When Designers Go Wild: 5 Superyacht Concepts We Love

Concept yachts: Flights of fancy or a window to the future of yachting?
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Concept yachts: Flights of fancy or a window to the future of yachting?

Designers send us renderings all the time. Some are far out. Some are exceedingly cool. We challenged each of our editors to pick a favorite to share.

Staff Report

Concepts are always the stars of car shows. While they are unlikely ever to hit the showroom or the open road, they stimulate the imaginations of automotive enthusiasts. Yacht builders and designers have presented concepts in increasing numbers in recent years with the same intent. Some concepts—or individual elements of them—have actually made it into the water. Most, however, exist to compel us to consider the possibilities, to get us to think outside the bulkhead. Designers send us renderings all the time. Some are far out. Some are exceedingly cool. We challenged each of our editors to pick a favorite to share.

The Streets of Monaco

The Streets of Monaco

The Streets of Monaco

The Streets of Monaco, a concept from Yacht Island Design and naval architects BMT Nigel Gee, is one of my all-time favorites because she is so outrageous, yet at the same time, entirely feasible. Beginning with a versatile 155-meter (508-foot) SWATH platform that can comfortably carry almost anything within imagination, Yacht Island reproduced nothing less than the storied Principality of Monaco for its initial concept. The essence of the tiny country is captured in floating form by including many of its signature elements. The Prince’s Palace, with its distinctive turrets, sits to one corner, appropriately housing the owner’s suite. Amidships is Casino Square with the Loews Hotel, the Casino and the Hotel de Paris. Port Hercule is represented on one of the lower decks, as is a beach club in the Oasis area. Best of all, though, is the Formula 1 track, fully capable of three-wide kart racing on multiple decks. I cannot think of another concept that puts a broader array of pleasure into pleasure boating, but if Monaco is not your cup of tea, Yacht Island Design offers Tropical Island Paradise and Project Utopia, the latter more in keeping with Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon than Perini Navi’s Maltese Falcon. For broader appeal, the designers have also proposed Oriental and Middle Eastern concepts that await further development.

—Dudley Dawson, Editor-at-Large

Ghost concept

Ghost concept

Ghost

It’s an automobile, it’s a train, it’s a plane. No ... it’s Ghost, a 144-meter (472-foot) concept from the forward-thinking folks at Ken Freivokh Design. Making use of technology already evident in transportation vehicles and architecture—carbon composites, space-frame structures and advanced glass technology—Ghost’s design is not only hydrodynamic, but it also achieves aerodynamic characteristics that will boost efficiency and provide a quieter environment underway. The use of a space-frame structure, which has been adapted in airport terminals, skyscrapers and museums, is an obvious approach for large yachts subjected to massive loads and pressures. Freivokh says he “envisions using the latest materials on a light, strong and rigid structure with a highly versatile skin designed to keep the water out, the guests protected and achieve amazing panoramic views out.” The Ghost concept is one of total flexibility where a rigid space-frame system takes care of the torsional stiffness and allows large span openings, such as particularly handsome shell doors capable of accommodating a 49-foot 2-inch (15-meter) limousine tender.

Some unique features include underwater viewing, sliding helipad platforms, opening skylights, a telescopic signal mast forward, a glass-sided pool within a handsome gymnasium and a massive atrium. Ghost boasts green credentials with the adoption of a new light-sensitive film embedded on the skin of the yacht, generating electricity to take care of all the hotel loads.

—Jill Bobrow, Editor-at-Large

Bahamas concept

Bahamas concept

Bahamas

By definition, yacht concepts are usually experimental, possibly impractical and occasionally downright unbuildable. But put a naval architect on the job and the result is likely to be reverse-engineered to suit a specific purpose or function. This is exactly the case with the 48-meter (157-foot 6-inch) Bahamas concept by Horacio Bozzo, founder and principal designer of Axis Group Yacht Design. Bozzo has teamed with the Rossinavi shipyard in Viareggio, Italy, to develop a shallow-draft yacht designed specifically for cruising the shoal waters of the Bahamas with all the volume and comfort associated with a displacement hull.

“Why Bahamas?” asks the Argentine designer. “Because the name derives from the Spanish baja mar, or shallow water, a reference to the sand banks and reefs around the archipelago’s 700-odd islands.”

The upshot is an all-aluminum yacht with a draft of just 6 feet—at least 2 feet less than a conventional displacement hull of comparable size—achieved by combining a round bilge configuration with the hard chines of a semi-displacement hull. The advantage is that the yacht can get closer to the beach and more protected anchorages. There are no delays while waiting for tides to change, and the captain can take direct routes between islands, saving up to five hours’ navigation time in the process.

The interior concept has been conceived as a modular platform with three interior styles—Colonial (Hamptons style), Classic and Modern—to offer owners flexible yet fast turnkey solutions. The 900 square feet (83.6 square meters) of upper deck space will be dedicated to the owner’s private use with a master suite, service pantry, sky lounge, al fresco dining and forward Jacuzzi. The main deck houses the galley, main salon and infinity pool on the afterdeck, with four guest cabins and crew accommodation on the lower deck.

Twin Cat C32 main engines provide a top speed of 15.5 knots and a range of 4,000 nautical miles at an economical 11 knots.

—Justin Ratcliffe, Editor-at-Large Europe

 X-Kids Stuff concept

X-Kids Stuff concept

X-Kids Stuff

The Italians don’t play games when it comes to design. Although in this case, the sense of fun and games runs deep and wide. The 90-meter (295-foot) concept X-Kids Stuff came through recently from the Pastrovich design studio in Monaco. Principal Stefano Pastrovich has long been involved in cutting-edge designs including styling of the WallyPower line. The X-Kids Stuff concept is part of what Pastrovich calls its Parkour Class, one of four classes the studio has developed to represent different owner personalities. The others are Dressage, Backpacker and Freeride. The theme of the X-Kids Stuff design is “no boundaries.” In this case, that translates on several levels. First, the open-plan interior and high-style exterior spaces are intended to blend seamlessly. Private spaces can be created with sliding walls. Among the design’s many intriguing innovations is an inflatable, modular “jetty” that extends from the transom to allow guests to walk ashore when the yacht is anchored out.

X-Kids Stuff concept

X-Kids Stuff concept

The engineering and technology the design employs, including a carbon-fiber hull and lightweight materials throughout, allow maximum strength and minimum draft. Also contributing to the yacht’s strength is a unique geometric concept that derives from … bees. Instead of employing traditional transverse and longitudinal beams, X-Kids Stuff has been created around hexagonal structures like those found in beehives. The shapes are inherently strong, offer flexibility in interior arrangement and require less material than conventional structures.

Beyond cool? I’d say so.

—Kenny Wooton, Editor-in-Chief

The Sportfisherman superyacht concept

The Sportfisherman superyacht concept

The Sportfisherman

Go big or go home. That mantra goes hand in hand with sportfishing. While size matters more at the weigh-in than in the length of your slip, there’s a lot to like about super-size comfort and amenities when the action ends. Brilliant Boats’ answer is a 50-meter (164-foot) Sportfisherman concept—the first of its kind to be introduced to the superyacht league.

Designed for speed, efficiency and certainly a little intimidation factor, the Sportfisherman breaks rank in traditional superyacht design, resembling a battleship more than a cruising vessel. But the concept maintains spacious, luxurious areas throughout. The interior offers an owner’s duplex suite with a private main-deck foyer and sitting room. Continuing accommodations include two VIP suites and two twin suites, plus room for eight crewmembers.

The Sportfisherman superyacht concept

The Sportfisherman superyacht concept

The Sportfisherman superyacht concept

The Sportfisherman superyacht concept

A large Jacuzzi sits on the foredeck, which also features well-placed sunpad areas and expansive deck space for alfresco dining and entertaining. Farther forward is a touch-and-go helipad and full-beam tender garage that can swallow toys and a pair of 25-foot (7.6-meter) tenders. The aft cockpit converts into a beach club with sofas and loungers, and a staircase down into the water. The passerelle doubles as a diving board.

A pair of 3,000-horsepower 16-cylinder diesels generates speeds in the high 20-knot range, while a centerline turbine option threatens to bang out 45 knots, making the Sportfisherman one of the fastest private vessels of her size on the water.

—Andrew Parkinson, Senior Editor

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