Q&A with Superyacht Designer Steve Gresham
2019-08-21By Miranda Blazeby

In this instalment of our designer Q&A series, we profile British superyacht designer Steve Gresham on working for Williams Grand Prix Racing and designing the Manta Foil

Source of inspiration?

Everything I see – but I like curves rather than straight lines.

First boat?

The Manta Foil, the first hydrofoil. I designed, built and tested it myself straight after university in 1988. I still have it.

Your big break?

Working for Williams Grand Prix Racing. That taught me what real engineering excellence is.

Steve Gresham testing the Manta Foil in 1988

First boat you designed?

Oci Ciornie with Don Shead. The interior had to be super lightweight so I used the 1930s airships as inspiration, with exposed aluminium girders and frames with lightening holes cut into them.

Favourite yacht design?

Ec__o  (now named Zeus) - when it came out there was nothing else like it.

Favourite yacht designer?

Martin Francis. He’s come up with some great original ideas, including Eco - my favourite yacht.

The 74.5m yacht Eco, now Zeus, was built by Blohm & Voss and delivered in 1991

Toughest project?

Working with H2 Yacht Design on 125m Maryah in Greece. We were there during the economic crisis, which made things difficult in the shipyard. She took five years to complete and I am very proud of her.

Favourite furniture designer?

Marc Newson ― an industrial designer by trade.

Favourite non-yacht design?

The new Ferraris. I think the present wave of new designs is really inspiring.

The Valencia Opera House by Santiago Calatrava

Ultimate yacht design fantasy?

I’ve done some outrageous sketches of what could be possible with the SWATH platform (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull). On a personal level I’m warming to the idea of designing and building a house.

Favourite building?

Valencia Opera House ― or anything by Santiago Calatrava.

If you weren’t a yacht designer?

I’d be a film director. The design element in some movies is huge – Oblivion is one of my favourite movies because of the design.

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