Architect/Designer Frank Laupman, and his firm, Omega Architects, work in a world that seems immune to the perils of the global economic slump. The architect designs yachts for the richest, most discerning people in the world. “For most of my clients, the current economic malaise is a worlds away. Granted, sometimes a 65-metre yacht has to be shortened to 60 metres, but the shipyards that build my yachts are currently booked up until 2012.”
Laupman is now working on a new yacht of exceptional size and design. “I’m having to search very hard for a shipyard with the capacity to build this design” Frank says. This complex new design may not be completed until as late as 2010.
As you can imagine, it will not be a design intended for small trips. This super yacht will be a world cruiser. In fact, Frank says most of his clients use their yachts for long range travel- for example, crossing the Atlantic Ocean for a weekend trip, should they feel so inclined. This new yacht is designed so that the owners can live in it on a permanent basis, navigating the seas of the world in complete comfort, with full ‘Pacific range’.
It is capable of sailing at a speed of 18.5-19 knots, several knots faster than any other ship of its kind. Even at full throttle though, the team at Omega have been able to maintain maximum comfort, and in keeping with this project’s vision, the design sports a wide body state room, complete with balconies on the lower decks. Another relaxing feature, located seven metres above the waterline, is a ‘beach club’, equipped with a full size whirlpool Jacuzzi. When this yacht is launched, she will be a spectacular display of capability and comfort, with every element integrated into a breathtaking finished design.
“The current trends are to build yachts that are 100+ metres long. The scale of a project like that is hard to imagine unless you see it in person. Over the last years here at Omega, we have seen the numbers of yachts purchased by European and American buyers gradually eclipsed by orders from clientele in Russia and the Middle East- at this point, that is where our most extravagant orders are coming from.” In light of this, and despite the trials and tribulations in the world’s financial markets, the amounts spent on the materials of mega yachts remain exorbitantly high.
Omega has one current client who has plans to spend € 400k on glass decorations only. How does Laupman see this? “I’ve been working with this sort of design for so long, I don’t even really bat an eyelid at these numbers- however, I am of course very much aware that the world in which we work is increasingly in very sharp contrast to the current situation regarding the world economy.”
Laupman has been active in highly exclusive yacht design for 25 years. He founded his firm, Omega Architects- member of The Royal Institute of Dutch Architects – in 1995.
The SuperYacht Times iQ 2018 Report
Our market report is the most complete in the business and provides in-depth analysis of the fleet by size range, the construction book, the market for new and used yachts for sale and the superyacht builders, as well as a detailed overview of superyacht ownership. It also gives the personal views of Merijn de Waard, company founder and long-term superyacht market analyst, on the state of the market.