“There are 360 degrees, so why stick to one?” – Zaha Hadid.
Only the undisputed queen of architecture could phrase it so eloquently, but it’s a sentiment that rings true in yachting, too. A superyacht can be a means of escape, and never more so than now as we navigate life amid Covid-19. But it’s not solely a place to hide away and isolate. It offers seclusion and refuge, yes, but more importantly it delivers an ever-growing connection with the great outdoors and an uninterrupted view onto the world.

Being close to the water’s edge, languishing on the aft deck, dipping their toes in the deep blue while anchored off a far-flung island; this is what superyacht owners now envisage when they imagine life on board. Interior designers have long been talking about bringing the outdoors in and extending the indoors out, but when outfitting a yacht there is little real distinction between the two.

When outfitting a superyacht,
there is little real distinction between indoors and outdoors.

When outfitting a superyacht,
there is little real distinction between indoors and outdoors.

Where is the pleasure in being incarcerated at sea? The brooding subterranean rooms of past decades are today pushed aside for something far more appealing; a transient space that flows freely, gently nudging guests to explore outside. All viewpoints lead to the horizon. Each window, porthole or observation lounge is a means to feel connected to the sea. Vast sprawling decks and yawning beach clubs beckon us to step into an effortless blend of “sheltered exposure” – not too hot, not too cold, away from the wind and with all amenities to hand. Even owners’ suites are deemed incomplete without a wraparound terrace or dedicated foredeck.

© Guillaume Plisson

And it’s not clumsy, either. The invite is subtle, bolstered by the artful use of specially crafted loose furniture and the inclusion of high-end cabinetry, onyx bars, bespoke floors, ceilings and walls. Items that we’re used to seeing in the main salon or sky lounge but neither seem out of place on the aft deck or beach club. The secret is in the craftsmanship and engineering. It takes expert dexterity and practical experience to conceive furniture that is stylish yet functional, exclusive yet UV resistant, that combines artisanal skill with the latest in specialist surfaces and can transition with ease from inside to out.

It’s an artful disguise. A trick of the mind.
We expect the sublime and take the practicality for granted.

It’s an artful disguise. A trick of the mind. We expect the sublime and take the practicality for granted.

It’s the everyday items thought up by designers and then realised by interior outfitters that blur the boundaries of our reality. A sumptuous day bed positioned alluringly on the aft deck made from splash resistant material. A banquet-sized dining table that suggests long, drawn-out al fresco meals. The soft touch of leather dining chairs specially treated to survive a harsh, salty marine environment. The unassuming texture of sustainable wood cladding that stretches from the aft area all the way to the lower deck bar; pleasing to the touch, even more pleasing to the environment.
But what of the leather clad walls? The backlit onyx wet bar? Or the high gloss veneers that wipe clean every day? It’s an artful disguise. A trick of the mind. We expect the sublime and take the practicality for granted.

© Quin Bisset – Q&K Media

But what is the point of an outdoor area if not to accentuate a love of being in the water. Integrated outdoor showers, water toys a plenty, and all surrounded by textured surfaces that showcase a million specialist techniques in a single area. Customised lacquers and bespoke upholstery is no longer the reserve of the interior. Exterior claddings and glossy ceilings bring another layer to the outdoor outfit.

At a time when the world is calling for greater clarity on Covid-19
travel restrictions, the promise made by superyacht design is a world
where the boundaries are perfectly blurred.

At a time when the world is calling for greater clarity on Covid-19 travel restrictions, the promise made by superyacht design is a world where the boundaries are perfectly blurred.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julia Zaltzman is a journalist and editor published in a variety of publications, including Robb Report, Centurion, Yachts International and The Telegraph. She is Editor of SuperYacht Industry, and Yachting & Property Editor of Simply Abu Dhabi.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julia Zaltzman is a journalist and editor published in a variety of publications, including Robb Report, Centurion, Yachts International and The Telegraph. She is Editor of SuperYacht Industry, and Yachting & Property Editor of Simply Abu Dhabi.