Designer Q&A: Guido de Groot
by Miranda Blazeby
In the this instalment of our designer Q&A series, we profile superyacht designer Guido de Groot on finding inspiration in car design and his ultimate design fantasy of a luxury spaceship.
Your big break?
The first project I landed after starting my company was the exterior design of the 48 metre Feadship yacht Katrion (now named Gitana). One cannot ask for a better start as a yacht designer than this one. My big break as an interior yacht designer was for the 25 metre Leopard yacht Crazy.
Source of inspiration?
Initially it was cars. I have a degree in car design and I worked as a car designer for seven years before making the change to yacht design 23 years ago. Later on, I was deeply inspired by some of my clients themselves.
First boat you designed?
When I was 14 years old, I designed and built a boat with an outboard engine together with a schoolmate. We’ve tried it out only once and it performed well. Unfortunately, our creation got stolen soon after and we were never able to recover it.
Favourite yacht design?
There are a couple of designs I find significant. I very much like the nicely proportioned 2003 Pelorus by Lürssen Yachts but at the same time I can also still appreciate the classic lines of the Rio Rita, a 56 metre Feadship from 1984. I’ve always considered the Mangusta 80 Open of an extremely well-thought-out design that had an impact within the yachting industry.
Most admired yacht designer?
No doubt about it: Jon Bannenberg! He was the one who opened a new world for me after seeing his designs for the first time.
In 2003, we built successfully from scratch a 32 metre yacht in Russia in less than a year at a yard that had never built a modern yacht before.
Favourite non-yacht design?
Lancia Stratos, the rally car built for this purpose alone that looks fantastic and never had a successor similar to it ever since. A one of a kind design in the car industry.
Ultimate design fantasy?
A luxury spaceship similar to luxury yachts and private airplanes.
If you weren’t a yacht designer?
I would still be working in the car industry as a car designer.