I knew the owner before, not well, but he is a proper sailor and he wanted a boat that was going to make a statement both visually and in terms of performance. He saw a 66m boat that I did called Aglaia in 2011 when she was launched and really liked her. I hadn't seen him for a few years but the captain asked us to put together a different version of Aglaia for the owner. It didn't go anywhere for a while and then all of a sudden this May we got a call saying that the yacht was happening and he had chosen us to design it.
He used the word "beast", which is not something Dubois designs would typically be referred to as, but I think I knew what he meant. The original design I did for him on Aglaia was quite traditional and I could see he liked it but it wasn't really right. It gave me a challenge to do something different. So I did this design for him and he said "that's it, that's what I wanted".
TSO: How did this design evolve?
I was trying to get to the brief of the 'beast' idea without being ugly I suppose. I tend to design when it's quiet, I find it hard in the daytime. So I generally design in the evenings or at weekends. I went in one Sunday afternoon in early June and looked at the reverse sheer idea. I'd always thought about how free standing bridge is always convex because when you put a load on it it is stronger and how this could translate to yachts. By designing her the way we have we have got 12 per cent more stiffness, or 12 per cent less weight than if we went for the same boat with a concave design.
TSO: And the convex idea makes her unusual from your other designs...
I think this convex idea all of a sudden gave it an aggressive look. The curve of the bow makes more of a statement. It takes away a bit of elegance but adds to purpose and aggression.
TSO: Is this going to be a hands-on client?
He knows what he wants. He can read a drawing and he knows what he is talking about and after just a couple meetings we got to the OK point on the layout. He's owned smaller racing yachts in the past and also bigger boats. This might be the first time he has ever commissioned a boat. This is going to be a fully custom boat. He is very passionate and very knowledgable.
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