Last month I was in a meeting with the general director of a large design company in France working mainly for the car industry and willing to expand his business in the Yachting industry. He had been touring the main boat shows for a year,and been in touch with some of the largest players in France and Europe. He finally told me that he had to postpone his plans (and my potential contracts, who said I’ve heard that before in the last 6 months) because he realized that most builders were quite reluctant to change. I told him I thought effectively that the business was in general very conservative, slow to move specially compared to the car industry and that I was surprised there were so few innovative breakthrough in terms of design in the industry, that companies innovating in this area would be successful. Of course the main example coming to my mind was Wally Yachts often copied but never matched. I’ve heard ten times “We want to be Wally”, so why don’t you do it. ? Wally has been innovating in terms of design and technology since the beginning, probably taking heavy financial risks, but the results is visible.
I also spend some times with people from Beneteau telling me that they thought all the production yachts were looking quite the same, including in the Beneteau range and that clients were lost in their choices.
No kidding, this is basic marketing.
I am not the only one of course to think the same. Beneteau is already reacting and you should see in the coming year new concepts of monohulls coming out on the market.
BACK TO CATS – CILIAM
In the catamaran World design innovation has been a little bit more courageous n erms of design specially for one off project.
‘CILIAM’ a log 92′ by VPLP interio By Anne Monique Bonadei
The first really innovative large catamaran to me is CILIAM the lago 92 designed by VPLP. This fast catamaran launched in 2003 features a beam large coach roof. This enable the saloon, dining and kitchen areas to be really spacious, (53 sqm) and the owner suite to be located at mast foot with a great view on the sea. This owner suite concept is now very common on large cats.
CILILAM huge salon/dining area
Greg Young is a well know for designing fast and exiting boats with a very innovative design. TSUNAMI an 85 footer was designed to be a fast charter boat. You might like the color or not but TSUNAMI features a new concept that Greg Young is applying in his catamaran project such as the TAG 60 being built in South Africa. In this catamaran range Greg has designed a unique cabin. He has incorporated the cockpit and the salon as you can see on the image below. The area can be opened to make a huge entertainment or close for more confidentiality as you wish. Check the video
TAG 60 cockpit/salon space.
The SIG 45 – Le Breton Yacht
The SIG 45 is a smaller but a very innovative catamaran of her size with a sleek design. A VPLP and Bjorn Johansson design, the SIG 45 is very modern both outside and inside. Designed to be fast and easy to sail, the platform is uncluttered both for maneuvers and entertainment while comfortable accommodations are located in each hull. The boat is built and equipped at the highest standards of quality. A real breakthrough.
SIG 45 – Photo Pierre Marie Bourguinat – Voiles et Voiliers
I have just mentioned launched catamarans, of course there are many innovative projects on the paper and a few being built actually. In those bad economical times maybe it is time to seat down, take a deep breath and really think how to innovate to be different and succeed in the future.