Together with Laura Lazzerini Neuwirth, audio-visual and lighting specialist, we explore the changing nature of superyacht AV installations.

"Having explored the yachts on display at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2015, it was apparent that both the technical and social elements of AV information and entertainment systems are being taken more seriously and delivered with greater flair and quality than ever before.

Owners are clearly investing more time, money and thought into them, and yards are working harder to integrate these systems, so they become seamless parts of a yacht rather than bulky add-ons. Given that the sole purpose of this equipment is to maximise the enjoyment of those on board, it is a trend that, I think, we will only see increase.

Among the vessels on show was Lürssen’s iconic 66m, 'Ester III'. This vessel stands as proof that the highest quality audio-visual systems on board are not only reserved for the largest yachts; a high-end AV system can be designed and installed in ‘smaller’ vessels with the ‘challenge within the challenge’ being to find the right technical spaces for all the devices.

The owner’s brief and the main challenges that the team had to overcome during the project were perfectly outlined by Peter Lürssen, CEO: “This yacht is a place to live ­– it is the visualisation and then realisation of the owner’s dreams”. The eye-catching aspect of technology on Ester III is the unobtrusive integration of the electronic devices, wherever they are located: the TV in the main salon is concealed behind an artwork lift, while the large TV in the bridge deck sky lounge is hidden behind art panels."

Esther III

Neuwirth’s observations lend weight to a theme that pervades much of the superyacht industry. From AV solutions to owners who wish to keep crew interaction to a bare minimum, top quality results are expected from unobtrusive sources – to be present, and at once, absent.

The demands of the owner and the remit of the designer have changed. Where once owners wished to highlight technological extravagance, such as the proudly displayed emergence of flat screen televisions, technology now develops at such a rate that consumers suffer from a technological apathy.

Advancements rarely excite like yesteryear and interior styling has moved towards moderation and immersive design. Be assured, there is still a market for brash showboating (excuse the pun), but for the more assured owner beauty is found in modernism, detail and absence.