Floating Palaces To Float Your Boat

The latest trends in yacht design underline the constant quest to be different.


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01 February 2017

“Owners want impressive interiors, and here there are no limits, such as timber that has been underground for centuries and is located through satellite imaging, and metal and stone with unusual finishes. One owner particularly liked a marble with a very particular veining pattern, and to ensure that he alone would have it, he had the quarry mined to exhaustion.”

TANKOATankoa sauna

Even the largest yacht has limited dimensions, and so there is a tendency to expand the space on board outwards, with features such as fold-down or extending balconies that project the inside outwards. Beach clubs aft bring you close to the sea and its immense sense of space. Transformability is becoming a buzz-word, with helicopter landing pads that double as sundecks, and tables that rise from the deck when needed.

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Green considerations are increasingly important. Renzo Chelazzi, Sales Manager at Tankoa, told us that “the trend is towards hybrid diesel-electric power plants. On Suerte, all the engines and generators have filters to eliminate carbon particulate from exhaust gases. This sort of yacht has a range of five or six thousand miles, and on-board storage enables the yacht, with its guests and crew, to remain at sea for three months non-stop if necessary. So on Suerte there is even a cold room for kitchen waste.”

CRN Chopi ChopiCRN Chopi Chopi

Toys are always a favourite. Tender garages are large enough for a whole range of craft from conventional and stand-up jetskis to custom motor-boats, amphibious aircraft and mini-submersibles. Up on the bridge, paper charts have been replaced by digital versions with dual systems for complete safety. But all this is pretty much standard by now. Alberto Perrone da Zara, Director Yacht Service at Lürssen, told us of the lengths that clients are prepared to go for uniqueness.

Y.CO Jacuzzi SundeckY.CO jacuzzi sundeck

Perhaps the greatest luxury of all is uniqueness, and that’s what the people who commission a superyacht are looking for. Lennard Leeflang, Technical Director at Y.CO, told us that “yacht design is becoming more radical and less traditional. Today’s new owners want to innovate, to try things that haven’t been done before.” So a jacuzzi sundeck, though still de rigueur on most yachts, will have to be accompanied by something more spectacular. Suerte, a 70-metre yacht recently delivered by Tankoa, has a swimming pool with eight tonnes of water, complete with underwater lighting for a spectacular effect after dusk, and swim-up bar. The yacht also has a wellness centre with an extending terrace directly on the water, so that you can take a sauna and then dive into the sea.