In issue 183, the dedicated design issue, Mike Reeves and James Claydon of Claydon Reeves lets The Superyacht Report play owner as they guide use through the initial design phase of creating a fully custom project by hand.

It is incredibly difficult to decipher someone else’s idea of the perfect superyacht without your own ideas getting in the way and diluting the process. This is just part of the fascinating process that is the initial phases of custom superyacht design – an undeniably fascinating process. I spent the day with Claydon Reeves who took me through this process and showed how they can transform a number of my preferences into my dream superyacht.

“To begin with its all about the conversation,” says ca-founder Mike Reeves as we sit in the boardroom at the studio in Lymington. “Clients tend to have an idea of what they enjoy, whether it’s an object, a building or car,” Determining the things that someone likes or dislikes begin here, even if the style is unrelated to a superyacht. However as co-founder James Claydon explains, “Even if they have no idea of what they want, a simple conversation about their world, their home and favourite possessions can immediately start to identify sensible design directions.”

The process begins by determining how I live my life, and this is what the initial questions have been designed to discover. “How many people in your family?”, “Do you enjoy being on the sea, is it a case of going places on the yacht?” and “How many friends are you planning on taking with you?” are among the first few questions.

My relatively open-ended brief to the team positioned me as a prospective owner who is interested in building a privately-run superyacht for myself and family, steering away from anything that is overly futuristic, yet still beautiful and interesting to look at. The interiors of the yacht need to be a space that calls for relaxation without being too pristine and immaculate, so the less lacquer, the better. Also in the brief was the idea of creating a hidden vintage-style pub and billiards room that could be a completely different style to the rest of the interior.

“What classic or contemporary car do you like?” is the next seemingly unrelated question asked by Claydon, but one which, it turns out, really gives a deeper understanding of how the yacht’s exterior styling evolves. Despite being only halfway through the questions, it’s easy to see that both Claydon and Reeves are already grasping the type of yacht I’m after, especially after my response that an Aston Martin DB9 would be a good comparison. Although we’re still in the initial discussion stage, a number of remarkable preliminary sketches begin to appear across the table.

Find out what the final result looks like in the full version of the article in issue 183 of The Superyacht Report, the design special. Don't miss it and subscribe here.

Image: Andrew Johansson