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5 ways a design team can help you create your perfect superyacht

Design New-Build
Written by
Laura Nicholls

From unpinning the blueprints on the drawing board to smashing the champagne on the bow during launch day, creating a superyacht is a long and complex process. Countless contributors, materials, man-hours and careful coordination all work in sync to help create the perfect product for a happy new superyacht owner. 

However, even before the action begins there are also the contributors, materials and man-hours that go into the research, planning and development process. These are the people that a new owner will seek guidance from who will help to direct a new project to make their vision a reality. Juergen Jokat has been one of those people and has learned from his experiences and shared his knowledge with SuperYacht Times. Now he has developed design team Violet Flame, a design team with a unique approach in steering a superyacht project away from a business deal, making it an emotional venture. Each owner is able to apply their ideas of comfort and home into a superyacht - and be one that they keep forever. 

Here, Juergen shares his passion in finding that sweet spot on board and explains exactly how, in five easy steps, design team Violet Flame can significantly help move a superyacht project along and show an owner what to expect from this way of working. 

People in a design meetingPhoto: Thomas DrouaultGet to know the owner

It is no secret that the industry is enjoying an influx of a new generation of superyacht owners. For those working on new superyacht projects behind the scenes, it is important to get to know the owner and to gain an understanding of exactly why they are choosing to invest in a new-build or a refit project. This way, there is a guarantee that the owner’s intentions and desires will be clearly portrayed in the final product. Based on Violet Flame’s experiences and research in the industry, there are three main motivations for an owner to invest in a superyacht project: a superyacht is an important asset for them to own, and they will be proud to take it around the world; the owner has a passion for design, construction and property, and is keen to engage in their own superyacht project; the superyacht will become a home where the owner will live and work at sea all year round.

RoMEA yacht spaPhoto: Imperial yachtsContact the owner directly

With so many people contributing to the project including the owner’s team themselves, it is often difficult to get in contact directly with the owner. However, for the design team, it is important that they are able to engage with the owner on a one-to-one basis to grasp their vision and expectations of their new superyacht. In these initial stages, Violet Flame recommends that no contact is made with contributing parties such as designers, shipbuilders and classification societies until a perfect initial proposal outlining the owner’s personal idea of how they perceive their well-being on board can be presented. 

Designer designingPhoto: Daniel McculloughLet emotions lead the way

More often than not, genuine comfort requirements and considerations are not included in the technical specifications. Therefore, it is the owner’s responsibility to express themselves clearly enough so that all parties know what their vision, feelings and desired overall well-being will be on board their superyacht. 

If a design team can assist in nurturing the owner's emotions and expectations they can ensure that they are clearly communicated before the design and pre-contact phase of the project get started. The shipyard will only deliver what is in the shipbuilding contract and the technical specifications and so by using a design team as the emotional leader of the project, they are able to communicate the owner’s preferences to designers, suppliers and shipyards and combine technical and practical methods, experiences and expertise to create genuine comfort and satisfaction for the owner.Wider 165 Cecilia owner's bathroom Photo: Wider s.r.l.Create a CTC

The Concept of True Comfort (CTC) is a formality created by Violet Flame after the company founder and superyacht consultant Juergen Jokat recognised after many years in the industry that the considerations made to the experience of the owner throughout the new build or refit process were not progressing as they should. By working directly with the owner, the design team are able to create the CTC to ensure that the genuine comfort of the owner is the priority in the entire design and construction of the yacht and goes far beyond just sound and vibration considerations.

After CTC is drawn up, the owner should approach their chosen exterior and interior designers. By using the CTC, designers are free to be creative and Violet Flame will monitor the compliance with the CTC throughout the entire design, construction and delivery phase to ensure a comfortable onboard environment. This will naturally reduce the costs of the project. 

Architect room arrangement designsPhoto: Sven MiekeSpend time on the arrangement of rooms

The arrangement of the rooms and their emotional association with one another is a large contributing factor to a pleasant onboard environment. In recognition of this, designers can go to great lengths to help simulate the superyacht environment that is yet to be built. This includes the use of VR, building prototypes to scale and creating realistic renderings so that the owner can visualise themselves on board and then decide on any particular requests. 

However, with the support of the CTC, the owner should have already decided on elements such as whether or not the bathroom should be purely functional, or a luxury spa, and what emotions the design of the private lounge should stimulate. For example, the owner could want a sense of calmness, feeling of creativity, to be in touch with nature, or want to enjoy an uninterrupted view of the water in peace: all of which should be made possible. 

For more information on Violet Flame, the team and their expertise, contact the company directly using the details below.

The SuperYacht Times iQ Report

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.

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