A superyacht is complete when design, naval architecture and engineering work together in harmony. Making this happen is what occupies Horacio Bozzo, one of the most up and coming yacht designers in the business. SuperYacht Times meets with the man himself and gets a chance to learn about the Horacio Bozzo Design studio and how design and engineering go hand in hand.Photo: Horacio Bozzo DesignYou have Italian parents but you grew up in Argentina, can you tell us more about your background?
I always wanted to return to my Italian roots ever since I was a kid. I first lived in Rome, then I moved to Miami where I lived for six years to finally came back to Italy - and that is already 20 years ago! My wife is from Venice and my son is from Tuscany where we live now, so most of my adult life has been in Italy.
How did you discover the industry? What was your first working experience in yachting?
For many of us, there is always that special moment that brought us into this industry. When I was around eight years old, I remember going out on a speedboat with some family friends, and I can still feel the wind on my face when we were out on a river through the north Argentinian jungle and thinking ‘oh my god this is incredible’. That was my moment!
I began my career in Rome before going to the USA where I worked for six years in a high-profile Fort Lauderdale studio. It was in that hub of American yachting where I set up the Axis Group Yacht Design studio in 1996. After a few years, in 2001, I made the decision to return to Tuscany, Italy, where I also founded my design studio Horacio Bozzo Design. At first, I concentrated on both naval architecture and marine engineering as I always thought that a yacht designer needs to have a full understanding and knowledge of all aspects of a yacht. How can you design something that you do not understand?Photo: Horacio Bozzo DesignYou worked very closely with shipyards. Did any of them ever ask you to design one of their production or custom boats?
Yes, it did happen recently. Benetti commissioned us to create the design for one of their clients, and we created Elaldrea+. She is the fully custom 48.77-metre vessel that we launched last summer. This was totally different as in most circumstances, we first design a project from scratch for our clients, and then we look for a shipyard that can build it.Photo: Benetti YachtsNow you operate two brands: Your own Horacio Bozzo Design Studio and Axis Group Yacht Design for architecture and engineering. Do you plan to keep the companies and services separate?
Yes, because one is an excellent complement for the other. Our design work is powered by our knowledge of engineering and our engineering has the special eye for detail a designer has. In terms of skill sets, it is definitely a plus to be able to merge these skills together and we use them both. If I am in discussions with shipyards, our design proposals are always supported by technical solutions and they appreciate the value of it. It works very well with clients as well, especially if they are new to custom-builds. For them, it is moving from a boat to a ship, and so they have a wide range of technical questions and we have all the answers which gives them confidence. This creates trust and this is very important for a successful project.
What kinds of trends do you see in yacht design at the moment?
I feel that yachts are being used in a much more informal, practical and relaxed way. There is an increasing demand for large exterior spaces which blend in with the interior to create a unique informal area. That is the reason why beach clubs and lounge areas are becoming much more popular. Also, big windows that bring in plenty of light remain the favourite feature.
What would be your money-no-object dream design project?
The 123-metre Private Bay! The concept we designed for Fincantieri Yachts. It is a range of 90 to 140-metre sleek superyachts with a pool and lounge area in the stern very close to the water. Private Bay is a different vision of a mega yacht conceived as a space for living in the open air in harmony with the sea, the real protagonist while still offering an authentic experience. The open beach club concept is a unique feature that includes a 160-square-metre lounge area with openable side windows, al-fresco cinema, a sea-level pool with bar, submergible stairs and platform for gentle access to the ocean and a generous swim-platform for easy boarding of jet skis and tenders. It's a place where all your senses are in connection with the sea!Photo: Horacio Bozzo DesignHow would you describe the process of superyacht design?
Designing a yacht is being able to understand our client’s dream and then translating it onto paper. It’s like designing a tailor-made suit that must perfectly fit their style.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? In the future, would you like to focus more on the design side?
I see myself with the same passion as I have now for yachting and still working hard, this work is really addictive! I cannot see myself doing something different from this. I could not just concentrate on design, instead, the goal is to do both.
The Baglietto 40-metre is now in build and due to be delivered next year, can you tell us more about this project?
I met the owner during a boat show in Miami and we started discussing his and his family’s needs until we produced the first layout for his yacht. He is very involved in every aspect of the design and we enjoyed a few months working together to get exactly what he wanted. She is now well under construction and will be delivered next summer. She is a raised pilothouse yacht with a vertical bow and sporty exterior lines. We have studied the exteriors spaces to have different areas and moods throughout the day. The interiors are by Achille Salvagni who is designing a fantastic contemporary interior. The hull and superstructure are in aluminium in order to create the minimum draft, allowing the yacht to reach the shallow waters of the Bahamas. This project is being built upon a new full aluminium fast-displacement hull which has been specially designed by Baglietto for this build.
So what else do we have to look forward to?
We have currently four full-custom yachts under construction. Next year we are launching two yachts at Baglietto: a 54-metre 850GT and the 40-metre, both in aluminium. We also have the 49-metre Project Lux under construction at Rossinavi and Project Deep Blue - a 43-metre expedition-type yacht with Cantiere delle Marche, both of these are built with a steel hull and aluminium superstructures. There is plenty to look forward to! Photo: Rossi Navi
This article was first featured in the SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now to receive your copy straight to your door and never miss another issue.
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