Young yacht talents Made in Italy


by Arianna Bionda, Andrea Ratti

The “Young Designer of the Year Award 2023” confirms the high level of Italian trained yacht designers. Within the 6 young finalists of the contest promoted by Boat International and Oceanco, 4 were coming from Italian universities, including the winner Alessandro Fulle


The “Young Designer of the Year Award” tasks young designers to imagine themselves as members of a small design studio, challenged by a realistic client request proposed by the Dutch yacht builder Oceanco.

This year, the participants were asked to finalize a design for a cutting-edge and environmentally friendly motor sailing yacht for a fashion designer with a worldwide chain of retail stores.

The yacht should have a dual use – for business as well as pleasure – and should be equipped with a design studio and atelier, where the stylist team could create and develop a range of high-end prêt-à-porter designs, while also providing an exclusive venue for fashion shows.

The leading role of Italian education
Every year the award calls on students and trainee designers from around the globe, and the percentage of finalists coming from Italian training path is significantly high, confirming the leading role of Italian education in the sector.

Among other university paths, the master bachelor’s degree in Vessel and Ship Design at La Spezia (course jointly held by the University of Genova and the Politecnico di Milano) and the Master in Yacht Design of, consortium of Politecnico di Milano, are among the most appreciated by national and international students that would like to foster their career as yacht designers or shipyard project managers.

Thanks to a mix of engineering and design classes, these two courses prepare students not only to effectively enter in the job environment but also to compete in international contests.

Alessandro Fulle

In the last ten years, in fact, 8 winners were coming from a “Made in Italy” training experience: Stefano Inglese, Timur Bozca, Thibaud Le Merdy, Nicolò Piredda, Yihharn Liu, Ana Čeović, Ignacio Bourgon and, this year, Alessandro Fulle.

Here below is a sneak peek of Alessandro Fulle’s Prêt-à-Porter design concept directly from the author’s voice.

Prêt-à-Porter design concept

At the core of Alessandro Fulle’s project there is a bi-functional concept tailored to offer the perfect balance of quiet, private spaces and large entertainment areas.

To achieve this, the yacht is divided into two:

  • the bow area is intended for the owner and guests;
  • the stern area can be used for social functions or fashion events.

The layout is very in tune with both the functions, to be able to slightly reduce the internal spaces dedicated to guests, compared to a classic layout for a yacht of this size range.

Design sketches
The vertical path on board
A large glazed central body crossing main-, upper-, and sundecks is the focal point of the whole project guiding the guests on a vertical path representing the fashion product journey.

The circular stair path (from bottom to top) starts from the concept phase in the design studio (at the main deck level), going through the production phase that takes place in the dressmaking atelier (at the upper deck level), until a cat walking area for exhibition and fashion show at sundeck level.

The top deck features no fixed structures and furnishings to allow for a variety of different setups, for a flexible and multi-functional events space.

Structure highlights


Other highlights include a multi-level beach club with a swim platform and a glass atrium on the main deck that can be used as a showroom or atelier.

The beach club is the welcome area for guest and clients; it is designed to guarantee comfortable access from and to the sea with a transformable swim platform that, when closed, keeps clean the external line of the yacht and, when open, guarantees the docking of three limo tender.

The transformer hides a garage for two dinghy sailings that can be easily armed launched, thanks to their positioning so close to the water.

At main deck level, an impressive glass atrium surrounds the circular stair path enclosing the glazed atelier. The atrium is properly designed as showroom for firm collections. The showroom and the atelier are entirely surrounded by glass walls, offering a 360° view of sea and nature: an unusual and stimulating atmosphere for both design team and guests.

Then, through the two spiral staircases, clients reach the terrace on the upper deck where the events take place. At sundeck level, the journey ends with a transparent dome covered by curved solar panels showing client the way to the even area.


To each their own

The bow area is, instead, dedicated to the owner, her family and friend guests, that can enjoy private and isolated spaces.

The guest cabins, located on the lower deck, have direct access to the spa area, closely connected to the beach area and the sea platform.

A private elevator and stairs allow them to directly reach the main deck where the main salon/dining room is located, and the upper deck where, from a guest privé area with bar, one can reach the large terrace and the public sundeck.

On main deck, a full beam cabin is reserved for the owner. Located close to the bow, the master cabin offers, apart from the large central bedroom, two large separate bathrooms with jacuzzi and sauna, a large dressing room with entrance sitting area, and a private office.

This can be opened both to the owner cabin or to the main dining room, serving as meeting room in working context.

The whole interior design is finished with dark wood essence and light-colored fabrics to create an evocative contrast with the glass structure and the neutral and natural color of owner firm collection, giving dynamism to the showroom collection exhibit.