Yachts

What It's Like to Custom-Design Your Own Superyacht

Step one: Toss out your budget.

The Ultimate Bespoke Luxury: Tailor-Made Superyacht

You've got the bespoke leather jacket and personalized Rolls-Royce, with many millions to spare. Now what?

Fraser Yachts is one of the brokerage companies dealing with the construction, sale, and customization of luxury Benetti boats bigger than 30 meters (98 feet) and worth at least €10 million ($10.7 million).

The 11.11 was built by Benetti, the oldest luxury shipyard in the world. The brand considers this $73 million, 200-foot boat its finest example of innovative yacht design.

Photographer: Jeff Brown/Breed Media

At the Benetti shipyard in Viareggio, in Italy's Tuscany, brokers from Fraser help clients from over 50 countries choose the interior and exterior design of their private boats, select additional toys, and sketch and then build on-board elevators, gyms, swimming pools, and bars.

The creative yachtman's journey starts at the showroom inside the shipyard premises, a few meters from where the boats are constructed.

"Here is where they really start to choose what the interior is going to look like. So we are surrounded by hundreds of samples, in terms of carpets, leathers, loose furniture, cutlery, crockery, glasswear, towels," said Vassilis Fotilas, Fraser Yachts' commercial director for Europe. "Really, it's a wonderful playground."

So how much, on average, are clients prepared to spend to personalize a boat, buy extra tenders, or simply add that "unique" touch to the high-tech kitchen or cabin layout?

The sky is the limit, Fotilas said. "Honestly, I don't think they even know," he admitted.

Money might not be a big issue, but trends and personalization requests can vary substantially from customer to customer and from country to country. People from the Middle East generally prefer larger interiors; Europeans and Americans favor more outdoor life and therefore choose larger deck spaces and focus more on making those areas "special."

Vassili Fotilas, commercial director Europe at Fraser Yachts Florida Inc., looks at fabric samples in the Yachtique styling lounge at the Azimut Benetti SpA yacht shipyard in Pisa, Italy, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. Boats are getting greener, lightweight materials such as composites and glass make for sleeker designs and more efficient fuel consumption, Boat International magazine Chief Executive Officer Tony Harris said during an interview. Photographer: Alberto Bernasconi/Bloomberg

Vassili Fotilas looks at fabric samples in the Yachtique styling lounge at the Azimut Benetti SpA yacht shipyard in Pisa, Italy.

Photographer: Alberto Bernasconi/Bloomberg

There is also a generational factor. Nowadays, Fraser Yachts Chairman Roberto Giorgi claims, the younger the clients, the bolder the customization.

"You see a younger generation, you need to adapt to their requirements," he said. "So going forward, I think we will see people using the boat for more interesting propositions, like traveling around the world, have boats that can have bigger toys, bigger tenders, more autonomy," he said. "They like to travel extensively. For this kind of approach you need to have a more customized boat."

II.II’s bespoke, art deco-inspired interiors provide all the comfort of the most luxurious residential home, such as white Italian marble floors.

Photographer: Jeff Brown/Breed Media

Still, it would be wise to avoid getting too carried away with one’s creative fancies, according to Fotilas. This is particularly true if you look at your boat not only as a whim, but as an investment.

"On the one hand you are building your dream, without thinking that one day you might want to sell that and hopefully, buy a larger yacht," he said. Much as with real estate, his advice is to find "that balance between what you like and also considering what the market might like when you choose to sell that yacht."

Catalogues containing fabric samples sit on display in the Yachtique styling lounge at the Azimut Benetti SpA yacht shipyard in Pisa, Italy, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. Boats are getting greener, lightweight materials such as composites and glass make for sleeker designs and more efficient fuel consumption, Boat International magazine Chief Executive Officer Tony Harris said during an interview. Photographer: Alberto Bernasconi/Bloomberg

Catalogues containing fabric samples.

Photographer: Alberto Bernasconi/Bloomberg

 

Motor yacht hulls sit on the dockside during assembly at the Azimut Benetti SpA yacht shipyard in Pisa, Italy, on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. Boats are getting greener, lightweight materials such as composites and glass make for sleeker designs and more efficient fuel consumption, Boat International magazine Chief Executive Officer Tony Harris said during an interview. Photographer: Alberto Bernasconi/Bloomberg

Yachts under construction at the Benetti shipyard. 

Photographer: Alberto Bernasconi/Bloomberg

 

Here in the master suite, the circular lighting fixture is custom-made for the space; the bed frame is dark-stained beech, with an ivory leather headboard.

Photographer: Jeff Brown/Breed Media

 

The pool on the sun deck is inspired by the on-board spa.

Photographer: Jeff Brown/Breed Media
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