Take a lifelong passion for sailing. Add a dream job and immaculate timing, merge together and you have Gym Marine Yachts & Interiors, the go-to company for designer gyms aboard the world’s superyachts.
Gym Marine launched in Bath, England, in 2014, but the idea behind it came years earlier. “After school, I worked as a crew member on yachts, first below deck, moving to deckhand—the best job in the world—and on to first mate,” says the company’s founder and director, Edward Thomas.
A national fencing champion, pentathlete, equestrian, and shooting enthusiast, staying fit is paramount to Thomas, and this was brought into focus during his life onboard. “I realized that little concern was given to fitness and its benefits. A crew member’s job is intense and working out offers release. We could do some cardio on the sun decks and we’d have dumbbells, but that was it.”
We’ve airbrushed kettlebells in leopard print, and covered one entire gym in Hermès leather
Thomas was working as part of a crew when he started to share his idea of installing designer gyms on superyachts. Boat International magazine loved it, supported his ads, and Gym Marine was born. The company is now a global leader in designing and installing bespoke gyms and spas on the planet’s waterborne palaces. In fact, so successful was the concept, the company now takes commissions from private residences and hotels too.
Five-star customization and designer details are at the heart of every one of the gyms that Gym Marine creates, but it also thrives because it has no affiliations with equipment firms. Talking in depth with clients to understand their needs, the team advises on the best kit according to its purpose, not its name.
The company has experienced unprecedented growth over the past year due to the pandemic curtailing travel and people working out at home. And while a charter yacht will have something akin to a hotel gym catering to many fitness interests, a private yacht “will have something similar to a home-designed gym. Does the client have injuries? If they ski, do they want a personalized ski machine?”
But when it comes to design and installation, the premise remains the same onboard or on dry land. “We speak with our clients, and will travel to meet them if possible, to look at the space and their demands. We want the gym to be as aesthetically advanced as the kit, so we work with interior designers and architects, and guide the client from initial consultation through to installation.”
Gym Marine has recently branched out and launched Paragon Studio, a range of equipment it designs and crafts from wood and steel, including wall bars, benches, weight racks, and steel-and-leather dumbbells.
How about a client’s design desires? “Whatever they want. We’ve airbrushed kettlebells in leopard print, and covered one entire gym, where possible, in Hermès leather.”
On land and at sea Gym Marine and Thomas are looking to the future, with plans to open offices in the U.S.A. With all this success, surely his idea of working as a deckhand has changed? “It’s still the best job in the world,” he says.
Banner image: Chris Terry