Luxury yacht designers are consistently and continuously delivering ever more exciting and innovative design concepts. In 2018 we saw some truly incredible and sometimes quite outlandish yacht designs, some of which are likely to influence what we see in 2019 and beyond.
A fine example was the Tuhura, commissioned by Oceanco yachts. This concept featured a particularly extreme approach to the hull design, which was inspired by traditional Maori canoes. At 115m this vessel has a striking, unusual appearance and a wraparound, single level deck. The luxurious and impressive open-plan interior design was down to Labanov Design and Achille Salvagni Designs.
Another notable, recent yacht concept design was the fabulous project Avanti from Winch Design who partnered with dutch yacht manufacturer Heesen to create this incredible craft. This 66 metre luxury yacht design was based around family and relaxation. It features a vast, 11 metre wide saloon and a large main deck along with gym, jacuzzi, swimming pool and a host of customisable features. The vessel features a resort-style onboard beach club and accommodation for up to 12 guests.
It has been noted that in recent years luxury yacht designs have grown in size. Whereas not so long ago a 55 metre craft would have been considered large this is now considered standard size. Vessels of 75 metres and upwards are not considered, by many, to be classed as ‘large’. Increased size and space provides opportunities for ever more creative interior designs which are unique, customised to the owners specifications. Larger yachts also provide space to store jet skis, tenders and other popular water sports equipment which many luxury yacht customers demand.
But bigger isn’t necessarily better. Larger vessels tend to have higher operational costs and fuel is one of the most expensive. Yacht propulsion systems are therefore attracting a lot of attention as yacht designers acknowledge the need to address carbon footprints and running costs. An important way to reduce a vessels impact on the environment is through design efficiency. Clever, streamlined hull designs, innovative light-weight materials and technological developments such as the Princess Active Foil System (AFS) are leading to the development of yachts which are far more fuel efficient while delivering ever greater performance on the water.
Striking, unique exteriors and hull designs have been catching the eyes of visitors to various worldwide yacht shows. A fine example is the Princess X95, conceived in collaboration with naval architects Olesinski and presented at the Cannes Yachting Festival. Princess yachts and Olesinski teamed up with Italian design and engineering experts Pininfarina, widely recognised and respected for their high end automobile designs.
The Princess X95 was designed with what is called an ‘open concept’ in mind. The super-flybridge and main deck are at the heart of this craft, expanding to cover almost the full length of the vessel. The clever design provides 10% more outdoor space and 40% more interior space than other motor yachts in this class. Expansive, toughened glass, full-height port and starboard windows in the main deck saloon provide plenty of light and wonderful views. Structural, tinted glass has also been used in the master stateroom, providing a wonderful 270 degree view. Customers’ can opt to replace the stateroom with a cinema lounge if they want to as customisation is a key feature of this yacht as it is for many new motor yacht designs.
The super-flybridge is another key feature of this exceptional yacht design. At 22 metres it is more than double the length of a typical flybridge found on other motor yachts of this size. The expert spacial architecture skills employed in the design of this craft are apparent in all areas, from the large cockpit, the spacious main deck, the luxurious Sky Lounge and the range of living spaces. This yacht has been designed for versatility, for people who want to explore, go further afield and break free from the beaten track.
Another stunning, new, future-defining yacht design, launched by Princess Yachts in 2018, was the incredible R35. This 50 knot, high-tech sports yacht debuted at the Cannes Yachting Festival in 2018, causing a great deal of excitement. Pininfarina and Ben Ainslie Racing Technologies teamed up to create this incredible design. The technical expertise of BAR Technologies supported the creation of the Princess Active Foil System (AFS) which optimises stability and manoeuvrability while reducing drag, resulting in significant efficiency improvements. Pininfarina were responsible for the lightweight, carbon fibre monocoque hull design which enhances the yacht’s aerodynamics.
The high operational running costs of luxury motor yachts has been cited as one of the key challenges currently faced by the industry. We are likely to see further developments in propulsion technology as yacht designers strive for fuel economy and to reduce the impact that recreational boating has on the environment. The innovative efficiency improvements and design features of the latest Princess motor yachts set the stage for further exciting new yacht design developments.