Europe’s biggest on-water boat show returns next week (Sept 7-12), and we’ve picked out the cream of the crop at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival.
The 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival has been a long time coming – almost 20 months have passed since Europe’s last major boat show, Boot Dusseldorf 2020, meaning there is a huge backlog of new boats lining up to make their debut.
In total, there are scheduled to be more than 450 motorboats on show, including 152 world premieres, more than anyone could hope to visit in the 5 days of the show (although Hugo and Jack are going to give it their best shot!).
So we’ve picked out a few dozen that are really worth your attention, ranging from a 21ft electric runabout to a 98ft Italian flagship yacht.
Absolute 60 Fly
Absolute will launch both this model and a 48 Coupe as part of an all-new coupe range at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival but its the 60 Fly that is particularly noteworthy due to the intelligent design choices the Italian yard has made,
Take the owner’s cabin, for example, not amidships as is traditional these days but forward in the bow where headroom is most generous and designers could make the most of the space created by the Navetta style upright bow.
Meanwhile, the main deck sees the indoor and outdoor living space split almost 50:50, while the cockpit and flybridge both use glass balustrades to create an infinity effect as you look out to sea.
Following on from Astondoa’s smart 82ft AS8, the shipyard has introduced a second model in its high-end AS range, the AS5.
With its cool and modern interior décor and smart external detailing, its aesthetics are inspired, apparently, by automotive design.
Fold-down bulwarks either side of the very cool-looking glass transom, meanwhile, significantly enhance the appeal of the cockpit.
Aventura 14 Power
Built in Tunisia at the STGI shipyard, the Aventura range of sailing and now power catamarans has been in production for nearly 20 years.
The Aventura 14 Power was designed by the Samer Lasta studio in La Rochelle, with stepped planing hulls, a pretty good turn of speed with modest horsepower, and an impressive range thanks to its 660-gallon (3,000lt) fuel capacity.
Although the reasonably spacious standard layout of the Aventura 14 Power features three double cabins and two heads, those with extensive family connections, or more likely charter operators, can request up to six cabins, all of which can be ensuite.
Axopar 25 Cross Bow
Hot on the heels of the 22 Spyder, Axopar will use the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival to launch an all-new 25 model to replace the Axopar 24.
Though it looks very similar, the 25 uses a different hull mould to the 22 and is 0.8m longer. The key difference is that the Axopar 25 – available as a Spyder or T-Top (pictured) – instead of the open deck of the 22, has a cuddy cabin with sleeping space for two people and a toilet.
Axopar wants this and the 22 to appeal to a new breed of boater, possibly a first time owner who is after something that’s good to look at but also safe, practical and easy to handle that will look after them and their family.
Azimut is launching a host of new models at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival, including its flagship Grande Trideck, but one of the most important launches is this all-new Azimut 53.
Having employed Alberto Mancini’s services to design the 78, Azimut gave the Italian designer the trickier task of distilling that boat’s style and focus on volume into this smaller model.
This, alongside the Azimut 78, is only the second model in Azimut’s flybridge range to use IPS and the design team admits that this choice is as much about boosting living space on board, specifically on the lower deck, as it is about performance and fuel economy.
Beneteau Grand Trawler 62
The new flagship of the Beneteau Power range will arrive at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival hoping to build on the immense success of its smaller Swift Trawler siblings, of which a total 1,300 have been built since the Swift Trawler 42 was launched in 2003.
A significant difference with the Beneteau Grand Trawler 62 is that it sports a full displacement hull after feedback from a significant majority of current Swift Trawler owners indicated that they tended to do most of their cruising at single figure speeds.
The upshot is that with a fuel capacity of 4,000 litres and a predicted fuel burn of between 3 and 4 litres per nautical mile at 9 knots, the Beneteau Grand Trawler 62 should have a theoretical maximum range of 1,000 nautical miles.
Few boats will look more out of place at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival, and yet few will attract so much attention.
The Bering 70 was conceived by naval architect Valeriy Savelyev, styled by the Australian yacht designer Scott Blee, and built by Bering in Turkey.
As the debut model in the shipyard’s Coastal series, her deliberately shallow draught of just over 4ft (1.33m) makes her especially suitable for exploring littoral waters rather than ocean passagemaking.
This new model from Bluegame retains the shorter enclosed wheelhouse and wide-open upper deck of the rest of the BG range, and it has the same punchy IPS engine options as the BGX70, along with the excellent deep-V naval architecture from Lou Codega.
And it also features the superb BGX-style lower deck. Perhaps sensibly, Bluegame has decided to simplify the choices available down there.
All the available layouts have three cabins, including one in which that lovely low-level space aft becomes the owner’s cabin.
Custom Line Navetta 30
Custom Line knows a thing or two about fitting quarts into pint pots, but the Ancona shipyard’s latest model seems to take that idea to the next level.
With its confident, upright, no-nonsense profile it has all the airy authority of a 120-footer, but’s actually just 93 feet long. And the designers have determined that once you’re on board you’ll also think she’s bigger than the spec sheet says.
She’s all about space – 200 Gross Tons of internal volume might be difficult to visualise, but with four ensuites down below, along with crew cabins for five in the bows, and a full-beam master stateroom on the main deck, with its dressing room, his’n’hers WCs and a big shower compartment, things soon fall into place.
A strange hybrid of different design ideas, the Evo V8 has two huge external steering wheels, one each side of the deckhouse, as if it were a high-end sailboat.
This is not so the helmsman can choose the uphill station when close-hauled and heeling at 45 degrees – at least I hope not – but because sitting outside to steer is pleasant.
Also, having a helm station on each side can be very handy when manoeuvring. There is another helm station at the forward end of the deckhouse, more or less where you might expect to find it, and a fourth one up top, which is retractable.
This new Ferretti 1000 is the biggest boat yet to bear the badge and embraces the current enthusiasm for the wide-body concept to fine effect.
The place to see it, of course, is the owner’s cabin on the main deck, which stretches across the full 22ft width of the yacht, with huge windows, acres of floor space, the obligatory walk-in wardrobe and a rather marvellous-looking bathroom forward, also full-beam.
There are no gimmicks on this boat, just an intelligent and practical layout, and lots and lots of space.
Fiart Seawalker 39
Fiart has been building fibreglass boats in its factory in the Bay of Naples for 60 years, and has long been a major player in the domestic market as well as the wider Mediterranean.
With its Seawalker 39, a handsome walkaround weekender which will be launched at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival alongside its smaller sister, the Seawalker 35, the shipyard looks likely to broaden its fanbase.
According to the yard the Fiart Seawaker 39 sports more than two metres of headroom in the cabin, which is open-plan as standard, with a double bed in the bows and a generous midships seating area which can be fitted out as a separate mid cabin as an alternative.
Despite being a hair over 36ft long the Fountaine-Pajot MY4S has a broader beam than Prestige’s 61ft 4in 590 flybridge, and the result is some pretty extraordinary living spaces.
There is no flybridge on the model – you’ll need the larger MY5 if you want one of those – but there is a deep, sprawling cockpit with a clever transom arrangement that includes convertible bench/sun pad and built-in BBQ adjacent to the companionway gate.
Up front, the fordeck, which is accessed via wide side decks, sports a large sun pad for guests to stretch out on and a storage locker that fills a space from hull to deck on the port side.
Frauscher 650 Alassio
Long-established Austrian engineers and boatbuilders Frauscher originally brought out the electric Alassio model back in 2010, and the family firm claims to have sold 250 of them.
The new version is billed as the ‘second generation’, with tweaks to the design, the user interface and the finish to create “a more valuable look and more intense feel”, in the words of managing director Michael Frauscher.
An attractive and nicely detailed little runabout, the Frauscher 650 Alassio would look perfectly at home on the pristine lakes of its homeland – and being an electric boat it would help to keep them that way.
Galeon 325 GTO
Given the boom in popularity of boats like this, it was only a matter of time before Galeon took on the outboard sportsboat market.
It already builds a range of smaller, cheaper outboard powered craft under the Galia brand but this is a much more upmarket offering.
Development has not been rushed though; the Galeon 325 GTO was three years in the making, but it will springboard an entire new range of outboard-powered cruisers up to around 40ft.
Grand Banks 54
With twin Volvo D11s driving conventional straight propeller shafts, this new Grand Banks 54 is a fuel-efficient 33-knot boat with a range, according to the shipyard, of 470 nautical miles at 22 knots.
In true Grand Banks tradition, no attempt has been made to cram in too much – the accommodation spaces on both the main and lower decks are roomy and pretty light, considering the amount of teak in evidence.
If you want three cabins – guests amidships and the owner’s cabin in the bows – the galley goes up on the main deck, opposite the helm.
The two-cabin version gives you two big, comfortable doubles with the galley at the foot of the companionway on the port side, and more seats and space up in the saloon.
T-top sportscruisers are here to stay. There are probably more of these style of boats hitting the market than any other at the moment but that doesn’t mean the Invictus TT460 flagship is any less welcome.
It’s a rather fabulous looking thing with the trademark gentle reverse sheer bow and beautifully soft lines.
We particularly like the wave-like T-top, which is connected to the windscreen and should provide a better than usual level of protection for the three people sitting in the plush helm chairs.
Marex 330 Scandinavia
The new 330 Scandinavia was designed as a scaled-down version of the flagship 375 but Marex has also used customer feedback to inform the boat’s layout and features.
A prime example of this is the sliding door next to the helm, invaluable when single-handed, or if the skipper needs to help another crew member with lines and fenders.
Year-round usability was also high on the priority list so the ability to open and enclose the main deck using a combination of sliding doors, a pair of sliding roofs and Marex’s famous curtain canopies means the deck can be as exposed or protected as the weather allows.
Pardo 60 Endurance
The Pardo Endurance 60 marks an entirely fresh philosophy for the Italian shipyard, ditching its current focus on open day boats in favour of an explorer-style boat with an enclosed deck saloon and the option of a low-profile flybridge.
It’s more that just styling that sets this model apart though, whereas the current models are designed for short, fast blasts from berth to beach, the Endurance 60, as the name suggests, is designed for longer distance cruising even when the weather turns ugly.
To this end the option of IPS700 (550hp) or 800 (625hp) isn’t about outright speed, predicted to be around 25 knots, but range at cruising speed, which Pardo says will top 800nm at 12 knots.
Pershing continues to breathe new life into its range of silver bullets (other colours are available) and the new Pershing 6X picks up neatly where the Pershing 62 left off.
The most important and least noticeable change is in the power train, where a pair of MAN’s fire-eating 1550 V12s take the place of the previous V10 MTU options, and Top System’s Italian-made 75S surface drives replace the 62’s ZF units.
Between them, the 24-litre MANs represent a weight saving of more than 800kg over the 22-litre MTUs, which has no doubt helped to offset all the extra kit which new models inevitably accumulate.
Prestige will use the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival to launch the new flagship of its flybridge F-Line range, the Prestige 690.
Based on the hull of the Prestige 680, this model features an updated hull window design, a reworked flybridge layout, a new hard top and a transom adaptation that creates a useful sunbathing space inside the cockpit.
The top deck has had the most attention and now boasts a layout that is more open and less compartmentalised by fixed furniture.
The partnership between Princess Yachts, Olesinski Design and Pininfarina is well established now but it’s models like the Princess Y72 that demonstrate what a potent design force it is.
The way the three factions work in sync to modernise and update the range whilst retaining the timeless appeal that Princess has worked so hard to cultivate is mightily impressive and there’s a synergy and cohesion between the boat’s exterior and interior that few manufacturers achieve as successfully.
There are curves around the boat’s haunches and the mouldings for the flybridge furniture that are echoed on the main deck and even down in the sleeping spaces. Despite having three cooks peering over the broth, they were never in danger of spoiling it.
Riva 68 Diable
The new Riva 68 Diable won’t be anything like the biggest boat at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival – it won’t even be the biggest Riva – but it promises to have enough pontoon presence to grab the attention.
It’s a three-cabin boat, with a full-beam owner’s suite amidships, a VIP in the bows and a third twin-berth guest cabin. The dinette in the lower saloon, opposite the galley, can seat six.
Up on deck there are fore and aft sunbathing areas, including an unfolding chaise longue down by the water and another sunpad in the cockpit which can be shaded by a powered bimini that slides out from the hardtop, which also has a dual-action sunroof that opens forward and aft.
Saxdor 320 GTC
There seems to be no stopping Saxdor and its relentless product development.
We recently tested this boat’s T-top sibling, the Saxdor 320 GTO, and now the Finnish brand has announced this cabin variant based on the same hull.
With Axopar and Nimbus’s cabin ranges in its sights, the 320 GTC is the all-weather option and joins a genre of these outboard-powered sportsboats that has proven very popular here in the UK and further north, where their protected wheelhouses makes them particularly well suited to year-round commuting duties.
Although it’s based on the easily driven, medium-V hull of Sessa’s best-selling C44, a stylish and capable hardtop cruiser, a great deal more effort has gone into turning it into the new Sessa C47 flybridge model than fitting a pair of sliding cockpit doors.
It is a completely different beast from its predecessor. A roomy deckhouse with a galley-up layout, and three cabins down below, are intended to provide the broadest possible appeal to the cruising family.
Big side windows in both hull and superstructure ensure that light penetrates the darkest recesses, and sharp modern styling will give it an edge in any marina.
With a redesigned hull that has a longer waterline and reverse bow to improve efficiency, and styling by Albert Nazarov that apes the flagship Silent 80, the Silent 60 is due to make its public debut at the 2021 Cannes Yachting Festival.
The Silent 55’s awkward looks have been replaced by a design that is far kinder on the eye and makes room for even more living space plus a boost in solar power acreage on the roof from 30 to 42 panels.
There are several layout options available with as few as three cabins or as many as six – all with bathrooms – which will no doubt be very welcome on the charter market.
The Sirena 68 is the fourth model to join the fleet, slotting in between the original Sirena 64 and the mighty Sirena 88 flagship.
With styling by Cor D Rover and a brand new semi-displacement hull by renowned naval architect German Frers, there’s no doubting its design pedigree. And judging from the renderings and spec sheet there’s no shortage of space or luxury either.
The heart of the yacht may be its impressive main deck that incorporates an open aft cockpit, galley, dining area and inside helm all on one continuous level surrounded by acres of glass but it’s that long, extended flybridge that catches our eye.
Solaris Power 44 Open
There’s seemingly no difficult second album syndrome for Solaris’s Power division – if anything, this all-new Solaris Power 44 Open is even better looking than the drop dead gorgeous 48 Open.
Its profile is beautifully sleek and pure but the surfacing of the topsides adds curves in all the right places.
Hopefully its dynamics will match those of its larger sibling, the IPS-only powertrains likely to provide refined, efficient cruising with a top speed just short of 40 knots with the twin 480hp engine option.
The thing about powercats is that while they’re often jolly wide on deck, they can be jolly narrow down below, so you end up paying for the vast open prairies of the saloon with coffin-like sleeping arrangements in the hulls.
On the new Sunreef 60 Power, though, the structure is voluminous enough to allow the space under the main deck to be pressed into service in the cabins, with the bedheads inboard, and standing headroom in the hulls themselves.
So not only is there a saloon the size of a typical 80- or 90-fters, a flybridge to match, as well as really wide and safe sidedecks, but the sleeping arrangements don’t look bad at all.
Sunseeker 90 Ocean
The Sunseeker 90 Ocean is the first in a new generation of larger Sunseeker craft with interior volume and the connection of those on board to the water uppermost in mind.
On that first point, a quick glance at the boat’s dimensions tells you what you need to know, specifically the 23ft 6in (7.16m) beam, which is fully 2ft 0in (0.61m) wider than that of the Sunseeker 95 Yacht. It has, according to the yard, 20% greater volume than one of its traditional Yacht models of a similar length.
It’s not just the beam, either, a new hull design with an almost upright stem allows the accommodation deck to stretch as far forward as possible, creating more space within all of the four ensuite cabins.
This is not your average walkaround boat. The aggressive and extremely capable-looking Swan Shadow was designed by Jarkko Jamsen, who previously collaborated on the successful ClubSwan 50 for the Finnish yard.
His powerboat concept marries a beamy, 20-degree deep-V, two-step hull to a triple outboard installation, with the motors set neatly into the aft overhang so they look like part of the deck furniture.
Flexibility is key to the Swan Shadow concept. For a start, the platform goes up as well as down, to serve as both passerelle and swimming platform.
Then there is a versatile, bolt-on choice of deck layouts in the area aft of the helm station which includes sunbeds, sofas, tables, a bar and extra seating. Four different lengths and styles of hardtop are available, to suit your chosen configuration.
Called the WHY200 in reference to its unusual hull shape (Wally Hybrid Yachts) and gross tonnage (199GRT), this futuristic design promises to shake up the market for semi-custom yachts.
Crucially, although it measures 89ft LOA, its load line length is less than 24m, avoiding the extra costs and regulations that apply to bigger boats.
Space is just one of several USPs claimed for this wide-body design. A full-beam main-saloon and an almost full-beam sky-lounge and bridge on the upper deck mean this is effectively a tri-deck model.
Danish shipyard X-Yachts has been building well-respected racing/cruiser sailing yachts for over 40 years but 2021 will be a milestone year for the brand as it launches its first ever powerboat.
As with many other established sailing brands who have recently taken a first foray into motorboat production, the motivation spawned from existing sailing boat customers who liked the idea of a powerboat from a marque that they know and trust.
X-Yachts did things slightly differently, however, and sought a successful blueprint on which to base its X-Power 33C. That blueprint is the HOC Yachts 33, a Swedish performance cruiser that uses the revolutionary Petestep hull form.