Featured Artist of the ‘Burg (FAB) 25: Malachi Cooper

The Lazarra LSX Quad
The ‘Burg is home to a host of captivating and inspiring characters. This is the city where Jack Kerouac came to die, where songs are written in homage to legendary sharks, and divers hunt for sunken gold. 36-year-old Tierra Verde resident and world-renowned industrial designer Malachi Cooper surely stands as a prince among them. This local designed the world’s fastest luxury boat as well as “The Most Innovative Yacht in the World” at the Monte Carlo boat show.Malachi has designed many other award winning yachts that grace the front pages of industry magazines the world over, but his imagination and talent aren’t restricted to the sea. He has also developed design renderings for the Gulfstream G550, Audi R8, and Ferrari Enzo and collaborated with ENT physicians to design improvements to the functionality and ergonomics of various medical devices. We at iLovetheburg.com had to meet this tireless visionary for a glimpse at the world of high profile design.

Malachi reclines with his water at the table in our new office and tells us how he got into industrial design. “I dropped out of college when my uncle, who was a professional photographer in Nashville, had to get eye surgery.”Malachi went on, “I had to become his eyes.” In a blind master and eager apprentice, kung-fu-movie-esque way, Malachi unknowingly sharpened his artistic third eye for a couple of years and went on to Savannah College of Art and Design where he masterminded a 23’ sport boat for his senior project that remains a showpiece at the university. His career skyrocketed from there and he was picked out by Florida’s Lazzara Yachts right after graduation. As an industrial designer, one has to be ready for anything that comes through the door whether it be yachts, cars, airplanes, or even toothbrushes.

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Mac thinks about his favorite projects. The Lazarra LSX Quad, one of his first projects in the Bay area, tops the list. This gorgeous 75’ yacht pioneered the use of 4 ultra-efficient Volvo Penta engines that work as one unit in a fraction of the space of traditional engines. “We flew in engineers from Sweden, it was pretty cool.”

Next on the list is another one of his babies, the world’s fastest turbine powered luxury boat. This masterpiece pulls together military-grade technology that propels the boat a jaw dropping 210 mph. “The Sheikh of Qatar and Steve Curtis (an English powerboat racing champion) were part of the design process,” Malachi recalls and grins. “They like to race.”

Next on the list is a 350 foot, 250 million dollar yacht that is currently in the works. Among a staggering swath of features, this yacht will feature two helicopter pads. “350 feet is rare, even in the high-end yacht world,” says Mac, who has also made his mark locally. He designed a 1,000 gallon live well in the St. Pete area and soon will be launching a line of revolutionary paddleboards with Paradigm Composite in the Bay. These ultra-tough boards will do away with the traditional foam core design and instead infuse their boards with resin under pressure. This should create stronger, lighter, and superior paddleboards. He would also love to launch a jewelry line.

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350′ yacht rendering with two helicopter pads;

So why live in St. Pete? Mac likes the beautiful waterfront in his backyard and the quick access to the downtown playground where he frequents Tryst on Beach Drive for his favorite beer, La Fin Du Monde, on tap, the Mandarin Hide where he’s friends with a couple of the bartenders, and the Albert Whitted Airport where he, a licensed pilot himself, can cruise around in a Cessna.

Malachi’s accomplishments are frankly superhuman. We had to ask him, is there anything that he doesn’t do? “Sleep,” he laughs. Who knows what fantastic new masterpiece comes out of his company, Dream Line Yacht and Product Design, down the road. But we can all feel a twinge of St. Pete pride when it flies by.
Designed to be the world’s fastest boat

Article by Norris Comer, Editor/Writer for iLovetheBurg.com

Written by Brian Bailey

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Brian Bailey is the founder of I Love the Burg and That's So Tampa. In addition to regular contributions to each blog, he's been featured as a commentator to Bay New 9, The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Bay Times, The Tampa Bay Business Journal and The Business Observer as well as national outlets including The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.