Forty Eight Point One

Behind the Work → Fairline Yachts

Articles Behind the Work → Fairline Yachts

Our work ends in design. But it starts in research, insight and resultant strategy.


The following has underpinned our work with Fairline Yachts to date.

Research & Insight

Activities: Desk research, brand audit, digital audit, team member interviews, competitor review

With a history dating back to the early 60s, Fairline Yachts is an award-winning luxury yacht manufacturer, building iconic, hand-built and timeless motorboats that sell across the world.

The F//LINE range, launched in 2019, represented the next step in the brand’s journey. Our brief was to design & build a bespoke configurator to showcase the sleek, sculptured boats and convert into enquiries.

Luxury yachts are, to the surprise of nobody, not cheap. The audience can go anywhere, anytime, and are used to buying the best. The configurator had to live up to expectations defined by best-in-class digital experiences for luxury products in general, not just boats.

This led us on an extensive review of online configurators, ranging from cars to kids buggies, to watches (to more cars), to understand how they had solved the key challenges that any configurator faces: How to engage the user through a series of options to completion, managing their expectations and avoiding drop-off.

We also needed to overcome potential challenges of comprehension related to terminology, international variants and what could easily be an overwhelming number of choices.

To propel a user through a process this granular and lengthy, we needed to gain commitment early.


We crafted a customer journey that charted 150+ options, split into 25 sections, staged across 6 phases, working with Fairline’s 3D rendering agency to produce visuals for every possible combination.

The journey had to be coherent, cognitively and visually. The buying journey launches with simple but big-ticket options: Engines and platforms. This follows with the more emotive choices that help the user envision themselves driving the boat: Hull colours, decking finishes and seating fabrics. To propel a user through a process this granular and lengthy, we needed to gain commitment early.

As the user completes the steps, the renders change with every click, matched with dynamic pricing and mobile ‘pulsing’ when the updated boat isn’t in view. And as they change their view – from the exterior to interior – so does the configurator. The journey needed to feel engaging and immersive at every juncture.

We treated the configurator as a product, not a website. V1 was an MVP to garner data that could be fed back into product development, allowing us to iterate, optimise and increase conversion. The configurator had to be developed with further builds in mind, including additional features and a modified journey.

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