Interview with founder Michael Goddaert by Nautika Present
In a world full of change & evolution Domani wanted to create a totally new kind of yacht, different by design, hand built in small series, that takes you back to the essence of sailing.
Driven by a desire for freedom, distinct by its progressive design, DOMANI is about sailing Gran Turismo style; fast, fun & luxurious, a timeless elegance worthy of admiring looks. At the Biograd Boat Show, the Belgian boat manufacturer introduced its first sailing boat Sportyacht S28. Exceptional attention was paid to the exterior and interior design and the ambience for a planned water stay that makes staying and cruising on the archipelago created.
Exclusively for our magazine, designer Mr. Goddaert was kind enough to talk about first S28 Sportyacht, as well as a new project Domani S30.
Nautika: Thank you Michael for taking the time to talk to us and helping us learn more about your work. How long have you been involved in designing vessels?
M.G.: Hello, first of all thank you for your interest in the new DOMANI Sportyachts and our best wishes to you and your readers in 2018 and we wish you all many beautiful sailing journeys! My first sailing experience as a novice dates back to 1985 on the extremely beautiful Whitbread maxi Côte d’Or designed by Joubert Nivelt and steered by the famous Eric Tabarly.
Sailing aboard at age 10 was the start of a passion for sailing but what really impressed me was the size of this maxi yacht, the forces on the rig and sail, the elegance and the lightweight construction. I also remember the impressive stern section. 20 years later I went to the US to learn more about vacuum infusion hull construction and met master boatbuilder André Cocquyt who built the maxi. Great man, amazing boatbuilder. Later on, I was involved in the design, construction and launch of the Zeydon Z60 sailing yacht which was designed in cooperation with BMW’s Designworks design office and built in Belgium, another amazing experience where I learned more about aesthetics, balance, material combinations etc The naval architecture was from the hand of Peter Bosgraaf, a talented dutch racing sailor. I could conclude that today, the DOMANI Sportyacht project is a synthesis of all these experiences of the last 30 years.
Nautika: We tested the sailing boat S28 at the boat show in Biograd na moru. By introducing a new design into the world of sailing, a new dynamic has been achieved, which is particularly interesting taking account that the size of the S28. The boat is 9 meters long and has a beam of 2.40 m, which is an excellent dimension ratio, adjusted to light transportation. How long have you been working on the vessel and what were your guidelines for designing this boat?
M.G.: I am glad you pointed out the new design and dynamics; that was the aim of the game! Although all the projects I worked on were very interesting and ambitious, I lacked the pleasure of creating something more compact which is a challenge to incorporate many features of larger yachts (aft sun deck, deck shower, large central cockpit, airy and light interior, performance etc) The aim was to find the perfect balance between design, sportiness and yachting lifestyle plus as the goal was to be transportable as to be able to store the boat easily during winter months and explore many different waters we ended up at a size of 2.46m on the new Sportyacht. As most builders will just go to the max legal extend of 2.55m beam we rather opted for what was comfortable and safe on the road. As the boat is developed for coastal and inshore fast cruising even at low wind conditions, the upwind performance was also of utmost importance. It’s fun to be the overtaking one when the waters get narrow. The development of the DOMANI Concept yacht you sailed took a year in designing and 2 years to build as we took the time to think all items over and changed shapes until they were pleasing to the eye or practical.
Nautika: Selection of interior materials, color range, lighting and the possibility of various combinations extend the convenience of this boat. We are interested to hear whether it is always
easy to turn the wishes into reality.
M.G.: Another item where we wish to excel – a personal approach and choice of colors and materials. Every Sportyacht leaving the shipyard should be different. We work closely with our suppliers who need to understand our and our clients’ wishes. For sure this ends up being a little more expensive than buying standardized materials but life’s just too short to compromise on the beauty of a Sailing yacht.
Nautika: Now you are working on a new sailing boat – Domani S30. Can you tell us a bit more about this project?
M.G.: The first S28 Sportyachts was always conceived as a Concept boat which would be used as a basis for a production series. After many sea trials and comments from press and visitors, it’s nice to be able to integrate improvements, new products and suggestions. In general, the S30 Sportyacht uses over 90% of new components and as we switched from a 2D design towards a new 3D design for the milling of the full scale models as to be able to create the necessary quality moulds, every inch has been redesigned as well. The biggest changes are; the size, a bit more volume and a wider aft section for improved downwind performance and an even larger sun deck, the integrated dynamic designed bowsprit with lightweight Ropeye solution and the overall build quality which should always remain leaning towards a custom feel.
Nautika: What are your priorities when designing new models?
M.G.: By creating the new DOMANI S30 over the last months I think we have found the perfect team of design, production and naval architecture as to be able to define what the DOMANI identity really is about; this unique sailing experience that combines aesthetics, sportiness and yachting lifestyle. And last but not least; pride of ownership.
Nautika: Is there any motive that guides you?
M.G.: Certainly people and what they are able to accomplish; fi Luca Bassani from Wally who is able to convince hi demanding clients to take risks and leave a little signature in history. Ferdinand Porsche who had the same desire to create things that would show we were on this planet and architect James Cutler who inspires me to think unconventional and try to do things well as it is just the better way. And last but not least the DOMANI team and my beautiful wife and son who all tell me day after day to do the things one must do.
The beautiful and fast DOMANI S28 Sportyacht is now available for sale
Would you like more information of the DOMANI S28 Sportyacht? Please contact Michael Goddaert.