PROJECT ACE – the perfect yacht?

Published 23 mai 2024

PROJECT ACE began, like many great things do, as a conversation at a dinner party. Central to the discussion was designing and building a yacht that minimised risk for the owner on every possible front, one that hit the sweet spot in every respect – a perfect yacht. The debate ebbed and flowed and at the end of the evening, there was a simple, yet highly ambitious, design brief: 

If we were given a blank sheet of paper and asked to design the ideal yacht – one that minimises ownership risk by maximising charter appeal, resale value, operational integrity and crew satisfaction – what would the components of this highly attractive vessel look like?’ 

New York/Athens-based Sales Broker and Partner Crispin Baynes takes up the story. 

What works, what doesn’t 

‘It was such a compelling, absorbing idea that we ended up running with the brief. We formed an internal task group with the heads of our Charter, Brokerage, Yacht Management, New Build Sales, Crew, ESG and Technical Services teams to workshop the specification.  

‘Each department contributed their best-practice ideas based on the hands-on running of well over 100 yachts in the Burgess operationally managed fleet, over 100 more in the Burgess charter-managed fleet and the 50-plus new yachts we’ve been involved in building for our clients.  This involved absolutely every aspect of engineering and design for guests and crew, from people who know what works and what doesn’t. 

'The outcome was hundreds of recommendations; considerations like good-sized mooring areas and practical luggage storage, pantries in useful places and crew passageways that make service easier, the most charter-friendly toy selection, redundancy for systems and ease of access for maintenance right through to streaming Wi-Fi everywhere. PROJECT ACE has an unprecedented amount of experience and learning built in already. 

‘The resulting shipyard brief we developed is the collective thinking of these Burgess design sessions. From these in-house discussions it emerged that around 65m (213ft) and 1,500GT was the perfect size range, the one where we see maximum future market demand potential.’ 

PROJECT ACE key features 

  • Market-ready design based on Burgess/Winch Design/multiple shipyards/yacht owners' collaborative IP  
  • 65m/1,500GT high-volume platform 
  • Upper deck is the owner’s private deck with panoramic views forward from the owner's suite
  • Up to 7 additional guest suites 
  • Expansive beach club with shell-door sea terraces and fold-down bulwarks 
  • Elevator to sun deck  
  • Geared for maximum charter market appeal 
  • Crew input for maximum operational integrity 
  • Broad market appeal layout and a top-tier designer offers maximum resale potential  
  • Competitive market pricing  

Marquee design credibility 

Winch Design's interpretation of PROJECT ACE, the perfect owner's yacht, seen here with the plumb bow
Winch Design's interpretation of PROJECT ACE, the perfect owner's yacht, seen here with the plumb bow
PROJECT ACE with Winch Design's traditional bow option
PROJECT ACE with Winch Design's traditional bow option

‘We also knew that, for the project to have maximum market appeal for both charter and resale, it needed to have the brand equity and IP of a well-respected design team. To get that, we collaborated with Winch Design, specifically Jim Dixon, Director of Yachts & Aviation, who took our brief and worked with his team to develop GA and exterior design options that capture the essence of the original question.'

'Burgess' deep-dive insights suggested we leverage three key design features to maximise buyer and charter potential,' adds Jim Dixon. 'Firstly, the biggest and best beach club in its class, secondly an elevator from the lower guest cabins all the way to the sun deck for easy guest circulation, and lastly - the 'killer app' on this size of vessel - placing the owner's suite on the upper deck to benefit from a forward panoramic view. You won't find that combination on any other 65m.'

‘One GA was fully developed,' Crispin continues, 'but we also played around with some other ideas. One has a passageway from the lower deck elevator lobby through to the beach club for instance, so if a client wanted to play with some different ideas, it’s entirely possible to go in whichever direction.’ 

This deckplan was fully worked up and there are several others oozing bright ideas
This deckplan was fully worked up and there are several others oozing bright ideas
Winch Design also looked at different exterior colourways and accents
Winch Design also looked at different exterior colourways and accents

Input and pricing from multiple shipyards 

Ed Beckett, Senior Partner, Naval Architect and Head of our New Build Sales team, ran the now well-developed project past several shipyards: ‘We gave this shipyard brief and Winch Design’s concept to a select shortlist of builders. We spent time with each of their technical teams, all of whom carried out a first-pass review through the lens of the initial design question. We built all of their feedback and IP into the design to de-risk the project still further. It significantly enhances the project's commercial and operational appeal to have that shipyard input.'

PROJECT ACE options 

  • Flexible GA open to client input  
  • Lower GT version available (1,250GT) 
  • Plumb or traditional bow  
  • Propulsion: shipyard pricing is based on traditional diesel mechanical with a peak shaving battery system. However, the GA and price can be adjusted to accommodate alternatives e.g. hybrid with PTO/PTI or diesel-electric 

The lower volume version offers around 1,250GT of internal volume
The lower volume version offers around 1,250GT of internal volume

‘Together we also developed a shortlist of options that includes lower volume and longer versions, hybrid propulsion and different bow profiles. Finally, each yard gave us their pricing guide for the finished product, and there are some genuinely eye-catching propositions on the menu. There is quite a spread in the guide pricing, so there's something there to suit buyers of all budgets.'

Road-tested on multiple yacht owners

'Finally,' adds Crispin, 'we sent the design package to a number of our trusted clients who have experience of building their own yachts, or multiple yachts, with careful commercial considerations in their own designs. The feedback from these user sessions has been invaluable and again it was all baked back into the current go-to-market design package for PROJECT ACE. I can't think of another project that gives an incoming owner so much hard-earned IP from so many sources. It's a huge opportunity, I've never known anything like it.'

All it needs is the green light... 

‘At this point we now have a mature concept developed by Burgess with a big-name design studio that has been pressure-tested by multiple yards’ technical teams and owners of many new-build yachts, a range of options and a complete menu of competitive shipyard pricing.  

‘This package is ready for a client to step into immediately, this is a plug-and-play project for a yacht that hits every owner sweet-spot. We estimate that, as well as significant de-risking of the design, the time-saving for a client today in the pre-contract phase is about eight months.

PROJECT ACE has multiple benefits designed in to de-risk the project significantly
PROJECT ACE has multiple benefits designed in to de-risk the project significantly

‘What we’ve shown here is just a fraction of the work that has gone into this project. We have the longer and lower volume designs with several GAs by Winch Design, shipyard briefs, project timelines – it’s exactly where you’d expect a project to be well into the pre-contract phase, except this one was born out of natural curiosity about what makes the perfect yacht.  

‘If you want to share our excitement about making PROJECT ACE a reality, please let me know and I’ll be delighted to share more detail.’ 

PROJECT ACE benefits 

  • The most de-risked custom yacht project ever 
  • Expected charter rate from EUR 650,000/USD 700,000 per week 
  • Functional design ensures maximum resale market appeal based on yachts we know have repeatedly sold well 
  • Proven concept shortens pre-contract phase

To find out more about Burgess’ yachts for sale and yachts for charter, please contact a Burgess broker. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our offices directly: London, Monaco, New York, Miami, Singapore or all other locations.

- Yachts, prices and availability are correct at the time of publication.

Inscrivez-vous à notre newsletter

Restez informé

Inscrivez-vous à notre newsletter pour recevoir toutes les actualités de Burgess.

Quels types d'e-mails souhaitez-vous recevoir ?

Afin de comprendre comment nous utilisons et protégeons vos informations personnelles, veuillez lire notre politique de confidentialité.

Langue : en fr

Filtrer vos résultats