Tom George Tours European Superyacht Yards With Client

Building a superyacht is a complex process which includes many phases, a number of involved parties and a considerable investment of both time and money. For clients engaged in the process of building a custom superyacht, Tom George’s experience and expertise is crucial in ensuring a smooth process, protecting the interests of clients and maximizing the end result.

When planning a build, narrowing down design needs and selecting a shipyard are important steps in the process. While recently working with a client to determine his needs and specifications for an upcoming build, Tom George thought it prudent to travel to Europe with his client to see example yachts and tour shipyards in order to ensure the client was properly informed with first-hand experience to guide forthcoming decisions.

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One particular factor in the design of this to-be-built yacht was the interior volume. This client was concerned about the “feel” of the interior, and one of the particular requirements was that the yacht was to feel quite spacious. Since different builders have different design and build approaches, the volume can vary even between similar sized yachts.

The term gross tonnage refers to the internal volume of a yacht. Gross tonnage includes all enclosed areas of the vessel including areas that aren’t typically utilized by the owner and guests. Different shipyards build yachts with varying approaches, and this can lead to variance between gross tonnage and perceived spaciousness. For instance, for the higher-end superyachts that utilize a central air conditioning system and ducting throughout the vessel, gross tonnage is increased while not necessarily increasing the volume of living spaces. However, the owner benefits from a more efficient system and tremendous air quality. While such design trade-offs can be discussed in meeting rooms, truly grasping the practical design ramifications can be difficult without walking the interior of a yacht and experiencing first-hand what spending time aboard might feel like. 

Gross tonnage (GT) is also a commonly used tool for estimating cost of yacht construction. While exceptions always exist, a general rule of thumb is that high-end European shipyards often charge between 60,000-70,000 Euros per GT to build. Italian and other mid-tier yards are often in the range of 45,000-50,000 Euros per GT, and the next tier of yards might be in the 35,000-40,000 Euro range.

To get the design choices right, often it requires seeing and experiencing the spaciousness of a yacht first-hand, and this was a primary goal of Tom George’s recent trip to Europe.

Prior to visiting the yards, Tom George and his client toured yachts in Sicily, Nice and Monaco. After touring a 60-meter Lurssen of approximately 1300-1400 GT and a Feadship of roughly 1000 GT, Tom George and his client also analyzed a Sanlorenzo yacht of 1400-1500 GT to see the difference in interior volume as a result of the Italian yard’s build approach.

After touring these yachts, it was time to visit the shipyards themselves to view additional yachts and meet with the design teams. Tom George and his client sat down with teams at Feadship and Amels in Holland, then met with Lurrson in Germany.

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With a thorough analysis of the client’s needs completed through many discussions, first-hand walk-throughs of various superyachts and intensive meetings with designers and executives from the world’s top shipyards, Tom George and his client are moving toward the selection of a shipyard and the contract phase to kickoff the project. 

With any superyacht build project, the experience and trust of a broker at your side is crucial. Having the guidance of a broker with expertise and a commitment to ensure no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of the best outcome is the best path to a smooth build process and an investment which yields maximum enjoyment in the years ahead.  

For years, Tom George has been regularly visiting the top superyacht shipyards in Europe and around the world in order to best serve clients who are in need of guidance through a custom yacht build process. It’s this experience and the fact that Tom George always prioritizes his clients’ long-term interests that enable him to be such a valuable partner for clients seeking a superyacht build or purchase. Should you have any questions about custom yacht construction or any other yacht brokerage services, feel free to contact Tom George directly.

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