Lateral Naval Architects: a collaborative partnership with Oceanco

Written by Gemma Fottles

The British naval architects at BMT Nigel Gee have announced an exciting new venture today at Oceanco’s facilities during the second day of the annual HISWA tour in the Netherlands. Formed in a strategic partnership between BMT Nigel Gee and Oceanco, the two brands have officially launched a new naval architecture and engineering company: Lateral Naval Architects Ltd. The Lateral offices in the UK next to BMT Nigel Gee facilitiesThe very first superyacht project to be launched by the new company will be no other than the highly-anticipated 109-metre superyacht Project Y718, Bravo. Currently in build at Oceanco and featuring an exterior design by Nuvolari Lenard and an interior from the drawing boards of Reymond Langton Design, she is scheduled for launch this summer. Upon delivery, Project Y718 will be one of the largest yachts ever built in the Netherlands - certainly a memorable milestone for Lateral® to look forward to. Y718 technical launchPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesAlthough formed in cooperation with both BMT Nigel Gee and Oceanco, Lateral Naval Architects is an individual company in itself. Lateral will undertake all yachting division projects from BMT Nigel Gee - a sector within the company that has been growing exponentially over the years (read our in-depth feature with the newly appointed Managing Director of Lateral, James Roy, here!). Lateral’s dedicated offices will be based in Southampton, adjacent to BMT Nigel Gee's current facilities. 

The new company has been formed as a way for the two long-time colleagues to work more collaboratively together on some of the world’s most unique superyacht projects, always marrying creativity with engineering expertise. James Roy says that this means placing innovation at the core of the exciting new brand: “Lateral provides complete engineering expertise to the superyacht industry from project conception to delivery. Our core competence is engineering, but our unique focus is on meaningful innovation to enable superyachts to meet the demands of today’s owners.

Oceanco / BMT Nigel Gee collaboration infographicThe symbiotic relationship will provide an assurance of capacity, knowledge and protection of intellectual property for the Dutch yard, with Lateral hereby acting as Oceanco’s exclusive naval architecture partner - excluding sailing yachts and Oceanco’s 700 programme. For Lateral, this means securing a significant amount of challenging projects that will work to form the backbone of the company. Importantly, Lateral will also work within the wider superyacht industry on projects that do not directly compete or conflict with those of Oceanco. 

On signing the strategic partnership, Oceanco CEO, Marcel Onkenhout, comments, “With the ever-greater integration of the Oceanco and BMT teams, the formation of Lateral is a natural step in bringing our companies closer together. Lateral will not only deliver high-quality naval architecture and engineering to Oceanco with greater focus but will work with the best across the whole of the superyacht industry to apply expert knowledge and deliver exceptional projects.

The launch of Lateral comes after a decade-long relationship between BMT Nigel Gee and Oceanco. Roy continues to describe the partnership between the two companies: “Our relationship is long-term and enduring, as are our aims for Lateral. We started working together with Oceanco back in 2008, in the development of several 100+ metre projects. Our respective teams have challenged one another to apply both technical and process innovation in a search for continuous improvements. By leveraging our respective areas of expertise, knowledge and insight we have delivered more than the sum of our parts.”

Black Pearl Launch at OceancoPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesIndeed, the collaboration between the team of James Roy in the yachting division of the engineering firm and Oceanco commenced with detailed engineering of some of the most iconic yachts in the Netherlands, including the 110.1-metre Jubilee, the 86-metre Aquijo and the 106-metre Black Pearl. Oceanco Jubilee cruising off MonacoPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesJubilee by OceancoAlthough there is no shortage of notable projects to come out of the collaboration with Oceanco, Roy and his team have not been limited to one yard throughout their yachting careers - an integral aspect of how Lateral will also operate. Just some of the many collaborations since the yachting division of BMT Nigel Gee was established include the 59-metre Amels-built Akula, the 73.98-metre Trinity-built Cocoa Bean, and the 96-metre Devonport-built Vava II.     

Vava IIStay tuned for more information regarding this exciting new partnership soon. Head to to learn more about Lateral. 



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