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Superyacht design trends to look out for in 2022

29 April 2022 • Written by Katia Damborsky

There’s a new wave of design trends shaping the fleet this year. Ahead of the Superyacht Design Festival, BOAT rounds up some of the stand-out features to look out for in 2022.

The future of yacht design will be a hot topic at the upcoming Superyacht Design Festival, with leading designers taking to the stage to discuss everything from flying yachts to immersive artwork. In order to predict some of the trends we might expect to see in 2022, BOAT takes a moment to reflect on the hottest design elements of the past year

New pool settings

The pool on Tatiana was a big crowd-pleaser at the Monaco Yacht Show
Photo: Bilgin

Exterior decks will always be prime real estate for superyacht pools. Whether they’re within toe-dipping distance of a sunpad spread or stretching out invitingly as you step onto the main deck, a swimming pool in a sun-soaked spot is hard to beat.

But recently we’ve seen designers look for more inventive ways to give their clients poolfront fun in a different setting. The beach club seems to be the spot of choice.

The 73 metre Yalla was one of the yachts to start this trend, with a roomy rectangle of swimming pool only visible when her transom is opened up. Delivered in 2014 by Italian yard CRN, the yacht’s Droulers-designed interior was miles ahead of the game.

Photo: Bilgin

Fast forward to the 2021 Monaco Yacht Show, where we saw two yachts sporting a similar beach club arrangement. These were 80 metre Bilgin flagship Tatiana and AK Yachts’ pride and joy, the 85 metre Victorious.

Both of these yachts buck the trend for pools being the stand-alone showpiece on board, and instead integrate the swimming pool as part of a social hub. Victorious’ pool is flanked by a sofa and a drop-down TV screen, while Tatiana's is bordered by a glass bar and unfolding swim platforms that practically invite a party.

A beach club pool creates a social set-up, as seen on Victorious
Photo: Burgess

These two yachts feature design from Jonny Horsfield at H2. “It’s a reaction to the fact that a lot of these clients are really focusing on their lifestyles now,” says Horsfield. “The layouts of yachts aren’t as predictable as they used to be, because people are being more specific about they how use their yachts."

“The danger with beach clubs is that they become a bit of a dead space. I think people like the idea of swimming inside,” adds Horsfield. “Obviously you can get a deeper pool, and it’s also more private.”

Luminosity 's pool measures 30 square metres
Photo: Burgess/Giuliano Sargentini

The trend continues in Benetti’s 108 metre Luminosity, where the pool takes centre stage in the 250 square metre beach club. Zaniz Studio created the yacht’s light-filled interior, and the interior pool is a key focal point on board.

If the popularity of interior pools over the past year is anything to go by, we can expect to see more pools cropping up in unexpected onboard places.

Curve appeal

Kensho's curves are designed to look like they've been shaped by nature
Photo: Azure Yacht Design

Curving shapes and soft lines are invariably on-trend in both interior and exterior design, but 2021 saw certain designers take things up a notch. We can expect to see those themes continue into 2022. “I do see that clients tend to prefer lines that are closer to nature,” comments Karel Nguyen, yacht designer at Azure Yacht Design & Naval Architecture.

One of Azure’s latest project is the 75 metre Admiral flagship Kensho. The yacht is a wealth of gently curving lines and shapes, with the most notable example being her elegant deck arrangement, which is best observed from above. “The idea is that in the lines, you see the layers of the earth,” explains Nguyen. “It looks like it’s really shaped by the forces of nature.”

No straight lines in sight on the Motopanfilo
Photo: Michela-Locci, Giovanni-Malgarini

Meanwhile, Benetti’s 36.8 metre Koju features curves on the interior. The yacht was delivered in 2021 as the first unit of the Italian yard’s Motopanfilo series and was immediately acclaimed for her retro, yet fresh-feeling design. By using curving beams on the overheads, Italian studio Lazzarini Pickering Architetti has added depth and dimension to the space.

New ways to dip

A primo pool setting on the Sirena 88
Photo: Jeff Brown

The foredeck is a superb place to position a dip pool, particularly on smaller models if the aft deck is reserved for dining. Models like the 26 metre Sirena 88, the brand new 26 metre Azimut Grande 26 Metri, or the larger, but sportier 43 metre Overmarine Mangusta Oceano 43 all take advantage of their foredecks for the use of petite pools. The 50 metre K2, the latest Sport 50 MT from Columbus, also makes use of the foredeck for a dip pool. The key benefit is uninterrupted vistas, but this position also holds appeal for owners in search of increased privacy and smoother access from their cabin.

Recently we’ve seen a few larger superyachts have been getting in on the trend, too. The new Cloud 9, a 61 metre Sanlorenzo delivered in 2021, volunteers a generous dip pool in a prime spot on the foredeck.

Cloud 9 reminding us how she got her name
Photo: Guillaume Plisson / Davide Lovatti

Feadship’s 94 metre Viva, delivered in 2021, has a similar arrangement. Azure is also responsible for Viva’s design. “I think a large number of people have been inspired by this feature,” says Nguyen. “But it’s very personal as well. You have to think about how you’re going to use your foredeck. We have a client right now who likes sunset sailing, so they want to sit on the foredeck and make use of it. I think it’s a really cool place to have a Jacuzzi.”

Sterns worth shouting about

On-the-water living at its finest on the Benetti Oasis 40M
Photo: Benetti

Yacht layouts are constantly evolving in line with market demands. In 2022 we might expect to see more of a focus on the stern area, following clients’ desires to reconnect with nature and spend more time closer to the water. Sanlorenzo’s 34 metre SX112, first unveiled in 2020, is a prime example of a reimagined stern that prioritises waterfront living over an enclosed beach club or tender garage.

Geco 's enormous swim platform has proved popular among charterers
Photo: Yachtfilmpro and Studio Reskos

Benetti’s Oasis deck, a feature that was first unveiled on the 40 metre Oasis 40M, takes the trend a step further. Conceived by exterior designers RWD and interior designers bonetti/kozerski architecture, this wide-open deck space features unfolding bulwarks, sofa seating and a low-slung rectangular dip pool.

Photo: Yachtfilmpro and Studio Reskos

In 2020, Admiral’s 55 metre metre Geco took to the seas sporting another take on a stern ‘lounge.’ The design evolved from a simple set of steps and a swim platform into a spacious protected seating area complete with bulwarks, submersible stairs and a teak deck that wraps over the edge of the platform to meet the sea.

Retro returns

Motopanfilo means 'motor yacht' in Italian
Photo: Benetti

On shore, a vintage revival means bold colours, loud patterns and all-out maximalism. At sea, the trend manifests itself more subtly, but the retro revival is still there in the lines of certain boats.

The most obvious example is the 37 metre Motopanfilo, which is one of Benetti’s newest and oldest series. It takes its design cues from the yard’s classic Italian motor yachts of the 1960s. The style was historically such a hit that Benetti decided to breathe fresh back into it, and the new series was born at the tail end of 2020. A few key changes were made to appeal to the tastes of the contemporary yacht owner, but she retains the overarching essence of a vintage boat.

The Moonen 110 by night
Photo: Moonen

The Moonen 110 is another model which leans into the retro aesthetic. Described as a “gentleman’s yacht,” the 34 metre yacht boasts a low profile, geometric shapes, and foredeck steps that all carry echoes of classic models like the Moonen 84 and 97.

“Classic design might be on its way back to some extent, but not as we know it. I think lines are becoming ‘cleaner’ with less ‘multi angle’ windows,” says Rene van der Velden, the designer behind the Moonen 110. “The new 110 became a mix of the old and the new, with classic overall proportions and modern detailing.”

Clear vision

Viva shows off her glass-clad decks
Photo: Feadship

Glass was, and continues to be, one of the biggest design trends in yachting right now. We’ve seen it wrapped around Oceanco’s 90 metre Dar, stretched up high in the atrium of 80 metre Excellence and used to make geometric cut-out shapes on 80 metre Artefact.

Moon Sand makes an appearance on the Thames
Photo: David Churchill

As glass technology continues to evolve, so too do the various applications that designers can play with. One trend we might expect to see more of could be long lines of glazing with an absence of mullions. This design creates a sleek, almost futuristic profile from the outside and offers unparalleled views from the interior that let the yacht’s surroundings remain front and centre. “It’s all about the experience from the inside out,” confirms Nguyen. “What do you see when you’re on board, the overall view.”

Feadship’s 77 metre Pi, which debuted at the Monaco Yacht Show in 2019, is penned by Jarkko Jamsen of Aivan. Glass is so instrumental to the design of the yacht that it plays a structural role as well as an aesthetic one, with glass making up around 97 per cent of the material in the superstructure on the owner’s cabin.

A similar design can be seen on Moon Sand. A more recent delivery from the drawing boards of Bannenberg & Rowell, Moon Sand features a long, linear profile with long lines of black glazing defining her silhouette.

Photo: David Churchill

All of these trends and more will be discussed during the upcoming Superyacht Design Festival, which will take place from June 22-24, 2022 in Milan, Italy.

Buy tickets here

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