Online Design Competition: Each Superyacht in Detail

Stefano Vafiadis, Studio Vafiadis

The Winning Design


Superyacht type: Power
Hull: Monohull
Length: 60-80m
How fast: Slow and steady
Style: Sleek and sexy
Mission: Exploring the far reaches.

The studios were also asked to incorporate one of the following features in the design – disco deck, sub hangar, underwater room, "toys, toys, "toys" – and introduce an element from one of the following films: Citizen Kane; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Star Wars; The Godfather.

How challenging did you find the brief?

It has been very challenging and very fun too. The brief was one of the most exotic I’ve ever had! I’m a very big fan of Star Wars so I took the chance immediately to participate.

What was the starting point?

I started imagining a concept around the 70 metre size that was more “expedition” style than “explorer”, to balance the volumes in a more sexy way, with just three decks to maintain sleekness, as requested.

The main saloon was inspired by the bridge of the Star Destroyer from Star Wars

What are some of the standout details?

There is a big and spacious aft and then a reverse bow, which is very long and sleek. Both are designed to accommodate as many tenders and toys as possible in watertight garages, to maintain the clean lines and keep the tenders safe. There’s also a very powerful, prominent bridge deck with a great view for exploring the world in maximum safety. Then there’s the panoramic disco lounge and a mystical underwater lounge.

How did you incorporate Star Wars into the design?

My source of inspiration for the exterior was definitely the Star Destroyer, the gigantic triangular one belonging to the Galactic Empire. I mixed this with the design of the iconic Stormtrooper helmet. For the interiors, the saloon/disco was inspired by the bridge of the Star Destroyer. For the underwater lounge I took the shapes of a Star Destroyer’s hangars. With all the linear LEDs defining the spaces and cool ambient lighting it was perfect for the purpose. I’m sorry for the Rebellion, but the Empire is more (from a design point of view) inspiring!

Steve Gresham, Gresham Yacht Design

How challenging did you find the brief?

The challenge was to try and put some innovative ideas into the design rather than just make it a styling exercise – the yacht has all the features that a superyacht should have – pool on the aft deck, large tenders, subs, a hydrofoil, spa area, etc, but it is also a capable vessel and I hope that people like the features.

What was the starting point?

I wanted the yacht to be a proper go-anywhere vessel so started with the hull and designed it as an ice-breaker – these ships ride up on the ice and use the weight of the vessel to break the ice, which is why it has a funny looking hull shape. Also note the three rubbing stakes around the bow to bump the icebergs away.

A spaceship-inspired underwater viewing room runs vertically through the vessel

What are some of the standout details?

The vessel is a large displacement yacht ("slow and steady") so there is lots of space – the owner has the whole top deck with full width accommodation and saloon aft with panoramic windows. Above this deck is the helipad (full size and fully certified – no small touch and go). To achieve this size there are two crescent flaps which fold down port and starboard. As soon as the helo lands these flaps fold up for safety, effectively creating solid bulwarks either side of the helideck. There is also a reception and waiting room on this deck aft of the pad.

How did you incorporate 2001: A Space Odyssey into the design?

I created an underwater viewing room, inspired by the spaceship design in the film, that runs vertically through the vessel. When not being used, the room is parked above the waterline.

Rob Armstrong, ThirtyC

How challenging did you find the brief?

An enjoyable challenge, briefs are the fun stage of the project. Ones such as this, inspire creativity.

What was the starting point?

Pen and paper in most cases, defining the length and deck levels moving onto the key styling elements we want to work into the design

The Star Wars-inspired double-height underwater window

What are some of the standout details?

  • The extensive open aft deck allows space for the yacht to carry any and all toys imaginable, from cars to boats and submarines and planes.
  • The panoramic disco deck, situated overlooking the aft deck, where the lounge and terrace gives the ultimate disco experience.
  • Double height underwater lounge to watch the world go by – above and below.

How did you incorporate Star Wars into the design?

As many might know, we are no strangers to the task at hand. In this instance we took a few styling cues from shapes and window arrangements, most notably in the underwater viewing window.

Jonathan Quinn Barnett, JQB Design

How challenging did you find the brief?

I was curiously anticipating something more difficult as far as trimarans or cat hulls, which are far more challenging to make attractive in the motor powered vessel world. My 79m concept sits right in the sweet spot of 75 to 80 metre world cruising motor yachts – plenty of company these days in this size from nearly every manufacturer.

What was the starting point?

I input your parameters, then drew the “box it came in”. Deck levels are always a fun puzzle to solve and having loads of headroom in a new all-glass type of superstructure allowed for some long sweeps in my manipulation of the sheer. I am a traditionalist at heart, so anything too radical with the sheer or bowcone looks awful when viewed off the perpendiculars.

What are some of the standout details you’d like to highlight?

I used a beam length ratio of 5.5 and pushed that a bit to get a beam of 15 metres, where these main and upper decks don’t look “pinheaded” and the forward elevation shows the vessel with a wide but balanced stance. A higher transom for a massive toy store over two decks aft should do the trick. Lots of “social distancing” when this yacht is stern to for greater privacy, with guests walking up the passerelle and through a toys and spa area to guest cabins, then down along the main deck port and starboard. Guest cabins, with open access via shell doors to a new promenade guest deck, could be fun?

The interior was inspired by The Godfather

How did you incorporate the film into the design?

I set the satellite domes down into a GRP cowling forward so they remind me of R2D2 behind Luke in his X-Wing fighter [in Star Wars]. A HAL 9000 [from 2001: A Space Odyssey] was consulted while dreaming up the upper moon pool, cantilevered off the sundeck. The master suite has a hull panel that opens out to the sea, which is very spaceship-like with the round windows in the door. My interior sketch rendering shows the Midcentury modern feeling that I think would go great with this design, for a very “Don Corleone” [The Godfather] walnut and blue velvet saloon and dining area.

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