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Superyacht design competition offers new opportunities for UCLan students

Superyacht design competition offers new opportunities for UCLan students Banner Image

Superyacht UK group

Budding product designers find sea legs in prestigious event

Budding designers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been working on their sea legs after taking part in a national superyacht design competition.

Final year product design students Thomas Scowcroft and Tyler Best were invited as two of only 10 students from six universities to take part in the annual Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition 2018, in partnership with Pendennis Shipyard and Olesinski.

It is the only competition of its kind in the UK and is among a select few across the world to recognise future design talent and provide them the opportunity to truly grow such talent within the industry.

The competition is judged by a world-class panel of designers and superyacht experts, including Chairman of Superyacht UK, Peter Brown from Burgess, Stephen Hills from Pendennis Shipyard, Justin Olesinski from Olesinski, Tony Dixon from Redman Whiteley Dixon, Bill Dixon from Dixon Yacht Design, Dimitris Hadjidimos from D-iD Limited and former Superyacht UK Young Designer 2016 winner, Dastinas Steponenas.

We were give eight hours to complete the brief so it was intense and something completely new to us. I added luxury features such as a jacuzzi and a crane to haul in a jet ski and got some great feedback from the judges.

This year’s design competition was unlike any other. Rather than being greeted with a blank piece of paper, the 10 competing students from UCLan, Coventry University, Southampton Solent University, Staffordshire University, University of Plymouth and University of Wales, Trinity St David, were tasked to transform a 52.12m ex-navy vessel, the Ocean Star, into a bespoke superyacht.  The client - a proclaimed philanthropist, was looking for the ideal superyacht to support research into the problem of plastics in our oceans, whilst also offering luxury transport to peruse his passion for adventurous and unique holidays.  

Thomas, 22, commented: “We were give eight hours to complete the brief so it was intense and something completely new to us.  I added luxury features such as a jacuzzi and a crane to haul in a jet ski and got some great feedback from the judges.  While neither of us won, it was a great way of testing our skills in a new industry and developing our drawing techniques.”

Peter Brown, Chairman of Superyacht UK, commented: “It is great to see so much up and coming talent from our British universities and we hope this competition has helped inspire these students with the diversity and wonders of a career in the superyacht sector and the connections and experiences they have gained throughout the competition prove fruitful. We look forward to seeing these students, and many more like them, driving forward Britain’s superyacht powerhouses in the future.”

The prestigious annual Superyacht UK Young Designer Competition is run by industry representatives, Superyacht UK, an association of British Marine.


Final year product design student Thomas Scowcroft

Lyndsey Boardman | 19 January 2018