Andrew Winch, founder of Winch Design (formerly Andrew Winch Designs), is a well-recognized name in the superyacht community. He was the recipient of the 2017 International Superyacht Society Leadership Award—an annual award that honors an individual whose distinctive work and commitment to the industry has contributed to the growth of the superyacht yacht community worldwide.
Winch Design has an extraordinary wide-ranging design portfolio, not only of yachts, but also architectural projects and aviation design. The Winch Design Studio currently has a workforce of about 90 talented people over a variety of disciplines and including more than 20 nationalities.
Andrew Winch began his career working for the late Jon Bannenberg, the renowned ‘father’ of yacht design. Winch credits Bannenberg with tutelage and mentorship and fostering a passionate hands-on approach to each and every project. In 1986, Winch and his wife Jane created their own studio and their own brand. Winch Design has been involved in a broad range of yacht design from production Jeanneau sailboats to one of the world’s largest yachts— the 156-meter Dilbar. Winch-designed yachts have won numerous industry design awards and accolades over the years.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in so many places — mostly from nature, the elements and everything around me. Many of our designs are inspired by natural forms— everything from a pile of pebbles to a piece of driftwood can be the starting point for the design of a piece of furniture or even a building.
What is your biggest challenge in your work?
There are not enough hours in the day! I am as passionate today about design as I was over thirty years ago. We have a highly skilled and fantastic group of people at Winch Design—all specialists in their field—but I still love to work closely with our teams to deliver outstanding results for our clients. I just would like an extra two days in the week!
How do you manage balance in your life?
Like many people, I struggle to obtain balance and the lines are fairly blurred between my work and private life, which is the way I like it! I can often combine my passions of being on the water, travel, art and design with trips to see clients or visit a Winch project somewhere around the globe.
Where are you the happiest?
I am happiest on the water somewhere sunny in my Jeanneau 64 sailing yacht with family and friends around me. This summer, I shall be visiting the Cinque Terre, Portofino and the Amalfi coast.
If you could choose one location for your next travel adventure, where would you go and why?
I have been very involved with the work that BLUE MARINE is doing, so I would love to travel to the Aeolion Islands to see their latest project to restore sustainable fishing locally. I am also planning to visit Bali soon to see some of the furniture we are currently designing and producing.
What does it mean to you to be an ISS judge?
I am honored to be an ISS judge. I attended the first ISS Awards and was lucky enough to win along with Bill Langan for the 92ft Victoria of Strathearn built at Camper & Nicholson. I was then invited to be a judge for 11 years until 2003. Each year I saw creativity and innovation, which inspired and challenged me. It’s an honor to judge other people’s designs and select the best of the best and it is something I take very seriously.
What do you like about the ISS Design & Awards Gala?
The whole yacht industry should support the ISS as it is the only forum that I feel can reflect the industry and help the careers and effectiveness of the shipyards, designers, interior contractors, brokers, harbors and yachting areas of the world. To be a member of the Society should be as respected as any qualification letters that you wear with pride.
What advice do you have for the next generation?
My advice is to always give your best, be hungry for knowledge, passionate about what you do and never take no for an answer. Push until your design is built and then push to do it again. The next generation needs to develop relationships with the yards and builders to evolve our industry.