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5 reasons why your superyacht designer should also be a naval architect

Design
Written by
Justin Ratcliffe

Horacio Bozzo is a yacht designer and naval architect from Argentina who moved to Italy, the birthplace of his parents, after graduating from university. He heads up two studios, Horacio Bozzo Design and Axis Group Yacht Design, which specialise respectively in exterior design and marine engineering. He currently has four custom motor yachts in build: two projects with Baglietto of 54 and 40 metres due for delivery this year, a 49-metre at Rossinavi, and a 43-metre at Cantiere delle Marche. Curious to know more about how a designer-cum-architect goes about his business, SuperYacht Times sits down with Bozzo to discover first-hand the benefits of bringing together these two disciplines. 

Baglietto 54M Hull 10231"Firstly, I should make clear the differences between a yacht designer and a naval architect or marine engineer," explains Bozzo. "This is fundamental to understanding why I chose to established two studios with different areas of expertise, which are nonetheless connected.Horacio Bozzo Photo: Justin Ratcliffe / Horacio BozzoIn terms of exterior design, yacht designers are basically responsible for the styling or look of the vessel, which may also extend to the general arrangement and interior design. We frequently work with naval architects and marine engineers, but as designers of luxury goods, we primarily use our creative and industrial design abilities to make products that are both attractive and desirable to clients. After all, no one wants an ugly yacht! In this sense, designers play an essential role in the conceptual process of creating sailing and motoryachts. Baglietto 54m yacht hull 10231Photo: Horacio BozzoNaval architects and marine engineers, on the other hand, are responsible for the functional design of yachts and the integration of their components. Using advanced engineering tools and a fine eye for detail, a naval architect determines the size and shape of these vessels, evaluates their stability and manoeuvring characteristics, the structures needed to support the forces they’ll experience at sea, and the power needed to propel them through the water.Horacio Bozzo Design 71m renderMarine engineers then design the systems that bring these vessels to life. This involves applying mechanical, electrical, electronic and digital engineering to the development, design, operation and maintenance of a vessel – from the largest engine to the smallest valve – and how best to integrate them within the space available. Every component must fit in the right place and nothing can be left out.Deep Blue 43 yachtPhoto: CDMTogether, naval architects and marine engineers work as a team to design the complete vessel. A superyacht is a bit like a floating city, completely self-sufficient and providing the services to support its passengers as it crosses the ocean under its own power. Naval architects and marine engineers are the designers and system integrators that make this possible.

Steve Jobs once said that “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."

With this in mind, I believe a team with experience of both the aesthetic and technical aspects of yacht design can offer clients concrete advantages.Horacio Bozzo Photo: Justin RatcliffeEmotional 
A designer who is also a naval architect will always propose a project that is unique and feasible no matter how challenging the client’s request. This is not strictly true of a yacht designer with no technical training. In other words, a naval architect-designer is able to satisfy the desires and expectations of a client, with the assurance of buildability without having to rely on existing platforms.Rossinavi Project Lux rendering Photo: Rossi NaviTechnical
A naval architect-designer has intimate knowledge of the entire build process and can provide clients with answers to all their questions. During construction, there are many decisions that need to be taken by the owner‘s team and our mission is to help them fully understand all the available options and choose the most efficient or appropriate solution. In a win-win situation, our technical knowledge and experience mean we can propose design features that satisfy the client and, at the same time, are based on proven or cost-effective solutions for the shipyard. Baglietto 10231 exterior design Photo: Baglietto S.p.A. Rational
A naval architect is acutely aware that design must follow function. The aesthetics of a yacht are not an end in itself, but have to be combined with practical considerations of buildability and operation. The challenge is to create a full custom design while respecting the many rules and regulations required by the classification societies, as well as fulfilling operational, performance and comfort criteria. Horacio Bozzo Photo: Justin RatcliffeEconomic
A naval architect-designer has the skillsets to help the owner get the most out of his investment. At the most basic level, our analytical approach to the constructional aspects means we can optimise layouts to maximise the volumes available to the owner. There are many other examples of where making the right decisions at the right time – at no extra cost to the owner – can ensure that a project progresses on time and on budget, as well as increasing the resale value of the yacht.Baglietto 40m RPH exterior rendering Reassurance
A naval architect-designer has the competence to ensure a yacht is designed to the strictest safety standards, from stability and fire prevention to operational safety. In the course of our professional activities, naval architects are obliged to ensure that human life, the environment and property are properly safeguarded."

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