Boat & Yacht Design

UK University Launches Sustainable Superyacht Degree

Southampton Solent University

Southampton Solent University | Credit: Paul Heimann (GoG at German Wikipedia), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Solent University’s degree course for 2024-25 academic year is first of its kind.

Southampton, UK-based Solent University has launched a new Sustainable Marine Craft and Superyacht Design course, a brand-new MSc for the 2024/25 academic year and the first of its kind in the UK. The degree is now open for applications for a September 2024 start.

This new course, taught by leading experts in the world of superyacht design, incorporates environmental approaches and tackling lower-carbon solutions head-on. Delivered in the heart of one of the country’s maritime hubs, the course builds on the popular predecessor, Superyacht Design, blending engineering science, naval architecture and project management, with an emphasis on practical, real-world learning.

Students will also benefit from access to Solent’s Centre for Marine Sustainability, a leading research hub finding solutions to the challenges facing our oceans.

Yann Dabbadie, Southern Wind Shipyard technical manager, comments: “Sustainability is transitioning from a mere trend or passion to becoming an integral part of business operations. As builders of sailing yachts designed for long-range performance cruising with a high level of autonomy, it has been imperative for us to enhance our environmental responsibility in the way we design, build, and operate our yachts.

This new business approach,” he explains, “requires a wealth of knowledge and skills across various fields, skills that are not readily available within the yachting industry and must be sourced from other sectors. It’s encouraging to learn that Solent University is leveraging its international reputation and expertise to contribute to a more sustainable yachting industry, ensuring that essential skills are accessible for companies aiming to innovate in a greener direction.”

The course is one of the latest developments at Solent and its Warsash Maritime School to help make seas safer and more sustainable, focusing on reducing environmental impacts of the maritime industry on marine environments. In 2023, the UK National Clean Maritime Research Hub (UK-MaRes Hub) launched, which Solent was a founding member of, with £21.3m for research into decarbonizing the UK maritime sector.

Yacht Blueprint

Sven Saborowski, a graduate of the University’s original superyacht design program, who is now a Project Design Engineer at Meyer Werft in Germany, remarked: “The industry moves fast, and what you learn here will keep you ahead of the game. Now, working on yacht and cruise ship designs, I use what I learned every day, applying those specialized skills and knowledge that I developed during my time at Solent.

“During my time in the UK, it felt like Solent was the only place I could get such an insider look at the superyacht industry,” he suggested. “Thanks to the university’s dedication and support, I’ve grown not just academically but personally. What truly enriched my experience was the learning environment and the relationships I formed with my lecturers; their openness to innovation was a uniquely rewarding educational journey for me."

2024 marks 55 years of yacht and powercraft design and production at Solent University, assuring incoming and existing students that they are studying at a world-class institute with a rich legacy in the maritime industries.

Giles Barkley, Course Leader-Yacht Engineering at Warsash Maritime School, states: “It is very satisfying to educate enthusiastic students who come to study with us at Solent University to learn to develop fantastic superyachts and commercial vessels, and on their graduation, begin great careers. We see graduates apply the knowledge and skills they have gained from our dedicated Yacht and Commercial craft design academics, transferring their learning to their careers.”