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Superyacht Designers’ Challenge entries due March 7


For the past decade, the U.S. Superyacht Association (USSA) has been championing the superyacht industry of the United States. Furthermore, with global design, yacht construction, and technology leaders among its members, the USSA is keen to showcase the talent on our shores. The challenge for you is to show how innovative design can continue to combine form and function, but in a way that is increasingly Ergonomic, Economic, and Easier to build than ever before.

Submit your best design for a superyacht concept. A superyacht is a yacht—power or sail—measuring a minimum of 80 feet. To better reflect the types of superyachts being built and serviced in the USA, your concept yacht should not exceed 400 feet. No need to submit a full design; rather, an outline is sufficient.

This can be as straightforward as a profile and plan, something more technically challenging such as a novel hull form/propulsion configuration, or even something where the aesthetic ideal meets engineering headlong, such as concealed storage for a helicopter or drive-in tender docking. Be sure to heed the judging criteria outlined below.

Entries due March 7.

Entries due March 7.

Entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges representing a cross-section of active businesses in superyachting. They will be awarding marks against four criteria:

Form. This is the aesthetic aspect of the design. There should be a strong appeal to the senses; visual, tactile, and any others than can be invoked. Judges will be looking for a form that suits  the end use and does not compromise the seaworthiness and functional needs of the vessel.

Function. The ergonomics will be considered alongside the seaworthiness of the vessel in performing its primary and any secondary functions. Judges will consider how easy it is to live  Ease of Manufacture. This aspect is becoming increasingly important. The need to have a design that can be constructed in a short space of time with the minimum likelihood of rework is driven by the desire to get vessels completed on time and on budget. Ease of construction is an important component of competitiveness. Manufacturing materials can be composite (a.k.a. fiberglass) or metal.

Low Energy Profile. This speaks directly to the changing needs of owners and operators. Extended range, clean/quiet operation, and lower annual costs are increasingly sought after,  alongside improved sustainability in construction. Judges will want to see you incorporate technology that is currently available or has had proof-of-principle work completed. In other  words, if it doesn’t already exist, don’t make it up.

The judges will narrow down entries to a list of finalists. Finalists will be invited to attend the USSA’s Superyacht Summit in Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday, March 15 to personally give a 3-minute presentation about what makes your company/product different. (If you cannot attend the Superyacht Summit, you may submit a pre-recorded video/slideshow.) Delegates at the Summit will get to vote, too.

One winner will be announced live at the Summit. He or she will then be showcased at the USSA booth at the West Palm Beach International Boat Show on Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18. The winner will additionally be featured in a post-Summit press release.

All entries are due by Monday, March 7. All materials must be sent to Ken Hickling at with the subject line “USSA Superyacht Tank Test.” Materials can be 

submitted as PDFs, JPGs, or PowerPoint presentations.


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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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