ROTTERDAM – Oceanco has engaged A-listers from the yachting, technology and design worlds to make more sustainable superyachts. The aim: to transcend the designs the global sector produces annually. And that, says Oceanco, is not worth a hill of beans.
NXT is a collaborative initiative to rid the industry of its hidebound ways and focus on pressing design and engineering issues to make more sustainable superyachts.
An online video of a conversation of Oceanco brass and design experts drives home Oceanco’s point that while superyacht styling has advanced over time, well-worn formats and standards endure unchallenged. And that breeds “innovation stagnation.”
To break that mold, Oceanco has reeled in designer Giles Taylor (China’s FAW Group carmaker, ex-Rolls Royce design chief), Dutch interior architecture and design agency TANK and Lateral Naval Architects, Oceanco’s longstanding British engineering partner. The Dutch builder also counts on live-in co-makers to explore innovation.
And why will this work? Oceanco Group Marketing Manager Paris Baloumis sees clients developing “a new buying motivation. We don’t need more designs (but) must come up with more compelling answers” to what clients want and need.
The problem is, however, that many people don’t know what they want until they see it. So, NXT will push what is doable and desirable in future designs. It counts on Taylor’s understanding of superyacht owners’ lifestyle needs. Lateral is a leader in zero-emission innovations. And Amsterdam-based TANK has design expertise in living spaces.
Baloumis says NXT is about building a perfect yacht for an owner, adding, “That means anticipating an owner’s needs in order to develop that perfect yacht.” Says Oceanco CEO Marcel Onkenhout, “We do see things changing. And it’s owners who are asking for this change so (NXT) is a dialogue between the industry and visionary owners.”
The Netherlands is a logical home for NXT. It boasts half a dozen superyacht builders who make one-off for ultra-rich clients who are keen to own innovation-packed yachts. And Oceanco has the courage and expertise to push the design and sustainability envelop in yacht building.
At 2 vast sites in the Port of Rotterdam, it turns out spectacular boats. Like Equanimity (2013), the world’s first Passenger Yacht Code vessel. Or 86m Aquijo (2016), the world’s largest ketch. And, in 2018, the 106.7m Black Pearl with its 3-masted Dykstra Naval Architects rig of 2,900 sq. m. of sails.