MYS: A View on Modern Sailing with Philippe Briand

By Ben Roberts

When sailing is in your blood, designing some of the best yachts on the water comes as second nature. But, with a charted drop in interest for large sailing yachts, we speak to Philippe Briand about what’s to be done, and what new projects he has in the yard.

With premium examples of life under sail such as Sybaris, Vertigo and P2 in the extensive portfolio of sailing yachts, who better to shine a light on the rise and fall of modern sailing demands.

“Demand is quite low at this moment for big sailing yachts,” explains Philippe Briand. “It is good until 25-metre, this is basically the domain of production boat and above 25-metre the market is kind of low. Which is something that intrigues us, and we try to imagine what the solution and the new design to reactivate this market.”

The changing tides of owner demands and younger buyers entering the market means that new approaches need to be considered in order to revive the culture of sailing.

“I think it’s a matter of culture,” adds Briand. “I think we have until now a very passionate owner who loves the culture of the sailing boat and is excited to build and design a new boat and certainly pleases the generation. We have a new generation behind which is not sharing the culture and the same enjoyment in building a boat, so we need to suggest to sail them, a sailing boat is a boat for cruising, circumnavigation, long trips and sell as an interest for a younger generation.”

Even with the drop in sailing metrics, Philippe Briand’s dedicated brand to the world of motor yachts - Vitruvius Yachts - has never been busier. We spoke to the designer about the upcoming new builds and designs we can expect to see emerge in the near future.

“We have several in build today, we have a 58-metre in build with Feadship and another 52-metre starting with Perini and we have several projects going in this size (50 56), it’s a bit bizarre but there’s movement in this size.”

For more information on Philippe Briand’s view of life under sail and the culture of long, elegant cruising, alongside a view on modern motor yacht design, watch the full video above.

By Ben Roberts
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