Re­al­ity in 3-D

SU­PERY­ACHTS MAY JUST BE THE UL­TI­MATE ART FORM. BY JASON Y. WOOD

Power & Motor Yacht - - 100 TO WATCH -

f you think about it, the folks that own these mar­vels of en­gi­neer­ing are in the same rar­ifed group that scoops up a Pi­casso here and a Monet there. But there’s a uni­ver­sal­ity to real art, whereas it would seem to be its sin­gu­lar na­ture that af­fords the su­pery­acht its value.

Still, when you look at the re­sult­ing forms, there can be no deny­ing these yachts are art. But the medium is such that a pa­tron must be in the pic­ture. And the form fol­lows a specifc set of func­tions. Te re­al­ity of the marine en­vi­ron­ment en­ters the equa­tion.

We’re cu­ri­ous about the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween client and de­signer, shrouded as it is in the se­crecy and conf­den­tial­ity of a be­spoke pro­ject look­ing to break new ground. So how does the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the yacht de­signer and owner be­gin? And once it be­gins, where does the in­spi­ra­tion come from?

Of course, the best peo­ple to an­swer these ques­tions are the de­sign­ers. At least they’re in the busi­ness. Su­pery­acht own­ers, if you even know their names, would likely an­swer all ques­tions about a pro­ject’s de­sign with, “He did what I asked.”

But the de­sign­ers have a dif­fer­ent take. “Ev­ery client is dif­fer­ent and ac­tu­ally more of­ten than not they know what they don’t want—not what they want—which is kind of good in a way be­cause it gives you op­tions,” says Espen Øino, a Monaco-based naval ar­chi­tect and engi­neer who worked on such yachts as Al Said, Oc­to­pus, Katara, and Kismet among nu­mer­ous oth­ers. “You’ve got to read be­tween the lines and in­ter­pret.” But rather than look at the process as plumb­ing the mind of the client as a sort of yacht psy­chol­o­gist, the de­signer can fll in the blanks with his own in­spi­ra­tion.

“Te owner is very much an im­por­tant el­e­ment in in­spi­ra­tion, defnitely,” Øino says. “But he’s not the only source of in­spi­ra­tion.” Øino went on to ex­plain that this be­comes more ap­par­ent when the com­mis­sion is for a head of state, where it’s more of a

con­tin­ued on page 46

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