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In this, the first in a new series of articles focusing on superyacht design, Merijn de Waard, chief editor of Superyacht Times, visited shipyards in The Netherlands to report on their latest projects and developments. His tour began in the north, where he visited Icon Yachts and Bloemsma Van Breemen, before heading south to Feadship, Heesen Yachts and Amels Dutchshipyards superyacht design focus

Icon Yachts Icon Yachts' philosophy is to build pre- engineered superyachts using modular construction and standard systems and components, and then offer clients the freedom to change the exterior and interior styling of their yacht within this optimised standard platform. The yard will unveil its first build, the Icon 62m ( 203'), at the Monaco Yacht Show. The yacht is based on the original Icon 62m platform designed by Redman Whiteley Dixon. Since the launch of that three years ago, several well known design-ers have come up with inspired options of up to 75m ( 246'). The latest names to present an Icon design include the likes of Newman Stacey, Bannenberg & Rowell Design, and Dubois Naval Architects. This is just the beginning for Icon Yachts. The yard has recently released three new platforms: the Icon 52- 54 metre ( 170'- 177'), the Icon 85m+ ( 280'+), and the 90m+ ( 295'+) plat-form. Icon Yachts was inclined to focus on the large yacht sec-tor, howeverfollowing a recent request from a client regard-ing the possibility of building a 52m yacht, it developed the Icon 52- 54m platform. The first design for this has just been released from the drawing board of one of Icon's talented designers, Giacomo Michelini Tocci. Born and raised in Italy, Tocci studied yacht and power craft design at Southampton Solent University in the UK, before joining Icon Yachts in 2008. The technical and operational platform for the 85m+ yacht will enable Icon to build high- quality yachts up to 94m ( 308'). Studies are being carried out to use a propulsion package of four diesel engines with two gearboxes to reduce the operational and maintenance costs of the yachts. The latest new platform, the Icon 90m+, will be the stepping stone into the 100m+ size range. This platform is based on SOLAS rules for ships carrying up to 36 passengers. The first studies on this latest platform have just been completedand the yacht will have a diesel- electric propulsion system with five identical MTU 16V 4000 diesel generator sets driving two electric propulsion motors that are fitted to two controllable pitch propeller systems. latesttrends ? Below: the 110m ( 360') Donald Starkey design for Icon Yachts.