PART 3 of a 3 PART SERIES: Meitou superyacht concept, shadow yacht & tender; “The sword is the soul of the ”

Dubbed the L’Enfant Terrible of Yacht Design, Alexander McDiarmid and his studio’s reputation for exceptional creative thinking, through avant-garde, futuristic and visionary superyacht concepts and projects is firmly established. We are pleased to have Alexander join us for a three-part exclusive with Superyacht Content featuring a few of his favourite concepts and design inspirations.

As the concept name suggests, Meitou is an explorative study focusing purely on design elements, design language and form.

Meitou (名刀), literally meaning “Famous Sword”, or “Excellent Sword”, is not a type of sword per se, but rather the representation of the status of a sword. The word Meitou is more of a concept than a specific meaning. When speaking about swords it can mean a ‘fine sword’ or a ‘masterpiece’. In Japan, this means the sword has a history and is of legendary status. The blade is of a quality that stands out above all other swords for its endurance and sharpness.

A post shared by Kanda Toukodo (@toukodo) on

The Meitou are a rare class of katana, also meaning “Celebrated Sword” or “Named Sword”… everything a superyacht should be. For centuries, the Japanese samurai sword has been hailed as the finest weapon of its type in the world. Its fame derives from two qualities: its efficient functionality as a razor-sharp, durable killing tool, and its terrible beauty as a work of art. Everything a Superyacht should be.

Design Thinking:

The overall side profile and section of such swords are very simple yet extremely elegant. A flowing form that lends itself very nicely to the profile and structure of a superyacht.  If you look at the cross section of such swords you will see the starting point for our concept.

Observing the construction of such swords we notice the striking similarities to superyacht construction with hull, sides, bulwarks and superstructure outlines clearly visible in cross section. Evident from the outset was the pure craftsmanship of the very highest quality and materials often beautifully polished, engraved and decorated.

Ha/Cutting Edge = Profile/Silhouette
Kissaki/Point = Raked or Reverse Bow
Shinogi/Blade Ridge = Hull
Hamon/Tempered Line/Edge Pattern & Hada/Grain = Elliptical window lines along the upper deck
Shinogi / Blade Ridge, Yakiba / Hardened Edge & Ji / Sword Surface between the Shinogi and Harmon = Superstructure
Sageo/Hanging Chord = The Bridge
Tsuba/Hand Guard = Comms/Radar Mast & Retractable sun awning
Ito/Hilt Wrap & Menuki/Decorative Grip = The Stern
Nakagojiri = Aft
Nagasa = Waterline

These beautifully hand crafted swords mixed and continue to mix the highest standards of craftsmanship to give the user/owner a very personal product, much like owning a Superyacht.

We studied various types of sword blades and learnt about the three/3 Katana Sword Sets containing Katana, Wakizashi and Tanto:

– Katana 刀 “sword” interpreted as The Superyacht
– Wakizashi 脇差 “companion sword” interpreted as The Shadow Yacht (shown with Sakabatō, ‘reverse-blade sword’)
– Tantō 短刀 “short blade” interpreted as The Limo Tender Yacht

A post shared by wooden_swords (@wooden_swords) on

Each sword has a life of its own, a character that emerges slowly during production.

Each blade, each harmony, each sword is unique. No two are the same. Much like a superyacht.

Could yacht design and building learn anything from sword making in terms of evolution or revolution? Only time will tell.

You can learn more about Alexander McDiarmid and his designs by going to his website.

Related articles