The Legacy of Jon Bannenberg


A new must have superyacht book was launched yesterday at a lavish party in London Jon Bannenberg: A Life in Design by Dickie Bannenberg charts the super yacht legacy of his fathers career.

“Legacy sounds like a bad word to me,” says Dickie Bannenberg when we ask him about his father. “I know, having spent several years sifting through my father’s prodigious output for the book and that his almost fifty years of creating has left an enormous footprint of brilliance and variety. The book about him has 544 pages, and weighs 5 kilos.  It could have had double that and I still would not have adequately covered Jon’s design journey.”

Published by Julian Calder, the book, costs £100 and will be available through Bannenberg & Rowell from 7 April.

The launch was attended by the superyacht glitterati, many of whom where protégés before launching themselves onto the superyacht design stage. Attending the evening party where among many others the designers Andrew Winch, Terence Disdale, Martin Francis and Tim Heywood.

Friends clients and representatives of shipyards around the world had flown in to join the throng.

Dickie used the occasion to break the news that the firm Bannenberg & Rowell created when Simon Rowell joined as creative director, are currently working on a yacht that at 168 metres. Pointing to two beautifully restored models in the centre of the room Dickie said, “That’s longer than Dad’s Carinthia VI and Nabila welded together”

Bannenberg Jr regaled the crowd with anecdotes about his father, including the series of faxes he had famously sent to Robert Maxwell spelling out, in foot-high letters, ‘PUBLISHER PLEASE PAY MY BILL’.

He spoke with great affection of his father, describing him as a man who could and would design anything, from a boat to a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. “He even redesigned my school shorts because he didn’t like the cut of them,” he said.

“For our part, here at Bannenberg & Rowell” he told us, “We have to follow that path: not trying to copy or borrow. But to uphold the spirit of adventure and fun that was Jon’s guiding star.”

Maybe legacy is the right word after all!