5 owners give their top tips on superyacht design

Thomas Haffa

Develop an intense relationship with your designer

Contributing to the design of your own yacht is one of the great benefits to commissioning a custom project, but there are several important decisions to be made before experiencing the joy of delivery. Guests at the recent Superyacht Design Symposium heard from five yacht owners who shared their experiences of designing a floating home.

World Superyacht Awards judge and serial yacht owner, Thomas Haffa chaired the discussion panel and encouraged owners to develop an “intense” relationship with their yacht designer. “If we don’t brief him properly then it’s our fault,” he added.

Bill Duker

Collaborate with people you enjoy working with

“When I first get the idea to build a yacht, I always start by sleeping on it,” explained Bill Duker, owner of the 70 metre Perini Navi sailing yacht Sybaris. “For me, the most important thing is doing something like this with people you enjoy working with – that’s what life is about, collaborating with people with whom there’s this harmony.”

For Duker, custom is the only way to go, as he is not content to live on someone else’s boat, but he admitted that this does not make things easy, “To go through the very difficult process of giving birth to a dream, it requires something else.”

Paola Trifiro

Don’t skimp on the crew quarters

Working in close partnership with her husband, Paola Trifiro commissioned the recently launched Vitters custom sailing yacht Ribelle. For her, it was the small details that provided the most enjoyment, “Titanium is like a marron glace,” she said. “You try a piece and then you want to have ten.”

However, it is not all about ornamentation and Trifiro argued that the crew areas should be as well fitted out as the guest areas, not simply as a sign of respect to your staff, but also to create a “holistic” atmosphere on board.

Ron Gibbs

The tender is your most important tool

One of the most important aspects of design that can often get overlooked is the superyacht tender, explained Ron Gibbs, owner of Elysium. “The right size of tender is the biggest you can get,” he added. “If your yacht is over 50 metres, you have got to have a tender that can get 12 people ashore dry and in comfort.”

Roy Nasser

Immerse your family in the process

For Roy Nasser, one of the owners of Bina, designing a superyacht is a process that all the family should get involved in, as this helps to pass on the passion for yachting to the next generation. “It’s very much a family thing. I got into boating when I was very young and I plan to immerse my children in it – it won’t even be an option for them,” he said.

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