The superyacht sector is experiencing its golden age. A new generation of ship owners is forcing the industry to change the rules of the game. Young, new customers have hobbies that are very different to those of their predecessors. It’s easy to see how superyachts provide the perfect canvas for a dream holiday: a combination of adventure, luxury and privacy that is completely tailor-made. Learn all about superyacht design here!
Fully equipped and highly modern
New designs have emerged as the industry evolves in order to keep up with the changing tastes of new owners, and the kind of experiences they are looking for.
These days yachts are more likely to have fitness equipment, saunas, beauty salons and pools, with a clear focus on well-being. It’s getting increasingly common to travel with personal trainers on board. Extensive wine cellars and cinemas are already standard, as well as a great variety of water toys to play with on the high seas, such as submarines, slides and even amphibious vehicles. Some would say that jet skis are out of fashion, but they are still a basic and important item many include.
The development of new activities on board is a constant challenge for designers. Customers want to cram their boat as full of toys as possible. On a yacht, a heliport can convert into a squash court. Side hatches fold out and provide not only an arena for the staging of various aquatic adventures, but also additional relaxation areas, spaces for sun loungers, or somewhere to eat outdoors while you are out at sea.
The purpose of any designer is simply to interpret and understand the customers’ wishes in order to create their dream boat. It’s important to understand their desires and their needs – what drives them, motivates them and captures their imagination? Yacht designers strive to create something innovative in terms of design, adapting to the client’s briefing, but must also make sure it’s functional on a daily basis for those who live and work on board.
Thanks to new owners’ environmental awareness and new ideas brought to designers by young minds, the limits of conventional superyacht design are transforming as we speak, opening up exciting new possibilities within the sector.
A good designer must take into account how the owner feels about and interprets space. This means that the superyacht itself represents a sanctuary, a kind of security and a space for freedom. A place where design is nourished by wishes, and expresses the stylistic vision of the owner.
The Superyacht Design Process
Each project is unique, as all clients have their own expectations. Therefore you must begin each project by carefully listening to the wishes of the future owner, then translating those ideas into drawings. Normally this is the stage the owner enjoys the most. It’s a process that begins with a period of sketching and concept development. Where ideas start to materialise and the project begins to captivate the customer.
When the future shipowners have chosen their favourite concept, the designer elaborates the outer plans, the covers and interiors. This is when there is time to find the perfect balance between design, functionality and practicality. Designers work hard until everything fits and meets the list of requirements created with the owner.
The next step of the superyacht design process is to build a computer-generated 3D model. It is one of the most exciting stages of the process: when design comes to life in a virtual way. The model creates realistic and detailed images of what the yacht will look like, to show the customer. This is the time to act on anything that needs changing to make sure all parties are completely satisfied with the designer’s proposal.
Once you reach this stage – and only then – building can commence. The designer provides the shipyard with all information they need for the development and construction processes. Everything has to be carefully monitored.
It takes an average of 2-3 years for the superyacht to be delivered to its new owner, depending on its length. The owner’s dream has finally become a reality.
Mallorca among the most popular Yachting Spots
In recent years Mallorca has become a mandatory stop for superyachts during the summer holidays. This popularity has much to do with its coastline and it being a safe destination in a privileged strategic location. Right now this Mediterranean island is a base for many beautiful superyachts, representing dreams and sanctuaries for thousands of owners.
Text and photos by Álvaro Aparicio