Quick Five Questions – Dickie Bannenberg – Bannenberg & Rowell

What are the latest yacht design trends?

Although a notoriously unreliable trend spotter, I’m still able to discern that the ‘plain vanilla’ yacht is something of a threatened species. By which I mean that they have to work much harder for their money : beach clubs, shell doors, folding balconies and bulwarks – all have their part to play in maximising a feeling of connection with the yacht’s location and environment. Similarly, the limits of glass technology are under constant test with larger extents of glazing – both panel size and the mullion and framing technology which, literally, surrounds them. In its clearest incarnation, this wish to be more at one with the oceans translates into the rise of explorer yachts where tenders, submersibles and helicopters are the focus. It’s so not about sitting around with a cocktail.


What the are the most ground breaking recent deliveries for design and what makes them so?

Our design for the National Flagship. Can’t say why as we are under a government-imposed purdah.

Has the Pandemic changed the way owners use their yachts? If so, what has changed?

First of all, amongst yacht owners, the pandemic led to a distinctly first world reaction that a yacht is a safe haven. Either an existing one or, preferably, a new one under the “you only live once” rule. Privacy, or rather isolation, became the new luxury.

What is the most unusual design request you have had?

Vertical jellyfish tank. Or automated dog-washing station. Or UFO-inspired flying bridge. Take your pick….. (Other unusual design requests are available )

Are owners looking to make the design and use of their yachts more sustainable?

Yes, but it’s a much slower journey than I would like. There’s plenty of progress in the industry, and a greatly increased sense of awareness. Bannenberg & Rowell were early members of the Water Revolution Foundation, an industry-wide group committed to following sustainability best practice. Our most recent delivery – 55 metre Moon Sand at Lurssen – had entirely synthetic teak exterior decks. It seems to me the least you can do, but it’s amazing that it can still be viewed as a move which is not “traditional”, or “correct”.


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