I didn’t like the last edition of the European yacht of the year: on the performance cruiser category, that supposedly should evaluate between “yachts designed for fast and competitive sailing on the race course, but catering for all creature comforts required for enjoyable holiday sailing as well” the winner was the Swan 50 a boat that is only used on the race course and that has a very poor, even if luxurious, cruising interior.
They have chosen on the Luxury cruiser category the Amel 50, a boat that in my opinion is not as good as the Halberg Rassy 44. The Amel 50 has average safety stability, remarkably lower than the one on the HR44 or other boats on that category that are seen as bluewater boats.
This year the winners are yet to be announced and I don’t like it already. On the Family cruiser category that is supposed to regard “typical cruising boats… a trend driven by the charter business… typical examples are often found to be in charter fleets…” one of the runners is the Halberg Rassy 340. For sure a great yacht but not one used in charter or a typical inexpensive boat, as they are supposed to be on this category.https://www.boat-duesseldorf.com/cgi-bin/md_boot/lib/pub/tt.cgi/Yacht_of_the_Year_2019.html?oid=59132&lang=2&ticket=g_u_e_s_t
Why the HR 340 this year on this category and the HR 44 on the Luxury yacht category last year? The HR 340, regarding other 34ft boats is not less expensive than the HR 44 regarding boats of that size.
And more, in that category that it is defined in one official place as referred above, on another official place it is defined quite differently, as: “the category Family-Cruiser comprises of yachts designed for sailing with friends and family on day trips or holidays but also for long-distance blue water cruising.” That covers about any type of cruising boat, from daysailers to bluewater boats. What a confusion!!!
Another yacht on the family category is the Mojito 10.88, a kind of Pogo with the particularity of having a small dinghy garage: a typical inexpensive boat used on the charter market? I don’t think so and this one is certainly a performance cruiser even if, like the Pogo, was not designed for racing.
This year on the performance cruiser category, “yachts designed for fast and competitive sailing on
the race course, but catering for all creature comforts required for enjoyable holiday sailing as well” they nominated two cruiser racers, the Grand Soleil 48 performance and the Arcona 435, and the X 4.6 a boat that comes with a self taking jib, without a genoa traveler and with a running rig and winch set up only adapted to the use of the self taking jib.
This system besides not allowing a decent trimming on all points of sail, is limited to one size of sail. “Fast and competitive sailing on the race course” with a single frontal small sail that cannot be well trimmed. Seriously? As we all know X yachts have a cruiser-racer line and a good one allowing for racing and cruising, the XP line, not this line.
I regret to say that what was once an interesting competition and a great idea, with yachts evaluated by test sailors from some of the best European magazines, does not interest me anymore. It has become a nonsense competition where yachts are put on the different categories in a random way and where the categories are not clearly defined.
It is clear that having the yacht market an annual offer that allows choosing a European Yacht of the year, among all categories it has not an annual offer that allows the evaluation of yachts on well defined significant market categories.
It would make more sense to have a single annual yacht of the year every year and a European yacht contest regarding categories every three years, among all boats that had come to the market in that period.
That would give much more meaningful information and would allow clearly defined market segments and not this nonsense with four completely different types of yacht running on what I would call the main category, the one of the Family cruisers. Truly, according with their own definition of Family cruisers, only two of the 5 Yachts on contest belong to this category.