Seeing a superyacht in all its glory often begs the question: how exactly did such an incredible vessel come to exist? The incredible complexity of design, both aesthetically and mechanically, takes significant expertise and time to put together – you can hardly imagine such a large, expensive vessel floating off the factory floor as a typical car would. This kind of complexity is further compounded when a prospective owner has very demanding specifications that they want to see put into effect. In this blog, we break down the steps that are typically involved in constructing a custom superyacht, from conception right to the amazing finished product.
The first steps: designing a superyacht
After the initial meeting with a particular shipyard and designer of the prospective owner’s choosing (likely after a considerable amount of research), discussion will occur detailing the desires the owner has in relation to the superyacht. A good idea is to visit an online chartering platform such as Ahoy Club to get a good idea regarding what owners have chosen to do with their own vessels. Next comes the concept design, which involves the testing of preliminary ideas to see how these can be introduced into a superyacht. This process will also include the first sketches of the superyacht – exciting! With a rough idea on paper, discussions then regularly occur between the prospective owner, designers, naval architects and technical team. These brainstorming sessions will feature in-depth specifics related to the size, layout, performance and interior of the superyacht. It is only after the customer is satisfied with the design and signs off on it that engineering can begin. During this stage engineers will calculate the efficiency, stability, speed and comfort of the superyacht, and with this satisfied, interior design begins.
Starting on the physical build of the superyacht
Before the physical build of the superyacht can commence, a detailed construction plan must be written. It is in this document that building materials, including the specific amounts of which are needed, are determined. These may include metals required for the build of the hull and the superstructure. With these now known, keel laying occurs – keel laying involves the initial placement of the central steel beam that makes up the backbone of the superyacht. With this in place and the hull and superstructure laid out, the rest of the ship construction can occur. This will involve the elements such as engines, stabilisers, converters and generators being applied to the base of the superyacht. With all of these hardware elements in place, now begins the interior installation of the vessel. This will include the entire interior outfit to the owner’s specifications as described in the original plans.
Launching the yacht
With the completion of the yacht being an occasion worthy of celebration, friends and family should be invited to first see it launched. It’s not quite handover time, though – this is when rigorous sea trials take place. This will involve testing the yacht on points such as stability, performance, safety, braking and anchoring. If everything works perfectly and the interior of the yacht is also highly functional, it’s finally time for handover! The maiden voyage will likely take place soon after, and represents the amazing chance to finally physically experience a vessel that was once just a plan on paper. And this marks the end of the construction of the superyacht, but only the beginning of its lifelong expedition across the ocean.