Eight winners and seven honourable mentions were announced at the second Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement, in association with Raymarine, during METSTRADE this week. Robert Braithwaite CBE, founder of Sunseeker International, picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Side-Power.
More than 280 guests attended the gala dinner at the National Maritime Museum. The ceremony kicked off with Sea Ray's award for best Retail Marketing Initiative sponsored by Saltwater Stone, for the launch of its SLX series of sportsboats. Quicksilver received an honourable mention in the same category for its custom price configurator.
After being named a runner up last year, Axopar won the award for International Distributor/Dealer Development sponsored by Lumishore. The judges also felt the fast-expanding builder Galeon worthy of a honourable mention in this category.
The hotly contested Boat Builder & Equipment Manufacturer Collaborative Solution award, sponsored by Ultraflex, was won by Azimut Benetti and Rolls Royce for the development of their lightweight AZP C65 thruster. Lewmar, NV Equipment and Beneteau all received honourable mentions for their new sunshade design for Beneteau’s Sense sailboat range.
The Italian boatbuilder, Ferretti Yachts, won the Innovative On Board Design Solution sponsored by Fusionan award for its submersible garage on the Ferretti 850 and US ski-boat builders Mastercraft and Malibu Boats received honourable mentions.
The Innovation in a Production Process award, sponsored by Dometic, went to Vripack for its ground breaking virtual prototyping software.
The first Environmental Initiative Award, sponsored by Scott Bader, went to US based Blue Gas Marine for its development of natural gas fuel options.
The Best Apprenticeship and Training Scheme award, sponsored by Marine Resources, went to Berthon, with fellow UK yards, Sunseeker and Pendennis, receiving honourable mentions.
Robert Braithwaite CBE, founder of Sunseeker was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, described by IBI’s publishing director Nick Hopkinson as “a boating visionary, someone who understood the potential power of a brand from early on.” Unable to attend the dinner in person, Braithwaite thanked the judges, audience and organisers IBI and METSTRADE via a video link,
"This award means an enormous amount to me because it shows you have succeeded in what you set out to do. That is very important to me."
Robert Braithwaite CBE transformed Poole Power Boats on the UK's south coast into the global Sunseeker brand, today employing 2,200 people with an estimated turnover this year of £240m. Sunseeker builds sports cruisers, flybridge motor yachts and superyachts from 50 - 155 feet, and last year they celebrated the significant milestone of having built 100 yachts over 100 feet.
VIDEO Boat Builder Awards 2016: