Watch Series 2 Episode 2 ‘Custom Creations’ here.
The superyacht industry is known to push the boundaries of design and innovation, applying expert craftsmanship and the latest in advanced technology to drive progress and reimagine possibility.
Australia has a proud heritage as a shipbuilding nation, and is a country closely connected with the first major wave of superyachts. Australian-born designer Jon Bannenberg is widely regarded as the ‘Godfather of Modern Yacht Design’, and set the benchmark for the pioneering Australian approach.
From the iconic Oceanfast superyachts of the late 80s through to early 00s, to the modern masterpieces of Echo and Silver, Australian-built superyachts have been the products of an industry that dares to do more.
In this episode, we head to the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, Western Australia, to hear from Australia’s leading builders and designers of full custom superyachts.
“There’s no doubt that Australia has built some incredible yachts in the past, and I think Australians in general pride themselves in coming up with innovative ways to find new solutions,” comments designer Sam Sorgiovanni.
Sorgiovanni, who has worked with European shipyards on projects that include Wheels and Barbara, worked alongside Echo Yachts and 123 Naval Architects to the deliver award-winning all-Australian superyacht White Rabbit. You can hear more about the unique features of White Rabbit from Echo Yachts’ Chris Blackwell in his recent Top100 interview.
“She’s a very unique vessel,” Sorgiovanni says, “and I don’t think she could have been built to the success that she has been anywhere else in the world. From a designer’s point of view, it’s very encouraging knowing you can take a design there of any type and it’s taken on and brought to life.”
Neighbouring shipyard Silver Yachts made similar waves with the launch of 85m explorer yacht BOLD, and is soon to announce the launch of its latest superyacht GlobalFast. The shipyard has a longstanding relationship with renowned designed Espen Oeino, and has made its mark through a commitment to speed and efficiency.
“The Silveryachts aesthetic, that very recognisable image that we have, has come from the original design brief that we received from the owner of the company,” explains Sander Toonen, Chief Operating Officer of Silveryachts. “He wanted efficient vessels, he wanted fast vessels, so they are all narrow and built out of aluminium to save weight and gain on speed and efficiency.
“It’s always been focused on efficiency, it’s always been focused on speed”
Australia’s two leading shipyards offer a different model of operation to the traditional European yards, specifically in that their trades are all in-house, providing important flexibility on projects.
The episode also looks at this wealth of specialised marine trades across Australia, and the global recognition of the value of premium Australian-made products.
The commitment to bespoke products and innovation extends beyond superyachts, as we explore the work of Vikal International. Since 1992, Australian company Vikal has been at the forefront of delivering bespoke tenders to the world superyachts. Integral to an owner’s enjoyment of their superyacht, tenders enhance the lifestyle experiences and connect guests with thrilling activities.
With a flair for pushing the envelope and pioneering new designs, Vikal exemplifies the philosophy behind Australia’s custom creations.
‘Custom Creations’ is the second Episode in the industry-focused Series of Australia InDepth, and is now streaming on Superyachts.com. Both Series of Australia InDepth are being launched concurrently, providing insight into Australia’s diverse cruising grounds and world-class industry respectively. The next to launch will be Series 1 Episode 3, ‘An Explorer’s Playground’, where we jump into Australia’s most remote and adventurous cruising destinations.