Can anyone be a superyacht designer these days? Is it really that easy to make the front page with any concept, even if it isn’t remotely feasible and completely disregards the basic values of design?

There are some truly wonderful concepts out there, which are well-conceived and based on concrete research. Yet, when something slightly off-the-wall falls into the mailbox of the media, it just seems that we can’t wait to give its moment in the limelight.

The reason this is slightly irritating is not just because the project isn’t feasible or if it doesn’t look particularly attractive; it’s irritating because it undermines the work of designers who are actually putting some thought behind their concepts, but are receiving similar coverage to those who are not. Whether you are a designer breaking into the market or a well-established name in superyacht design, conceptual work is rarely of any financial benefit and is, instead, primarily an exercise in branding and a showcase of ability.

My opinion is that we should place more emphasis on those who are actually putting the time and effort into their design than we do to those who have created something on Rhino without thinking too much about it. While there are numerous computerised aids for superyacht design, it doesn’t mean that every single person is blessed with understanding design – so why should we call an unconventional design inspiring if it isn’t even feasible?

I’m obviously not saying that a superyacht concept has to be completely architecturally sound, but if something that clearly wouldn’t float or balance is acknowledged as something spectacular, there is something wrong with how we recognise and use these designs. Designers don’t produce these designs for the hell of it – there is a research and development process that accompanies the final result, and this process is often extensive.

While it’s extremely important for those breaking in to the market to create concepts, it is even more important to make sure they are based on something solid, rather than a quick dabble in CAD.


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