Seasoned superyacht designer, Tim Heywood, recently discussed with SuperYacht Times, what he believes is next for the industry as we begin to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Jeff Brown / Breed Media / AmelsAs the world returns to a ‘new normal,’ yacht design is entering a new chapter. Over the past year, the experiences of owners, captains, crews and yards have honed new projects’ requirements to achieve a state-of-the-art sharpness, a new understanding of multiple functions, with new care and protection demands placed on the results of all of this work.
The designer must embrace, sort and conquer these elements, to help produce yacht designs that encompass all of the above and, when built, will cruise the oceans of the world for the next 100 years. Photo: Amels/ Tom van OossanenThrough these challenging times, some features of yacht design remain constant and, I hope, will never change. Symmetry, proportion, and harmony are still the foundations on which the designer should build. Abandoning these principles will result in a design that will not sit comfortably in her environment and no number of ‘fashion plates’ or ‘dummy windows’ will hide the fact that the resulting vessel is nothing more than an unintelligent attempt to bend the design into a temporary and false fashionable theme.
The product of the designer’s efforts must still be a cool yacht that continues this essential marine evolution. She will carry new and efficient propulsion systems and ever-improving and complex apparatus, but she will also still be a private, comfortable and welcoming home for her owners, their families and their crew.Photo: Amels/ Tom van OossanenNew talent entering our industry has a great deal to absorb, understand and respect. From both the design world and the construction world, there are many avenues of progress to be explored, new technologies and techniques to be applied, but the old talents of ship design and shipbuilding still play very important roles. From sketching out the first ideas to removing the excess caulking from the last piece of teak decking, some things will never change. There are many things that will change, however – the ever-increasing number of computerised presentations and products for example – but I still believe in the KISS theory - ‘Keep it simple, sunshine!’
As our industry continues its development and achieves even more efficiency, safety and productivity, our clients too, have become more conscientious, more meticulous and even more demanding as they advance toward building their ultimate dream, reducing their carbon footprint and elevating both theirs, and their family’s happiness levels.Photo: Amels/ Tom van OossanenA new yacht project should be a joy to undertake for all involved and the results should be something towards which all the differing contributing professions should feel rightly proud.
We all get one shot at these projects: any attempt at mid-construction changes causes hassle, havoc and expense. The pressure to do things right and to do things fast is immense and can burn out many participants. In these times, we all need to keep our clients happy, but even more importantly, we all need to stay safe and keep well ourselves.
This article was originally published in the Summer 2021 issue of The SuperYacht Times newspaper. To receive all future issues straight to your door, subscribe to the newspaper here.