In the current design market, there is an unceasing flurry of innovative concepts which break the boundaries of current superyacht design trends, introducing something totally different to the market. These are, of course, imperative to the progression of the superyacht market, keeping it fresh and always open to new ideas. However, are we concentrating too much on what the owners of tomorrow are thinking about and disregarding the significance of timeless design? I’m talking about designs which are ready to be and sold as they are, and are commonly developed in collaboration with a shipyard, as opposed to stylistic conceptual design, often taken as inspiration and a basis for development. The mind boggles when an innovative new concept is unveiled in an attempt to reinvent the standard ‘white yacht’ as to what kind of owner will go for a wildly futuristic concept that they haven’t designed themselves.
Taste is subjective, and I like to think that the design of a superyacht is something very personal, which few others would be able concoct. Therefore, the design of an innovative superyacht which is unique in its style would surely cut out a large segment of potential owners, each of whom have their own ideas about what an innovative superyacht means.
This doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for extreme innovation. Some of the most recognisable superyachts are those that have moved away from the ‘white yacht’ stereotype, for example motoryachts A or Venus. But it does mean that offering the design of a unique and contemporary superyacht wouldn’t necessarily get the same traction of a superyacht with a more traditional design.
I suppose it’s the risk we have to take in superyacht design; the market wouldn’t be where it is today if designers didn’t take any risks. But there is such a fine line between keeping the market excited about the direction in which superyacht design is moving, and leaving the market behind as superyachts enter into unprecedented realms of futuristic design. As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and there will always be conflicting opinions across the superyacht market, but it would be interesting to know how many owners are ready for superyachts of the future.