A new breed of bespoke superyachts is keeping designers and artisans busy with exquisite marinegrade finishes, custom furnishings and sound-reactive lighting.


Not so long ago, the interior design of a superyacht was fairly straightforward: dark panelled walls, plush carpet, fussy drapes and comfy sofas. Today, however, the industry is driven by innovative trends in contemporary craft and high-concept design. Instead of imitating English country houses, corporate boardrooms or private clubs, the new yacht interiors are bolder, brighter and more contemporary, with amenities and fixtures that owe as much to a network of supremely talented artisans as they do to the industry’s regular suppliers. The resulting vibe is cooler, less predictable and very personal.


COURTESY OF HABERDASHERY LONDON

Craft is more prominent than ever. “When a craftsman is used for a project to create a bespoke and individually designed piece, clients know they are getting something unique and one-of-a-kind,” says leading yacht designer Ken Freivokh. “This gives a feeling of extreme luxury that can’t be replicated when you buy off-the-peg.” Freivokh adds that commissioning custom finishes means that “a variety of materials can be combined in one design, such as leather, glass and wood – it is a very individual and personalised solution.”

Each piece is unique, which is fitting for a market that is far from run-of-the-mill.

London-based Tim Gosling launched Gosling Marine to bring handcrafted British wares to a wider superyacht market —TGOSLING.COM

It is also a far more demanding approach. On a yacht, materials have to withstand increased ultraviolet light, saltwater corrosion and temperature variations. Plus, structural loadings have to be kept in mind, which is the reason honeycomb-cored structures are often utilized to minimise the overall weight.


THE GOSLING MARINE LOUNGE CHAIR IN MARINE-GRADE POLISHED STAINLESS STEEL AND CARBON FIBRE, INLAID WITH TEAK. 
COURTESY OF GOSLING MARINE

However, for those artisans and ateliers able to meet such stringent demands, the superyacht industry is offering the opportunity to create some spectacular designs – whether furniture, lighting or surfaces. Welsh marquetry company Aryma was recently commissioned to produce large-scale, curved decorative wall panelling for a number of yachts, as well as tabletops and side tables. “There is a tradition of marquetry and woodwork within modes of travel – Aryma is the bespoke maker for Bentley and Rolls-Royce, for example,” says the firm’s managing director, Howard Sansome.


A DETAIL OF A YACHT’S OVAL DINING TABLE BY WELSH MARQUETRY COMPANY ARYMA. COURTESY OF ARYMA

Wood remains one of the nicest materials to be close to, with all its inherent warmth, naturalness and visual beauty.

Howard Sansome — ARYMA.CO.UK & BILLAMBERGSTUDIO.COM

However, for those artisans and ateliers able to meet such stringent demands, the superyacht industry is offering the opportunity to create some spectacular designs – whether furniture, lighting or surfaces. Welsh marquetry company Aryma was recently commissioned to produce large-scale, curved decorative wall panelling for a number of yachts, as well as tabletops and side tables. “There is a tradition of marquetry and woodwork within modes of travel – Aryma is the bespoke maker for Bentley and Rolls-Royce, for example,” says the firm’s managing director, Howard Sansome.


Helen Chislett writes about design for The Financial Times, The Telegraph and numerous other publications.
Adapted from an article previously published in PrivateSea magazine. Courtesy PrivateSea.

Lead Image: Sound-reactive DiscoDisco lighting by London design firm Haberdashery, which creates customised fixtures for superyachts. © BLUEGREEN PICTURES/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO