Monday, October 30, 2006
It may not be the fastest, but what could be classified as the world's most extreme superyacht has been developed. And while it's not hard for some skunkworks whiz to draw some far-out lines on a computer, this design has both a pedigree and a working model. Craig Loomes Design has made a name for its many innovative motoryacht concepts; this new 148-meter (485-foot) plan certainly looks otherworldly, like something out of Star Trek. And with a transatlantic range at 40 knots it moves into territory where other superyacht designs have not ventured. Skeptics may ask whether a trimaran hull will work for a superyacht. In this case, the design follows the formula that Loomes has exploited in smaller sizes, including a 23-meter (75-footer) built in Mauritius. This concept uses a long, slim center hull flanked by two narrow side hulls that provide stability. Such long and slim hulls endow this trimaran with a wave-piercing capability that will give it exceptional seaworthiness and a level ride, while minimizing pitching.Another question is whether the slim center hull's narrow beam will restrict accommodations. In this case, a 148-meter hull has its advantages, with split-level luxury staterooms providing room for up to 28 guests. The master suite extends to three decks, which means, of course, it needs a private elevator. There also is accommodation for 11 personal staff and a crew of 48. Public rooms include observation lounges in the cross decks that link the center hull and side hulls-just the place to have drinks, do yoga and watch dolphins playing beneath you. There is a swimming pool, hot tub and plenty of room for sunbathing. Other facilities include a grand piano and bar, a helicopter pad, a grand hall and an internal harbor. A range of tenders is carried in garages built into the side and main hulls with the remainder of the side hull area given over to stowage and crew requirements. Propulsion for this yacht comprises four MTU V-20 8000 diesels, each producing 8,200 hp and coupled to individual water jets. When all 33,000 horses kick in the yacht has a sprint speed of 50 knots, and at a cruising speed of 40 knots the range is over 3,000 miles. It seems remarkable that a 148-meter, 3,000-tonne (3,360-ton) displacement hull can operate at a draft of just 3.5 meters (11 feet 6 inches), but that's another multihull advantage. Not only does this superyacht have spectacular interior accommodations, but it also has a stunning external appearance. The side hulls are placed right aft, and two angled fins dominate the superstructure and incorporate air intakes and provide a mounting for antenna. Perhaps the most striking feature is the rows of windows and portholes along the hull that reflect the five decks of accommodation. Construction is likely to be in aluminium or high-tensile steel; Craig Loomes design has already identified shipyards that can construct such an unusual design. A clue to a possible destination of this new ship is the inclusion of a mosque, but we think she would be equally at home in the Caribbean or South Pacific-or outer space.