A (Ex-Project SF99)
LENGTH: 390ft. 4in. (119m)
SHIPYARD: Blohm + Voss, Germany
Philippe Starck and Martin Francis collaborated on the design of this strikingly innovative yacht built by the German shipyard Blohm + Voss for young and forward-thinking Russian entrepreneur Andrey Melnichenko whose fortunes have been steadily recovering from the economic crisis. For the first few years after her launch, the owner kept the interior of this stunning yacht a well-guarded secret, but he did allow a few select photos to be published. They reveal large loft-like spaces and innovative furnishings, some—including the master bed—mounted on revolving platforms, which the designers alluded to in earlier interviews. “In many yachts you have small corridors, small rooms and complicated things. This project nearly has no corridors but rather large lofts, very pleasant gigantic rooms with many windows,” said Chief Concept Designer Starck. The yacht also features three pools and Starck-designed custom tenders. Beyond this truly groundbreaking styling (a knife-like entry and a superstructure sitting aft), the real story may be the vessel’s efficiency. Francis, who worked extensively on the technical design and naval architecture, said thorough tank testing before the yacht was ever built showed great promise for a hull that barely created a wake. A later fulfilled her promise with a 23-knot top speed, a cruising speed of 19.5 knots and excellent sea-keeping qualities tested in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Everywhere it goes this yacht—love her or hate her (and there are plenty on both sides of the fence)—is impossible to mistake for another. Martin described the experience of building this one-of-a-kind yacht as great. “The client didn’t feel he had to follow the trend. He was prepared to break the mold and went the extra mile to allow for the research and development that would ensure he had a highly efficient boat.”
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