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The philosophy behind the design of a Sailfish

by Sailfish Boats 25 Nov 2021 19:25 UTC
Sailfish design philosophy © Sailfish Boats

Sailfish customers appreciate and expect clean, intuitive design. Sailfish Design Manager Jeff Daum aspires to dignified simplicity when designing a boat - it is his credo and guides his hand in drawing the lines of a Sailfish.

The core of marine design is based in simple form, and that's the beauty of a Sailfish. "In my opinion, a simple, clean design is the best design. It is good design. If you have to embellish it to get attention... that's all it is - embellishing," he says.

There is a "utilitarian" design ethos in the center-console segment under 24 feet. "One of the things about Sailfish that really sticks out to me is its beauty and inherently simple, fluid and natural, nautical feel," Jeff adds. Design integrity plays a key role in how Sailfish boats are laid out and put together. "Although Sailfish's sheer line may not be the main focus, it is distinctive. This simplicity in classic, natural design distinguishes Sailfish boats from the outside in."

With Sailfish, function is equally important as form. "You don't see hardware slapped on the outside of the boat. Most of the through-hull parts are thought about, and visually integrated. We lean toward a classic look that gives customers the confidence to say 'Hey, I understand this thing from top to bottom.'

"The Sailfish hull has a very elegant sweep to it, and I like to look at that sheer line as product DNA," Jeff adds. "It has been strong with this brand since the inception. This subtle sweep is a distinctive, classic marine design element, and has evolved to make Sailfish stand out on the water."

"A simple, clean design is the best design. It is good design. If you have to embellish it to get attention...that's all it is - embellishing."

A lot of Jeff's design inspiration is based on customer feedback. "Some captains like to sit down, others like to stand. There are visibility lines that depend on the design of the sheer line again. If you take your sheer line too high, and the nose of the boat rides up when you're getting up to full throttle before you hit plane, then you can't see; those things need heavy consideration in helm design."

Jeff draws on aesthetic inspiration, too. "I like to look at future transportation design, including automobiles, motorcycles....any vehicles that reflect either a coming trend or a future technology. I like to take cues from the trends these transportation brands are setting with surfacing techniques. For example, years ago BMW had something called 'flame surfacing' (the use of body contours to create concave and convex lines). It was a term they used to explain how they derived the lines on exterior surfaces, and it became a heavy influence on me."

"I tend to look to the future and think, 'How can this be applied to marine?' I will draw on that influence to make a fluid design so that our boats look very natural and congruous in their surroundings."

Simple, natural, refined - these are the qualities of Dignified Simplicity. As Sailfish rolls out new models there will be some aesthetic updates that will add definition around Sailfish core design for the coming decade. "We will incorporate some new features and design language that customers will see, reflective of a design evolution, not a design revolution," Jeff says. "Because we're going to build on these elements of Dignified Simplicity. It is what our customers and fans have come to cherish."

* Don Norman, The Design of Everyday Things

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