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Rob Humphreys and his team at HYD have taken their many years of experience with high performance sailboats and applied it with the same rigour to motor yachts, with great success. A case in point is the 37m Ermis², a distinctive, multi-award winning craft built to a very specific brief that included a requirement to achieve peak speeds well in excess of 50 knots. This ability is in part a matter of raw power, but as important and indeed more relevant in a general sense is the efficiency of the hull and fit-out package, creating the platform for a safe and controllable high-speed mode but more importantly creating a boat that is surprisingly economical through the intermediate, day-to-day speeds.

Ermis’ award tally is extensive, with Innovation Awards in 2008 from Yachts International magazine and from Showboats magazine, an Innovation commendation by Boat International magazine, and perhaps most significantly the award of Best Power Yacht in the 24-40 metre category presented at the 2008 International Superyacht Society Design and Leadership Awards – the latter the result of a peer-group vote by members of the Superyacht Society.

Perhaps not surprisingly after such success, the Humphreys office has been working on a number of other large motor yacht projects, some high performance, others less so, but all of them with efficiency and easy-mannerism as cornerstones. The studio’s naval architectural skills and highly tuned creative instinct are perfect bedfellows for this invigorating world, where success is seldom measured in stereotypes and design challenges come along (to the right sort of mindset) as solutions waiting to happen.

With its extensively proven penchant for easily-driven hulls and exceptional sea-keeping qualities, the Humphreys ethos is well placed to meet some of the bigger challenges that are currently confronting this sector, and in the same way that it has always relished the intricate challenges of the yacht racing world it is now meeting the challenges posed by ecological concerns with the same dedication. It is no coincidence, for example, that Rob Humphreys saw such promise in the German company SkySails’ kite-propulsion system that he allowed them a free platform on the HYD Monaco Yacht Show stand over three consecutive years. And as a consequence of the developing relationship the Humphreys office is working up a number of motor yachts that through intelligent use of the SkySail system can have their propulsion system augmented by the free energy that has always been enjoyed by sailing yachts – the wind.

The Humphreys studio is enjoying all aspects of the large motor yacht world and is committed to developing its portfolio. It relishes the exploratory phase, which is to achieve an intensive understanding of a client’s most discriminating needs and then identify solutions through rigorous and searching conceptualisation; and in turn it is excited by the technical steps required to take concept to reality. As a journey it’s one where the rewards are as huge as the effort.