|Occupation||CEO of J&J Design|
|Years active||1971 - present|
|Children||Tilen, Eva, Jakob, Gitica and Jadran|
Japec Jakopin (pron. Yapets Yacopeen), born 19 April 1951, is the CEO of J&J Design, a pleasure boat design company, based in Slovenia, which he founded in 1983, together with his brother Jernej. Jakopin is most known as a yacht concept designer.
Early life and education
Japec began diving at the age of six and learned to sail by the age of 13. After graduating from the Medical school at the University of Ljubljana in 1974 he pursued an academic career at that school's Institute of Physiology and at the University Medical Centre, Department of Intensive Internal Medicine. In 1977 he obtained a master's degree in cardiology, of problems connected to cardiac arrest, also during freediving, in 1980 a PhD and in 1981 the title academic specialist in cardiology. In 1983 he resigned from his academic (and medical) career because of political issues.
During his academic years Jakopin spent his weekends in the Croatian seaside town of Punat building do-it-yourself boats, and later learned the charter yacht business. After leaving the medical profession in 1983 Japec, together with his younger brother Jernej, founded J&J Design studio, for production yacht design. In 1983 they designed the Elan 31 sailing boat for the Elan sporting goods factory of Begunje, Slovenia, followed by Elan 33. Between 1983 and 1987 Elan sold 940 units of the Elan 31, Elan 33 and Elan 43, increasing its marine sales from DEM 2 million to DEM 32 million. In 1987, Japec took a marketing and sales manager job at the French sailboat and powerboat builder Jeanneau where he stayed until 1990. In the meantime J&J Design continued designing boats for Jeanneau and several other European boatyards.
Expansion into boat development and production
In 1989 the two brothers founded Seaway, also in Slovenia, to expand J&J Design activities to engineering, tooling and prototyping for boat manufacturers. By 2000 Seaway became the only independent company outside major yacht builders that could engage in the entire development process - from design to prototype and final moulds, and its revenue grew to 6.6 million euros. The list of clients included Bavaria, Beneteau and Jeanneau. In 2001 KD Group, the largest Slovenian private finance group, invested 3 million euros in the company, for a 50% share and a request for change of strategy to own boat production. Investment enabled the purchase of a robot for precise prototype and mould production, required by Seaway's customers and acquisition of new, larger premises for installation of the new tool.
The Shipman 50 and Shipman 63 won the 2003 and 2006 European Boat of the Year Award at the Boot Düsseldorf boat show.
In 2009 a hybrid powerboat with diesel, electric and solar propulsion was developed and produced, the 33 feet (10 m) long Greenline Hybrid 33. It also won the 2010 European Boat of the Year Award at the Boot Düsseldorf boat show. Its main appeal besides the hybrid propulsion with zero-emission and no-noise sailing was the constant availability of 110/230 VAC power for appliances. It sold 400 units by 2015, claimed to be the best-selling 10 m boat in 2010 and 2011, and was followed by larger models, GL 40 in 2011, Greenline Ocean Class 70 in 2012 and GL 48 in 2014.
In 2014 Seaway was in no shortage of orders for boats, but the enduring credit crunch after the 2008 crisis crippled further production and in 2015 both divisions of the company went out of business.
J&J Design revived
In the meantime Jakopin brothers reestablished J&J Design as an independent company while the boatbuilding part of Seaway (Greenline and Shipman families) was taken over by SVP Yachts (Vladimir Zinchenko). The renewed venture continued to provide design as well as boat engineering and production process engineering for vessels from 20 to 80 feet, to major volume boatbuilders in the power and sailing area, including the Greenline builder SVP Yachts. Since 1983 J&J Design produced over 300 designs from which 60.000 boats were built, by 63 boatbuilders in 26 countries. They won over 110 Boat of the Year, Design or Environmental awards.
Jakopin was engaged in promoting new ideas in naval design, especially in the area of hybrid boat propulsion and environment friendly technologies, through lectures, public presentations and work in professional associations such as the Slovenian Academy of Engineering.
- "J & J Design - the world's biggest design studio". Church Point, Australia. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Bryant, Chris (12 November 2010), "Japec Jakopin: Green machine keeps boat builder afloat", Financial Times, retrieved 10 January 2014
- "Inženirska akademija Slovenije / Slovenian Academy of Engineering". Ljubljana, Slovenia. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Golob, Tadej (March 2006), "Japec Jakopin", Playboy, Slovenia: 39–47, retrieved 10 January 2014
- "Japec Jakopin / Personal Bibliography". Co-operative Online Bibliographic System & Services. Maribor, Slovenia. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "The company that sailed over Catch-22", Evolution / Business and Technology Magazine from SKF, Stockholm, Sweden, 18 June 2010, retrieved 10 January 2014
- Shapiro, Daniel; Vahčič, Aleš; Papania, Lisa (2008). "Chapter 9: Seaway: building boats in Slovenia". In Aidis, Ruta; Welter, Friederike (eds.). The Cutting Edge / Innovation and Entrepreneurship in New Europe. Edward Elgar. pp. 146–165. ISBN 978-1845429744.
- Haak, Alyssa (20 March 2013). "The Prius Boat: Hybrid Power Catches a Current / Greenline's new hybrid yachts combine an old-school diesel engine with a modern electric motor and lithium battery pack". New York City, New York. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Reich, Gary (January 2011), "Dreamboat - A Shockingly Good Hybrid", PropTalk - Chesapeake Bay Boating, St. Annapolis, MD: 22–25, retrieved 10 January 2014
- Strang, Jeff (4 April 2012), "Boat Tests - Greenline 40 Hybrid", TradeaBoat, Oakleigh, Australia, retrieved 10 January 2014
- Carney, Heather (October 2015), "Greenline Hybrid Yachts May Be Eco-Friendly, But They're Just As Luxurious As The Boats You're Used To", Boca Life Magazine, Boca Raton, Florida, retrieved 22 February 2016
- Marsh, Dave (March 2012), "Boat report - Greenline 70", Motor Boat & Yachting, London, England: 52–59
- "Seaway Greenline 48 - photos of world premiere at boot 2014". Düsseldorf, Germany. January 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
- "International team designs Shipman 59". MySailing. Surry Hills NSW, Australia. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- "Why MACIF won the Vendee Globe". The Daily Sail. London, UK. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "High-End Yacht Maker Goes Bankrupt". Ljubljana, Slovenia. 14 March 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
- Morozov, Sebastjan (5 January 2015), "Brata Jakopin z novim podjetjem" [Jakopin Brothers' New Company], Dnevnik, Ljubljana, Slovenia, retrieved 22 February 2016
- "J&J Design, 1983-". Phoenix, Arizona: SailboatData.Com. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
- Small-Scale Production at Seaway Relaunched, STA, 8 July 2015, retrieved 23 February 2016
- Mihajlović, Novica (5 August 2015), "Seaway pod ruskim najemnikom prvo barko prodal Japoncem" [Seaway's New Tenant Sold the First Boat to Japanese], Finance, retrieved 23 February 2016
- "SVP Yachts". Zapuže, Slovenia. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
- Frank, Robert (22 August 2015), "Hybrid-Powered Megayachts Come With Green Bragging Rights", The New York Times, retrieved 19 February 2016
- "Интервью с Владимиром Зинченко" [Vladimir Zinchenko Interview]. Motor Boat and Yachting, Russian Edition. Moscow, Russia. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- Hopkinson, Nick (June–July 2020). "The one-stop design & development shop". International Boat Industry. London, UK: 50–51. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- "Worldclass Enterprise Software and Design Firms in Eastern and Balkans Europe". Stanford CA: Stanford University / European Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Thought Leaders Seminar. 27 January 2014. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
- "Japec Jakopin, Stanford University lecture". Seaway. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
- Schauer-Bieche, Florian (30 May 2013). "5 days left: Who's talking? Japec Jakopin". TEDx Klagenfurt. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- "Hybrid boats: Japec Jakopin at TEDxKlagenfurt". TEDx Talks. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
- "Full and Associate Members". Slovenian Academy of Engineering. 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2019.