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Owners are now requesting isolation rooms to be built on board their new-build boats, superyacht designer Andrew Winch has said.
The superyacht industry has seen a number of changes due to the coronavirus pandemic, with shipyards like Feadship, Nobiskrug and Heesen having to work 24/7, introducing shift work to safeguard employees. Elsewhere crews are spending lockdown on board.
But at the same time, the crisis has spurred new demands from owners too, with requests for isolation rooms on board their new-builds. “One of the questions we’ve had from clients is ‘can you fit a medical bay into our boat?’”, Winch said. “It’s an interesting change. They still want the gym, but they want an isolation room with separate air conditioning as well.”
Offering words of encouragement, Winch said that despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, he believes this period of uncertainty provides an opportunity to “think outside the box.”
While the working environment has certainly changed, it’s still business as usual for the design studio. “We’re still working to the same deadlines to make sure we deliver the drawing packages to the shipyards, so they can have no delay from us”, he said.
Currently on the books is a 27 metre sailing yacht designed by Bill Tripp, a Jeanneau 64, and a Boeing Dreamliner 787 which he likens the design process to that of a 90 metre motor yacht. Winch also hinted at a new 42 metre sailing yacht project in the works with Ron Holland, featuring “a lovely sheer line, a lot of camber and a schooner rig.”
After the lockdown has been lifted, Winch hopes to head to Athens to meet his Jeanneau 64 named Polar Bear. On the itinerary: Hydra, Spetsis and the Corinth Canal.