Ngoni Sailing Yacht | Interview

Ngoni Sailing Yacht Designed by Dubois Naval Architects and featuring an innovative interior by Rick Baker Ltd, Ngoni is luxurious as well as ‘fast and furious’ – the product of bold and minimalist design realised with impeccable build quality by Royal Huisman.

 Ngoni’s sleek and beautifully executed exterior conceals a host of innovative engineering to meet the challenges of marrying a huge, powerful and advanced rig with a slender and easily-driven hull.


Photographer Guillaume de Ramel

“Build me a beast.

Don’t build me a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

This has to be an edgy and innovative weapon;

fast and furious.”

Royal Huisman Shipyard is acknowledged as probably the best builder of large sailing yachts in the world today. 

Why do you think you were chosen for this project?

We believe the client was motivated by his appreciation for how his previous Royal Huisman built yacht, Antares, had served his needs. It takes a very discerning taste – and no small portion of patience – to justify the time of waiting for a new build project to be delivered. It’s not altogether uncommon, but this client firstly looked to the used market for a ‘ready to wear’ yacht. After all, he didn’t build his current Royal Huisman yacht, but purchased it used.

Having considered the used and available market he came to this conclusion, “You may get something that looks like a Royal Huisman Yacht – but it won’t be a Huisman yacht”. By his own admission, “You guys spoiled me; as hard as we tried we couldn’t find the feel and touch of what we’ve become accustomed to on our current boat – nothing else felt the same”.

How did you feel when you knew the job was yours?

To build a yacht represents no small portion of a person’s net worth. We were naturally excited but foremost the awarding of a contract throws a huge feeling of responsibility over your organisation that is being entrusted the responsibility to undertake, then marry the engineer challenges that ‘The Beast’ represents for the fit, feel and quality with the clients expectations. After all with the bar set by his previous Huisman yacht we know we have to raise it at all levels – and this elevation is not incremental, it’s wholly fundamental.


How do you work with the client, project manager and build captain?

We like to think very well. It’s the communication and we must say trust that is so very important. They are excellent communicators and in the absence of rarely seeing the client, this is all the more important; and they have earned our trust.

How big was the team working on the project?

It varied in accordance with the critical path identified in the production schedule. We are some 290 full time employees at Royal Huisman and these are spread amongst ‘The Beast’ and other projects we have under contract. Also as and where needed we hire in outside expertise or capacity.

Have you learned anything from the project?

We learn every day. Of course the full answer is best given one year after launch. I’m sure there will be reasons for the client to do another one!





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