Five years ago, New Zealand-based designers Andy Jacobs and Jamie McLellan brought their idea for an upscale kayak to the Monaco Yacht Show. They showed a select group of people their $25,000 standard model — with gold-plated brass fittings, teak woodwork and custom options — and explained how the kayak’s craftsmen were borrowed from a team doing carbon-fiber work on America’s Cup boats.
“We realized there was this gaping hole in making a beautiful craft that complements a superyacht, instead of a fluorescent orange one,” Jacobs says.
McLellan Jacobs soon landed buyers among the superyacht set and added bespoke options. “We’ve done matte carbon with matte stainless [steel] componentry to match a superyacht, wooden inlays in the teak to match a logo on a yacht,” Jacobs says.
The goal at McLellan Jacobs has always been to expand their concept into a line of water toys. Both designers are boaters, and everywhere they look, they see styling improvements that could be made.
Hence their new stand-up paddleboard, which will become available this year. “We’re taking the styling of the kayak and simplifying it to make it more accessible for a lot more people,” Jacobs says.
McLellan also does work for NeilPryde, a top board-surfing company, and is bringing that experience to the McLellan Jacobs paddleboard. “There’s going to be a screw fitting that lets you mount a mast on it and sail on it if you want to do that,” Jacobs says.
They’re thinking matte titanium and matte black with bleached teak for the paddleboard, whose price point is being determined. It will include a leash plug with a metal detail and the McLellan Jacobs logo.
“We’d love to use these products as a springboard to get into styling some tenders,” Jacobs says, “or maybe even collaborating on a bigger vessel.”