Before founding his own studio in 2011, Steve Gresham wrote iconic designs for superyachts such as 123m Al Lusail and 82m Graceful during his time at Tony Castro Design and H2 Yacht Design.
Based in Mayfair, London, Gresham Yacht Design provides a comprehensive design service to support the owner’s brief, from concept creation through to the build process, drawing on a wealth of industry experience. From the elegance of the 120m Emir project to the unique Hydrosphere concept, Gresham Yacht Design is certainly one of the boldest innovators in the industry.
Gresham’s discussion during the build-up to the Top 100 premiere touched on the big topic of the day, how this industry can use its wealth of talent and resources to create solutions for a more sustainable future.
“It’s probably the most important thing in the world today,” Gresham said. “Sustainability, recyclability, reuse. I think the superyacht industry needs to step up and play its part.
Invited on the role of both owner and designer in this process, Steve sees the impetus as shared. “I think it’s the designer’s responsibility to show the owner the options, and that’s what we do. But obviously it’s driven by an owner who wants to build a boat that’s as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. That comes from the owner, but the designer has the same responsibility to show the owner what is possible.”
At Gresham Yacht Design there are certainly many well-developed solutions to motivate an environmentally conscious owner. Steve Gresham presented the Albion project as a concept for Britain’s royal yacht, returning to a sailing platform not just outside naval traditions, but as a long-lasting and efficient venture.
For Gresham, effective sustainability improvements need to be made not just in one specific area, but in all areas. “On a boat, there are so many systems” Gresham explains, “And in my opinion, if each system can be made a little bit more efficient, if you take all these little parts and add them up, you actually get a big bonus in terms of fuel economy.”
Gresham refers to a recent conversation he had with a superyacht captain, who explained how repainting his hull from blue to white resulted in significant savings on air conditioning simply by preventing the hull from overheating. “Implementing lots of little things together will add up to a bigger economy.”
One of the most exciting news of the evening came as Gresham announced an all-electric speedboat he currently has under construction with Hunt Marine. The project, EV8 (featured in the image slider above), shows that the pursuit of more efficient designs can be done without compromising style. Much like the evolution of electric car designs from early concepts to today’s Teslas, the EV8 is as exciting for its futuristic, sleek design as it is for its efficient electric platform.
“It’s not something we usually do, we usually do big boats,” said Gresham, “but it’s an 8m all-electric speedboat.” Gresham’s concept was born out of a desire to challenge utility-looking electric boats and instead present something exciting from a design perspective. “This is the Lamborghini, the Ferrari. This is for the guy who drives one of those cars and wants a boat that matches that kind of look.
The 8m speed boat is the start of a series of fully electric boats developed by Gresham with Hunt Marine, applying their own new motor technology to make the most of radial and axial motors, bench tested to provide more 500 horsepower while weighing less than 25 kilograms.
EV8 may well be a project that drew inspiration from Gresham’s past experience with the Williams Grand Prix team, shifting the emphasis on high performance from cars to high-speed yachts. EV8 is an exciting sign of what is to come as the industry develops designs to meet the need for greater efficiency, and we look forward to following the progress of EV8 as well as all other projects with Gresham. Yacht Design.