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Floating fitness

Planning ahead is a good idea when it comes to creating a proper space for rowing and fitness enthusiasts who don’t want to give up an exercise routine just because they cast off to sea. Few know that better than the gym designers from U.K.-based Space Concepts. Co-founder Mark Healy, 38, is a professional trainer with experience on superyachts. He turned this rare combination of skills into a business, focusing on designing gyms specifically for yachts. He and business partner David Stammers established Space Concepts in 2003 and they have found a viable market in the superyacht segment. While much attention is paid to areas such as the bridge, the galley or even the dive locker, the gym is often an afterthought. Yet, this can be an important part of the overall guest experience.

Story by Martin Hagar


Charter brokers, in particular, know how crucial this often-neglected section of a yacht really is. What is available onboard to keep up with a fitness regimen influences decisions when it comes to charter bookings. A treadmill and a few dumbbells are not enough anymore and a proper gym can greatly enhance the value of a yacht.

In the opinion of the Space Concepts founders, the gym has to have a different feel and they create this with lighting and materials unique from the rest of the yacht. The overall package should include an entertainment area with a good sound system and a large, properly positioned TV so guests do not have to crane their necks to watch their favorite shows or videos. Gyms located on the sun deck are also good idea. Examples include the gym on board the 193-foot (58.8-meter) Benetti Lady Lara and Lürssen’s 248-foot (86.5-meter) Northern Star, which both offer stunning views.

There is plenty of equipment to choose from among manufacturers such as Technogym, Life Fitness or Star Trac, but the setup has to make sense. “Nobody needs eight pieces of cardio-vascular exercise equipment in a 216-square-foot room,” Stammer says.

It’s better to free up floor space for stretching or yoga exercises and include a multi-function weight machine to strengthen back and upper body muscles to complement endurance equipment such as exercises bikes, treadmills and rowing machines.

Since space on board yachts is always at a premium, the gym can be a multi-use room that transforms into a massage area or hairdressing salon, or possibly a kids’ room. The trick is to plan this early on. A project Space Concepts recently sank its teeth into is the gym on Starfish, the next installment in the Aquos Yachts fleet.

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