In the world of large yacht design today there is one major magnitude named Espen Oino. Almost every other visible boat in recent years is the fruit of his pen. Besides being one of the most fashionable and sought after designers, he is also very charismatic and charming. Anyway, he's a real star.
Almost 80% of Espen's time is spent travelling, and it is often found in Russia. On one of these trips, we interviewed him.
In recent years we have seen a «war of sizes»: more and more yachts are appearing. Do you think yachts will continue to develop in this direction?
I don't think they'll grow endlessly. They may grow a little bigger, but I have not heard of any projects to build even bigger yachts at the moment. It seems to me that there is a stage where you can completely lose the feeling of space, privacy for yourself. It is also possible to lose yourself and your guests on a yacht. Yes, I don't think the yachts will grow much. There are two sides to it, you know, the possibility of spending time on a yacht by yourself and with your friends, and the possibility of «parking»on a yacht.
Not all bays are capable of accommodating a yacht over 100 meters, and if you imagine 200? I don't think that's possible. You shouldn't forget about the price. Big yachts are very expensive, the bigger the yacht, the higher the costs, the bigger the number of crew and their needs and a kind of cycle is obtained when the price increases with the size in progression.
How is your creative process going? What kind of technique do you prefer to work with when designing a yacht?
For me personally, a sketch is a matter of convenience and the ability to quickly make changes to a particular part. Sometimes something appears as needed, or needs to be added or amended. Sometimes it takes 7 clicks to draw a line using a computer and for me it is a loss of speed and simplicity of sketching.
And on paper you can do it like this: «Burnjob! And it's done!»
But generally, it's a matter of preference. Some may do it quickly on a computer, but I prefer to do it manually.
Almost 20 years ago you invented the Enigma, which is today considered a classic eco yacht. Have you changed your thinking about eco yachting today?
There's been a misunderstanding. ECO is the first name of the yacht. Enigma. And Enigma is not an example of sustainability. It has a motor and gas turbines on it. It's just a classic design. Very unusual and powerful design, everything is very tightly packed. Enigma is famous for its design, including pyramids, superstructure with convex windows, and hull design, which allows it to reach a maximum speed of 30 knots. And even in terms of economy, there are now yachts that are more economical. But economy means less dumping in the ocean, and therefore less fuel consumption. Have you heard of Silver or Silver Zwei? It's the same length as the Enigma (ECO), but it's a bit longer. The Enigma is 11.2 metres wide, and the Silver is 10. Silver is made of lighter materials and weighs almost half the size of the Enigma. The Silver also had smaller engines, which of course had an impact on speed (27 knots for Silver 2, compared to 30 for the Enigma). Silver is inferior to Enigma in height. But I want to note that Silver with a cruising speed of 20 knots shows excellent fuel consumption - 400 liters per hour. All these factors (light weight, smaller volume and height) make Silver 2 more environmentally friendly than the Enigma.
Which trends in yacht design do you consider most important?
Environmental friendliness is very important.
The most significant now is minimizing environmental pollution.
Ships are known to dump a lot of waste into the sea - crew waste, food waste, fuel waste, acid and oil waste - and therefore the most reliable way to reduce such pollution is to increase efficiency, the more economical a yacht is (speaking about engine efficiency) - the less chemical waste it throws into the sea. This is the way to make your boat more environmentally friendly.
Silver Zwei is an example of a ship that is made with «a greener vision» of the world. What is the future of the semi-custom direction?
Since the 70-80s, most yachts have been built on the following principle. The basic model was taken and customization was carried out - improving the performance on request. For example, the upper two decks were changed, as well as settings, navigation systems, engines, control systems, etc. Communications remained such, as on a prototype (base model). Everything was the same as in other industries, for example, the automotive industry - Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. They are like twins - doors, wheels, body. But with different engines. The basic things are the same. It's the same in the yachting industry.
Tell us about your experience working with Russian customers. Does it differ from your experience of working with other clients?
Russian clients are younger and therefore more ready for a new, sometimes even challenging, design solution. Russian clients, I don't know, because Russians, or because they are young, are more inclined to various innovations, improvements, bold solutions, perfectionism. To a more personalized, personal design. Clients from Russia most often show a need for something unusual, extraordinary, which makes it very interesting to work with them. Expanding boundaries in design is in the spirit of the Russian mentality, isn't it?
Is it always possible to find common language with the client, or there are cases when you understand that you have different ideas about beauty?
It happens, it happens and so on ... Then I try to explain to the client what caused my vision and, as I understand very well that the person approached me, based on my previous projects, we discuss his vision and my vision, and try to come to a mutual solution. The most important thing in this situation is to preserve mutual respect, which leads to mutual understanding.
A year ago you came to Moscow to give a lecture within the framework of industrial design competition. And did you have design experience in other areas?
A few years ago I tried my hand at watch design. As I mentioned in today's lecture, I am working on the design of my own house. The house of my dreams. I'm working on a new design of things, tools for drawing. I am very interested in this! Pens, pencils... Their appearance, their functionality. I really like to hold a tool in my hands and draw by hand on paper. And I hope that someday we'll move back to manual design. To pencil and paper. That would be interesting. The process of drawing and writing is very exciting and enjoyable. By the way, you also prepared questions by hand writing them on paper, right?
I love it!
YACHTS magazine #37 was used.