Design and Technology
Beautiful Age of Sail
Sailing yachts – in all their sustainable glory – are increasingly in the spotlight. For design guru Malcom Mckeon, they are also his lifelong passion.
Sailing is in Malcolm McKeon’s blood. Growing up in Fiji, where he spent his early years, he taught himself the ropes on a P Class dinghy, before moving onto Hong Kong, where he ended up representing the country in the UK-based Admiral's Cup. “After that,” he says, “I knew that my passion was to pursue a career in yacht design.” Fast forward to today and he has over 200 yachts under his belt, with plenty more currently in the works. “We have seen a big change in the last few years, with clients being very aware of sustainability,” he explains, pointing to increasingly eco-aware customers who are helping sailing yachts become evermore relevant. For the most part – or at least comparatively – sailing is a sustainable way to navigate the oceans, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. “We are looking at all options in the design, build and eventual running costs, to reduce potential carbon emissions,” says McKeon.
We have seen a big change in the last few years, with clients being very aware of sustainability
The team is also looking at options including solar energy, wind milling regeneration and sail milling regeneration. “Soon we will see hydrogen as a means of generating energy. And of course, the rapid development of battery technology is helping us find a more efficient way of developing and storing energy,” says McKeon. It’s all music to the ears of a generation and a growing audience who prioritise the environment. Many of McKeon’s yachts currently under construction are already making use of these sorts of innovations. “We have a 60m sailing sloop under construction which is due for launch in 2023 and we are also working on three other yachts in excess of 60m, all of which are making use of a number of green technology solutions to improve efficiency,” says McKeon.
“We are seeing more interest from motor yacht clients preferring to be seen on sailing yachts, which certainly have a greener image.” Meanwhile, McKeon’s designs continue to win awards and acclaim on the racing circuit. “MISSY recently came top of her class in the 2020 Antigua Superyacht Regatta,” he explains. “We are delighted with that.”
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