The next generation of designers
While the greats of yacht design, from Andrew Winch to Tim Heywood, to name but a few, still hold their crowns firmly in place, there is a new wave of designers nipping at their heels and waiting to unleash their creativity on a receptive industry.
The prestigious Young Designer of the Year Award, hosted by Show Boats Design Awards, exemplifies the nurturing of next generation talent. Tasked with designing a SWATH (Small Water-plane Area Twin Hull), the six 2014 finalists showed wide-ranging styles each moving away from the traditional yacht typology. From Lujac Desautel's Glass, an homage to the skyscraper and a reflective canvas to the sea, to Raphael Laloux’s winning Symphony, which was designed to offer unique family adventure in harmony with her surrounding environment, they represent the industry’s future thinkers.
The next generation of superyachts
Concept designs fuel our imagination. They represent the future of design, innovation and expertise. They are the next generation of yachts, a step ahead of demand, and they challenge the way in which we think, and there is surely no better way to look to the future than through the eyes of the industry’s free-thinkers.
Unshackling themselves from the constraints of conventional hull shape, this season’s concept yachts explore bold and daring ideas. Following on from the demand for a more holistic approach, where functionality and comfort take centre stage, Yacht Island Design has launched some radical and inspiring designs. Take the Streets of Monaco, for example (pictured above and below).
A 155m hybrid whose design is not only inspired by, but based upon the famous principality, namely the Grand Prix circuit complete with go-kart track. An oasis modelled on the Monaco Casino gardens incorporates an indoor Jacuzzi and pools, full-sized double windows that allow natural light to flood the decks and famous landmarks are interwoven throughout. The boat resembles a floating mini-city, aerodynamics and speed forfeited for maximum space - private lifts lead to 350m2 suites.
Pushing the boundaries further is Project Utopia, which challenges the idea that a yacht should be a form of transport. Four great legs support 11-storeys with the volume of a cruise-liner. Thrusters propel it through the water, it has 360 degree views 65m above the surface, and platforms can be deployed to launch tenders and craft. It is an alien-looking design, far removed from the conventional notion of a yacht, yet it symbolises the lack of constraint that is already apparent in the next generation.
Much closer to turning an exciting concept into reality now are the new sports superyachts from Glider Yachts. With their breathtaking styling and futuristic elevated cabin that sits high above the ocean, providing the utmost in security and privacy. The 18m sports boats will be available later this year with the 22 to 24m range following soon after and the 30 to 80m yachts available in 2016. Glider’s are a beautiful work of art from the outside with limitless interior options for owners to customise, unconstrained by conventional vessel shapes and portholes.
With spectacular 360 degree uninterrupted panoramic views, passengers will never feel confined. The larger than normal sky-deck creates the perfect place for relaxed, but sophisticated alfresco dining, entertainment and complete privacy for sunbathing. Gliders are sure to turn heads where ever they are. Robert McCall, managing director of Glider Yachts said:
“Gliders are for those who wish to go further, faster, more comfortably and efficiently in unprecedented style.”
Other concepts - many of which are under construction - predict the next generation of yacht design, and the future, it seems, is both green and adventurous. The Dragonship range of sporty-looking luxury trimarans by Pi Yachts are being converted to reality; Her Majesty by Dennis Ingemansson Design is an 180m military-looking vessel which takes inspiration from the Siberian wilderness; Discovery by Andy Waugh whose elegant yet strong styling challenges the belief that explorer boats need to “look brutal and functional”; and the RFF 135 Mega Yachts by Porsche Design and built by Royal Falcon Fleet are a new breed of ground-breaking catamarans which combine grace, elegance and speed.
Indeed, with designs such as Motion Code: Blue’s 115m submersible luxury yacht Migaloo, it appears the next generation of superyachts may in fact be heading under the deep blue sea.
The reality is that boats are emerging which are changing the face of the industry and pushing time-honoured boundaries. Examples such as Dutch company Supiore’s elegant electric boats exemplify this. They have luxurious interiors and a beautiful exterior finish with a classic, timeless design, yet the integrated and walkable foredeck of solar cells, powerful electric motor and LED lighting making them 100% eco-boats and tenders.
The next generation
So what does the next generation hold in store for the superyacht industry? There is a new wave of enthusiastic and adventurous owners and charterers waiting to take to the seas and explore until their hearts are content; designers and shipbuilders will continue to unleash the full force of their creativity on radical new designs that meet the demand for environmental awareness, functionality, comfort and long range vessels; and young energetic crew will continue to rise rapidly through the ranks.
While the picture looks rosy, only time will tell what the future holds, but what we can be certain of is that big changes are just over the crest of the wave.
There is a new wave of designers nipping at their heels and waiting to unleash their creativity on a receptive industry.