First look: Three yacht concepts commissioned by builder McMullen & Wing

3 March 2015 • Written by Laura Nineham

Take your pick – Blade, Diamond or Flow. All three are superyacht concepts commissioned by New Zealand boatbuilder McMullen & Wing, and presented to the global brokerage community in February.

Seen here for the first time, they were designed by H2 Yacht Design, Greg Marshall and Vripack respectively. The yard’s CEO, Michael Eaglen, took the unusual step of taking each of designers on a road trip to the superyachting hubs of London, Monaco and Miami to help him pitch the concepts.

Each firm was given the same brief: the yacht had to be a genuine expedition yacht, able to sail from Auckland to Monaco; it had to be practical, but supremely luxurious and it had to build on the McMullen & Wing brand, represented best in its most famous recent launch, the globe-trotting Big Fish.

“We wanted to reinforce the importance of the designer and the designer’s personality in the whole process,” explains Eaglen, when asked why he took the roadshow approach.

“If you just say 'This is the yard and this is the designer' it becomes very transactional. is a process to love, a process to really get involved in and so a big part of the roadshow is bringing along the designers and having them communicate their personalities, not just their designs.”

Jonny Horsfield’s London-based studio H2 Yacht Design, designed a 48m and a 58m, named Blade.

He says: “I have really tried to create a design which is equally at home in Monaco as the Marquesas: a design which combines the flair of the style-conscious with all the blue-water capability for which McMullen & Wing is well known.”

Greg Marshall, meanwhile, designed three yachts for his Diamond concept – a 45m, 50m and 55m. Marshall is the man behind the design of Big Fish, and clearly took the yacht as his starting point for these three new designs.

“It’s an evolution of the Big Fish series. From my standpoint it’s pretty simple: the original ideas for Big Fish were pretty selfish – what would be my perfect boat? And then I got a chance to spend lots of time on board and develop the ideas some more, and these are the evolutions of my perfect boat,” he says.

Vripack’s design, Flow, comprises two boats – a 44m and 51m.

These superyacht concepts are both “optimised for roaming the seven seas”, according to Vripack, with the most spectacular design highlight the glass beach house offering panoramic views over the water. “We all design boats, but the approaches are all different which is cool to see,” says Vripack’s Marnix Hoekstra.

For more on this exclusive story, don’t miss the May issue of Boat International.