Seven boatbuilders who will create a bespoke superyacht for you

When it comes to yachts of a certain standing, buying off the rack just isn’t going to cut it.

By Danielle Cutler 11/10/2017


Founded in 1875 by 24-year-old Friedrich Lürssen, the yard has long been a pillar of originality and quality in shipbuilding. Still family owned, the Bremen, Germany, company has delivered more than 13,000 vessels in its 142 years of business. It prides itself on taking customers through every step of the process of building their dream vessel, from concept to realisation and beyond. “Our vision of bespoke is no different than that of a Savile Row tailor,” Peter Lürssen says. “We want to produce a made-to-measure, perfectly fitting item of the best quality that will last the owner a lifetime, exactly how they have envisaged it.”

The 312-foot Kismet — shown here and debuted in 2014 — exemplifies the company’s devotion to custom craft. Working from his Monaco studio, noted naval architect Espen Øino designed the yacht’s sleek exterior outfitted with two helipads and a swimming pool. And then British design firm Reymond Langton consulted with the owners to create a stunning interior. Highlights include a video wall along a sweeping staircase, a couple of fireplaces, a sculptural piano-cum-bar, and a posh Art Deco decor featuring different woods and stones.


The debut of the 361-foot Jubilee — the largest yacht ever built in the Netherlands — exemplified Oceanco’s expertise in constructing fully custom superyachts in the 260-to-460-foot size range. Lobanov Design created the exterior of this vessel, which includes a swimming pool, and Sorgiovanni Design crafted the serene interior spaces.


Specialising in bespoke superyachts, Netherlands-based Feadship is made up of several shipyards founded in the 1800s that banded together in 1949. The most recent launch from its Royal van Lent yard is the 240-foot Hasna, which features naval architecture by Feadship De Voogt and an interior by RWD.


Founded by Lorenzo Benetti in 1873, this yard has been launching luxury superyachts since the 1960s. A recent fully custom yacht is Seasense, delivered to its owner in July. This 220-foot yacht features an exterior design by Cor D. Rover and an interior by the Los Angeles–based design firm AREA.


The 234-foot Cloud 9 is the latest custom yacht to launch from the Italian shipyard CRN. Sanzio Nicolini established the yard in 1963 in Ancona, constructing yachts from steel and aluminum — fairly uncommon materials in those days. By the end of the ’60s, CRN was building yachts from 50 to 76 feet, while the vessels it builds today have grown as large as 329 feet.

Abeking & Rasmussen

Highlighted among this year’s Best of the Best and elsewhere in this issue, the 238-foot Cloudbreak launched in 2016 from Abeking & Rasmussen’s yard in Lemwerder, Germany, where the company was founded in 1907. The bespoke superyacht has interiors designed by Christian Liaigre and exterior lines by Espen Øino.


Fairly new compared to the others on this list, the company was founded by Frans Heesen in Oss, the Netherlands, in 1978. Perhaps the yard’s relative youth propels its yachts’ jaunty designs. Heesen’s recent delivery, the 164-foot Home, features a fast-displacement hull design with hybrid propulsion, as well as a polished yet relaxed interior design by Cristiano Gatto.


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