Design Matters: The Fashioners

Yacht interior design focuses on the view.

February 7, 2016
Custom Line 108
A few think-different ideas became an inspiring sketch and eventually wound up here, in the form of the Custom Line 108. Courtesy Custom Line

A yacht, as  designer Luiz de Basto likes to say, is a “finite object.” But there’s a problem with this: Today’s yacht owners are intrigued by infinite possibilities. More space, more light, more atmosphere, more convertibility, more character — all on a vessel that has a specific length, beam and volume. “Our challenge is to find solutions that transform the yacht,” says designer Bernardo Zuccon, whose family firm, Zuccon International Project, works closely with the Ferretti Group on ideas that stretch comprehension. So, we leave it to the experts on the following pages to answer the ultimate question: How do we fit the infinite into the finite?

Palmer Johnson 48M SuperSport
The massive glass areas on the Palmer Johnson 48M SuperSport required Bannenberg & Rowell to create an interior that complemented the yacht’s glazing. Courtesy Palmer Johnson


When you step aboard the new Princess 88 and walk into the salon or master stateroom, you see water in almost every direction. And when you look at the renderings of the new Palmer Johnson 48M SuperSport (at right), you recognize the builder’s desire to reduce the visual barriers between inside and outside, using glass as a major design feature.

The increased use of glass is more than a passing fad in yacht design and construction. It’s a movement, in supersize yachts and midsize production boats alike.


What’s driving this new view of glass? Consumer demand, for one, and technology is playing a role too. For Princess Yachts, resin infusion is a strong driver.

“With resin infusion, you get as close to a perfect glass-to-resin ratio as you can get,” says James Nobel, vice president and marketing director for Princess Yachts America. Princess is lowering the floor trays in the build process, trimming down the profile of stringers and overall structural supports while improving strength.

“The PJ 48 has extensive glazing working with extremely dynamic superstructure forms.” – Dickie Bannenberg

The reduced bulk allows the builder to offer larger, single, uninterrupted panes of glass in the salon that run from the back of a sofa to almost the top of the ceiling. Five years ago, a prominent break and an intermediate structure separated the glass, Nobel says.


Interior designer Marty Lowe says the Sanlorenzo 118 she recently worked on includes a salon with an almost entirely glass aft bulkhead and glass- encased floating teak steps that lead to the flybridge. These flourishes are where design savvy helps form meet function.

Designer Destry Pethel of Destry Darr Designs says, “High-strength glass made possible by modern technology extends the range of applications of glass beyond the decorative to functional and structural roles.” On the Nordhavn 96, a textured-glass galley door keeps the space obscured, but it allows you to see shadows. She’s even created lighted glass steps leading from the yacht’s main deck to the upper deck. What’s next?

design matters fashioners
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“Glass offers dynamic interior-design solutions that maximize the impression of light and space.”


“When you are cruising, you should feel connected with the sea, inside or out.”


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