UK-based BMT Nigel Gee and Dutch-based superyacht builder Oceanco have signed a strategic partnership for the formation of a new naval architecture and engineering company-Lateral Naval Architects Ltd. Lateral will provide high quality naval architecture and engineering services to the industry as well as collaborating with the shipyard’s own engineering team and network of co-makers and subcontractors. All of BMT’s work in the large yacht market will be undertaken by Lateral and will build upon the company’s extensive knowledge base and capability in the large yacht market.
“Lateral is a joint venture between our two companies that will deliver to the market more than the sum of its parts,” says newly appointed Managing Director, James Roy who takes on the role after building the yacht division of BMT over the last 12 years. He continues, “We will continue to offer our services to a full spectrum of stakeholders in the superyacht yacht industry. With our core competence in naval architecture and engineering, Lateral will remain part of the BMT group and benefit from access to the full breadth of BMT’s diverse capability, whilst at the same time strengthening its own expertise and knowledge through the strategic partnership with Oceanco.”
On signing the strategic partnership, Oceanco CEO, Marcel Onkenhout, comments, “With the ever-greater integration of the Oceanco and BMT teams, the formation of Lateral is a natural step in bringing our companies closer together. Lateral will not only deliver high quality naval architecture and engineering to Oceanco with greater focus but will work with the best across the whole of the superyacht industry to apply expert knowledge and deliver exceptional projects.”
Lateral is located adjacent to BMT’s existing offices at Shamrock Quay in Southampton. Following an extensive refit of the historic yacht building site, the company occupies a two-story studio from where the 50 strong team is currently engineering four new builds of over 100m and a host of smaller projects.
Oceanco first engaged BMT in 2008 to begin development of yachts in the 100m + category. The intervening years have seen the companies collaborate on several ground-breaking and award-winning projects such as the 92m Equanimity, 86m Aquijo, 110m Jubilee, and most recently, the technically innovative 107m Black Pearl, which was delivered in March of this year. The intensely anticipated 109m project Y718 ‘Bravo’ will be the next to launch and will feature several technical innovations developed by the Lateral and Oceanco teams.
The narrative of the Lateral brand (as explained by the Greek consultant for the image & brand of Oceanco, Mr Peter…) is reflected in its 9-dot puzzle logo, a simple array of 9 dots; the challenge being to draw a line through all the dots with only four continuous lines. “Solving the puzzle requires some lateral thinking,” comments James Roy. “Lateral thinking is solving problems through an indirect and creative approach-this is at the heart of the Lateral brand DNA.” The essence of Lateral is inquisitiveness; adventurous thinking and engineering excellence coupled with breadth of depth of knowledge and insight and is captured in the company’s manifesto.