METS honors Azimut Benetti founder

Azimut Benetti founder and chairman Paolo Vitelli took the top honor with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Azimut Benetti founder and chairman Paolo Vitelli (center) received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement during the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam.

Azimut Benetti founder and chairman Paolo Vitelli (center) received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement during the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam.

Azimut Benetti founder and chairman Paolo Vitelli took the top honor with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement this week during the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam.

The awards were organized by METS, RAI Amsterdam and International Boating Industry magazine.

Vitelli, whose name the judges said has become synonymous with Italian boatbuilding at its best, was joined by daughter Giovanna and more than 200 industry guests at a gala dinner under the dome of the National Maritime Museum’s historic courtyard.

Monte Carlo Yachts picked up the Innovation in a Production Process Award (sponsored by Whale) for its modular production technique, which enables semicustom boats to be built as much as 50 percent more quickly on a full-scale production line.

Dominator was named winner of the Retail Marketing Award (sponsored by Saltwater) for its Ilumen Virtual Reality system. The judges praised the technology as an innovation that had not previously been seen in the maritime business.

Galeon Yachts and the beach mode that the judges believed brought big-boat functionality and superyacht chic to its new 500 Fly was named winner of the Innovative On-Board Design Solution category (sponsored by Fusion).

Brunswick Marine EMEA’s expansion of its Quicksilver line outside Europe earned it the podium spot in the Boat Builder International Distributor/Dealer Development category (sponsored by Lumishore).

Jeanneau and Harken’s three-year collaboration on the Assisted Sail Trim system won the Boatbuilder & Equipment Manufacturer Collaborative Solution Award (sponsored by Ultraflex).

There also were three honorable mentions.

Karnic was recognized in the Innovation in a Production Process category for its Smart Production Controller. Fairline Boats and Falcon were mentioned for creating frameless windows that can be fitted to any hull form. The judges also commended Mastervolt’s CZone digital control and monitoring network.

“We congratulate the winners and those short-listed companies that ultimately made the event the success that it was,” IBI publishing director Nick Hopkinson said in a statement. “Awards were long overdue to recognize the work of the boatbuilding industry and to celebrate the individuals and innovations which make it unique. We look forward to crowning more winners at the Boat Builder Awards for Business Achievement 2016.”

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