Case Study

De Antonio Yachts Reimagines Luxury Boat Design

Luxury yacht builder, winner of “European Powerboat of the Year,” relies on Onshape to accelerate design collaboration

The Challenge

Based in Barcelona, Spain, De Antonio Yachts is an award-winning luxury yacht manufacturer with production facilities in Spain and Poland, and more than 30 distributors worldwide. The yacht company’s latest D36 model was named “European Powerboat of the Year” at the 2023 International Boat Show Düsseldorf. In 2020, as the product development team was aiming to launch one new yacht model each year, the company realized that having multiple engineers using different CAD systems was counterproductive for collaboration and version control. De Antonio Yachts was looking for one unified CAD platform to use throughout the company, eliminating the hassles of translating files between systems.


  • Onshape’s cloud-native CAD and PDM platform delivers a single source of truth to the De Antonio Yachts design team. Whenever one engineer makes a change, everyone on the team can instantly see it.

  • Onshape saved De Antonio at least €28,000 ($30,900) in upfront CAD software costs and now saves approximately €10,000 ($11,100) in annual CAD maintenance fees.

  • A comprehensive Edit History automatically tracks who made which design change and when, enabling the team to quickly revert back to any earlier stage of the project if desired.

  • Onshape’s automatic software updates every three weeks require no installation or IT management. Previous CAD systems required the engineering team to shut down for at least one day per upgrade.

Javier Ibáñez Headshot
Javier Ibáñez Technical Director De Antonio Yachts
De Antonio logo

“Onshape’s built-in version control saves us considerable time, but more than anything, it just gives us peace of mind.”

De Antonio Yachts made a splash in the yachting industry in 2012 by introducing a rather novel feature for a non-commercial vessel – a hidden outboard engine.

This innovative move to help increase the boat’s interior space immediately positioned this small Barcelona company as a leader in luxury yacht design. 

“Traditionally, it’s the older generations who buy yachts, but with our fresh, modern designs we also appeal to a younger market,” says Javier Ibáñez, Technical Director at De Antonio Yachts. “Designed with clean lines and a lot of open space onboard, our customers can have fun with their family and friends.” 

The company’s focus on innovation has helped De Antonio Yachts win numerous design awards over the past decade. Most recently, their D36 model was named “European Powerboat of the Year” during the International Boat Show Düsseldorf 2023.

“It is an honor to receive this award especially since the competition is so ferocious,” says Ibáñez. “But it just pushes us even more to make our boats as good as we possibly can.” 

“Think of a yacht as a small city on water,” he adds. “Everything needs to be carried onboard from the water tanks for drinking water to the battery packs for powering electricity. At the same time, we have constraints in terms of minimizing the weight of the boat, but maximizing its interior space for the customers to enjoy. In yacht design, every single inch counts.”

Overcoming “Messy” Collaboration Challenges

De Antonio Yachts’ team of four engineers are charged with launching a new model every year.

In their tight development cycle, a new boat progresses from conceptual design through to the finished build at the shipyard. Once the base shape for the hull has been received from the naval architect, the in-house engineering team then uses their CAD tool to place all the various components, including those purchased from suppliers (engine and water pumps), as well as components designed in-house, such as handrails, entrance levers, hinges, and doors. 

De Antonio Yacht interior One of the biggest challenges of yacht design is making “every inch count.”

When Ibáñez joined the company in 2020, he realized that De Antonio’s design collaboration was hindered by a “messy situation.”

“Remarkably, each engineer was using a different CAD tool, including both parametric and non-parametric software, depending on their skill set,” he recalls. “As everyone was using different tools, it was difficult to get the team to work together efficiently on the same project.”

“Using different CAD systems was also an issue  if someone was out of the office, for example, and an update needed to be made to a design they had been working on. We could import the design into a different software to update it, but doing so would often mean losing all the history,” Ibáñez adds. 

Onshape Delivers a Single Source of Truth for Yacht Design

CAD Model of DeAntonio Yachts De Antonio Yachts depends on Onshape to enable multiple designers to simultaneously work on the same CAD model, accelerating their time to market.

Seeking to keep his engineers and designers on the same page, and eliminate the hassles of translating CAD files between different platforms, Javier chose to standardize the team on Onshape, a cloud-native CAD system with built-in PDM, and real-time collaboration tools.

Whenever one engineer makes a change, everyone on the team can instantly see it and have confidence they are looking at the latest version of a design. A comprehensive Edit History also records who made what changes and when, enabling teams to quickly revert back to any earlier stage of the design if desired.

 “We really needed everything to be under the same umbrella,” reflects Ibáñez.

“With Onshape, now if someone is away on holiday and a revision needs to be made to a design, it’s no problem. Someone else can step in and just make the revision. I can then see exactly when the revision was made, and every single step taken to make it. Onshape’s built-in version control saves us considerable time, but more than anything, it just gives us peace of mind,” he says. 

Another valuable Onshape advantage is the ability to streamline communication with external suppliers and partners.  

“If I need to show something to someone who is not part of the design team or does not use 3D tools, I just send them a link to view the 3D model, which they can then rotate and take a closer look at. It’s that simple,” Ibáñez says.

De Antonio’s D36, the 2023 “European Powerboat of the Year,” was predominantly designed in Onshape (the yacht also includes off-the-shelf components).

Reduced IT Overhead and Upfront CAD Savings

As a small company, De Antonio Yachts also appreciates Onshape’s affordable Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model, offering an annual subscription versus requiring a full CAD seat purchase upfront. Ibáñez noted that he did not want to commit to a huge upfront investment for a new tool that they were initially testing – not to mention having to pay additional annual maintenance fees that are common with other CAD vendors.

“I'm spending €6,800 ($7,500) per year for three Onshape subscriptions,” he says. “Whereas, if I had installed any other brand's parametric software, my initial investment would be €35,000 to €40,000 ($38,900 to $44,450). And on top of that, I would still have to spend as much as I'm paying now yearly on licensing (maintenance).”

De Antonio added a fourth Onshape user in late 2023, bringing the annual CAD maintenance savings to approximately €10,000 ($11,100).

The De Antonio Yachts product development team also values Onshape’s zero-IT overhead, requiring no software installations on individual workstations. The cloud-native platform delivers automatic software updates every three weeks. The company’s previous CAD systems required the engineering team to shut down for at least one day per upgrade.

“Onshape’s automatic upgrades give us an uninterrupted workflow,” Ibáñez says. “With nothing to download or install, work doesn’t stop. Sometimes the only way you know there’s been a software upgrade is when you unexpectedly notice a new feature or improvement.” 

With the bulk of geometric calculations being done in the cloud, Onshape also doesn’t require expensive high-performance workstations just to run CAD. The company is able to limit its investments in new hardware, as Onshape runs on any computer or mobile device (iOS or Android).

“I travel a lot with work and Onshape is always with me. The ability to work easily on the go is extremely valuable,” Ibáñez adds. 

Cruising Toward Future Growth

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