Nuvolari Lenard, the courage to create a yacht that will be a classic

Nuvolari Lenard’s  founding Partner, Carlo Nuvolari (on the right in the photo) reflects on the company’s achievements in the world of superyacht design over the last 25 years alongside Dan Lenard in the studio based in Venice

by Carlo Nuvolari

With 2017 marking our 25th anniversary of working together as the Nuvolari Lenard design studio, this milestone gives us reason to pause and reflect on what has been achieved over the last quarter of a century, how we have impacted the world of design and where things will be heading in the future.

Carlo Nuvolari 

Black Pearl

A design company needs an identity beyond its styling. Our mission at Nuvolari Lenard is to produce innovative ideas and solutions that are packaged with Italian flare and iconic elegance.

This spans all our areas of business, from custom superyachts and production yachts to residential interiors.

Classics are always ground-breaking, which is why Nuvolari Lenard is a proactive design studio. You need to be bold to create something that will be remembered and become a classic. We do not wait for customers to ask us for a design. If inspiration strikes, we study and research before applying new concepts in the projects that are built from our designs.

Carlo Nuvolari 

MCY 105

Occasionally, we create designs that will never be built or seen; it is this creative process that keeps us and our young partners fresh and pushing the boundaries in yacht and residential design, regardless of whether there is a particular project in mind.

It is our philosophy that everyone within the studio, from junior apprentice designers right up to the partners, should spend the maximum time possible with a pencil in their hand.

Many of our current projects are totally confidential and will remain so until launched. However, we can reflect upon some of our highlights from the last 25 years, including the ‘firsts’ in yachting that have become a part of the Nuvolari-Lenard’s design DNA, recognizable throughout our fleet of yachts and which have been widely adopted across the yachting industry. These elements are not just related to styling but they also relate to certain functions, many of which have become mainstream today.

Car muscles’
The strong ‘car muscle’ lines that are typical of all the Palmer Johnson Sportyachts that we designed have an unmistakable style that became a hallmark of Palmer Johnson, and one of the builder’s most recognizable design elements. These ‘muscles’ were introduced to enhance the sensation of power in the yachts. Aside from their aesthetic effect, they were used to conceal the large air intakes and protect the aft decks from cross winds. Carlo Nuvolari 

Glass fashion plates 
Although fashion plates were nothing new, we introduced them in glass material for our Monte Carlo Yachts line. Used to connect upper and main decks, the glass protects the aft decks from cross winds while still allowing the field of view to remain open. As well as all our Monte Carlo Yachts designs, glass fashion plates can be seen on M/Y Alfa Nero (2006) and the 109-metre Oceanco the new build project currently under construction.

Flared bow
Also seen on Black Pearl, the 106 meter long giga-sailer, is the original and distinctive bow shape, which ensures the longest possible waterline to a flared bow. The unique and unmistakable shape is a variation of the bowline concept seen on Palmer Johnson’s 210-foot and 171-foot yachts. The aim was to provide an aggressive look to the bow while also delivering performance enhancement in the naval architecture, through lengthening at the waterline and using a flare to divert bow spray.

Aft deck infinity pool
Perhaps the design feature for which Nuvolari-Lenard is most renowned, we first introduced a ‘statement’ rear pool on Alfa Nero, again for Oceanco. Our aim was to create a new way of enjoying the aft deck of large “white yachts” that had not been seen before. We designed the feature because we had noticed that, with the increasing size of superyachts, owners and guests were being moved further away from the sea. This resulted in negative feelings, as though being on a ‘mini cruise ship’ rather than on a luxury yacht.

Carlo Nuvolari 


Black masts
The striking black mast on Lürssen’s M/Y Quattroelle, designed by Nuvolari-Lenard, was first seen long before the 86-metre yacht was delivered in 2013. We first introduced the design of a black mast on the 72-metre CRN, M/Y Azteca delivered in 2010.

With such black details, we wanted to achieve a more masculine, military look for the yachts, in contrast with the generally accepted ‘gentle’ look of the so-called ‘white yachts’.

Better use of the foredeck
We first considered a new and more guest-focused use of the foredeck on medium- and small-sized cruisers with our first line with Monte Carlo Yachts in 2009. Before this, the foredeck ‘features’ were commonly no more than a sun pad over the forward cabin. Today, this has become a popular area for guests to enjoy socializing, especially when at anchor or docked stern-to in a marina or port, as it gives more privacy than being in the cockpit. The majority of serial production shipyards have now introduced layouts with better use of the foredeck due to demand from clients.Many of these design concepts that were introduced by Nuvolari-Lenard have been ‘adopted’ by other designers over the years.

Yacht privacy
Although Nuvolari-Lenard is currently working on a large number of projects that are both in build as well as in the design phases, we are unable to disclose details for many of them. In many ways, yachting is a peculiar part of the luxury sector. We design beautiful things that are created to be seen and admired over their existence, but a veil of privacy is pulled tight over them, especially during construction.

I always remind my clients who wish to build a yacht that the market wants to know and builders need to show. In my view, it is better to be in control of the quality of these images, and to protect the yacht’s ‘brand’ (as all yachts of significant size and stature have a brand and a value), than to leave the job to the media-hungry public.

(Nuvolari Lenard, the courage to create a yacht that will be a classic – – February 2018)