Be­yond Imag­i­na­tion

Ship­yards and de­sign­ers un­veil their coolest new con­cepts.

Yachts International - - Contents - By Justin Rat­cliffe

As test beds for new ideas, yacht con­cepts vary from the out­ra­geous to the cau­tious. Some set out to wow yachts­men with au­da­cious aes­thet­ics, oth­ers to woo with the lat­est tech­nolo­gies. The best de­signs usu­ally in­cor­po­rate a del­i­cate bal­ance be­tween cut­tingedge and con­ser­va­tive so­lu­tions.

Here are our picks of the best build­able con­cepts pre­sented at the Monaco Yacht Show this past Septem­ber.


Benetti’s de­sign lan­guage has tra­di­tion­ally placed high value on brand recog­ni­tion, and its fleet is usu­ally rec­og­niz­able from afar. The Se77an­tasette project, a ref­er­ence to the yacht’s over­all length of 77 me­ters (252 feet), is a de­ci­sive break with this tra­di­tion. The rad­i­cal de­sign is the first yacht con­cept by Mex­i­can de­signer Fer­nando Romero, who heads up the award-win­ning FR-EE ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign firm, re­spon­si­ble for land­mark build­ings such as the Museo Soumaya in Mex­ico City (funded by Romero’s bil­lion­aire fa­ther-in-law, Car­los Slim).

“Se77an­tasette is the re­sult of an­a­lyz­ing the DNA of Benetti and think­ing fur­ther on the pos­si­bil­i­ties that new tech­nolo­gies have en­abled, al­low­ing us to cre­ate an en­tirely new yacht­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Romero, whose con­cept drew on his life­time ex­pe­ri­ence of cruis­ing Mex­ico’s Sea of Cortez with fam­ily and friends.

Key fea­tures in­clude sculpted pro­por­tions and an ex­ten­sive use of glass, each a nod to Romero’s ex­pe­ri­ence in land-based ar­chi­tec­ture. A glass dome en­cases the top-deck ob­ser­va­tory, pro­vid­ing in­ti­mate con­tact with the sea and sky. The dome also houses the un­sightly sat-comm and nav­i­ga­tional equip­ment, so as not to in­ter­rupt the ex­te­rior pro­file. At night, the dome can trans­form into an aug­mented-re­al­ity screen.

Se77an­tasette would be equipped with a diesel-elec­tric propul­sion sys­tem: vari­able-speed gen­er­a­tors cou­pled to counter-ro­tat­ing pro­pel­ler pods pow­ered by per­ma­nent mag­net mo­tors. Af­ter three years of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, Benetti says the project is en­gi­neered and ready to build.

Project Mar­lin

Royal Huis­man in The Nether­lands is renowned for its cus­tom sail­ing yachts, from mod­ern clas­sics like Me­teor to the J-Class racer Hanu­man and the per­for­mance cruiser Ngoni. The yard’s only mo­to­ry­acht to date has been Ar­ca­dia, a hardy 117-foot ex­plorer with clas­sic styling launched in 2006. The Dutch builder is keen to cre­ate more, and its retro-styled Project Mar­lin, cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Fr­ers Naval Ar­chi­tec­ture and Stir­ling & Co In­te­rior De­sign, is a step in that di­rec­tion.

A scale model of the 161-foot (49.3-meter) mo­to­ry­acht showed off her grace­ful lines, which recre­ate the glamor and ro­mance of yacht­ing with a mod­ern twist. Con­ceived for an ex­pe­ri­enced yachts­man, she would be a mod­er­ate dis­place­ment yacht of less than 500 gross tons, ca­pa­ble of 17 knots when pow­ered by two 850-horse­power Cater­pil­lar en­gines. Mar­lin’s 6-foot draft would al­low her to ex­plore shal­low cruis­ing grounds as well as oceans.

Ar­ranged over three decks, she ac­com­mo­dates as many as 12 guests, plus 11 crew. A top-lit stair­case con­nects all three decks, and an el­e­va­tor can be fit­ted as an op­tion. In­te­rior spa­ces in­clude a full-beam owner’s suite on the main deck with a com­pan­ion’s cabin, of­fice and pri­vate fore­deck.

“Within the el­e­gance of Ger­màn Fr­ers’ time­less ex­te­rior lines, the spa­cious lay­out and in­te­rior de­sign of Mar­lin is a present-day in­ter­pre­ta­tion fus­ing the grace­ful de­sign of a gen­tle­man’s com­muter yacht of the golden cen­tury of mo­to­ry­acht­ing with 21st-cen­tury tech­nol­ogy,” says Oliver Stir­ling, prin­ci­pal of Stir­ling & Co.


Rome-based Ex­clu­siva De­sign is a mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary de­sign firm taking its first steps into su­pery­acht ter­ri­tory. Its 236-foot (72-meter) Bolide con­cept is a joint ven­ture with Tankoa Yachts of Genoa, Italy.

“As an ar­chi­tect, fea­si­bil­ity is part and par­cel of what I do ev­ery day,” said Fabio Mazzeo, de­sign direc­tor and co-founder of Ex­clu­siva. “We can de­sign vir­tu­ally any­thing, but it has to be

tech­ni­cally and eco­nom­i­cally vi­able. Beauty should not come at any cost. In­stead, it has to be grounded in the nitty-gritty world of pro­duc­tiv­ity, sus­tain­abil­ity, cost and main­te­nance.”

The Ital­ian bold­ismo move­ment in de­sign, which fo­cused on the themes of speed, tech­nol­ogy and dy­namism, in­spired Bolide (Latin for mis­sile or me­teor). The con­cept’s standout fea­ture is the fact that as much as 70 per­cent of the ex­te­rior sur­fac­ing is glazed. As a struc­tural ma­te­rial, glass tends to keep ma­rine sur­vey­ors awake at night, and the de­sign team is in on­go­ing dis­cus­sions with the clas­si­fi­ca­tion so­ci­eties to en­sure struc­tural in­tegrity.

“To­day you can do things with struc­tural glass that were never dreamed of not so long ago,” Mazzeo said. “If I’d had my way, I’d have used even more glass on Bolide, and I have no doubt that one day we’ll be able to do much more with the ma­te­rial on yachts.”

For propul­sion, Tankoa chose con­ven­tional drive shafts based on the tech­ni­cal plat­form of 227-foot (69.3-meter) Suerte, launched in 2015, but the ship­yard is build­ing a 164-foot (50-meter) mo­to­ry­acht with hy­brid propul­sion, and the team is look­ing to scale up the same sys­tem for the Bolide con­cept.

Project Linea

Mike Reeves and James Clay­don are part­ners in the U.K.-based Clay­don Reeves de­sign stu­dio, which teamed with Ital­ian su­pery­acht builder Fin­cantieri to un­veil a con­cept known sim­ply as Linea. The aim was to cre­ate a su­pery­acht that em­bod­ied clas­sic Ital­ian tra­di­tion, com­bined with a mod­ern de­sign sen­si­bil­ity. The 295-foot (90-meter) con­cept would present no tech­ni­cal is­sues for the Ital­ian megay­acht builder, re­spon­si­ble for projects such as Serene and Ocean Vic­tory, each well more than 430 feet length over­all.

“Our de­sign phi­los­o­phy en­sures that the defin­ing pro­file lines

flow from bow to stern with a taut, mean­ing­ful snap,” Reeves said. “There is an econ­omy of ges­ture that draws at­ten­tion to the sub­tly con­cave hull de­tail, cre­at­ing pools of light on the yacht’s flanks. The su­per­struc­ture is crisply drawn, ref­er­enc­ing the many clas­sic cars that have be­come a hall­mark of Italy.”

On the main deck, the main theme is so­cial in­ter­ac­tion played out in a seat­ing area that can­tilevers off the stern. The am­phithe­ater-style plunge pool with sur­round seat­ing has an open-air cin­ema screen that can be viewed from the pool. When the yacht is at an­chor, fold­ing bal­conies and shell doors can be de­ployed, but ar­guably the key fea­ture is the pri­vate fore­deck with hot tub and he­li­pad, ac­cessed di­rectly from the owner’s suite.

“Project Linea demon­strates how the col­lab­o­ra­tion of a de­sign stu­dio and ship­yard can pro­duce a su­pery­acht of func­tional and aes­thetic beauty,” Reeves said. “By em­bed­ding the en­gi­neer­ing re­al­i­ties in the gen­eral ar­range­ment and ex­te­rior, we have pro­duced a de­sign that is both bold and unique, but also com­pletely build­able.”


To date, Bagli­etto has fo­cused on the 98- to 164-foot (30- to 50-meter) size range, but its 230-foot (70-meter) Ses­tante con­cept, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Mul­der De­sign, shifts its am­bi­tions to an­other gear.

Dutch de­signer Frank Mul­der was asked to pre­serve, yet rein­ter­pret Bagli­etto’s de­sign DNA in a project that would be­come the brand’s flag­ship, as part of its T-Line dis­place­ment se­ries. The re­sult is a con­cept with se­duc­tively svelte ex­te­rior lines and naval ar­chi­tec­ture based on Mul­der’s high-speed cruis­ing hull for en­hanced sta­bil­ity, sea­wor­thi­ness and ef­fi­ciency. By study­ing and op­ti­miz­ing the flow of water us­ing com­pu­ta­tional fluid dy­nam­ics, Mul­der de­signed a hull with an ef­fi­cient com­bi­na­tion of shape, bul­bous bow and tran­som im­mer­sion to lower re­sis­tance over a wide speed range with­out the loss of on­board com­fort.

Fuel ef­fi­ciency can be achieved by spec­i­fy­ing Voith Lin­ear Jet propul­sion com­bined with hy­brid or diesel-elec­tric propul­sion. De­pend­ing on the power pack­age, top speeds of up to 25 knots and a range of 7,000 nau­ti­cal miles at 12 knots can be achieved.

“Shorter tran­sit times are a re­quire­ment of to­day’s own­ers, so we were look­ing to achieve speeds about 30 per­cent faster than a con­ven­tional dis­place­ment hull,” Mul­der said. “Ses­tante may look like a nor­mal dis­place­ment yacht, but be­lieve me, we changed a lot in the hull de­sign to achieve higher speed, range and cruis­ing com­fort.”

The mas­ter state­room has a pri­vate deck with a hot tub, while the VIP state­rooms al­low panoramic views from bal­conies. A touc­hand-go he­li­pad is avail­able for­ward, and two ten­ders can be stowed in the garages aft, one to port and the other abaft the teak beach.

Bolide takes the use of struc­tural glass on yachts to chal­leng­ing new heights.

The soberly stylish de­sign of Project Mar­lin re­calls yes­ter­year’s gen­tle­man’s cruis­ers.

The base of the swim­ming pool imag­ined aboard the Se77an­tasette con­cept can be raised to serve as a he­li­pad.

In­side the sprawl­ing beach club en­vi­sioned for Benetti’s 253-foot (77-meter) con­cept by Fer­nando Romero.

Bagli­etto moves up in size with its Ses­tante con­cept by Mul­der De­sign.

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