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Industry Insight

The Future of Superyachting: Holger Kahl

As the meaning of luxury and generational preferences shift, the yachting experience evolves. Superyacht thought leader Holger Kahl explores the technology, trends and truths that shape the future.

Holger Kahl, of German shipyard Nobiskrug, explores the trends that are shaping the future of the superyacht industry. Read more insights into the future of yachting from Louis Hamming and Rose Damen.


How is the industry evolving to meet the needs of the next generation?

Clients are getting younger. They are tech-orientated and want sophisticated superyachts focused on functionality, quality and flexibility. It is becoming less about just outward appearances and more about a yacht’s personal, experiential value.

Can the superyacht industry learn from other industries?

Certainly. Nobiskrug also build military vessels so there is a lot of knowledge shared in-house between these two unique sectors. The beauty of our yacht projects is that every last element is custom-made so we are constantly developing and learning.

Are owners influencing innovation, or is innovation influencing owners?

Owners frequently influence innovation. Our owners in particular are not afraid to break boundaries and challenge the status quo. Through taking risks and trying new things, we are able to bring the requests of an owner to life in ways that may not have seemed possible. Take Sailing Yacht A‘s groundbreaking underwater observation pod; it is entirely unique and pushes glass technology to new levels.

What role will sustainability and the environment play in yacht design in the future? 

Sustainability and the protection of our planet will rightfully become a top priority. Future environmental restrictions, regulations and concerns will have to be addressed with our designs. Whether it is quiet and efficient systems that remove the need for an anchor that can potentially damage coral reefs, or alternative propulsion systems with improved exhaust and different fuel sources, this is something we are always investigating.

How will the growing importance of privacy and security impact future yachts?

From access to cabins via fingerprints and iris recognition, to high tech sensors under the decks and underwater, security technology will be at the heart of a yacht’s engineering to keep owners secure. Here again, Nobiskrug can capitalise on our military expertise.

Do you see refit and conversion projects becoming more desirable in future?

Yes. There are more yachts on the water but the number of shipyards is not increasing. Refit and conversion projects are becoming, and will continue to become, popular as a way to have a yacht from a quality yard tailored to your lifestyle in a shorter period of time.

How will owners of the future choose a shipyard?

Reputation and word of mouth will be more important than ever.

What excites you about the future of yachting? 

Yachting is one of the only things that offers true privacy, luxury, individuality, flexibility and escape. This will become even more true in the future. That is exciting.

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