Future innovation is key to £615m UK superyacht industry

By | November 20, 2017

2017’s Superyacht UK Young Designer Christopher Karam

Next January, promising young design talent, handpicked from across the UK, will gather at the London Boat Show 2018 to compete for the iconic title of Superyacht UK Young Designer 2018.

Standing between them and the coveted title will be their imaginative transformation of a base vessel into an exquisite bespoke superyacht.

These students, and aspiring inventors and engineers like them, form the future backbone of a thriving British superyacht industry which is posting highest-ever figures of growth. The sector now generates a record £615million in revenue and employs a 4,244 strong workforce*. The UK also boasts two of the world’s highest ranking new-build shipyards in the sector**.

The prestigious annual Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition is run by industry representatives, Superyacht UK, an association of British Marine. It is the only competition of its kind in the UK and is among a select few across the world to recognise future design talent and provide them the opportunity to truly grow such talent within the industry. In recent years, the competition has been a launch pad for some of today’s most ambitious superyacht designers and naval architects.

The winner of 2018’s Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition will secure themselves a four-week internship at world leading custom superyacht builder and refit specialists and event sponsor, Pendennis Shipyard. Following in the footsteps of the current title holder, Christopher Karam, a student from Staffordshire University, they will get invaluable opportunity to develop their understanding of how to translate great design into practical production working on one of the shipyard’s high-profile projects.

The talented runner up will receive the prize of a unique two-week internship at world leading design and naval architecture studio and event sponsor, Olesinski based on the Isle of Wight.

Peter Brown, Chairman of Superyacht UK, commented: “The UK remains a global hub for superyacht design and Superyacht UK is keen to help nurture the next generation of design talent. The core skill of hand sketching is increasingly rare and is often dismissed in favour of software generated design work and so the challenge for young designers becomes one of differentiating themselves from much of the competition by employing a more traditional skillset when the situation demands it.”

Stephen Hills, Projects Director at Pendennis Shipyard and judge of the Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition 2018, added: “The Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition is a unique platform for showcasing the range of design talent from British universities and colleges. Since being involved as a sponsor, Pendennis has always been impressed with the imagination, hard work and enthusiasm shown by the candidates during the Show, as well as the high calibre of each winner during their subsequent internship at the yard. We are very much looking forward to seeing the young designers at work during the London Boat Show once more – the range of responses to the brief and the calibre of drawings produced are always impressive.”