Setzer Yacht Architects released the first image previews this week from its highlyanticipated "New American Motoryachts" series. Originating from a set of freehand sketches developed by Principle Ward Setzer while on design sabbatical at the firm's Antigua studio, the 28 to 46 metre series is part of a broader collection of eighteen new designs the U.S.-based team will unveil across the remainder of 2013.
The goal for the series, says Setzer, "is to freshly redefine several long-standing yacht categories that have strong American roots, but are clearly looking tired. We want to breathe new life into them."
Setzer points to tri-decks, raised-pilothouses, flush decks, and commuters as examples of yacht genres with timeless appeal but a pressing need for revitalization: "We've been incredibly fortunate to have launched over forty designs in these categories in the last twenty years. But we also know that to resonate with the next generation of American owners - many of which are young entrepreneurs - we need to give these yachts a new personality."
Several characteristics will distinguish Setzer's New American family of motoryachts from prior projects. First, exteriors have been completely streamlined and de-cluttered, utilizing a fraction of the styling lines used in past designs. Deep color tones have been selected in complementary pairings for hull paints and accents, as American owners continue to warm to palettes outside of traditional cloud white. From a performance standpoint, emphasis is placed on maneuverability, hull efficiency, and fuel economy, with azimuth pods and/or diesel-electric propulsion being preferred over conventional systems.
Layouts prioritize flow, allowing seamless indoor-outdoor transitions for guests, and efficient servicing routes for crew. Setzer also notes that a growing owner need for uninterrupted connectivity has drastically increased the interior volume that will be dedicated to workspaces throughout the series: "It used to be that owners and guests went yachting to escape the office, but today they'd prefer to have a state-of-the-art, fully-mobile workplace on-board, so they can do their most inspired thinking at sea."
While these trends point the Setzer team in many new design directions, Marketing Director Joshua Setzer pointed out that efforts have been made throughout the development of the series to preserve and honor the past: "We want to remain grounded in the history of American yacht-building and craftsmanship," he explained. "There are stylistic references in every design we've developed that speak to this. It's about striking the right balance between classic and ultra-contemporary."
As the fall boat show season approaches, the Setzer team will be hitting the road with its New American Series, as well as the broader 2014 Concept Collection.