Nauta Yachts open up to us about how a postponed project led to the design firm’s involvement with one of the most talked about yachts of all time. For those involved in the industry, and not a few outside the superyacht sphere, Azzam is inescapable. The 180-metre‘s reputation tore around the world long before her launch, signifying not just the largest yacht ever built, but the pinnacle in the pursuit of pure, unabashed excellence.
For her designers, she meant even more. Technical brilliance, speed, fine lines, and good looks were the watchwords of the day, words that Nauta Yachts, responsible for Azzam’s exterior, took to heart. The Milan-based company was well-placed to take on the mammoth project. Before the financial crisis, it had won the contract to design the exterior of 80-metre Light, slated to be built at Fincantieri. Light was not to be, or not just yet in any case, but the project laid the groundwork for what would become one of Nauta’s greatest stages on which to display its talent.
“We had a contract with the client for the complete design. We did one full year design architecture, naval architectural and structural engineering. All the engineering was done and tank testing was done at MARIN in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The shipyard had started to cut the steel before the financial crisis hit in 2008 and the client stopped Project Light. At the time we were one third of the way into the project,” says Mario Pedol of Nauta Yachts.
But this setback was to prove fortuitous, as Project Light, now on hold, opened up room for a large new player to take centre stage. It was the end of 2008, and Azzam was ready to take shape........
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