Superyacht Design Symposium Day One: Industry Elite Sound Off
October 26, 2009
More than 150 delegates and panelists, including many true luminaries
of the global yachting industry, attended Day One of the 2nd Annual
Superyacht Design Symposium presented by Boat International Media at
the historic Plaza Hotel in New York City.
“I am gratified that once again this peer-focused event has drawn
owners, designers and industry experts of such a stature,” said Tony Harris, CEO of Boat International Media, in his opening remarks as the session got underway.
The presenting speakers got down to brass tacks right away, discussing
real-world issues that are very much top-of-mind for yacht owners,
designers and other yachting industry professionals in the current
market. A notable example was the presentation on Build Pricing and
Resale Values – Now and in the Future, in which yacht owner Hani Jabsheh, owner of the 43m M/Y Hana,
challenged a panel of experts to tell him how he could accurately
valuate his next new yacht, sparking a frank discussion of transparency
in the brokerage industry.
"I thought it was amazing; it was far too short,” Jabsheh said afterward.
Another groundbreaking panel let Henk Koster, owner of M/Y Grace, challenge three leading yacht designers, Nigel Irens, Marc van Peteghem and Dr. Klaas Spethmann
of Abeking & Rasmussen to convince him to consider three different
hull designs – monohull, multihull and SWATH – for his next yacht.
The panel on “Upgrading to Green Design”, prompted by the growing
desire among yacht owners to build vessels with the minimum possible
carbon footprint, also was highly topical. “I really believe that we
are God’s caretakers for the sea and land…and should leave it better
than we found it,” said speaker David V. Johnson, owner of the 40m M/Y Resolute
and developer of the model eco-friendly Bay Harbor in Northern
Michigan. Johnson gave the delegates a sneak preview of plans for his
next “green” marina project on Virgin Gorda in the B.V.I.
But not all the topics were technical, financial or “green”, as Raffaele Costa, owner of M/Y Sea Force One and designer Andrew Winch made poetic presentations on the importance of emotion in interior design.
“I am blown away by the depth of knowledge of the panelists,” said Superyacht Design Symposium chairman Roger Lean-Vercoe,
adding, “but the delegates in the audience who participated in the
discussion sessions are just as qualified. I look forward to Day Two."
At the end of the first day’s session, the delegates adjourned to an
exclusive cocktail party and dinner at Manhattan restaurant Rouge Tomate, which recently was awarded a Michelin star.