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Lang Walker's top 6 tips for building custom yachts

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Lang Walker’s third Kokomo cuts an impressive sight at the Hamilton Island Regatta.

Have a clear mission statement

Serial superyacht owner Lang Walker has overseen the build of three custom yachts — the Kokomo series — the last of which was the 58.4 metre sailing yacht Kokomo (III) which was delivered in 2010 and has had considerable success on the regatta circuit. As he prepares to open a Fijian island paradise of the same name, Walker draws on his years of experience to detail his philosophy for building world-class luxury yachts.

Have a clear mission statement

The starting point in any new construction project is to produce a mission brief so that the project manager, designer and builder are able to completely understand the owner’s overall aspiration. In Kokomo’s case I wanted to take a step up from my last two boats, getting higher performance, more comfort, plenty of open spaces and an extremely sleek design.

I specified that performance should be increased by not limiting the mast height to the 66 metre maximum required for a Panama canal transit and having a deeper keel — but one that can be lifted for accessing the best anchorages, harbours and beaches.

We also wanted to keep her under 500GT to avoid the stricter regulations but this was a particular challenge as we also wanted the tenders to be stowed beneath a cambered foredeck, and the volume of this space was included in the 500GT total.

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