Innovation in motion: Yachting’s revolutions captured in action

Written by Charl van Rooy

1. Into the Sun Aria.S cruisingWith the large flat surfaces in its design and the predominantly sunny cruising grounds that a yacht finds itself in, it is no surprise to discover that solar panels are making their way into the construction of yachts. Arcadia is one of the few builders, however, that has achieved this on a large scale and the Italian brand has become known for its environmental friendliness as a result of this, amongst others, unique feature.

 2. Construction Legend and Silver Fast - MonacoAs construction methods of vessels have improved over the years to deliver a better product in less time, so too have the construction materials themselves. The full aluminium build of Silver Fast is engineered and developed much like that of an aircraft. The final result is a sleek, lightweight and efficient contemporary yacht that is as tough as the deep sea voyagers that came before her.

3. Cruising6711 Damen Fast Support Vessel Photo: Guillaume PlissonVenturing outside the Mediterranean Sea or leaving the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean behind in search of new cruising grounds is nothing new to any experienced yachtsman or woman’s agenda. A new breed of dedicated support vessels, like Damen’s 6711, however, allows for extended cruising to take place even more impulsively and securely than ever before. The ability to cruise for extended periods with a range of additional toys and exploration craft to bring along, as well as added provisions and rotational crew members, adds great value to an owner’s experience at sea.

4. Glass

Jubilee and Aurora anchored As glass has developed as a construction material on board yachts, so too have the field of yacht design been adapted to incorporate this diverse element in creative ways into the overall look of a yacht. Curved windows, large single-piece panes that stretch up to four metres in length and even windows below the waterline are all a possibility on board your yacht today thanks to innovations in this field.

5. HangarThunder exterior detailOnce reserved for naval fighter carriers, the modern large superyacht is not complete without its own helicopter storage facility. Ranging from hydraulic elevators for storage below deck, conventional garage spaces for easy maintenance or more complex solutions such as the 135-metre Project Thunder’s extending hangar seen here, the ability to now carry your own helicopter wherever you are on your yacht opens up a whole new world of discovery possibilities. 

6. HybridHeesen 50M HomePhoto: Jeff BrownWith owners becoming more and more environmentally conscientious by supporting clean-earth initiatives through their business and personal philanthropic backing, superyacht builders simply had to keep with the trend by exploring eco-friendlier alternatives to old-school fossil fuel power plants on yachts. Heesen answered this call with their hybrid motor yacht, Home that has the option to be powered by her two electric shaft motors alone to cruise at 9 knots with minimum noise and vibration levels while consuming only 45 litres per hour. 

7. OwnershipM/Y A and Sailing yacht A anchoredMould-breaking owners have inspired change across the industry since the dawn of the yachting era, but as vessels keep increasing in size, these innovations are being felt on a much larger scale. 

 8. Rigging

Maltese Falcon anchored
Over a decade after the Maltese Falcon first spread her wings, Dykstra Naval Architects’ innovative Dyna Rig is still considered one of the sailing yacht marvels of the century. Implemented on only one other vessel on earth, the Dyna Rig makes even the most modern of sailing yachts seem archaic compared to her webbed wind catchers that make the yacht appear to be moving effortlessly.

9. TendersUlysses tendersThe tender building scene has developed to become as customised as the motherships that carry them, and each owner today has the option to create a miniature version of their floating hotel to transfer their guests in comfort and style to shore. The 107-metre Ulysses took this philosophy to the next level with her impressive fleet of eight tenders, the largest of which is a custom built 21-metre craft designed to accommodate overnight guests and take her original owner on long-range fishing trips. 

10. Light it up

Al Lusail anchored
Advancements in the field of light design and the ocean-proofing of these illuminating embellishments are offering an entirely new way for owners to express their unique identity through the exterior of their vessels. Although underwater lights have been around for a number of years, ship-wide LED accent lighting has slowly made its way onto some of the latest large superyachts. These colourful strips add a new personality to any yacht after the sun has set.

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This article is featured in the Innovation Issue of the SuperYacht Times. Subscribe now to receive your copy straight to your door and never miss another issue. 



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