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Superyacht or violin? Yacht designer finds the synergies

by Lee Mylchreest/Sail-World Cruising on 14 May 2013
Stradivarius floating - can you see the similarity? .. .
Just when we thought that every bizarre shape possible had been used by superyacht designers, created by every possible strange inspiration of the owner or the designer, there's another. A superyacht is to be designed in the mode of a Stradivarius violin, by UK designer Alex McDiarmid.

In case you were wondering, a violin, as you can see by the image above, has excellent sea keeping qualities, floating very well if placed in water. Could yacht building learn anything from violin making in terms of evolution or revolution? McDiarmid seems to think so.

Following a recent visit to the inspirational city of Venice and the Museo della Musica Di Venezia / The Venice Music Museum, McDiarmid looked at the stringed instruments on display- from harps to cellos, double bases, violins and violas produced throughout the ages.

McDiarmid began to carefully inspect each element of the instruments design noting its technical geometry which has not really changed in over 450 years.

McDiarmid witnessed the workshop construction process of various stringed instruments including the selection, preparation and working of various materials all while listening to Le Quattro Stagioni Di Antonio Vivaldi.


The inspiration flowed and McDiarmid claims that if you look carefully you will see that these instruments share similar geometry and construction principles with yacht design.

Observing the construction of such stringed instruments he noticed the striking similarities to superyacht construction. Evident from the outset was the pure craftsmanship of the very highest quality. Box and modular construction of the instruments main belly and back (the hull, bulwarks and bulkheads of the yacht) and the marriage of the tail piece, neck and scroll (the super structure) The bridge is of course the bridge.

McDiarmid also looked at the various types of bows used to play instruments and learnt about three violin bow heads: transitional, swan-bill head and pike-head. These inspired the reverse bow design that flows up, into, through and over its concept.

The tuning pegs on the neck of such instruments inspired anchor lockers, mooring guides and window graphics while the neck/hand area inspires a deep set hull window for a sensational view of the water whilst on board.

The f-holes (sound holes) provide atrium like glazing inspiration while a huge, main deck curved ‘glazed wall’ aft allows natural day light in.

Technical/Principal Characteristics of the new 120m superyacht Stradivarius by Alex McDiarmid:
Length overall: 120m / 393ft
Beam: 20m / 65ft
Owner state room and private decks
Berth capacity for guests 16 in 8 cabins
Berth capacity for crew 30
A hybrid power Diesel Electric propulsion system with pod drives, electric Voith Inline Propulsors/thrusters, Volvo Penta D16 MG gensets, Valance batteries.
The hull is made from steel while the superstructure is in aluminium, the more common combination for a yacht of this size.

NaiadWildwind 2016 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82

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