Insight: Malcolm McKeon on 30 years of success

Written by Gemma Fottles

One of the world’s best known designers of sailing superyachts, 2016 sees Malcolm McKeon mark an impressive 30 successful years in the industry. With a portfolio consisting of over 200 sailing and motor yachts - at least 50 of them in excess of 30 metres - here we talk to McKeon in more detail about what’s on his drawing board right now and what we can expect from his studio in the future.

2016 has been a momentous year for you with the launch of the first superyacht under your own name. Tell us some of the major milestones over the years that have contributed to your prestigious place in the world of superyacht design today.

With over 30 years of experience in the industry there have been many milestones but launching my first yacht under my own name this year has to be the most meaningful. Missy has received great praise from the industry and I’m confident the two projects we currently have in build, together with the four recently signed projects we have in the development stage, there will be many more milestones to come.

You’ve achieved a lot during your 30-year career, and are known worldwide as one of the most influential sailing yacht designers. What are some of your personal favourite sailing yachts you’ve helped bring to life over the years?

There are so many yachts that I have been involved in over the years, choosing a personal favourite is like choosing your favourite child! Each yacht is unique and I’ve enjoyed developing the design for each and every one of them. The challenge to revolutionise yacht design is one of my many passions and I’m constantly developing new ideas to push the boundaries to continue to develop more and more ground-breaking designs.

Is there still a particular design you are very keen to see come to fruition?

Our recently launched BlackCat is a concept I’m very keen to see come to fruition. There has been space in the market for some time for a large catamaran design that can offer the luxury and quality of a superyacht this size. The BlackCat combines an enormous, stable platform with exhilarating performance, resulting in a high-performance carbon-fibre ‘supercat’ where the latest building technology and materials will be used.

Tell us about what is on your drawing board right now.

Currently on the drawing board we have a number of sailing yachts and motorboats ranging from 33 to 72 metres. With a number of these designs now signed and to be launched over the coming years, we are looking forward to what promises to be a very exciting time at Malcolm McKeon Yacht Design.

It is no secret that the sailing yacht industry has been in somewhat rapid decline over the past century, with less and less new sailing superyachts being launched every year. Do you think the sailing industry is in danger?

Of course since the superyacht boom from 2008 to 2011 there have been fewer yachts launched but I think this is now beginning to grow again. The superyacht industry is evolving and more performance based world-cruising yachts are starting to emerge.

Where do you see Malcolm McKeon Yacht Design in 10 years time?

With quite a few boats launched by then and hopefully many more designs on the table, Malcolm McKeon Yacht Design will certainly have grown. However, we hope to keep the company on the smaller side in order to give each and every client the personal guidance through every aspect of the design process.

Get in touch with Malcolm and his team for more information on past, present or future projects at the details below.

Malcolm McKeon Yacht Design[no-lb]

The Loft
Church Mead
S041 8FN

T: +44 (0) 1590 675 000

E: [email protected]



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