How to design a luxury superyacht

How to design a luxury superyacht
Courtesy Winch Designs via CNN
Winch Design is the studio behind the interior of Cloud 9 -- a 242ft superyacht. It was among the largest at the 2018 Monaco Yacht Show.

When super-rich clients spend tens of millions on a superyacht, they expect something unique.

That’s where studios such as Britain’s Winch Design step in, tasked with making a 2,000-ton megayacht look sleek, stylish and original.

“They don’t want to buy something that’s standard, something that others have got, something that’s off the shelf — that would be the easy option,” Winch Design’s Jim Dixon tells CNN.

“They enjoy creating something individual for themselves that they see as a critical part of their own lifestyle.”

Winch Design is among the world’s top superyacht designers, alongside Espen Øino International, a Monaco-based studio which was behind the 312ft Kismet, and fellow UK studio Terence Disdale Design, responsible for both the interior and exterior of the second largest yacht in the world, the 533ft Eclipse.

From the exterior or interior of a mega yacht, to private jets and luxury villas, Winch Design caters for all things extravagant — and totally bespoke.

“We aspire to making sure our interiors in our projects are easy to like, easy to live with, very relaxing. You need to be able to feel at home, whether it’s in a yacht, or an aircraft or a traditional piece of land-based architecture,” Dixon says.

To transform requests from a blank canvas to a fully custom superyacht, the designers will spend a few months learning as much as they can about their clients: what their aspirations are, what their lifestyle is like.

“We take our inspiration from everywhere, all different aspects of life — particularly from our clients and their own lifestyle and what makes them tick,” Dixon says.

Whether their clients only use the yacht for two weeks a year and charter it for the remainder, or whether it’s a family living on board, Winch Design prides itself on a “‘no house style” approach.

Among Winch Design’s portfolio is the 279ft mega yacht Areti, which features a “beach chic” interior and exterior.

The designers are also behind Cloud 9, a 242ft yacht with timeless and elegant interior styling, and Here Comes The Sun, a 272ft superyacht with a focus on a tactile interior, with carved silk and wool carpets, mottled leathers and natural oak paneling.

The goal is to turn their relationships with clients into something that lasts a lifetime.

“Our clients come to us hopefully not just for one project, but multiple projects so we sometimes take them from aircraft to a yacht or a house,” Dixon says.

“It’s a big melting pot of talent and skill and one of the things we play on as a studio which sets us apart from some of our competition.”