Exterior designer Tim Heywood tells us how the design of the wonderful 115-metre Lürssen Pelorus came about

The Lürssen Pelorus, which launched in 2003, has always been talked of as one of the most beautiful superyachts in the world – she scored highly in our poll of the most beautiful yachts ever. Designer Tim Heywood has been telling us how his part in the project came about.

Lürssen Pelorus

“I was approached by this client who wanted an additional four cabins in his existing 72-metre yacht. I created a design for him, but it became clear that what he needed was a bigger yacht, and that’s how the project came about,” says Tim. “At first I worked with the owner’s team on the new yacht. We presented that design to the owner, and he said: ‘Tim, if I gave you carte blanche to design my yacht, is this what you would have done?’ I told him it wasn’t. This was a boat designed by committee, and if I did the design on my own it would be very different. When we met later in the year, we went through some changes to the GA, and then he asked me if I’d thought about a new design. I told him that I’d actually done it. I pulled the drawing of the GA off the table, and behind it was the new design. He went for it at once!” says Tim.

Lürssen Pelorus

©2010 RAMEY PHOTO Photo from 2010 by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images

Originally, the boat had started at 85 metres. “We soon agreed it needed a waterline length of around 100 metres,” says Tim. “The owner wanted to make changes along the way, such as bigger tenders and a reshaped bow, and the yacht kept getting bigger, but only to meet his requirements. It was a natural progression driven by what he wanted. The owner asked me: ‘Tim, how long is this yacht going to be?’ I told him she will be as big as it needs to be to suit your style of yachting.”

The project that became Pelorus was now well under way. Tim worked hard to ensure the boat didn’t get any taller, which resulted in her stunning profile on the water. “The owner asked me to recommend an interior designer and I chose Terry Disdale. The interior styling of Pelorus was original at the time but it set a new style and standard,” he says.

Lürssen Pelorus

Moored at English Embankment, St Petersburg. Photo: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images

“The owner was wonderful to work with. He let me get on with the detailing, and I also designed the crew quarters. Lürssen was the client’s favourite yard, and they had built his previous yacht, and there weren’t many yards who could have built something that big 15 years ago,” he adds.

With so much volume to consider, it’s perhaps not surprising that Tim doesn’t have a favourite area. “I am proud of all of it! I invested a lot of time and effort in the project, and I am pleased with the work. It has a lot of unique features, and I am particularly pleased with the wheelhouse. I followed the same style of Terry’s interior, and there is some wonderful detailing that I am very proud of, like the palm wood for the mullions. I like the sundeck, too, with the pool at the forward end.”

Lürssen Pelorus

©2010 RAMEY PHOTO September 29, 2010 – Photo: Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images


The owner used the yacht for a few years, before selling to Roman Abramovich, who has since sold the yacht himself. Tim’s work on the yacht has continued. Five years ago, the then owner commissioned Tim and Terry to create the exterior and interior for a new lounge in what was a major modification.

Lürssen Pelorus

“She’s a wonderful yacht and a ground-breaking project. I’d started my own company in 1996 and it was pure excitement to work on her. I pulled out all the stops with Pelorus, and I’m really proud of what was achieved. She still looks great today and the engineering is superb. One of the remarkable facts about the yacht is that she has sold four times, and each time has made a profit.”

Tim Heywood’s latest yacht, as the exterior designer of the Amels Limited Editions range, is the 83-metre Here Comes the Sun, which you see a video of and read more about here.