Motorboat Expert

Independent Yachting Magazine

What is a gentleman’s yacht and why modern ugly design won

Classic gentlemen's yachts

Updated on May 31st, 2024

Modern yacht designers, in order to stand out from the crowd of thousands of other such designers, often have to develop absolutely disgusting boat concepts, which, for some completely incomprehensible reason, find enthusiastic responses among potential buyers and representatives of the industry. Probably, everyone has already developed immunity to ugly things, which now even seem beautiful to many.

However, it is difficult to blame the designers, because shocking superyachts, first of all, are in demand by the market itself. And in the first place, potential buyers are to blame, who want to be special and strive to stand out among others with all their might. Considering that the sense of taste and aesthetics is lost somewhere today, it is not surprising that the marinas are filled with yachts with crappy designs that contradict any mathematical foundations of harmony. Some superyachts are so ugly that they drive down property prices near where they are moored.

Fortunately, a large amount of floating ugliness does not please everyone. Apparently, there are still people who appreciate the graceful lines of classic motor yachts and their almost tangible nobility.

Gentlemen’s yachts are timeless pieces of art that do not need to have a hundred meters of LOA in order to be noticed. By the way, the men (and sometimes women, yes) who buy them are not looking for attention at all. These boats are like a beautiful painting by an artist that you admire in your living room, but you don’t mind if your guests admire it too.

Gentleman's yacht

But these boats will still not get away from attention, no matter where they are. A 15-meter classic motor yacht will gather more curious eyes around her than standing next to her, who have already become familiar, mega-yachts. This means that not everything is lost yet, and people can distinguish what is really beautiful and has artistic value, and what is just boastful, ostentatious and absolutely tasteless.

Here it must be admitted that there are really very beautiful modern superyachts that do not spoil the surrounding landscape, but, on the contrary, decorate it with their stay. However, such boats are extremely rare.

A gentleman’s yacht doesn’t have to be all wood, of course not. And, although the wooden hull feels incomparably better under the engine or at anchor than any other material, problems with its maintenance and preservation can overshadow the joy of ownership. Modern materials do not have the same problems as wood, and their use below the waterline is always welcome.

Gentlemen's yachts

However, in a gentleman’s yacht, an interior with an abundance of wood is a must by default. Steel and copper, of course, can always be present, but no plastic, even if it is used in structural elements, should be visible.

Perhaps the main thing that distinguishes the interior of a gentleman’s yacht is home comfort, and not sterile minimalism, as in huge spaceships from science fiction films. Shelves with numerous books, English soft sofas, table lamps with warm light – everything that you can find in a gentleman’s house, you will find on his boat.

Elegance should be in everything. Gentlemen of all times understood this and their boats have always been the ultimate embodiment of this philosophy. Today, some manufacturers have caught the demand for classic motor yachts among modern gentlemen and periodically build models that can appeal to people who have not lost their taste and sense of style. It does not always work out, because it is difficult for modern designers to find a middle ground and often elegance is lost due to a heap of unnecessary details. But at least they try.

Be that as it may, the classics on the water are unlikely to ever dominate, and the golden age of yachting will not return. But there are still many unique creations from the last century, which, after a small restoration, are ready to become a harmonious continuation of their new owner.