By: Beatrice Chiardi
9th May, 2022

With the generational shift and the new Owners being in the thirties, kids on board are a routine. For this reason, numerous designers are facing the need to reorganize the layout and space of the areas on a yacht, in order to create dedicated spaces for kids to have fun, play and relax.

As time passes, there has definitely been a shift in attitude. As Marnix Hoekstra of Vripack explains, “previous clients would work on designing a grown-up  yacht and the kids would simply be expected to live on it. That’s no longer the case.”

Today owners focus far more on keeping their children satisfied, happy and entertained. 

While the adults mostly enjoy relaxing and spending some time on the sundeck, teenagers prefer to relax on the beach club, with the opportunity to jump into the water and try out the selection of water sports available. Children, instead, are most likely to spend time at the pool on the bridge deck, as well as on the bridge deck with comfortable sofas and a PlayStation.

The main idea for yacht designers is to create “child-friendly” interiors, for example inspired by cartoon characters with themes cabins and interior and exterior fancy decorations. In other words, the concept is to create a child’s proper playground. Recent yachts have included the likes of giant Superman murals, entire walls covered in soft toys and bespoke balloon-shaped chandeliers.

Interior of Heesen Man of Steel

The offering of durable, yacht- and child-friendly fabrics has increased significantly in the last decade. Designers have started to create a space that is fun and engaging for kids. According to Jim Dixon at Winch Design, “…injections of color that can be changed on a regular basis are now the most common addition to children’s spaces”. 

Metis superyacht interior

Furthermore, designers need to consider the fact that children soon become young teenagers, thus the design of the yacht needs to be easily adapted to this condition. For instance, when considering a general arrangement, the nanny room might be placed between the crew cabins and the client cabins so it can be connected to the crew quarters at a later date, when it’s no longer required. 

The request for children’s cabins to be adjacent to the owners’ cabins as well as near a nanny cabin is something that is being requested more and more by modern yacht owners, says Dixon. “It is also preferable to have a bath as a priority to a shower, so bedtimes can involve a bath-time routine,” says Andrew Winch of Winch Design. This reflects the growing trend for yacht owners to live more like they would in their own homes on board.

Another child-oriented feature on board is the beach club or pool area. For example of Benetti’s new Oasis 40M boasts a splendid beach club, considering it a safe and fun space for the whole family to enjoy. It features built-in lounge seating next to a small pool, and a terraced space off the stern makes for easy access into the water. 

Besides, also dedicated games and media rooms for the younger generation are becoming increasingly popular. An example is the Neptune Lounge on the 74.5-metre Abeking & Rasmussen, which offers an underwater view with amphitheater-style seating in plush but child-friendly and durable fabrics. 

Installing state-of-the-art technology on a superyacht always involves a lot of planning, especially when children and teenagers are involved.With any build, we’ve got to anticipate what the kids will be into in two or three years’ time,” says Hoekstra. “At the moment we’re looking into virtual reality a lot, as we think this will be the next big thing. For owners now I’m pitching entire virtual reality rooms for their kids.” There is also demand for more technology for children on board than previously. “We’ve definitely seen an increase from a technological point of view with a need for tablets, interactive books and game consoles,” says Dixon.

Besides the generational shift there has also been a change in yachting trends. With the increase in explorer yachts and longer voyages, kids’ areas need to be designed for work as well as play. For example, on board superyacht Artefact, built by Nobiskrug, unique laboratories have been created, equipped with microscopes and science equipment to allow the Owner to educate his kids on the nature around them. 

Wrapping it all up, with time passing by, the kids’ spaces are less focused on elaborate interior design and more on creative areas. For yachts entering the charter market, making them child-friendly is a plus, but without exaggerating.

Owning or chartering a superyacht allows large families to reunite and spend time together, therefore allowing different generations to gather. For this purpose, the design of a yacht should be balanced, characterized by a general arrangement that allows guests to stay together, as well as to enjoy privacy. As many yacht designers believe, jumping on board a superyacht is the ultimate experience and should therefore satisfy all families and include the right balance between the different needs.

*read full article on Boat International: https://www.boatinternational.com/luxury-yacht-life/interiors/design-kids-superyacht-spaces  


Beatrice CHIARDI