Assouline offers a glimpse into the glamour of superyacht design

Assouline offers a glimpse into the glamour of superyacht design

The next time you spy a gleaming superyacht bobbing up and down in one of the world’s more salubrious harbours, check out the name on the stern. If the design is of a sufficiently high calibre – with sleek lines and a sheer delight in attention to detail – then there’s every chance the vessel originated in the studios of Andrew Winch.

Established in 1986, Winch Design is now one of the preeminent names in nautical design. Winch rode the wave of the first generation of superyacht owners, parlaying his own love of sailing into a lucrative design career. After starting his career at the pioneering studio of Jon Bannenburg – one of the most influential of all naval architects – Winch struck out on his own, securing the kind of clients that any creative profession would kill for.

Winch Design superyacht

The studio’s new Assouline monograph, simply titled Winch Design, charts this starry course up to the modern day, with an in-depth look at many of the key boats created by the studio. These include the sleek Madame Gu, the home from home Sea Owl and many other iconic boats, each of which seems to mark a new level of innovation and craft (and not to mention expense and ostentation).

As well as an informative text by Dominic Bradbury, the book is also a meticulous piece of picture research, replete with many inspirational images of places, works of art and techniques that have informed the lavishly finished staircases, murals, wall coverings, and bespoke works of art that fill these boats.

The Winch approach doesn’t stop at the shore. In recent years, the studio has found their approach increasingly in demand for both private aircraft and residences, and the book dips into the tantalisingly unreal world of aviation design for the superrich, a place where ‘most clients want their private jet interior to look like anything but an aircraft’.

For the uninitiated, Winch Design is an eye-opener. For the most part, the clients are as discreet as their boats are outlandish, but a spot of Googling will probably enlighten you as to who owns what. A modern superyacht represents a rare occasion when ultra high net worth genuinely trickles down into a wider pool of designers, suppliers, and craftspeople, however inaccessible these flying and floating realms remain to the majority.

With this monograph, Winch gives an intriguing glimpse into a rarefied world. The studio is making a donation to The Blue Marine Foundation for every book sold, helping fund marine reserves and sustainable fisheries around the world. §

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