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Legendary designers explain how they got their big break

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Espen Øino

They're massive now, but how did it all begin? We ask five of the world's most famous yacht designers to roll back the clock and explain how they got their big break in the industry...

Espen Øino, founder of Espen Øino International

I have a painting that hangs in my office, which was what we used to do in the days before computer renderings. I found it when we moved office, so I took it out and reframed it. This design was the first thing that I did when I started out on my own, and it was called Project 9408.

I was lucky enough to have it published in Boat International in 1994 and thanks to that I was introduced to one of my first clients, Guido Krass, with whom I’ve now built five boats for SilverYachts. The concept never got built (it was designed for a Mexican owner and the Peso went through the floor shortly afterwards) but it was an interesting exercise and it got something out of it because Guido saw it and thought: ‘That’s a nice design, who is this Espen Øino?’

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