way we do,” said Ryan Swift, Editor in Chief of Asia-Pacific Boating magazine, which co-organises the event. 

Asian Boat Awards Lit Up Sanya

Taiwan's Horizon Yachts and Hong Kong's Kingship were again acknowledged as Asia’s top yacht builders, while the Best Asian Built Yacht, the most sought-after award by Asian yards, went to Gulf Craft’s Majesty 135, a first for the UAE builder.

This year’s awards for Best Custom Built Yacht and Best Semi Custom Built Yacht went to Lürssen and Benetti, respectively. Both yards have been very busy over the past year with superyacht launches and the German-based builder is now working on the world’s largest superyacht, the 184-metre Project Azzam. 

As Asian buyers have snapped up large production yachts in the 100-foot fiberglass category, strong industry interest in the Best Production Motor Yacht 24m-to-40m class has grown. Princess Yachts of the UK walked off with this prize for their highly regarded Princess 40M Imperial Princess. Ferretti Yachts of Italy were very pleased with their victory in the Best Production Motor Yacht 15m-to-24m class with their newly released F690, a fiiting reward for all the firm's recent efforts in ramping up its Asian operations. 

Azimut Yachts, possibly the world’s biggest production yacht builder, has been revamping its range, especially with its long-range cruising Magellano series. The judges duly took note of, giving the nod to the Magellano 43 as Best Production Motor Yacht of up to 15 metres.

In the sailing categories, the Jeanneau 509 was voted the Best Production Sailing Yacht of 15 to 30 metres while the Beneteau Sense 46 claimed Best Production Sailing Yacht of up to 15 metres. For yacht design, the judges were notably impressed with the Marquis 630 designed by Nuvolari Lenard. Ker Yacht Design, which has been working closely with the Zhuhai-based production team of McConaghy Boats and helping them produce a range of one-design speed machines, was awarded Best Yacht Designer in Asia of the Year. 

Asia yacht industry veteran Mike Simpson, who founded the firm that bears his name, was recognized by the judges as Personality of the Year, for his many years of effort in growing the yachting market in Asia.

Many industry VIPs were in attendance at the black tie gala dinner, as were numerous guests of honour, including: Feng Hui, Ge Wei Dong, Chen Wei Jing, Hu Bing, Chun Ni, Mo Xiao Qi and many more. 

The Full List of 2013 BMW Asia Boating Awards Winners

Best Asian Yacht Builder (30m and up): Kingship, Hong Kong/China

Best Asian Yacht Builder (15m to 30m): Horizon Yachts, Taiwan

Best Asian Built Yacht: Gulf Craft, Majesty 135, Umm Al Quwain, UAE

Best Custom Built Yacht: Lürssen, Quattroelle, Germany

Best Semi Custom Built Yacht (30m and up): Benetti, Classic Supreme 132 Petrus II, Italy

Best Production Motor Yacht (24m to 40m): Princess Yachts, Princess 40M, UK

Best Production Motor Yacht (15m to 24m): Ferretti Group, F690, Italy

Best Production Motor Yacht (up to 15m): Azimut, Magellano 43, Italy

Best Production Sailing Yacht (15m to 30m): Jeanneau, Sun Odyssey 509, France

Best Production Sailing Yacht (up to 15m): Beneteau, Sense 46, France

Asian Marina of the Year: ONE°15 Marina Club, Singapore

Asian Yacht Club of the Year: Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Hong Kong

Asian Regatta of the Year: China Coast Regatta, Hong Kong

Asia-based Charter Yacht of the Year: Royal Huisman, S/Y Twizzle, Holland

Personality of the Year: Mike Simpson

Print Ad of the Year: Heesen Yachts, Quinta Essentia

Best Yacht Design of the Year: Marquis, 630 Sport Yacht, USA

Best Yacht Designer in Asia of the Year: Jason Ker

Best Asia-based Charter Company: Sunsail

Best Brand Presence in Asia: Sunseeker