The Steeler FF46 is an unusual looking craft, but it has just scooped the European Boat of the Year award for trawlers, and for once the jury seems to have got it right.
We can’t vouch for its seakeeping ability, but given that this steel version is likely to spend most of its time on inland waterways that’s unlikely to be an issue.
What we can vouch for is the astonishing feeling of space on board. That’s because the designers have thrown out all the normal constraints, such as side decks and companionways.
Instead you get as much internal volume as is physically possible on the single main deck level of the Steeler FF46.
It may not be particularly pretty, but it is effective, creating an open-plan saloon and galley area more akin to a fancy waterside apartment than a boat.
It does mean that most of the fender and line duties have to be carried out from the upper deck, which is accessed via a set of stairs from the raised central wheelhouse, but it all seems to work.
The other neat feature is the wheelhouse roof, which lifts on hydraulic struts to let in the elements in sunny weather.
The master ensuite in the bow is immense but with just one other modest guest cabin and a day heads, the Steeler FF46 doesn’t actually sleep a huge number of people.
The big surprise is that a twin-engined aluminium version is also on the way, with a claimed top speed of 30 knots.
To watch our guided tour of the Steeler FF46 as seen at the 2015 Dusseldorf Boat Show, click on the video above.