The 2016 Dusseldorf Boat Show kicked off in late January with the annual Oscars for European boat builders—the Yacht of the Year and Powerboat of the Year awards. But entries aren't limited to Europe exclusively, and the very first award given—Under 25-foot Powerboat—went to a U.S. boatbuilder, Four Winns, for its V255 model.

four winns v255

Drum roll, please: the first pick in the European Powerboat of the Year awards went to Four Winns, an American builder. Follow the link to see some V255 listings.

Winning the award for Family Cruiser was a German brand that's fast gaining prominence among sailors in U.S. waters, Hanse, for its 315 cruiser. Our sailing expert Zuzana Prochazka took a sail on the 315, and writes about it in Hanse 315: Small Cruiser, Big Sailing Fun.


Though the Hanse 315 was just introduced, it's already making its way to US shores. See some Hanse 315 listings, to learn more about this sailboat.

In all, five powerboats and five sailboats received boat of the year honors. The contests, organized annually by German publisher Delius-Klasing, include judges from the staffs of magazines in most European countries. Other winners hailed from countries ranging from Scandinavia and Poland to Holland, France and Italy. (Links below are added to reviews and videos on and

Powerboat of the Year winners:

Four Winns V255 - Under 25'
Axopar 28 - Under 35'
Steeler NG 43 - Under 45'
Galeon 500 Fly - Over 45'
Boarncruiser 1200 Elegance – Displacement

Yacht (Sailboat) of the Year winners:

Hanse 315 - Family Cruiser
Dragonfly 25 – Multihull
Solaris 50 - Performance Cruiser
Grand Soleil 46 LC – Luxury Cruiser
Quant 23 - Special Yacht

Written by: John Burnham
John Burnham is a boat owner, leadership coach, marine writer, editor, and champion sailboat racer. He is the former editor of Sailing World, Cruising World, and