INIGO TOLEDO: BARRACUDA AND BEYOND
Iñigo Toledo heads the design partnership known as Barracuda Yacht Design, a studio characterised by its positive philosophy and a unique technical prowess. Add to that significant experience in Americas Cup campaigns, and you are talking about a studio hands-on experience that surpasses most of their contemporaries.
Formed in 1989 and based in Madrid, Barracuda is made up of five talented designers and naval architects.
Barracuda's experience encompasses everything from one-off commissions for classic and contemporary yachts, production yacht designs and optimisation work, right through to diverse commercial shipping projects.
Full service aspects such as hull lines, structural composition, noise and vibration, stability work and rig and deck layout, through to furniture design and interior space planning is offered. Barracuda's approach towards interiors, for example, is to follow a more 'architectural' style, which shouldn't be interpreted as minimalist, but put it this way, you will never see a Barracuda interior that is complicated, fussy or 'over-designed' like some.
So tenaciously does the team approach each and every project, the Barracuda group is often compared with 'old school' designers, those who were charged with the responsibility of handling every aspect of a given design.
Principal and senior naval architect Iñigo Toledo explains Barracuda's unique qualities: "Unlike many of our competitors, we are happiest when we have full control of the General Arrangement for the good of the project. For example, the weight and hull shape of a design have to interact with the interior, after all it's not just about having pretty looking designs - the whole idea needs to work in a practical sense.
"If we can control as many aspects as possible, then progress flows at a faster pace, cost control can be properly managed and, most importantly, the end result has far more symmetry with the client's original intentions."
Iñigo, 43, recounts his own story of remarkable achievement. Having qualified as a naval architect he spent his formative years working with luminaries such as German Frers in Buenos Aires, and Reichel/Pugh in the US. Commencing with Barracuda Yacht Design at 22 years of age, Iñigo was suddenly thrust in to the director's role when his boss, close friend and mentor, Pepin Gonzalez tragically died.
Calling upon every ounce of his charm, personality, energy and dogged determination Iñigo kept the business going pitching for and winning business in the competitive and recessionary times that beset much of Europe in the early 1990s.
Since then the company has blossomed, chalking up a number of exceptionally high-profile projects. Iñigo was chosen to act as Project Manager and Owner's Representative on the design and build of the Spanish Royal Yacht 'Fortuna' (LOA: 42m / 70 knots maximum). His powers of diplomacy and discretion were called to bear, given the stature of the client, King Juan of Spain.
The Royal Yacht project was an exceptionally challenging and complex new build, necessitating completion in a remarkably quick time. Now nearly 10 years since completion, MY Fortuna still represents one of the fastest motor yachts of its size.
Barracuda also signs its name to a number of production line designs of both sailing and motor yachts.
Project B105 / 32m aluminium motor sailor is a sleek and spectacular one-off commission, built at the Pendennis yard in the UK and nearing completion, with hand-over expected by the end of 2010.
The hull profile is traditional and extremely attractive, with a gently rising shear-line, traditional bow and raised counter stern. To achieve a balanced compromise between cruising performance and optimum comfort, the B105 design incorporates a tight envelope of weight and noise control.
The yacht is a very space-orientated and incorporates the use of as much natural light as possible. This has been achieved mainly through a series of tall windows set into the hull structure itself and an elevated pilot-house, also with a large glass area and curved glass door.
Bearing in mind the larger than normal window area in the hull, Barracuda has alleviated any potential concerns about the integrity of the carbon rig by ensuring rig tension is focussed on a rigid 'double bottom' structure, thereby successfully diverting most of the rig stress away from the hull itself.
More at www.barracuda-yd.com