Germán ‘Mani’ Frers III is the product of a 3-generation yacht design dynasty, each one sharing the name Germán and a unique passion for grace, artistry and speed. Growing up under the wings of his father and grandfather, two international designers with world-wide reputations, the talk at home was always about boats and ways to make them go faster. Having graduated through the national and international ranks in Optimists, Cadets, and 470s before getting his first taste of offshore racing on Ton Cup yachts when still a teenager, yacht design is in his blood and the thrill of racing continues to feeds a passion for developing performance boats and leading edge technology.
Mani studied naval architecture at the renowned Southampton Institute during a time when design was moving fast from penciled lines to the high science of computer aided design (CAD), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and advanced composite engineering. Graduating in 1993 with First Class Honours, he joined his Father at the Frers design studio in Milan established 1992 to work on the Il Moro di Venezia America’s Cup challenge. Mani was drafted in to help develop a Velocity Prediction Programme (VPP) which later became an essential testing tool for future Frers designs. He then honed his design skills drawing the Bermuda Race winning maxi Boomerang, the 40ft IMS world champion Yah–Man and a series of Open yachts that raced successfully in the Mediterranean. He also began a fruitful relationship with Luca Bassani’s Wally Yachts, which led to a new approach to yacht design by blending beauty, comfort and performance with easy sailing.
At the end of that decade, Mani and his Father German Frers II, teamed up with American designer Doug Peterson to design the Prada America’s Cup challenge yacht Luna Rosa, which went on to win the Louis Vuitton Cup to challenge the New Zealand defender in the 2000 Cup series.
The new Millennium brought fresh challenges that would help develop his multicultural abilities. First came a commission from Nautor Swan to design the Volvo 60 Amer Sports One which New Zealander Grant Dalton sailed to a podium finish in the 2000/1 Round the world race. Soon after, Mani was appointed lead designer to the Swedish America’s Cup challenges in 2003 and 2007 where he led a large design team with the same creative and efficient approach.
After, Mani and his Father worked in partnership to design a new generation of Nautor Swan performance cruising yachts, custom racing boats and superyachts, including the timeless classic Rebecca and Jim Clark’s 155ft yacht Hyperion which, two decades on is still winning superyacht events.
Nowadays, the Frers Milan studio is an independent yacht design firm working on racing boats, high performance cruisers, super yachts and motor yachts. Recent announcements include the commission for a 46m motor yacht from McConaghy Boats in China, and a 56m carbon world cruising yacht which will become the largest composite sloop when launched.