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Designer Q&A: Guido de Groot

7 May 2020 • Written 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.

The 48 metre Katrion (Now named Gitana)

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.


Toughest project?

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.

The Lancia Stratos rally car

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.