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Q&A With Superyacht Designer Jarkko Jämsen

25 March 2020 • Written by Miranda Blazeby

In this instalment of BOAT's design Q&A series, we profile Finnish designer Jarkko Jämsen on designing the presidential yacht of Finland and embracing tough projects.

Your big break?

The chance to design the presidential yacht of Finland, Kultaranta VIII. My lucky break was being born in Finland where we have free education - I have degrees from wooden boat building, industrial design and naval architecture.

Source of inspiration?

Science, across the board. It’s fascinating how little we know.

Jarkko Jämsen Image courtesy of Tom van Oossanen

First boat you designed?

My first boat was my own version of the Sea Bright Skiff. I designed and built it at 17, fully electric with a free-standing, rotating mast.

Favourite yacht design?

Monitor, a US Navy hydrofoil sailboat from the 1950s.

Image courtesy of Mikhail Metzel\TASS/Getty Images

Most admired yacht designer?

Nathanael Herreshoff.

Toughest Project?

I like to push myself out of my comfort zone to keep learning. I hope and expect everyone else to do the same. Every project should be tough.

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Image courtesy of Adobe Stock

Favourite non-yacht design?

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. I’m stupidly interested in Skunk Works in general, and the extremes of the human imagination and innovation.

Ultimate design fantasy?

A submarine with trochoidal propulsion.

If you weren’t a yacht designer?

I would be a wooden boat builder, though I doubt I would have the skills for that anymore - or the patience!

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