American Designer, Dutch Shipyard Introduce “Vision Line” 70-meter Megayacht

The ICON 70
The ICON 70

August 29, 2009 (CARY, NC, USA) – Award-winning American yacht architect Ward Setzer, principal of Setzer Design Group, and Icon Yachts of Holland introduce the “VL-70,” a sleek, futuristic vessel loaded with all the special features of a world-class Super-Yacht within the “Build-Platform” of Icon Yachts. The introduction underscores Setzer’s standing as an international superyacht designer for the world market.

When challenged by Icon Yachts to submit a design for its now famously engineered “Build-Platform,” yacht architect Ward Setzer requested that he be allowed to present work with a prominent plumb bow and highly swept and stylized superstructure. To accomplish this, his studio worked closely with Icon to honor the existing Platform and yet develop a new bow section for the standard Icon hull form. From there out, the American studio had a blank canvas on which Setzer’s visions for the future of yachting have come to life in detail.

The VL-70 offers six (6) deck levels, from large, below-waterline holds and systems spaces to the top observation deck forward of the mast. With a beam of 11.3M and a draft of 3.4M, the design carries plenty of volume to accommodate large fuel and water stores as well as generous cabins for owners and guests on the multiple levels.

To assist with the massive task of filling out a 70 meter interior, Setzer turned to Adriel Design of Seattle. Prior to starting the project, Setzer felt that a collaborative approach would not only demonstrate the talents of the two distinctly different design firms, but it would also prove that collaboration is the key to the future for many areas of the marine industry. The resulting design offers a depth of detail rarely seen on projects of this scale that are created by one firm alone until well into the build processes. After months of collaboration between the two design studios, the “Vision Line” 70 meter emerged.

The vessel will be powered by conventional drive systems and capable of cruising speeds of 15 knots. The hull design has been refined to provide world travel capabilities in comfort and style. A twin tender garage sits within the bow and a full beam toy garage/cabana/spa with dockage doors deploying port and starboard add to vessel conveniences aft. There is a large swimming pool on the aft deck with flanking sun pads, all set with a sculpted aft deck. One level above, a hot tub overflow creates a waterfall landing in the main pool. A heli-pad is integrated into the tail section of the fourth level and a two-level  observation lounge and viewing deck is forward and at the base of the mast structure. ICON70 waterfall Mag_xxs

Within the vessel, a multi-level glass elevator is the central, defining feature, along with unique hull side windows and recessed balconies that offer dramatic views to the sea. There are six large guest cabins within the lower decks and one master with nearby office/den on the main deck. The vessel also features a theater space on the upper deck with seating for 16. For the crew, the VL-70 can accommodate 16 within private and shared cabins. The lowest level includes the typical crew lounge, galley and utility areas. This space spans beneath the guest staterooms and houses walk-in refrigeration units and a commercial laundry.

“The Icon Yachts ‘Build-Platform’ of both hull and engineering plant proved to be very capable of handling all the curves at least Adriel and I could throw at it, and the results show,” said Ward Setzer, who recently received his ninth design award in so many years, this time from the World Superyachts committee at the London ceremonies in May  for the design of  Marama, a full-displacement expedition yacht built by Delta Marine. “Both of our studios are not only proud of the ‘Vision Line’ 70m, but we’re also pleased to show that collaborative efforts can yield powerful results to the greater benefit of all.”

For more information, email, or call Ward Setzer directly at 919-859-7014.

Setzser Design Group is available online at

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Setzer Inks Two New Contracts

October 6, 2008 (CARY, NC, USA) —  Setzer Design Group, one of the world’s premiere yacht designers, has signed contracts with two new clients for two very different vessels.


A well-known boat builder in the sport fishing industry has asked Setzer to design a 92-foot/28-meter semi-custom sport fishing vessel that will embody the same refined, and high-end pedigree as Setzer’s larger vessels along with the Builder’s own reputation for its lines of luxury sport fishing yachts.  


According to yacht architect Ward Setzer, principal of the award-winning studio, this yacht will serve as a “super-sized” tender for a far larger support vessel mega-yacht. The new hull form, with its grand, sweeping sheer line and clean open bow deck, will deliver 40 knots of top-end speed while offering up to three large guest and owner’s staterooms as well as both crew and captain’s staterooms. The bridge design will be an open style with later models offering a fully enclosed bridge. The cockpit will feature all the typical fishing amenities as well as a grill and refrigerator/freezer center and aft lanai deck with seating port and starboard. Under the lanai and outside the oversized engine room will be multi-purpose machinery and locker space for work areas, electric panels, scuba gear, and more. Overall the design will be a very refined and heavily detailed, mega-fishing machine, according to yacht architect Ward Setzer.


Setzer Design Group is also under contract with a Middle Eastern client to design a refined 210-foot/65-meter sister ship to Brazen Sea, the modern, futuristic flagship of the studio’s new Vision Line of superyachts, which Yacht-Premier magazine has praised as “intelligently conceived and skillfully designed, carefully studied down to the very last detail. [Brazen Sea] boasts technical installations and fittings among the best and most up-to-date currently available in the superyacht category.” The vessel should be presented for tendering purposes the first of November.


This new superyacht design is partially inspired by the industry’s recent experimentation with the classic plumb/Axe type of bow, according to Setzer. Following the lead of Brazen Sea and yet striving for an even sleeker, more refined look, the studio is working with the client to accommodate the family’s spatial needs and to create outdoor spaces that embrace the ocean environment in every aspect of the design. Within six levels of decks, the design will feature multiple guest cabins including VIP staterooms on the main deck, a fair-weather master suite on the upper-most deck, and a foul-weather master suite below decks.


Crew accommodations on Brazen Sea’s sister ship will include at least 16 cabins and large service spaces, such as a professional laundry, three galley spaces, walk-in refrigerators and freezers, bulk goods storage and more. A central stairwell and elevator will form a service core through the middle of the vessel running up through 5 deck levels. There will be a garage aft with space for two eight-meter tenders as well as multiple jet skis. There will be an infinity pool on the aft deck and a private owner’s pool on the top deck. The bow deck will feature another garage for a 6.5 meter crew tender and a helicopter landing zone.


Overall this represents an exciting new project for Setzer Design Group that will allow it to bring one of its latest Vision Line products to life, complete with innovations and details within the refined lines that have become the hallmark of the Cary, North Carolina-based studio.


These and other new Setzer superyacht designs will be featured in the studio’s display at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show on October 30. To follow updates to these projects and to see the complete Vision Line, visit the booth in the Designers/Builders Tent at Bahia Mar.


For more information on the Setzer studio, visit, or call Ward Setzer directly at 919-859-7014.



A New Vision Takes Shape: SETZER DESIGN Unveils Two Stunning Additions to Its “Vision Line” of Mega-yachts

Cerise, a sleek 50 meter/165-foot plumb bow, and Javelin, a grand 73 meter/240-foot vessel are the latest to emerge among Setzer Design Group’s new, futuristic Vision Line of mega-yacht designs.

The “VL-50” Cerise brings an elegant, refined design to life via the studio’s spin on the plumb-bow trend, yet at a more manageable, main-stream market sizing. Expressed in vivid red, the design’s unique styling is underscored by the long, sweeping, retro elements of its superstructure.

A dynamic blend of style and sea-kindly performance, Cerise features four deck levels plus large, below-waterline holds and systems spaces as well as the typical crew lounge and cabins, galley, utility areas, walk-in refrigerator and freezer units. Generous accommodations for owners and guests on multiple levels include four large guest cabins, one twin cabin and one master with nearby office/library, plus a dedicated engineer’s cabin aft in the lazerette space. The vessel also features a theater space within the sky lounge with seating for 10, multiple private and public exterior areas: an oversized hot tub, bars, grills, and more.

With a beam of 9.7M and a draft of 2.6M, Cerise is meant to cleave through the water, cruising at 14 knots speeds with plenty of volume for fuel and water stores.

The “VL-73” Javelin is the largest of the revolutionary Vision Line designs to date and debuts as a blend of grand elegance and streamlining, indicative of this studio’s vision of super mega-yachts to come. A five-deck vessel with large, below-waterline holds and systems spaces, Javelin’s design revolves around a large, circular window suspended between decks amid ship that offers stunning views from its interior stair and elevator corridor. The balance of the superstructure combines long, elegant lines, crisp edges and alcoves that can only come to life from a studio with such wide ranging design successes.

“Years of experience have taught us that balance is the key to an exceptional vessel, classic or modern,” said Ward Setzer, an internationally acclaimed yacht architect and principal of Setzer Design Studio headquartered in Cary, North Carolina.

Javelin features a large helicopter deck, six large guest cabins, one twin cabin, one master with nearby office/library and meeting room, plus a large theater, gym, spa, two galley areas, observations rooms and more. The vessel can accommodate a crew of 12 in five cabins plus pilot’s and engineer’s cabins aft as well as all other crew features: lounge, galley, utility area, walk-in refrigerator and freezer units.

With a beam of 11M and a draft of 3.4M, Javelin is meant for traveling the globe in ultimate style and comfort at a cruising speed of 16 knots.

Both Cerise and Javelin are powered by eco-friendly diesel-electric drive systems. Both feature cabanas aft with dockage doors deploying port and starboard and tender garages integrated into the raised bow deck bulwarks. Clean lines and deep, dark woods juxtaposed with lighter fabrics and detailing create luxurious interior spaces.

“The bold Cerise and our grander Vision Line design, Javelin, continue our studio’s second evolution and express just how far we are pressing ourselves and the market,” Setzer said. “Yet as futuristic as they are, each vessel must successfully run through our gauntlet of  ‘real life’ concerns: They must be buildable, useable, and serviceable, as well as stylistic and elegant.”

For more information, visit, or call Ward Setzer directly at 919-859-7014.

###\"Javelin\" by Setzer Design Group

Setzer Seals The Deal To Design Ultra-Modern 70 ‘ Motoryacht For Kingbay Manufacturing Co. in China

June 30, 2008 (CARY, NC) –  After nine months of negotiating, superyacht designer Ward Setzer, principal of Setzer Design Group in Cary, North Carolina, has signed an agreement with Kingbay Yacht Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in Ningbo, China, to design an ultra-modern, 70’ high-speed production vessel.

He will also consult on the design and layout of a new waterfront marina, production and yacht club facility for Kingbay. The facility will be built specifically for Setzer projects.

Besides style and function, the designs Setzer creates with Kingbay will be informed by “green,” concerns, which means low-emission, efficient power plants, renewable resource woods, recycled upholstery products, solar film strip energy sources, non-toxic piping, and other eco-friendly details.

“This product will be unlike anything ever to come out of China in the marine industry and across multiple categories, and should set the bar quite high for the future,” he said. “Above all else, we love a challenge. So we enter this exciting new chapter in our studio’s history with great anticipation for a successful product launch a year from now. “

The intended market for the Setzer/Kingbay designs will be global with particular emphasis on Dubai, Europe, and within Asia’s populations of new wealth.

Products used to manufacture the vessels will be imported from many countries, including the United States.

“Unlike some industries, the yacht industry is highly driven by acceptable brands,” Setzer said. “Everything needed on yachts of these high levels cannot be produced in China, nor is it Kingbay’s goal to do so.”

The designs are already on the drawing boards of the Setzer studio and the project tooling should begin August 1, 2008.

The Kingbay deal was sealed during Ward Setzer’s recent tour of marine-related manufacturing facilities in China. Traveling over 1500 miles, from cities to small towns, Setzer visited machine shops, injection molders, chemical plants, and upholstery manufacturers.

Along the way, he interviewed Chinese business owners about such issues as labor, housing, health care, fuel and food costs. He made it a point to gain as wide a view as possible of the Chinese economy and specifically how it will relate to the product to be built to the Setzer label.

“The Chinese suffer from economic concerns similar to ours every day, where fuel and food costs are almost the same as ours yet the living wage is far lower. Every newspaper and news cast speaks of environmental concerns and attempts at gaining control of their growth. I hope that by gaining this wider perspective we will be able to design responsibly, allow for conditions at hand, and have our products enter the marketplace as the best that they can be.”

Setzer admits he had been reluctant to re-enter the pleasure yacht construction market in China after less than profitable ventures there in the late ‘90s. “But it all boils down to trying harder, accepting challenges, being open to learn new ways, and not just stick our heads in the sand. In the past, Asian yards as a whole have been known for building boats, not yachts. But that tide is turning and our resolve has been to participate responsibly — all for the better good of the marine industry worldwide.”

Kingbay was founded in 2005 and presently manufactures fiberglass production vessels up to 48 feet in length within its state-of-the art facilities. Kingbay principals have visited major U.S. and European trade shows for the past 18 months, conducting research and interviewing designers such as Setzer.

“We know they ended up with our studio based on our brand and the innovative scope of our past designs,” Setzer said. “The legal use of our label, or brand, was a major part of the negotiations.”

Kingbay is a division of Huadong Electromechanical Manufacturing Company. Huadong is known for its injection molding, appliance manufacturing, and engineering facilities, housed within a ultra-modern, multi-acre campus setting with 1500 employees.

Ningbo is a medium-sized city approximately 100 miles south of Shanghai on the Pacific Ocean where fishing fleets have been established for centuries.

For more information on Kingbay Yacht Manufacturing Company, visit For more information on Ward Setzer and Setzer Design Group, visit


Superyacht UK Tour Proves The Time Is Right For Setzer Design Group’s New “Vision”

May 15, 2008 (CARY, NC) – When superyacht architect Ward Setzer of Setzer Design Group joined the 2008 Superyacht United Kingdom Tour of Excellence in April, he was after more than a good look at Britain’s shipyards and updates on the UK supply chain. He was also looking for proof that a new series of futuristic vessels he’s been designing since the first of the year is both valid and timely.

He returned from the trip convinced that he’s right on target.

Setzer Design Group, headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, is well known worldwide for designing both modern and classic vessels of all sizes that boast sea-worthy hull forms, design innovations, and elegant refinement. For 17 years, the studio has turned out over 200 power and sailing vessels that, above all else, are thoroughly capable of being built and taken to sea.

With that experience, reputation, and pedigree as his foundation, and with the encouragement he received during the UK tour, Setzer is now preparing to introduce a new series of superyachts (130 ft. to 300 ft., or 40-100 meters). After attending numerous boat shows over the past year, he believes these vessels will “challenge the established tastes so ingrained in the yachting community, which, at its heart, wants to see change.” He calls it his “Vision Series.”

Ward Setzer was the only yacht designer and the only American on the tour. He spent his days in Britain surrounded by brokers and builders from around the globe, including China, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Finland, Monaco, and Russia. The group also toured large, prestigious shipyards such as Pendennis and Devonport.

“In some ways, this was a fact-finding mission. I’m always looking for quality shipyards, so any opportunity to tour yards and understand their various attributes is very valuable,” said Setzer, who has been on similar tours in New Zealand, Holland and Italy. “I also needed to gain a greater understanding of British superyacht services.”

But mostly he listened to what his peers in the industry were talking about and most excited by.

“This trip solidified and reinforced my focus on the new series,” he said. “The timing is not only right for us to step up to the new cutting edge of our Industry, but also to venture out upon its very tip, so to speak. If we fail to challenge popular, established tastes, we’re simply following the status quo. That’s not what made our studio a dominant player over the years and certainly not what will take us into 2010 and beyond.”

Setzer Design Studio will begin releasing images and details of the Vision Series this summer.

The British Marine Federation, the trade association for the British boating industry, sponsored the tour, which included stops in London; South Hampton; Falmouth, and Newquay. The group also toured the HMS Victory, built between 1759 and 1765, now in dry dock at Portsmouth’s Royal Naval Dockyard and used as a living museum to the Royal Navy.

Setzer is now planning similar tours of China and Taiwan in his on-going quest to gain as much insight as possible into the future of the superyacht industry.

Ward Setzer, former staff designer for the late J.B. Hargrave and, later, manager of Hatteras Yachts Custom Division, founded Setzer Design Group in 1991. The studio’s custom and production vessels have received numerous awards, including three Super Yacht Society awards, and have been in many industry magazines and journals. For more information, visit