Gibbs & Cox Yacht Design Competition / by Sharon Alchus

Last month, five employee teams from Gibbs & Cox presented their design concepts to a panel of judges for the G&C design competition.  The goal of this competition was to challenge the technical skills and knowledge, creativity and presentation skills of the participants.  Teams were challenged to design “Tomorrow’s Yacht”:

The results of the competition were incredible!  Five very unique and creative designs were developed.  Each of them was backed up by solid engineering and presented professionally. Deciding on a winner was no easy task.  The winning team will receive a trip to the Ft. Lauderdale boat show in November where ALL the teams will have their design displayed at the G&C/DLBA booth.

Winning team: “M/Y Heritage”   - Kevin Byers, Ryan Seifert and Tyler Steel.  Kevin Byers, Ryan Seifert and Tyler Steel created an intriguing yacht design that combines modern day amenities with traditional yacht styling.  Levering the design heritage of the S.S. United states, the team has incorporated portlights, a ships mast, bridge wings and color combinations inspired by the great steamliner. An innovative hybrid drive and an efficient hullform gives the design the range for excursions to any exotic location.

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First Runner Up:  “The Little u project” Pat Naughton.  at Naughton’s concept is a yachting experience on a small nostalgically styled cruise ship. Leaning on design aspects of the iconic S.S. United States (the “Big U”) Pat has created a design that departs from the cookie cutter cruise ships to provide a more intimate, yacht inspired experience. Potential destinations include excursions to the polar regions, Galapagos Islands and other environmentally sensitive ports of call. With that thought in mind, Pat has incorporated advanced technologies to reduce the ships environmental footprint, improve safety and increase comfort for a unique passenger experience.


Second Runner Up: “3DPC Sport Cruiser”. Peter Buescher and Andrew Edwards. Peter Buescher and Andrew Edwards took on the challenge of rethinking how a yacht could be produced. With 3-D printing technology advancing rapidly, the team conceptualized a yacht design that could take advantage of this technology on a scale yet to be attempted. Combining an extraordinarily beautiful and well-conceived design with a breakthrough manufacturing technique made this design stand out. The concept brings together traditional styling of a runabout with modern mechanical features and the potential for a host of 3-D printed options like hard-tops, flybridges and custom interior configurations. There is even an onboard 3-D printer to create small parts, spares and novelty items while cruising at a top speed of 33 knots.


Best application of technology and innovative features: “SHX 550 Sportster”.  Christopher Swanhart and Jonathan Soja.  Chris Swanhart and Jonathan Soja’s concept brings outboard propulsion power to the yacht market. As a high performance “sport yacht”, their design takes advantage of recent technology advances in high powered outboard propulsion to give a yacht owner simplicity, flexibility low environmental impact and low cost. The end result is a yacht that can be owner operated with simplicity in mind to minimizeservice, repair and down time. A perfect yacht for an owner moving up from a production built design, power options can be customized to achieve speeds from 30 knots up to nearly 50 knots. Innovations such as a gyro-stabilization, tender storage, a kite sail for sunset cruising and a drone launch and recovery station make this design much more than just a fast luxury cruiser.


Most innovative marketing concept: “American Automotive Yacht”. Sean Sweeney.  Sean Sweeney’s concept is to develop a yacht design that is inspired by one of the great American automobile manufacturers. Yacht designs based on many of the luxury European car manufacturers have been developed but none have been created for a US Manufacturer. Using the Cadillac CTS as his base, Sean has developed a 50 foot high speed catamaran design with styling cues that mimic the aggressive lines and features of Cadillac’s CT series of performance luxury sedans.  Sean quotes the immortal words of Ricky Bobby, “I wanna go fast!” and his design delivers with a blistering 45 knot top speed and a smooth “Cadillac like” ride.