Vripack team members (L-R): Joost Mertens,
Marnix Hoekstra and Pim Dijksman

Following their dynamic launch of VriThink! at last year's SuperyachtDESIGN Week, the Vripack team will return to this year's installment running a breakout workshop on the importance of Trend Walking and how such activities have changed the way they think about and approach design. Marnix Hoekstra, owner at Vripack, and designers, Pim Dijksman and Joost Mertens, who will be on hand for the duration of the event, recently spoke with SuperyachtDesign regarding their backgrounds and what excites them about design.



How long have you worked in the superyacht industry? Can you share a bit about your background?

MH: Since I was young, my family used to have a yard so I guess there was no escaping.
PD: My family has been in the industry for decades, so for me it was natural to think boats ever since I could pronounce the word. But on a professional base, I’ve been working at Vripack for seven years and before that, I worked on several small yards, learning my way up.
JM: 
After graduating in industrial design in 2009 I started as an outfitting engineer at a large yacht engineering company. After one year, I moved to the design department where I've been working for four years now. A young boys dream to design yachts came true!

What project are you most proud of?

MH: How to pick your favorite child? Picking the least favorite would be easier but that wasn’t the question now was it!
PD: I do not have one particular favorite. A mom does love each of her children the same, only sometimes in a different way. Guess that works the same for me.
JM: The refit (interior and exterior) of a 120’ Expedition Vessel that was designed and engineered by Vripack 13 years ago.

What is your design philosophy?


MH: Q = W + E^2
PD: Avoid complexity, pursue simplicity. ‘Feel’ and ‘understand’ the look of a boat, and what it’s functionality is. Design towards that. Don’t just clatter some sketch lines or 3D shapes, everyone can do that. A good design has more in it than just being an ‘image’.
JM: For me designing something as custom as a private yacht, should be about providing excitement and fun to our clients.

What attracts you to the world of superyacht design?

MH: Creating the single most luxurious personal item with the abundant amount of freedom you have as a designer gives the same rush as sky diving without clothes.
PD: What attracts me the most is the ability to make dreams come true for our clients! Every client is special and has a different vision towards yachting. Whether it’s purely design or performance, the best thing is to collaborate, listen and create his or her fantasy. And ultimately seeing them enjoy their new yacht.
JM: Working on technical complex products that can only be realized by a well coordinated process. Cost can be saved when the process is managed well and the design and engineering package contain clever solutions.

What aspect of SuperyachtDESIGN Week are you most looking forward to?

MH: To disturb the established rusty concepts and inspire fresh minds with our VriThink! project
PD: Getting back in touch with everyone, and sharing some new fresh ideas.
JM: Listening to other designers in general to get a better feeling about the industry and other design philosophies that might result in new opportunities for the Vripack Design Studio.

Why do you think events such as these are important for the industry?

MH: One should never lose an opportunity to connect with great minds
PD: It’s always good to share thoughts and visions about our industry. Events like these provide the perfect opportunity to talk with various professionals in our Industry.

JM: Sharing ideas and experiences is an opportunity to learn from others successes but also mistakes and challenges. The showrooms, lectures and conversations are an engine where young designers can grow.

What can guests hope to hear about/take away from your session?

MH: How they can listen to the streets and deepen their design thoughts with what the streets tell you.
PD: Hopefully we can help feed new ideas with our latest discovered trends and things going on that could be interesting to implement in our industry.
JM: To be inspired not only by looking at our industry but by looking at the big picture of what is going on in the world as a whole.

What exciting upcoming projects/innovations can we see from you in the near future?

MH: We just designed hull 7037 and I think we have a couple of more in us!
PD: Our main company goal is to create better boats in less time: being more efficient, and less costly to build; while also being easy to maintain and very fuel efficient to sail. Our naval architects recently rediscovered the conventional planning lines plan that has been designed towards a specific balance of fuel efficiency and comfort on higher speeds. The comfort of a vessel's seaworthiness but also layout becomes more and more important and demanding by owners. It shows that professionalism and being ahead of all the curve is very important to be able to fulfill the clients wishes.
JM: We see more and more refit projects coming our way for both interior and exterior. The holistic design approach that we offer takes away sorrow that can keep clients from sleeping. I think that more people will get to know Vripack as a holistic company over the next decade.

The 'VriThink! Trend Forecasting with Vripack' breakout session will run on day two of the event, 25 June from 15:00 - 16:30.

To be part of this key event please contact Suzie Hine by emailing suzie@thesuperyachtroup.com or calling +44 (0)207 801 1014.

We would like to thank our sponsors for this event: Gold Level: Awlgrip, Blohm+Voss; Silver: Clyde & Co; and Bronze: AIM Yacht Interiors, Decored, Heirlooms and MyYachtMyMusic.