So you want to build a better Superyacht?

You’re about to embark on a new build or it’s time for a refit. You’ve been there before, but this time you want to do it better: more efficient, more agile, better performance, sleeker design, optimum safety. Overall a more robust Superyacht that looks the business.

In the Superyacht world any design that pushes the envelope is a risk. Indeed, where would any of us be without the investors and innovators of the past?

Motor Yacht A

Motor Yacht A


Yet, when things go wrong on a Superyacht the consequences can be disastrous and the costs can be astronomical. How do creative owners manage to attain a unique or futuristic Superyacht; one where the design is functional, beautiful and way beyond the curve; yet keep within the realms of optimum safety?

It’s all in the preparation according to Brookes Bell’s Superyacht Division.

With years of experience of Alternative Design, working in both the Superyacht sector and the cruise ship industry, its team’s knowledge and transferable skills are being called upon now more than ever.

Specialising in ‘Alternative Design’ means ensuring that design features and arrangements – that may deviate from prescriptive rules – are fit-for-purpose with a better, safer and more economical design solution. This applies to Superyachts and passenger ships alike:

Our teams work across the Superyacht and Cruise ship industries and we see the gap is closing – not just because of the increase in size of the yachts but also the increase in regulations that come with larger vessels.
— Dr Luis Guarin, Head of Marine Consultancy Services at Brookes Bell

Naval architects work together with software engineers, risk assessors, metallurgy experts and marine engineers to ensure that a breathtaking design works whilst also being safe and efficient. It is this winning combination of skills and resources that enable owners to deviate from prescriptive rules – which may otherwise limit innovation – by assessing new materials and concepts.

Working as a multidisciplinary team, Brookes Bell use a combination of purpose-built, customised software tools to carry out a range of engineering analyses in support of alternative design validation, including analysis of fluid/wind/hull dynamics.

software image used to assess fluid dynamics on a superyacht hull

Grand designs

Often Brookes Bell are employed to work alongside the Superyacht Designer as an extra layer of expertise to help realise a design to ensure it ticks every possible box – including style, speed, comfort and safety.

Each detail is considered, even down to looking at a design from a fire risk perspective. Brookes Bell Fire Investigators can advise on anything from wiring of special effects to producing a risk assessment of individual areas aboard a vessel. Amongst many other benefits, simulated modelling of a Superyacht’s hull and superstructure means enhancements can be made to the designs that improve not only performance but also cost efficiency.

If you think safety is expensive, try having an accident.
— Dr Luis Guarin, Head of Marine Consultancy Services at Brookes Bell

Engaging in the ‘Alternative Design’ process has apprehended and mitigated future problems and enabled many owners to achieve their vision and more - but in a safe and enhanced way. From preventing windage problems in the central atriums of larger cruise ships; through to producing a solution when the contents from a Superyacht owner’s swimming pool looked destined to flood the owners private deck, Brookes Bell’s experience has been invaluable in many past cases.


Existing vessels

About to embark on a refit? Fear not, operational vessels can still benefit from Alternative Design.

In an ideal world such assessments would happen right at the outset of a Superyacht’s vision, at the start of a design project. Yet in reality it can happen anywhere along the lifecycle of a Superyacht – from the design and planning stages to the refit and repair stages.

A Superyacht that has benefitted from great design
Sometimes ambitious plans and designs do get to a stage where they get stuck – either they get mired in regulation or the designer feels their concept is being compromised beyond their wishes.
— Dr Kieran Dodworth, Head of Naval Architecture at Brookes Bell

Alternatively if a Superyacht is in for a repair then an enhancement can be made at the same time.

We have worked with designers and shipyards and with owners as their representative. We have found that all sides appreciate the extra cushion of design expertise combined with the knowledge of practical implementation.
— Dr Kieran Dodworth, Head of Naval Architecture at Brookes Bell

The message to Superyacht owners and designers all over the world is your Superyacht can be THE Superyacht of the future.

It can be as robust as it is sexy, as safe as it is speedy and as comfortable as it is stylish – if you invest enough time and consideration at the outset of the project to ensure every aspect has been considered and built-in to the plans.

Preparation is key and involving a team with the combination of talent at Brookes Bell can change a potentially stressful journey into the exciting one it is meant to be.