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Design for life: The 2018 SDS Design Challenge


The brief


The world’s finest superyacht designers and builders battled it out at this year’s Superyacht Design Symposium to create a rugged explorer for a demanding fictional owner — in just one hour. Here is the brief they were given...

You have been hired by a 45-year-old American who is the major shareholder of a multinational electronics brand. His family wealth originated in the Texas oil patch in the Gulf of Mexico. He keeps a Tiara Q44 for use on Long Island Sound in the summer, a Nautique G23 wakeboarding boat at his yacht club in Kemah, Texas, and his beloved classics — a 1953 Chris-Craft Racing Runabout and a 1967 Amphicar — stored near his ski lodge on Lake Tahoe.

He has chartered extensively, mainly adventurous yachts with lots of toys, outdoor space and range such as Sherakhan, Cloudbreak, Senses and Pioneer.

His vision is for a large yacht that provides multiple activities in order to offer the ultimate charter yacht for around $800,000 per week. He also thinks it would be cool to use the boat and its submarine for scientific missions with scientists on board so this would require a research area and specimen storage.

He’s into zip lining, rock climbing, diving, gambling, extreme fitness, skeet shooting, culinary adventures, photography, archaeological digs, wakeboarding, swimming and hosting parties. He’s also a foodie who loves to see food being prepared.

Finally, the boat should be dog friendly as he has two Czech Shepherds that he flies everywhere.

The owner

Corporate aircraft: NetJets Share, Gulfstream G450.

Cars: Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet, Tesla S, Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Cadillac Escalade.

Designers: Hugo Boss, Brioni, Tom Ford, and jeans by 7 For All Mankind.

Likes: Eames chairs, lofts, industrial chic and timber, modern furniture, neutral colours, books, jeans, old leather, rock ’n’ roll and R&B.

The rebuild

He has purchased, for $5 million, Ryan Chouest, a 67 metre offshore supply vessel, which he wants to refit into a superyacht with a maximum budget of $30 million. The vessel is ABS classed and has an interior volume of 1,409GT. The beam is 15 metres. You may add up to nine metres of overall length but must keep the existing placement of the bridge.

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Sea Ranch


Team members

Steve Gresham, Fiona Diamond, Tim Gosling, Mark Tucker, Stefano Vafiadis and Glyn Hutchinson.

The design

Green credentials are a legal requirement to visit many of the pristine cruising grounds this owner has an eye on — and this design has them in spades, from diesel-electric propulsion and a photovoltaic helipad to the exhaust scrubbers for all power plants and even a “wind tower” generator. Touches to satisfy his sporting spirit, meanwhile, include a baseball batting cage and a trampoline (for the kids).

Star features

The 'Lucky Star' outside cinema is a deck space inspired by the owner’s Texas home — complete with fire pit and teppanyaki bar. There is also a wealth of toys, including a ski boat, ATV and Triton submersible.

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Having It All


Team members

Andrew Langton, Pascale Reymond, Naomi Tobin, Elvire Blasset, Tom Beels and Martin Groen.

The design

The owner’s beloved dogs get their own territory away from smart guest spaces, with an AstroTurf-covered foredeck at their disposal.

Star feature

The aft section of the original vessel is extended to accommodate a spectacular gym and a superyacht beach club, while massive windows turn the saloon above into a lounge for observing the yacht’s exotic destinations. They’ve also packed in a wine cellar, massage room and spa.

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