Where is the world of luxury yachts headed? What growing trends do we see? What do today’s and tomorrow’s yacht owners expect and desire from their boats? Of course, predicting the future is tricky. This is true in our industry as well. No one could have predicted the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020. Neither could anyone have predicted its effects on the entire world, including the travel and boating industry. However, this uncertainty hasn’t stopped the leading experts and yacht designers from looking forward. Tillberg Design of Sweden has since its inception back in 1964 been well renowned for recognising trends and delivering high quality design that exceeds expectations. As a market leader for cruise design, TDoS are always up to date with trends and currently also in the forefront for what’s on the horizon in the world of luxury yachts.
In late 2020, Daniel Nerhagen, Tillberg Design’s yacht director, took part in a webinar hosted by ACH (Airbus Corporate Helicopters) on the topic of luxury yacht trends. He did so together with other prominent individuals from the luxury yacht industry. In this article we will summarize some of the highlights from the webinar regarding what we believe are some of the most interesting and exciting trends in the yacht world today.
Eco-friendly and self-sustaining luxury yachts
A great challenge in the industry is that of sustainability. While super yachts haven’t been regarded as the most environment-friendly in its earlier days, incredible improvements have been made in this area in recent years and the efforts to make yachts more ecologically friendly continue in an ongoing process. There is an increasing demand for eco-friendly yachts among luxury yacht owners. Solar panels, energy-efficient glazing, high-efficiency appliances, interiors made of recycled materials, and more battery-powered toys and gadgets are becoming the new standard. Yacht designers and shipyards will need to rapidly adapt to meet this growing demand.
At TDoS, we have always made sustainability and eco-friendliness some of our highest priorities when we design our yachts. Making luxury yachts more friendly to the environment as they travel across the oceans is always a challenge, but it is certainly worthwhile.
Exploring, adventuring and sightseeing
In the minds of most people, luxury yachts has always been associated with sunshine, parties, and famous marinas in Monaco, St Tropez or the Carribean. However, whilst these vessels will no doubt continue to be used for that type of enjoyment, we are seeing an increase in so-called explorer yachts. These yachts are specifically designed and built for longer trips and diverse climate. They are perfect for adventurous trips and for those who want to go on longer expeditions and vacations to visit farther reached places and amazing sights.
There are currently 64 explorer yachts being built (up from 58 last year, which is the highest ever recorded). This is according to Boat International’s 2021 Global Order Book. We expect that number to most likely continue to rise in the years ahead.
Continued and increased demand for toys and tenders
Daniel Nerhagen also mentions a difference in the profile of many new buyers of luxury yachts. Many of them are younger and more active. This group wants parties and dinners like most yachters, and they too want to spend a lot of time with their family and friends on their boats. However, they also have higher expectations than that from their yachts. They want to utilize their yachts to the fullest with more yacth toys and tenders.
Consequently, many of the super yachts of the future will have to be even bigger, and will need to have a lot more garage space. How else are they supposed to accommodate seaplanes, submarines, jet skis, surfboards, four wheelers, helicopters and other toys used to explore new places.
“We call them the “Swiss Army Knife”. They will have everything on board. All the toys and tenders.”
– Daniel Nerhagen, Yacht Director and Partner of TDoS
Technology, drones and self-automation
As our world is becoming increasingly technological, so is the world of luxury yachts. One of the most exciting technologies to enter the lives of yachters and yacht crews is drones. With some imagination and creativity, the possibilities are endless. We are already seeing yachters use drones to record awesome and memorable footage from high above of their yachts and of the breathtaking nature around them.
We will also, just like with self-driving cars, see continued improvements made to self-automation. Perhaps we will never see luxury yachts without captains or deckhands, but perhaps a future where their jobs are made a whole lot easier. With the help of technology such as sensors, infrared and visual spectrum cameras, radar, sonar, lidar, GPS, and AIS, steering these big vessels will never again require the same amount of human work and input.
The world of luxury yachts is forever changing
Environmentalism, exploration, toys, and technology. Those are perhaps the most exciting and game-changing trends today in the world of luxury yachts. It has truly never been a more exciting time to be designing luxury yachts. Things that were almost unimaginable just a few years ago are now becoming reality.
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