Dynamiq CEO Sergei Dobroserdov Backs Dutch Designs, Made In Italy
Dynamiq founder Sergei Dobroserdov shook up the superyacht sector by building Dutch-engineered yachts in Italy, later appointing an Asia ambassador.
What led you to create a superyacht brand with its own shipyard, competing with a lot of experienced shipyards, many of whom you’ve worked with?
First of all, I had no idea of competing. My intentions were much more rational. I simply wanted to sell something I believe in. I believe there is a shortage of really good superyachts on the market and I saw a niche, a sector of boats that didn’t exist. That was the starting point – and now some friends are copying us!
I wanted to create our own range of superyachts that, as a broker, I could sell. Also, being a broker gave me considerable experience of how shipyards were organised. I was building boats in Holland, Germany and Italy, so that gave me an understanding of the optimal set-up for a shipyard.
What was this niche you saw?
Put simply, we either have superyachts, which are exclusive, say 50m-plus, and built by big, well established shipyards like Feadship or Benetti, or there are serial fibreglass production boats, which are a completely different class of yachts.
However, the trend I was noticing was people who wanted to go a little bit down in size, not because they can’t afford to buy or manage a bigger boat, but because they wanted to have more pleasure-filled boating with a smaller boat, with the same quality found on boats of 60m or 70m.
The market was going in a completely different direction. The fibreglass production shipyards who were building at 20m were now stepping into 40m, 45m, and bringing the standards of 20m to 45m.
My intention was to be completely the opposite, by taking the standards of a 60m yacht built in northern Europe to a manageable size of 35m, 40m – making it more affordable but keeping the same standards. That’s not just in terms of quality, but also, for example, making deck heights 2.15m or 2.20m, while most production boats have 15cm less. In our mind, this is a real luxury.
Another niche was what we call transatlantic yachts. On the market, we have either fast planing boats or displacement boats, which are slower but have a big range. The former were suitable for either the Med or the Caribbean, which didn’t make much sense to me, as you can only use it for two months and have to pay crew and other expenses for another 10 months each year.
We wanted to build a boat that was fast enough, maybe 20 knots plus, and at the same time, was able to cross the Atlantic. For Asia, this is a great benefit as many of the destinations and island chains require long journeys of thousands of miles.
Another good point of having a long range, even if you’re not planning to cruise very far, is that you can visit places where infrastructure is not that developed, such as parts of Asia or around the Caribbean. There may not be that many marinas, so it’s great to not have to worry about fuel. That’s a real freedom.
In 2015, we were the first to say, ‘going fast and going far’ is the future, and now we can see other yards building these long-range GT boats.
Also, everybody’s extremely happy with boats built in the Netherlands, except for one thing: that they’re quite costly. My idea was to have 100 per cent of the engineering from the Netherlands and to organise production in Italy – in Massa, Tuscany. I’ve read that there are 39 shipyards from Viareggio to La Spezia, and ours is one of them.
So, you set up Dynamiq with a very international outlook?
The whole idea of being international is still quite unique. It’s because shipyards are generally not very open-minded. For example, Italian shipyards work with Italian sub-contractors because they speak the same language, it’s easier and they’re closer. But our position is that we’re working with the best, not the closest. That’s why we have 14 nationalities at the shipyard.
So, if you see the guys building the best aluminium hulls, they’re coming from the Netherlands; the most advanced navigation systems are from Germany; exhausts are from the UK; and so on. Van Oossanen Naval Architects is our long-term technical partner in the Netherlands and we worked with Vripack on the GTT 115.
Why choose Monaco as your headquarters?
Simply because I live in Monaco. Our production shipyard is an Italian company. Another way Dynamiq is different is that we have our own design studio (Dobroserdov Design). We do all the designs ourselves, which is interesting because we see maybe five to seven famous designers on the market and all the shipyards are using them.
So, when I see a lot of yachts today, I can’t understand which brand it is. Shipyards are losing their individuality. We’re completely different in terms of design, which is important because design is not just styling; it’s function. It reflects our thinking about general arrangements, planning, organisation, and other points that make us unique.
It’s all in the name, Dynamiq. We’re building dynamic boats for dynamic people and we have ‘iq’ at the end, showing that it’s a boat for people with a high IQ. We’re also very passionate people, but what we’re saying is that Dynamiq is a rational choice. Every system is better, naval architecture is better, we can cruise faster, and we can go further. It’s a very simple message.
If you want a boat 100 per cent designed and engineered in the Netherlands and at an Italian price, we are the only option, and so far, we’ve had very positive feedback.
What were your learnings from the 39m Jetsetter, which premiered at the 2016 Monaco Yacht Show?
We actually learnt that we selected the right path – a long boat with a long waterline length, less decks; the boat is very comfortable and the motion comfort is incredible. We then wanted to build a completely different boat. Jetsetter is a more family-oriented yacht, while the GTT 115 is more ‘playboy-ish’, shall we say. Jetsetter had a light interior, the 115 had a dark interior; the first one is more elegant, the second more sporty; the first is white, the second is silver metallic.
This shows our clients that we can build different boats, but they all come with the same philosophy – very efficient, fast displacement hulls. We believed this five, six years ago and we still believe it now. The industry’s developing, making shorter boats and higher ones, so boats are becoming like a sphere which is bad for the naval architecture, because the centre of gravity becomes very high and they move a lot during passage.
Why did you choose a hybrid system on the 35m GTT 115?
There’s a lot of talk about hybrid, although in reality, there’s only small interest so far. You either have your main engines on, delivering power to your shafts and props, or you can turn them off, switch generators and have just two small electric generators that can bring the boat up to six knots. It’s much quieter and consumption is reduced by a lot. It’s an option and we can do this very effectively.
What led to the styling collaboration with Studio Porsche?
For us, a boat is just a platform, but we can put whatever you want on top. Boating is a lifestyle. For example, on our yachts, the sound is incredible, better than on many other boats. Why? Because Bowers & Wilkins from the UK is our co-branding partner and they create extremely high-end audio experiences.
We can be strong just doing everything ourselves, but collaborating with the best brands is a key. We collaborated with Studio Porsche on the GTT 115, we’re collaborating with Bentley Home on the interior of the GTT 135 in build, we work with Panasonic and so on.
This leads to Dynamiq’s online configurator, which seems well suited to the millennial generation.
We really respect people’s time, so we’re the only shipyard where you can go online and see what your yacht might look like, how much all the options cost, total price, delivery date and so on. It shows how transparent we are. You don’t have to go and have dinners with our sales team. It’s all crystal clear. Nobody else is doing that.
We introduced the configurator two years ago and people said we’ll be copied. I said fine, because I’d appreciate it if our industry became less misty when it comes to prices. You try asking a yard the price of the boat they’re selling. With us, you go online, like with a car, figure out your boat, and work out exactly what you want. If you don’t understand anything, you can call a broker or us. It’s very straightforward.
Dynamiq is also noted for a particularly shallow draft (1.45m for the GTT 115) and all-aluminium hulls. Why are both of these factors important?
The shallow draft is the consequence of aluminium construction and our design. Aluminium hulls are lighter than their steel counterparts, allowing for smaller engines to be used, making the yachts even lighter and improving efficiency.
A shallow draft allows clients to go anywhere. The combination of a vertical bow and round bilge hull allows our yachts to have a range upwards of 3,000nm, while a draft of just 1.45-2.4m, depending on the model, means you can enter shallow bays and anchorages that are simply beyond the reach of other superyachts.
What about your own input as designer? Where did you gain the confidence and skills to enter this competitive field?
For me, design is the continuation of the technical features and abilities of a boat. Following this philosophy, every line and shape of a Dynamiq yacht serves a purpose. For example, a vertical bow maximises the waterline length, which in turn makes the yacht more seaworthy and efficient than other boats with an inclined bow.
I’ve had a passion for design for many years and set up Dobroserdov Design 10 years ago to pursue this passion. So far, the 55m Quinta Essentia by Admiral is the largest yacht I have designed that has been built. We also designed the features and the famous blue-and-orange colour scheme on the 37m Heesen Aurelia. The latest project we did was the logo design for the New York University (NYU) Economics Society. Although nothing to do with yachting, they still appreciated our philosophy and design language.
What are the key features on the 41m GTT 135, set to be completed by summer 2020?
The GTT 135 is the second-generation model in the Dynamiq range of fast family cruisers that was introduced with Jetsetter. Built on an efficient and comfortable round-bilge platform, it’s an all-aluminium yacht and has a top speed of 21 knots and a transatlantic range of 3,000nm at 12 knots. It’s half a metre wider and more than a metre longer than Jetsetter, but importantly has retained a shallow draft of just 1.7m (about 5ft 7in), which is ideal for cruising the Caribbean, Mediterranean or Asian islands.
With the largest sundeck in her class, exceptional ceiling heights and five voluminous cabins, along with engineering and hydrodynamic design by leading Dutch naval architects, the new GTT 135 is a perfect realisation of superyacht quality and comfort in a relatively compact package. Hull number one is progressing on schedule in Massa and will be premiered at the 2020 Monaco Yacht Show. We have the capacity to start a second GTT 135 in parallel, in time for a 2021 season delivery.
What led to the decision this year to work with Central Yacht, the company’s ‘brand ambassador’ in Asia?
Both companies have the same principles and same values. Greg Dagge and his team know Dynamiq inside-out and we are very happy working together to meet the needs of the Asian markets.
Looking to the future, why have you created the Global Explorer series?
Following up on client requests, we’ve been looking at the explorer market for quite a while, so drew on our forward-thinking approach to create a fast, modern series of vessels for our more adventurous owners. We designed our Global yachts to be below 45m for a broader range of clients and their families.
Because of the yachts’ compact size, they can truly explore and enter small bays and inlets where bigger yachts simply cannot enter. Designed with long-range passage making in mind, the new series will be available in four versions: G300 (30.5m), G350 (35m), G380 (38m) and G440 (44 meters).
When designing the Global range, an important factor was the available interior volume. For this reason, we’ve increased the interior size by 100GT with each step up in size. So, starting with the G300 of 200GT, the G350 is 299GT, the G380 is 399GT and the G440 is 499GT.
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