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Design and Technology

Evolution of Yacht Design

Designs that have played a vital role as pioneering achievements


In an era when bigger meant better, the International Rule was introduced prior to the 1930 America’s Cup, meaning yachts of equivalent rated lengths could race against one another directly, without making other allowances. Equally beautiful and capable, each of the 10 J Class yachts built was a single-mast thoroughbred, pushing the boundaries of both design and technology.

old yacht sailing race

Today, the J Class fleet has progressed to include intriguing refurbished originals and gleaming new replicas, which are soon to compete in the J Class Regatta held during the 2017 America’s Cup. J Class truly represents immense achievement within the design evolution.


In 2006 the 88m Perini Navi Maltese Falcon represented a revolution in superyacht design, trialling the innovative DynaRig concept. Twice as efficient as conventional rigs, freestanding, rotating spars carry the sail canvas in a square-rigger style.

maltese falcon in bay

Carbon fibre and fibreoptic sensors combine with roller furling sails, computer optimised sail angles and hydraulics in the fully-automated Falcon Rig.


Firmly established as the first pure-bred ‘yacht designer’ Jon Bannenberg’s creative talent is legendary. Progressive designs from the JB drawing board spanned some 40 years, from plush home interiors to iconic yachts like Lürssen-built Carinthia VI. With son Dickie Bannenberg project managing, the pair collaborated with the leading shipyards to build increasingly remarkable superyachts, at one time submitting designs for a replacement royal yacht.

motor yacht the one

Now Bannenberg & Rowell, the practice has no less than five World Superyacht Awards under their belt and continues to pioneer in every aspect of superyacht design for an ever-growing client list.

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