Hans-Maarten Bais

Creative Director & Naval Architect

Living close to the beach born in a fishermen family, I always loved the sea, looking at the ships passing by. This fascination led me to studying Naval Architecture, a path that seemed a natural fit for my curiosity about ships and their design. In 1998 I started working for Diana Yacht Design and in 2003 I celebrated the delivery of the first yacht I designed. Nowadays I am the Creative Director and one of the co-owners of DIANA. As Dutch yacht designer, I’m passionate about achieving perfection in every project. I take a hands-on approach working closely with our talented team, ensuring each project we undertake maintains the highest standards of performance. In this role, I find immense pride in our achievements and the joy of bringing exceptional designs to life on the water.


What does it mean to you to be an ISS judge?
I was very honoured to receive the invitation with the request for being an ISS judge for the upcoming awards Gala and I’m pleased to work with the other judges, evaluating and discussing the impressive industry projects.

What do you like about the ISS Design & Awards Gala?
The ISS Design & Awards Gala is a really nice event celebrating innovation and excellence in superyacht design, construction and engineering. Besides that it provides excellent opportunities to share insights, to connect with industry leaders and meet with friends.

How did you get your start in the yachting industry?
In 1998, I started as a trainee at Diana Yacht Design and in 2003 the first yacht I designed was delivered. Nowadays I am Creative Director and Co-owner of the company.

Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
Two projects stand out as particularly significant; working with the owners for the 45-metre Pamela V and the 77-metre Legend. Both experiences provided deep insights into the decision-making processes of yacht owners. During a couple of years we collaborated closely to ensure that their visions and ideas were brought to life (, creating the prefect balance between design and functionality) .

What is your biggest challenge?
Structure and organization. I’m not good in that. Glad I have some great colleagues who deal with that part.

If you could choose one location for your next travel adventure, where would you go?
I would like to visit Antarctica (preferable on Legend). It,  offers a unique blend of natural beauty and adventure; stunning icebergs, glaciers and a diverse wildlife. It’s a rare chance to see one of the last untouched places on earth. It helps you to appreciate the importance of protecting our environment and understand the impact of the climate change.

What is your favourite part of your job?
I Like the first stage of a new project and mostly the Naval Architecture. The puzzle of exterior design, hull for development and engineering to make a realisable design is always a challenge and the satisfaction it brings to solve that puzzle with all parties involved it great!

Who has influenced you the most?
The former owners of Diana Yacht Design Kees Kolff and Coby Dijkman were a big influence for me to run the business. They told me to always be honest and do what you promise. Stick to that and you cannot go wrong. It sounds simple but it is still the philosophy we follow and I tell our team every day. In design and “sales” Felix Buytendijk was an example for me; great style and very open and friendly in communications. Always opened up a conversation with a joke, helps to break the ice.

What is the most effective daily habit you possess?
My most effective daily habit is my ability to seamlessly jump from one project to the other and swiftly resolve issues. This flexibility and quick  problem-solving skills allow me to be very productive and effectively ensuring every project receives the attention it needs.

How do you manage life balance?
That is always a challenge when you run a business. Spending time on our boat enjoying being on the water with friend and family, or even alone helps a lot.

What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve gotten?
The best advice I received is that people do business with people, not companies with companies. It highlights the importance of building personal relationships, trust and mutual respect.