The Peaks of Luxury: How Big and Bold are these Boats going to Become?

I was reading an article, the other day, regarding the new technologies revolved around glass in construction on Superyachts; for example, some yachts now have an underwater viewing deck, such as Feadship’s SAVANNAH, which has a charter price of €1 million a week…

SAVANNAH’s underwater viewing lounge, photo courtesy of https://www.yachting-pages.com

At the sheer astonishment of such a hefty price tag for- well, no one can disagree that SAVANNAH illustrates the snowy peaks of haute-décor luxury, I began my descent down a marble-coated, golden-detailed, velvet-carpeted rabbit-hole with one burning question in mind: How far are these Superyachts going to go in order to obtain new standards of luxury?
I remember, when I was younger, a 50ft yacht was a very impressive sight; lining the harbours of Monaco, Greece and elsewhere around the world; I remember gazing in awe and wonder at any and every boat- big or small. Now, as I get older, I find myself only really looking for the larger yachts; the 100+ footers- the Megayachts. Gargantuan vessels, bright white, like icebergs jutting out of the ocean- an air of calm serenity floating around them, slowly moving across the horizon, dwarfing both people and other boats in comparison. Speculation over who owns them and what the interior is like is all part of the excitement upon encountering these yachts, and one can only imagine the swathes of leather, antiqued wood and Italian marble that spectacularly crowns the inside of these floating palaces.

The Boats during the Monaco Grand Prix, photo courtesy of https://www.f1i.com/infos/programme-tv-grand-prix-de-monaco/

 

Although, since working in the yacht industry, I have to admit I’ve become slightly desensitised to a lot of these ships. Superyachts like VICKY, a 73m Turquoise, and O MEGA, a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 83m Megayacht, with all the bells and whistles one expects of a Superyacht, is perhaps starting to become the norm of the luxury industry. This is an industry that will always go by comparisons, with the same question in mind: How can we make it better?

VICKY’s helipad- don’t worry, there’s a plunge pool round back!

Does this mean more gold? More marble? Rarer wood, and fancier light fittings? Does this mean just bigger in general? Stretching 150ft to 250ft? I think, maybe, this means a lot of different things.

All yachts have to be manufactured under certain terms and conditions; such as SOLAS and PYC, which ensure the safety and structural integrity of the vessels. All of these conditions limit the extent to which Superyacht manufacturers can go regarding design, shape and size.
However, where manufacturers may be limited in some aspects of Superyacht design, it’s opened-up a Pandora’s Box of innovations within the technological side of manufacturing. Going back to SAVANNAH, with the underwater viewing salon, that was only made possible due to the advancements in glass technology and the invention of Gorilla Glass.
Progression in computing technology has allowed for much more precise navigation of these Superyachts, allowing the captains to get a more intimate feel for the waves and surroundings, meaning that sailing on through the night will be absolutely no issue! Advanced controls in the wheelhouse also means more control over the yacht itself; security measures such as locking systems, cameras and alarms are all computerised now, so, although you may not see it, it can almost certainly see you!
But, more advanced tech doesn’t just mean stronger glass and computerised security, it also means more fun, more luxury, more comfort- it just means more!

Wheelhouse on board POLARIS I

Stronger glass means that maybe, within a few years, it will become a standard for Superyachts to feature an underwater viewing deck- and maybe the top end ones will feature an entire glass panoramic viewing room! Imagine, wherever you travel, having a changeable, giant and most importantly all-natural aquarium for you to gaze into from the comfort of a plush, leather sofa…

Lightweight construction material such as aluminium has vastly reduced the weight of these ships whilst maintaining the strength of the superstructure, resulting in more room for the fun stuff: that bigger jacuzzi, more gym equipment, more toys and maybe even a bigger tender. It has also opened up a plethora of options for new designs, due to its malleability.

Some Superyachts nowadays look more like spaceships than boats, for example the Superyacht ADASTRA by John Shuttleworth Designs. With boats like this making full use of the modern technologies and new materials being created daily in the construction world, it really makes you think about the future of the luxury Superyachts we have become accustomed to!

Superyacht ADASTRA, photo courtesy of https://www.shuttleworthdesign.com

Whilst the future of Superyachts may be an open book, the one certainty is that- whatever the next move- Boatbookings will be ready to welcome the next generation of nautical vessels with open arms, and provide you with an experience of luxury, technology and innovation!

Environmentally Friendly Luxury Yacht Charter on “Island E Motion”

With global warming and the production of greenhouse gases both attracting huge media attention, Swiss company MCM and Future Island of Australia have joined together to create “Island E Motion” – a truly unique, environmentally friendly luxury motor yacht which is said to encompass “sustainable luxury at its best”.

Designed by Swiss duo Milena Cvijanovich and Dennis Muller, Island E Motion is based on the idea of creating a sustainable luxury lifestyle by “harnessing the power of the wind, the sun and the waves.”  It has an ecological footprint that is up to 60% lower than that of more traditional yachts.

Built as part of the ‘Floating Island’ series, the yacht is made from recycled materials and is powered through the use of alternative energies. This includes a combination of thermal and electronic solar panels and the use of both wind and wave energy. The yacht also uses an advanced propeller technology with liquefied natural gas, a recycled water circuit filter for collecting rainwater and a specially-designed desalination system. Bubbles generated by forcing air underneath the vessel reduce friction, meaning that it requires lower amonts of energy to propel her forward.

Cvijanovich and Muller have managed to create an environmentally friendly yacht without compromising on luxury and design. Guests can enjoy a truly luxurious experience within in a natural environment that includes permaculture vegetation such as grass and palm trees, and sandy beaches.

Island E Motion features a large dining room for twenty-four guests, several lounge areas, spas, a gymnasium, massage room, home cinema, library, and indoor/outdoor bars. The larger model, which offers private helipads and a swimming pool, is perfect for hosting big events such as fashion shows and art exhibitions.

A percentage of the profits made by Island E Motion will be donated to the Global Life on Water (GLOW) foundation – a side project that is looking into the construction of floating hospitals.

Other recent environmentally friendly yacht designs include the E-Max Ultra Green Pure Care Carrier by Sauter Carbon Offsets Design and Project Atlas, a joint collaboration between H2 Yachts and Laurent Gilles Superyacht Designs.

For more information on chartering a luxury yacht, please have a look at our website or send an email to charter@boatbookings.com.

Steve Jobs Custom Luxury Yacht Charter Feadship Unveiled

Just over a year after his death, the luxury motor yacht that Apple founder Steve Jobs commissioned and helped to design has finally been completed and launched in the Netherlands.Described by some as looking like a “floating Apple Store”, the custom built 80m (260ft) Feadship is named VENUS, after the Roman goddess of love.

Job’s biographer, Walter Isaacson, suggests that Jobs became almost obsessed with the yacht in the months leading up to his death. Jobs is quoted as saying “I know that it’s possible I will die and leave Laurene [his wife] with a half-built boat. But I have to keep going on it. If I don’t, it’s an admission that I’m about to die.”

Designed in collaboration with French product designer Philippe Starck, VENUS is now a posthumous testament to the sleek and crisp white designs that became synonymous with Apple during Job’s time as head of the company. While Starck denies that there is any relation between the design of this yacht and Apple (he insists that the electronics company and a boat of this size are completely different), he does admit that VENUS is a Steve Jobs work”.

Jobs had asked the chief engineer of the Apple Stores to design a special glass that would allow 10-foot-high windows while also providing the necessary structural support. Apple also provided 7 24-inch iMac’s to be set up on the bridge of the yacht, among other Apple equipment.

The Jobs’ family reportedly attended the launch of the yacht and gave a customised iPod Shuffle to everybody who helped with the build, as a thank you for their ‘hard work and craftsmanship.’

With their ability to custom build yachts to exacting owners specifications, Feadship has been a major force creating the super yacht market as we know it today. The company has built over 200 yachts since it was founded in 1949, releasing an average of just 4 or 5 new yachts a year.

In addition to the Apple founder, Feadship has built a 200-foot yacht for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 1996 as well as custom yachts for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic, founder of the Ford Motor Company Henry Ford, and Malcolm Forbes of Forbes magazine.

If you are interested in chartering a Feadship yacht (or any other type of yacht) then please see here or email charter@boatbookings.com.

More on iPads and Kindles for Yachting and Yacht Charters

I had a very interesting email exchange with Kim Kavin, editor of Charterwave and one of the most technically savvy people I know in the charter business.  She’s a Kindle lover and didn’t really agree that the iPad would be that revolutionary for yacht charters.  For reading a book on on a yacht, the Kindle, as a single purpose tool, has no peer – especially given that it has an LCD screen that is easy to read outdoors, while backlit screens common to computers and presumably the iPad may be more difficult to read in direct sunlight. She also felt that an iPhone, which has a smaller footprint but plenty of uses, can be used for games, videos, etc.

Everyone will need to make their own decisions about what electronic devices they choose to bring on their charters.  If you want a great tool to read books, a Kindle may be for you. If you want a multipurpose tool that is not too large, bring your iPhone, and if you want a bigger screen that will be excellent for charts, games, videos, pictures and yachting apps, an iPad may be perfect, especially if someone makes a waterproof case!

iPad for Yacht Charters? We say “yes”!

The Apple Ipad will be great for boats, charters and yachting
Photo courtesy of Apple, Inc.

The raging debate in tech land today is whether the iPad has enough features or is revolutionary enough to truly change the world. Looked at from the perspective of yachting, my feeling is a very strong yes.  Its big, beautiful screen, ease of use (no mouse or keyboard to flop around the boat) and ability to process graphics so quickly will make it a fantastic tool to bring along on any charter or yachting holiday.

We see it with multiple uses: reading charts and mixing basic chart data with images, videos and user information about the ports and cruising areas, keeping track of your expenses and other trip records, researching your itinerary, entertaining the kids at night on their personal movie viewers, checking weather, tides and wind forecasts, and showing everyone your gorgeous pictures as you progress through your charter.  I did this on my last charter with my MacBook Pro, but was constantly worried that I’d ruin it.  Not so with an iPad – there aren’t really any moving parts.

Added to the above, there will be amazing apps written for sailors and yachting that we haven’t even thought about but that will become indispensable as soon as we try them. That’s the nature of technology, and why the iPhone is the number one phone in the world right now.  We’ll certainly be following these events with interest, and may even release an app or two of our own 🙂

As a disclaimer, I worked for Apple Computer for 10 years (back when it had a colored logo with stripes), so I’ve had a serious dose of Steve Job’s reality distortion field.