6 design milestones for Olesinski


The creation of the Medium Vee-Hull

While Olesinski is now known as an award-winning superyacht designer the company’s roots are in the smaller boat industry. The business — which was founded in Cowes in 1972 — has been built on founder Bernard Olesinski’s early innovations, which notably included the Medium Vee Hull. This development transformed the passenger experience on smaller boats and revolutionised the pleasure boat market.

“Previous to the Medium Vee Hull there weren't really any pleasure boats, they tended to either be used for commercial or military purposes,” explains Olesinski’s son Justin, who is now managing director. “The hull design made it so much more comfortable that it meant you could take your family out and boats suddenly they became leisure items."


The introduction of 3D CAD technology

In the mid-80s the company proved once again that it was at the forefront of design when it became the first British naval architect firm to use 3D computer-aided design (CAD). Justin marks this as the start of the company’s devotion to improving hull efficiency.

“With the use of 3D CAD we were able to make the lines much smoother which in turn helped make our hulls efficient,” Justin says. “Since then year on year our hulls have become increasingly efficient.”

This development in hull efficiency not only benefits the environment but also allows for greater advancements in design without loosing speed or fuel efficiency.

The use of 3D CAD also helped to revolutionise the design of interior accommodation.

“Previously a lot of the work was done on the boat as it was built,” Justin explains. “By going 3D it meant that everything could be resolved at the design end which saved a lot of time.”

April 2013

Princess 40m launched using CFD technology

“The Princess 40 metre is special to us because we won a World Superyacht Award,” reminisces Justin. “It was one of the first composite superyachts and it made us realise we were capable of doing these large yachts.”

The more than 35-year partnership between Princess and Olesinski has seen both firms thrive.

As well as being an award-winner the Princess 40 metre also marked the successful introduction of another new technology — Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The software allows the efficiency of hulls to be tested digitally rather than requiring potentially expensive and time-consuming tank testing.

“We wanted to be able to visually tank test in the office so that we could become more efficient,” explains Justin. “We still ran five tank tests with the Princess 40m just to confirm that we were right. This was first time we used the CFD in parallel and it showed the same results. It was the first time we knew we could hang our hat on it.”

March 2015

68m Falcon Lair refit completed using ‘Olesinski Live Update’

If winning a WSA was not enough to cement Olesinski’s rightful place in the superyacht market then the transformation of Falcon Lair certainly did. With the help of Justin and his team the 1983 Feadship underwent an incredible exterior redesign — leaving Falcon Lair almost unrecognisable.

What makes this project so unique is the company’s use of its interpretation of concurrent design, which it has dubbed the ‘Olesinski Live Update’. The process allows a potential client to see any desired changes instantly in 3D. Olesinski’s use of the technology in this case resulted in the client arriving in the office at 10.30 and the contract being signed by 4pm.

“It was quite an intense experience,” says Justin. “It was almost a bit of a fluke because we were just trying to get the most out of the meeting as we could. But now we use it all the time.”

February 2016

Second office extension completed

As a mark of Olesinski’s growing presence in the market place the firm has just completed a second office expansion. The developments have been planned to help to bring the designers together on one floor and improve communication. The new hot desk office system also allows yards to come in and work in the office.

The team has nearly doubled since Justin took the helm and he credits the firm’s work with long-standing partner Princess.

“We have gone up mostly due to Princess,” Justin says. “It takes up a massive amount of resource to build and design those boats so we needed to get the resource in.”

Picture courtesy of Nick Edwards

The future

So what does the future hold for this British design firm? Plenty, if the latest rumours of a large project in the offing are to be believed. However, Justin remains much more modest about the firm’s ambitions.

“We are going to go into building steel yachts and up-skilling all our resources which will allow us to design bigger yachts. But this expansion into larger yachts marks another string to our bow rather than a departure from our heritage.

“We are not rushing into anything. We are taking it quite slowly as we want to grow steadily and sustainably rather than throwing away 44 years of growth.”

With the list of achievements already hit by this Isle of Wight firm it seems they have the perfect foundations for future success.

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