Not an easy question. What kind of cars do you like, how do you like to dress, what do you do in your spare time?
Those are easier questions and a couple of handfuls of similar ones should give a designer a fair idea of what you’re looking for in the capabilities your future yacht should possess.
Design, well that’s easier. You can point to a yacht and say “I like that one..“ … “I think the other one is hideous“ etc. The designers of the boats you like the look of should be the designers you will talk to and pick your favourite from the bunch. The whole process of creating a new yacht is a lengthy one so make sure you get on well with the designer. It’s a real personal choice.
And so the idea starts and evolves and usually grows.
During development It’s important to keep an eye on the original concept in order not to get carried away and at some point you have to decide, this is it. This is the design we’re going to go with.
Depending on the size of your project it will take some considerable time when you chose a 100% custom design. The process of making the dream a reality is fascinating. The amount of detail and options to be decided on is staggering. To plot a course through this minefield of information and filter out the good from the not so good you need good people on your team. Less advisors but the right ones.
There are so many different fields of expertise that need to come together during the design phase which makes it crucial that such knowledge is available at the right time.
Engineers to attend to the technical side, propulsion, air conditioning, power generation, AV/IT specialists to write the specification for the entertainment and communication systems, from data to remote controls, service specialists to design the galley, pantries and workflows, housekeeping for laundry, linen and cleaning requirements, deck officers for bridge equipment, deck layout tenders and toys.
When it is time to choose a shipyard the specification which has been painstakingly put together by your team of professionals will become the most important document during the entire build phase. It will be argued over, loopholes found and exclusions discussed. It is crucial that the document is pretty watertight and the spirit in which it is written is acknowledged by the shipyard.
As with all things, you get what you pay for and that always becomes evident later in the life of your yacht. Your enjoyment is directly related to how reliable the whole operation is, from technical issues to crew.
For the same money, a smaller yacht that works well is far more enjoyable than a bigger one with continuous problems.
So, bigger is not necessarily better. Quality is everything.
There are many yards to choose from, Northern Europe has the best reputation for quality but there are options that broaden the field and some other yards become realistic contenders to building the yacht of your dreams but that’s another story…