A Rich & Storied History

In honor of our 25th year in operation as an independent design studio, below we have recapped some of the most defining moments and project launches in our firm's history.


1984 - 1985

1984 - 1985

Ward Setzer begins a design career in Palm Beach under the tutelage American legend Jack Hargrave. Technical drawings for the iconic 130' Buckpasser and 148' Calliope are completed by hand using ink on mylar.

1986 - 1991

1986 - 1991

Ward Setzer manages the custom yachts division at Hatteras Yachts, leading design and quality control as the motoryacht line expands from 92' to 130'.

1991

1991

The original Setzer studio is founded in New Bern, NC with European partners and work spanning marine, sporting goods and medical product designs.

1993

1993

With increasing project travel demands, our studio relocates to North Carolina's Research Triangle region for easier access to international air service and nearby research universities.

1991 - 1994

1991 - 1994

Broward Yachts commisions our studio to design their first 88' aluminum & fiberglass sportfish, as well as 11 motoryachts in both raised pilothouse and tri-deck formats.

1994

1994

The studio initiates the largest FRP build attempted to date in the US in the form of  a 142' triple deck motoryacht for Christensen Shipyards, "Soldier of Fortune" later "Namoh".

1995

1995

Our studio is contracted to develop Intermarine USA's product line with introduction of motoryachts from 105-120' including "Voyager", "Bossy Boots" and "Savannah." Further design work starts up at then Trident Shipworks in Tampa  for "Janet", a 138' raised pilothouse motoryacht.

1996

1996

Work begins on our "Victory Lane" fleet for Trinity Yachts, which grows to include tri-deck builds at 142, 157, and 177,' as well as a 124' raised pilothouse series.

1998

1998

Marcey Setzer joins the team full-time bringing her architecture and interior design credentials to bear as our studio's services expand to include full Yacht Interior Design.

1999

1999

M/Y Bellini receives the Showboats Award for Best Semi-Displacement Vessel over 38m. , starts the first of three raised pilothouse designs for our Clients at then Sovereign Yachts of Vancouver, CA later Richmond Yachts and starts the design of the award winning expedition yacht "Surprise" at McMullen & Wing in New Zealand.

2000 - 2003

2000 - 2003

Our work with Christensen Yachts expands to include "Big Bad John," the largest RPH vessel built in the United States at that time, along with six other vessels up to 150'.

2004

2004

Richmond Yachts takes over at Sovereign in Vancouver, BC and goes on to build out our series of Richmond Lady yachts from 138 to 154'. Our design workflow evolves to include  NURBs-based 3D modeling and photo-real project rendering. 

2005

2005

Two of our large custom tri-deck designs - the 130' Magic and the 152' Lia Fail built by Northern Marine are launched in Anacortes, Washington.   

2005

2005

Windswell Designs is launched, expanding our brand to include marine hardware, furniture and lifestyle accessories including custom surfboards hand-shaped by Ward Setzer. 

2006

2006

Our studio is contracted to design the ground breaking Hinckley T38R Convertible, and further stealth models for the iconic American brand.

2007

2007

Ward Setzer co-founds Impulse Yachts, a semi-production manufacturer focused on 30'-40' express cruisers and commences construction along the North Carolina coast.

2008

2008

Our futuristic "Vision Line" of Megayachts are introduced, featuring early forays into the vertical bow design trend; the series is jointly promoted with several major shipyards including a 58-meter model for Burger Boat Company, and a 230' for Icon Yachts.

2010

2010

In the midst of her inaugural year of expeditionary cruising, our Delta-built M/Y Marama receives the World Superyachts Award. 

2011

2011

An ultra-modern design featuring a vertical bow, the Nisi 2400 receives the International Superyacht Society Award for Best Power in her size category. 

2012

2012

We open a satellite studio at the Falmouth Harbor Superyacht Marina on the Caribbean island of Antigua serving as a new source of inspiration for Ward Setzer during a two-year design sabbatical.

2013

2013

The "New American Motoryachts Collection," is introduced to builders and owners alike.  Originating from a set of freehand sketches developed by Ward Setzer while in Antigua, the refined series included 22 new designs from 28 to 70 meters and results in multiple design commissions for the firm.

2014

2014

The Xpresso 1500 is launched, representing our first award-winning multi-hull design and one of few power catamarans to feature pod drive propulsion and lifting foils.

2014

2014

Our studio's offerings are expanded to include Refit Design, with multiple major refit projects including M/Y Magic, M/Y Resilient, and M/Y Waterford initiating within the first 18 months. 

2015

2015

 After searches for an ideal island life with stints in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean we finally set down new pilings along the waterfront in Stuart, Florida with an inspirational studio and direct access to the heart of the marine industry.

2015

2015

The Vestal Series, is announced for Admiral Marine and the Italian Sea Group featuring three new designs at 40, 50, and 62 meters, represents one of the first major collaborations between an Italian Shipyard and a U.S.-based design studio. 

2016

2016

Our Studio proudly celebrates 25 years of operation as an independent design studio. 

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+1.954.541.9717

Email Inquiries:

inquire@setzerdesign.com

Setzer Design Group, Inc.
621 NW Sunset Dr.
Stuart, Florida 34994 USA