Espen Thorup shows us sketches of different boat designs in his office.
The Nordkapp hulls have evolved significantly over the years.
Every design begins with functionality.
It always starts with a pen and a piece of paper.
A mission to stand out
The mission has always been that every Nordkapp boat should have a distinct identity, and you should be able to recognize each vessel at sea, even without seeing the logo. "I ask myself different questions than others during the design process," he says, which is a contributing factor to why the Nordkapp team have managed to create a unique look. Again, he talks about the composition: "Everything starts with an idea for the hull, which motor to use and how the boat shall look, even though this varies for each model we make. The Nordkapp expression shall remain the same."
Making something timeless
Creating a fleet that is forever evolving while keeping the Nordkapp signature look is not easy. Designing each boat to feel relevant even 10 or 20 years after release is a challenge in and of itself. But how do you create a fleet of vessels that feels timeless? Thorup begins by addressing a lethal mistake producers make:
"I try to avoid making the mistake of designing a boat based on the success of our previous models. This line of thinking easily creates a copy-paste mindset; you get one vessel that becomes popular, so you design the next one accordingly, and it also delivers good results, so you continue doing the same with the others after that. Suddenly, you have a series of boats that look like they have gone in and out of the photocopier. What happens is that the fleet becomes outdated, and then you have a problem," he says.
Nordkapp uses an evolving design process to keep people interested: "Each boat should have something that is standard, as part of its lineage, and something that is entirely new. This goes for all our boats; each new vessel should have something previous boats did not have. Gradually, this keeps the brand relevant and modern without having to start everything from scratch," he says. However, Espen notes earnestly that it can always be discussed if this approach works or not. Additionally, he adds that every vessel crafted results from an immense team effort and that people from the production are also involved in the design process.
He brings up the Enduro 605 as a prime example of a boat that has stood the test of time. "It was released nearly ten years ago, but it remains almost as relevant today as back then," he says. This is probably because few boats can still match the Enduro 605 on a design level– But that might be a subjective opinion, he adds with a glint in his eyes.
A spark appears in the eyes when he talks about design.