Design Matters: The Visionaries

Yacht interior design wants to bring the outside in.

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?

Custom Line 108
Foldout balconies on the Custom Line 108 invite owners to a special spot, but they do not disrupt the yacht’s style. Courtesy Custom Line

For decades, designers of yachts have been looking for ways to bring the outside in — and vice versa. It’s why we have enormous windows. But now we also have the boundary breaker: the foldout terrace.

“The idea has always been very close to me,” says yacht designer Luiz de Basto, who has dreamed up plans for Burger, Cruisers, Astondoa and a host of builders. “In college, I designed a house with foldout terraces. I proposed it many times to my yacht clients, but at first…”


“The biggest challenges with a foldout terrace? Safety, engineering and making sure the system is watertight.” – Luiz de Basto

It was radical. We aren’t talking about doors or hatches that snap open and shut. For a foldout terrace, designers and builders have to solve the hinging geometry on a rounded exterior. There’s weight, water and structural integrity to consider. One client of de Basto’s was close to signing off on his plan for foldout terraces on a refit in 2008, but the project was called off. Three years later, de Basto persuaded another client to trust him on another idea, with the same purpose of adding deck space, and the result was the Astondoa Top Deck 63, which won an innovation award at the 2013 Cannes Yachting Festival.

“Yachts are finite objects,” de Basto says. “Expanding the space is a welcome feature.”

It’s why Sanlorenzo’s 40 Alloy has four foldout terraces: two in the main salon and two in the owner’s suite. A teak-lined terrace folds out from the gym on the Veloce 140 from Benetti. It’s safe to say that yacht owners will continue to ask for more, and designers will answer by doing what they love to do: stretching the boundaries.

Luiz de Basto, Bernardo Zuccon


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“Space is the ultimate luxury. For that reason, variable geometry on yachts is here to stay.”


“We want to allow owners to fully experience the sea. The terrace does that.”


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