BMT Nigel Gee, the British superyacht naval architecture specialist, and Oceanco, the renowned Dutch superyacht builder, have signed a strategic partnership to form a new naval architecture and engineering practice – Lateral Naval Architects Ltd (Lateral).
Oceanco and BMT first began working together in 2008, when the two companies began developing superyachts over 100m. Since that initial contact, the two superyachting behemoths have worked on a series of recognisable and ground-breaking projects including, but not limited to, 92 M/Y Equanimity, 86m M/Y Aquijo, 100m M/Y Jubilee and, most recently, 110m S/Y Black Pearl. The 109m project ‘Bravo’ will be the next delivered superyacht to bare the hallmarks of a BMT-Oceanco collaboration.
“Lateral is a joint venture between our two companies that will deliver to the market more than the sum of its parts,” says James Roy, managing director of Lateral Naval Architects. “We will continue to offer our services to a full spectrum of stakeholders in the superyacht industry. With our core competence in naval architecture and engineering, lateral will remain part of the BMT group and benefit for access to the full breadth of BMT’s diverse capability, whilst at the same time strengthening its own expertise and knowledge through the strategic partnership with Oceanco.”
Following the extensive refit of a historic yacht building site, Lateral occupies a two-story studio opposite BMT’s premises in Southampton. Lateral’s 50-strong team is currently working on four 100m+ plus new build projects, as well as a series of smaller projects.
“With the ever-greater integration of the Oceanco and BMT teams, the formation of Lateral is a natural step in bringing our companies closer together,” comments Marcel Onkenhout, CEO of Oceanco. “Lateral will not only deliver high quality naval architecture and engineering to Oceanco with greater focus but will work with the best across the whole of the superyacht industry to apple expert knowledge and deliver expectational projects.”
Lateral explains that its ethos is expressed in the nine-dot configuration of its logo. The challenge is to draw a line through all the dots with only four continuous lines. “Solving the puzzle requires lateral thinking,” continues Roy, “lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach – this is at the heart of the Lateral brand DNA.”
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