The world of superyacht concepts

AQUA PHOTO: SINOT DEISGN

The world of superyacht concepts

AQUA PHOTO: SINOT DEISGN

Craft

The world of superyacht concepts

You only have to look out to sea to witness the pioneering innovations that exist in the superyacht world, but when it comes to dreaming up concepts, designers can go the extra mile.

By Dominique Afacan | 1 October 2019

Designing superyachts already means dreaming big, but when it comes to sketching out future concepts, designers can afford to go one step further. While some ideas are entirely feasible and will end up on the water, others are too far-fetched to make waves in the real world. Either way, concepts start conversations and drive innovation – and are an important part of an industry that refuses to rest on its laurels.

Many concepts today have sustainability at their heart to meet demand from increasingly eco-conscious consumers. Take Aqua, a striking concept by Dutch firm Sinot Design, unveiled at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show. The yacht stores liquefied hydrogen in two futuristic-looking hexagonal tanks, which is converted into electrical energy and stored in battery packs. “Imagine Aqua in the open sea, moving water with water,” says designer Sander Sinot. Powering the boat in this way means that water is the only by-product of the system. Music to the ears of an owner with sustainable ambitions.

The world of superyacht concepts

AQUA PHOTO: SINOT DEISGN

The world of superyacht concepts

AQUA PHOTO: SINOT DEISGN

As well as its impressive eco-credentials, the yacht also has some groundbreaking design features, including a spectacular staircase winding from the top deck to the lower deck. “Aqua is a major step forward in the application of new technologies aboard a superyacht, but at the same time the boat showcases an integrated and highly poetic design approach,” explains Sinot, proving that greener yachts don’t come at the sacrifice of style. “The profound connection with the water continues in its cascading decks and large swim platform, floor-to-ceiling windows connecting interior spaces with exterior decks and scenic sea views.”

There are far more green-leaning ideas where that came from, including Blue Angel, a concept by Diana Yacht Design which runs on hydrogen for shorter journeys, or hybrid electric power for longer stretches. “When Blue Angel is running on hydrogen as its sole fuel, this allows for silent and clean cruising with zero emissions,” explains Xavier Ex, one of the creators. “These fuel cells are completely silent, vibration, smoke and smell free. This means you will no longer need to run any generators during your normal day-trips or whilst at anchor.” Cool, calm and clean. Bliss.

The world of superyacht concepts

Blue Angel PHOTO: Diana Yacht Design

The world of superyacht concepts

Blue Angel PHOTO: Diana Yacht Design

The hybrid model is increasingly popular and Dutch design house Vripack has released a hybrid concept that goes one step further to satisfy the owner. “To date, yachts like this have height because the big electric motors push the design up,” explains Joost Mertens, part of the design team. “On this concept, we insisted that the dimensions worked for the owner first, and so the engines became ‘pancake-like’ – instead of up, we went flat and wide. We’re pushing innovation in all areas,” says Mertens.

Another concept which came out of this year’s Monaco Yacht Show came from Italian designers Fincantieri. Vis is a naval-inspired design, featuring solar panels and a winter garden. Far from being an eyesore or an inconvenience, the solar panels form an intrinsic part of the design, forming a roof of hexagonal panels over one of the boat’s six decks. It proves that being green no longer involves sacrifice – and can even result in a more appealing boat.

The world of superyacht concepts

Vis PHOTO: Fincantieri

The world of superyacht concepts

Vis PHOTO: Fincantieri

Away from the eco-lead concepts, there are far wilder designs being dreamt up all the time. Some of the most extreme include the likes of Project Origami, by the young Monaco-based designer George Lucian, whose boat includes a fold-out helipad and a glass-sided observation deck. He’s also behind the aptly named Dare to Dream, a yacht which doubles as an airship carrier. Naturally.

Muana Kea, meanwhile, by Italian designer Roberto Curto is inspired by a volcano and features a central waterslide leading down into a swimming pool. The same designer is also behind the recent Hypnosquid concept, recognizable by its collection of coloured LED ‘eyes’ or windows which sit along the main deck.

The world of superyacht concepts

Project Origami PHOTO: George Lucian

The world of superyacht concepts

Project Origami PHOTO: George Lucian

Whilst some of these more far-fetched concepts come under scrutiny for not (necessarily) being achievable in the real world, they do serve a purpose in an industry where budgets often allow for real innovation and new ways of thinking.

After all, designs that may once have seemed fanciful – the likes of REV or the zero impact Black Pearl – are now already making some very real waves, or at least preparing to. Dream big in the superyacht industry and it might just come true.

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