Superyachts are all the rage among the rich and famous, and when you’re rich and famous, you get to be very specific about what kind of superyacht you want.
Even the Millennials are getting involved, with demands for toys and sun decks so that they can Instagram the good life.
If you’ve never seen one of these luxury beasts up close, you might want to take a trip down to the V&A Waterfront, where Paul Allen’s ‘Octopus’ is currently docked.
Designing a superyacht is a fine art, and some of the industry’s top dogs spoke to CNN about what goes into creating bespoke yachts like the Octopus.
Apparently, the most sought-after feature on a yacht is uninterrupted silence.
“For some people the greatest luxury you can have is that you don’t hear the boat, so anti-vibrations and making sure you feel comfortable,” Heesen Yachts CEO, Arthur Brouwer tells CNN Sport of one of the growing trends in superyacht design.
When you have enough money to buy a superyacht, luxury and attention to the smallest detail knows no bounds — even if that means buying silence.
This also means that gone are the days when businessmen held meetings on their yachts. Now it’s a work-free, office-free zone where peace and quiet reign supreme.
For Winch Design, creating an award winning superyacht entails much more than just a beautiful aesthetic; It should be bespoke, a nod to the owner’s lifestyle and individuality.
“We don’t set out explicitly to produce designs which are ‘radical,'” Jim Dixon from Winch Design tells CNN Sport.
“We’re always trying to be as creative as possible and go beyond what our clients expect.
They don’t want to buy something that’s standard, something that others have got.
Dixon adds that everything that you see on a superyacht is entirely custom made to the specifications of the client, and building a superyacht is no easy task:
For a shipbuilding yard like Heesen Yachts, a fully customized mega yacht can take three years to build. The company works with studios like Winch Design to construct the ultimate pleasure boat for clients.
“The most difficult one is the full custom because so far there’s nothing on paper yet — it’s a blank paper approach,” Brouwer tells CNN.
A client will see the process through from beginning to end, and construction on the yacht only begins when the client is 100% settled on the design.
Along with office-free yachts, both Winch Design and Heesen Yachts say they’re also noticing clients are asking for more and more glass to be installed onboard.
“At the moment I would say we’re seeing a lot of openness, indoor/outdoor living and a lot of use of glass,” Iseli says.
The overall design is driven by lifestyle, and both clients and designers can draw inspiration from anywhere.
“Sometimes you dream about an idea. Sometimes you do just wake up in the morning and think ‘that could work.’
“Sometimes you see a shape on a car or from nature or you get inspiration from the client. We’ve had a client in a meeting who just got up and went to his library and grabbed a magazine, ripped out a page and said ‘this is what I really like’ so that was the inspiration for a part of his boat.”
It takes a while to build a yacht, so clients often change their minds about details halfway through the process. Winch Designs have also noted a trend towards expanding from bespoke yachts to bespoke planes.
When asked if anything is ever impossible, Brouwer from Heesen Yachts laughs.
“No flying boats! The question is off the table, but for the rest — if it’s technically and legally possible then we can build it,” he says.
I dunno – throw enough money at something and it seems like anything is possible.
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