Espen Øino is regarded as the go-to designer by his international clientele, a fact reflected in his portfolio of nearly 40 superyachts on the water and more on the way. The Monaco-based designer is the man behind projects such as 126m Octopus, 71m Skat, 155m Al Said, 72m Stella Maris and many of the Silver series yachts. Here the Oslo-born naval architect reveals which of his projects stand out from the rest and what he would build if given the opportunity.

Espen standing on the bulb of Stella Maris (image by Guillaume Plisson)

Of the many projects you have worked on, which was your favourite and why?
I have a particular fondness for the two first yachts we did at Lurssen Yachts, as they represented a breakthrough for us as designers and for the yachts in their own right at the same time. These vessels were Skat, for her ‘edge design’, and Octopus, for being the first real big purpose-built explorer yacht. I am also very proud of the Silver series yachts we have done with Silver Yachts in Perth, Western Australia. They represent a real departure in terms of design and build philosophy in the way the volumes are distributed longitudinally rather than vertically, thus permitting a high length to beam ratio, which is more efficient in terms of performance.
What is the key ingredient in a good relationship between a client and designer?
It comes down to having trust, being clear and precise, and speaking your mind. You should never be afraid of saying what you really think.

Espen at his desk in Monaco (image by Justin Ratcliffe)

If you could have your own yacht, what would it be and why?
Personally, I would want a motoryacht. However, the idea of a traditional cruise bores me, so I need lots of diversion aboard. I know exactly what the yacht of my dreams would be like. It would be something along the lines of Senses or Octopus, albeit much smaller in scale and more modern and packed with my favourite toys: tenders, dinghies, a helicopter, fishing equipment, water skiing and snorkeling gear. Basically, everything that would allow me to broaden the scope of the cruise and go where the yacht couldn’t take me.

To read more about Øino, his design philosophy and the studio as a whole, please read Case Study in our sister publication SuperyachtDesign, Q19.

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