For the exterior design of his 33m racer cruiser, owner Kim Schindelhauer chose wild-card naval architect Javier Jaudenes for what was to be his first new-build superyacht project.
The sailing-yacht sector is arguably dominated by a small handful of recognised designers. So when Kim Schindelhauer chose little-known Majorcan naval architect Javier Jaudenes to design his next boat, it was a bold statement. “All of my friends said that I couldn’t do it and that I had to go with an established designer,” recalls Schindelhauer. “Choosing a designer is a major decision and it can go so wrong, but I had a good feeling in my gut about Javier.” WinWin has since sailed more than 20,000 nautical miles, won numerous awards and proved its prowess on the regatta circuit, showing his gamble has paid off.
Schindelhauer is an experienced long-distance sailor who previously owned the 29m Scorpione dei Mari, on which Jaudenes had raced frequently. When first putting together a team for the WinWin project, Schindelhauer looked at several other designers, but he saw Jaudenes as someone he knew from racing and who had the background, attitude and experience with refits to make the project a success. “To build this boat, I knew I needed team players, not superstars, and I was absolutely convinced that Javier would fit into that team completely,” he says.
“The top players in the sailing-yacht design world are very good, and that is why they are established, but as an owner you have to carefully evaluate the framework you are working in. The relationship you have with your team for a three-year period has to be very close and special – if there are any conflicts then it is going to be a big problem for the project. Therefore you have to make a decision based on who you feel comfortable with.”
With the firm brief that he wanted a focus on sailing performance, with a high comfort level and minimal maintenance, Schindelhauer enlisted a team to create the initial design concept. With Design Unlimited taking the helm on interior design, and Garth Brewer of A2B Maritime established as project manager, Jaudenes set about creating the exterior design. Schindelhauer wanted him to concentrate on the specifications first and foremost, keeping an open mind with regards to the lines and how the boat would look.
“Being my first new-build project, it was so important for me that I didn’t feel pressure from the owner to give answers straightaway on the aesthetics and how the boat would look,” explains Jaudenes. “Kim understood that the concept would take time to develop, which enabled us to put all the ingredients together and let it evolve, and I am certain that we made the best decisions as a result. It is important that an owner doesn’t press the naval architect to make key decisions early on.”
Of further benefit to Jaudenes was that he had known and sailed with Schindelhauer for a number of years. “This meant that I knew Kim’s preferences and understood how he was living on board,” he reflects. “It made me put certain elements on the priority list even though they may not have been the optimum solution for my wishes. At the end of the design process there were 35 different hull options and 13 different exterior designs, but Kim has only seen a few of those.”
For Schindelhauer, the expectations for WinWin were high but he feels they have been fulfilled in every aspect: he has a boat that, from a sailing point of view, is exceptional and it is still standing out years after her launch. For Jaudenes, he has been handed a golden ticket into the sailing-yacht design world that others can only dream of. “I have to be thankful for an owner who trusted me and gave me this opportunity. It has been an amazing learning experience,” Jaudenes reflects. Truly a win-win situation.
Please note this a preview of the article, please find the full version in Issue 23 of The Superyacht Owner.
Images by Jesus Renedo