Den båt de flesta här hemma har hört talas om är ju Ludde Ingvalls Nicorette II:
Jag fick tillfälle att ställa en del frågor direkt till Alex Simonis och tänkte dela upp intervjun i en rad med inlägg. Exklusivt för Öresund Regatta alltså.
First time I heard about Simonis Voogd was when the Swedish boat Nicorette II took line honors in Sydney Hobart race 2004. Nicorette II is a mega yacht.
What challenges do you see with such a wide span of designs like designing cruising catamarans, a high performance maxi yacht like Nicorette II and Americas Cup yachts like Shosholoza?
In 1982, I got my first job as an inhouse designer for Cenmarine (Today known as Southern Wind Shipyards) in Cape Town. The yard was doing large alloy yachts, and had no design office.
I did some designs for they yard while working there, but started on my own in 1984.
Maarten joined me in 1989 and in 1998 we formed a partnership under the name Simonis Voogd with a new office in the Netherlands.
In 28 years you do end up working on a lot of different yachts. I like it; it keeps me interested in design work, as different concepts bring different challenges. I always liked doing such a wide range of work, it helps me to try and think outside the box when you have to. Nowadays yacht design has changed somewhat, it’s no longer just the gifted designer who puts a nice boat on the water, but he and his team, of CFD and FEA specialist which have become indispensable in order to play at the top end of the game.
Where do you think you have your strength?
Pretty much in what I said in the previous answer, I think our strength as a design office lies
in our versatility and experience. For me personally, I like to think it lies in the experience gathered and constantly realizing that in order to make progress you need to think outside the box and be prepared to listen no new idea’s and look at new styles, I think designers should be young, of course I think of myself as young, but having said that, I like to see what younger designers can produce and then combine it with my own experience to ensure that it comes out as good as it possibly can.
As an office policy we don’t like to go into the details of who does what. Reality is as a design team we work together on each project but each of us has the ability to do a complete design himself without the need of the other partner. Maarten likes different aspects to the design than I do. This works well for us because as a result he is much better and more efficient at it than I’m and vise versa with the things I prefer to do. As a rule of thumb we always say that Maarten looks after projects above the equator and I look after those below the equator. However with us getting more and more work in Europe we tend to split this up more evenly per project.
I nästa inlägg får ni höra mer om Alex och den sydafrikanska Americas Cup satsningen
Do you have your own staff of experts or do you utilize a network of the needed competencies?
In yacht design, (and probably many other businesses, especially now) you never know what next project is around the corner. We like to look more into quality, rather than quantity. I just enjoy designing and can engulf myself completely in one job and then move on to the next one. Not too realistic when you want to run a business and look at any level of sustainability. On average we busy with 7 to 8 projects at the time, when it’s quiet this could drop to 2 or 3 (fortunately I can’t remember when we last had this).
We try not keeping full time staff. Admin and Accounting are part timers. Those employees we use on the project management side are contracted per project. The CFD and FEA specialists are independent subs, but we have a close working relationship with them, grown out to the contacts we established with them during the Shosholoza campaign. They are all South African based and also physically close by which makes it even easier to communicate. (E-mail and Skype is great, but having a discussion together about a project, while having a beer and watch the sunset is still better.)
Kolla också vad Alex Simonis har att säga om köldesign:
Kolla också vad Alex har att säga om Americas Cup, flerskrovsdesign och framtiden fö Cupen: