Luiz DeBasto

Designer, DeBasto Designs

Luiz DeBasto, principal of DeBasto Designs, has been designing boats for over 40 years. One of his most recently launched yachts is the spectacular 295- foot (90 meter) MY DAR, built at Oceanco. In addition to this groundbreaking custom yacht, DeBasto recently launched the 174-foot (53 meter) MY Jewels built at Turquoise Yachts. Other ongoing projects include exteriors and interiors for production and custom yachts, the 41 meter Explorer in construction at Amer Yachts in Italy, an innovative 165" event vessel for the US market and for international shipyards. DeBasto was born and raised in Angola until the age of 12. When war broke out in that country, his family moved to Brazil. DeBasto went to university in Brazil and has a degree in architecture. His Brazilian wife, Cristina, works closely with him in the business. The DeBastos moved to Miami in 1990 and raised their son there. While the DeBastos are extremely international, and travel frequently, Miami is home and home base for DeBasto Designs.


Who has influenced you the most? Why?
In yacht design, early on in my career I enjoyed the work of Pier Luigi Spadolini and Alberto Mercati. Clean lines and perfect proportions still guide my exterior design work today


What is the most effective daily habit you possess? Why?
Trying to sleep at least 7 hours a day to keep a clear mind


Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration In Nature and in Geometry. I am always amazed to see how those two sources of inspiration are interconnected and how, after they are understood, they can be transformed and become art, architecture, music and even extraordinary yacht designs.


If you could choose one location for your next travel adventure, where would you go and why?

It depends:
On land I would return to Angola, where I was born and left when I was 12 because of the war, this time with my family. The nature and the people left beautiful memories,
By boat I would like to go to Antarctic, another strong side of nature.
And by rocket I would like to take off to the sky to look back and see our planet floating in space.


What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve gotten?
The path is the destination.


What advice do you have for the next generation?
Never cease to learn, be relentless, be curious, take the initiative and create a network of people in all places and walks of life.


What does it mean to you to be an ISS judge?
As a professional, is a chance to look at the work of others with a critical eye that forces me to look at each design and understand how successful it is given all the inevitable compromises each design goes through to become a reality. Then, it is also necessary to compare each project with the others. Determining a winner requires much consideration and responsibility. And, personally it makes me feel good to be part of a distinguished group of accomplished people in the industry.


What do you like about the ISS Design & Awards Gala?

Networking, a chance to be part of a large industry