Superyacht next gen: Millennial owners, designers and builders on the future of yachting

Timur Bozca

Age: 29 Designer and founder at Bozca Design

Photography – Jonathan Glynn-Smith
Styling – Tony Lewis

In our new regular photo-series, we spoke to the yacht owners, designers and builders of tomorrow during the Superyacht Design Symposium to find out what matters most to them, and how it will inform the superyacht industry. The environment, new materials and flexibility all emerge as growing themes, but there is one thing everyone agrees on: this is a generation that does not like limits.

Timur Bozca

I grew up in Kaş on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, and boating is a kind of lifestyle there.

Everything is changing around us and we need to allow the technology that’s already affecting form and function to push more boundaries in the yachting industry as well.

In 20 years we will have many different kinds of hull, and the amount of glass used on superstructures will increase. Engines and technical equipment will also take up less space, so interior areas will increase in size. Also, I think new types of multifunctional yachts will launch, like a submarine and yacht combo – a subyacht.

The next generation was born into technology in every aspect of their lives. And this is a generation that doesn’t like limits.

Shirt, £575, trousers, £598, bow tie, £250, all; jacket, POA, shoes, POA, both; sunglasses, £290,; ATUM Date watch in rose gold, €35,800,

Lilli-Marie Rollwa Neubelt

Age: 19 Co-founder of yacht art company German Art Couture

I was raised in a family of sailors, so I always felt connected to boats and life at sea. I always knew I wanted to work in this industry and now I am creating my own way to do so, combining my two passions: yachts and art.

Here’s what shouldn’t change about the yachting industry – that it’s like a big family. What could be improved is to make it more accessible.

In the future, considering the environmental and political changes worldwide, yachts will be used more as a genuine escape – or even built for that.

Embroidered black dress, POA,; Link white mother of pearl dial steel watch, with bezel set with 48 diamonds, £3,600,

Sebastian Vibe-Petersen

Age: 30 Sebastian’s family owns the 52 metre sailing yacht _Q_ and 54 metre sailing yacht _Parsifal III_

Yachting needs to be more out there in terms of propulsion, energy usage and new materials.

In order to boost new builds in the future maybe we could have something inspired by the sharing economy where one entity would handle the whole thing – sell shares before they start building, save the owners from the hassle of the build and then manage every aspect; for those who want the ownership experience without the capital investment, a bit like NetJets.

Our generation want a boat to use in many situations and that is easy to maintain. We need to rethink construction and materials so there’s less that can break.

Dark washed denim suit, £730,; shirt, £145,; Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio 45mm watch (PAM00627), £9,900,

Fadi Pataq

Age: 35 Creative director at Nobiskrug

My entry point to yachting was winning the Young Designer of the Year 2008. I’ve been into boating since childhood, so that was the cherry on top.

We need more fresh blood in the industry, and designers need to listen to clients without any ego steering their own philosophy or style.

In 20 years we’ll see smaller yachts, but yachts that are more individualised – and more extreme designs pushing the limits in terms of technology.

Soft leather jacket, £4,460,; denim jeans, £350,; C1 Grand Malvern 5 Day Automatic watch, £1,495,

Daisy D'Isernia

Age: 37 Head of PR and business development for Eastern Shipbuilding Group. Daisy’s family built and own an exact 43 metre replica of the schooner _Columbia_

My father’s love of maritime heritage, and how he brought Columbia back to life, really changed my understanding of what yachting can be.

The industry needs to incorporate more advanced, functional technology in yacht design.

Technology is integral to everyday life and increasingly integral to luxury. Millennials want yachts to be more than beautiful things. We want more technologically stellar, functional and sustainable machines that can take us anywhere.

Dress, £255,; shoes, POA,

Stefano Vafiadis

Age: 30 Yacht designer at Studio Vafiadis

I grew up in yachts thanks to my father, so yacht design was in my DNA.

My career rapidly took off after I won Young Designer of the Year in 2013 for the Granturismo project.

We have to look to architecture, car design and aviation, and start a dialogue between disciplines.

Yachts in the future will feature more “crossover” between different types and styles. They will be hybrids – maybe both in design and propulsion.

Millennials want more flexibility: we don’t want boundaries between the exterior and interior. We want dynamism: tenders, gyms, social life, but also the possibility to hide away.

Linen and silk herringbone jacket, £1,400, trousers, £390, both; shirt, £145,; Superocean 44 Special black dial watch, £3,190,

Audrey Hodgdon

Age: 32 Director of sales and marketing at Hodgdon Yachts and Hodgdon Tenders

I’m the sixth generation of my family to be involved in this business and am passionate about that heritage and history at Hodgdon Yachts

Equality will disrupt the industry. While I don’t feel that women are excluded in yachting, I would like to see more balance across all areas – builders, captains, owners, designers, yacht managers. We approach situations differently and bring different strengths. I think this diversity would make for a superior industry.

In 20 years, more private yachts will be used for environmental research and ocean conservation. There will be increased sustainability without sacrificing luxury and there will be a renewed interest in sailing yachts because of this.

Leather bomber jacket, £2,700, leather dress, £1,790, both; ultra-slim watch in rose gold, £9,290,

Bernardo and Martina Zuccon

Ages: 35 and 37 Owners of Zuccon International Project and Zuccon SuperYacht Design

Bernardo: My sister and I could not work without each other. I’m more inclined to the creative and stylistic side while Martina prefers to deal with the distribution of space, interior style and décor.

Environmental issues will have to be taken more into account in the coming years. I’m talking about not only propulsion but also new materials, with an eye to recycling and disposal as well.

Martina: In 2013 we created a new brand, dedicated exclusively to superyachts, Zuccon SuperYacht Design. The idea is that Bernardo and I will end up managing the whole studio.

R&D is a must for future progress – we have to stay updated on technological innovations because these will open up whole new scenarios when it comes to yacht design and function.

Bernardo wears cashmere jumper, £690,; T-shirt, POA,; Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer (43mm) in stainless steel with a rubber strap, £8,450, Martina wears embroidered jumper, £550,; RM 07-01 ATZ white ceramic jade limited edition watch, £109,500,

Fluer Liversidge

Age: 31 Senior associate at Studio Indigo

Following a stint working on a very large superyacht, I realised how completely fascinated I was by how boats functioned and looked.

In 20 years, design aesthetics will evolve around new environmentally conscious technology. Ideas such as surfaces being made from solar cells to harness the sun’s energy, will influence the shape of superstructures, or clear glass will be a solar panel. For years we’ve had wristwatches that power themselves by the movement of our hand, so why not draw energy from waves or the movement of a boat when under way?

Our generation wants to feel connected. We want new experiences, to feel involved, but we also want peace. Yachting will answer these needs.

Joyce dress in stretch cotton, £1,750,; Elite Lady Moonphase (33mm) watch in stainless steel with black alligator leather strap, £4,700,

Alex Gibbs

Age: 26 Alex’s family owns Sunseeker Predator 115 Elysium

My family has a proud naval tradition, so the water is close to our hearts.

Form undercuts function in many production yachts today. There needs to be more allowance for the increasingly specific and well-informed needs of owners.

My generation is inspired by light, space and feeling in touch with the marine environment, and I think in the future we will continue to see the beach club and structural glass trends taken to new levels. There will be a push from buyers towards more efficient engines, more energy efficient materials and sharper profiles.

Zip hooded jacket, £495,; cashmere trousers, £1,195,; Classic Fusion Chronograph in titanium, £9,900,

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