Philippe Briand on designing Shinkai the 55m fully custom built explorer yacht

Written by Alexander Griffiths

Phillippe Briand has gone into more details about Feadship’s 54.9-meter Shinkai, the redefining explorer yacht, which he co-designed. She was designed with the owner who requested a whole host of specific and highly unique features to ensure that Shinkai can meet the demands of unadulterated exploring. She is the eighth superyacht to be launched from Philippe Briand’s Vitruvius Yachts studio. Shinkai yacht launchPhoto: FeadshipPhilippe Briand said “This is a special project for us, as Shinkai is the second yacht that we have designed for her owner. In fact, he was the first yachtsman to embrace the benefits of Vitruvius’s efficient hulls.” Shinkai yacht launchPhoto: FeadshipJoining the ranks with Briand and Feadship was Daniela Boutsen who headed the interior design for this custom build. Together they developed Shinkai with five key areas in mind: tech, exploration, comfort, aesthetic, and sustainability.  

State-of-the-art technology heads the agenda, as the owner has big plans to extensively cruise and voyage into far-flung outer regions. She needed to be built to be able to withstand ice-cold polar regions as well as warmer tropics on the equator. Briand and the design team have equipped her with an Ice Class hull and a 23-tonne gyroscope so she’s ready for anything. Shinkai yacht launchPhoto: FeadshipTo bolster exploration, Shinkai has a whole array of tenders and toys, including a 4X4 land vehicle, a large limousine tender, multiple robust RIBs and an impressive 7,400kg U-Boat Worx. “I imagine it would have made Jean Jacques Cousteau jealous of such bright possibility to explore underwater!” Briand laughed.  

To balance her rugged capabilities, Shinkai offers luxury and class of the highest order. Comfort is a necessity when out to sea for the lengths of time that this owner demands. Observatory points are also vital, which is why there are plenty onboard, this includes the master suite which boasts a 135-degree view through full-height reinforced windows. 

Shinkai also brings plenty of space for guests as there are four more staterooms along with seven cabins for the crew. Her aesthetics embody her offering, and “The Vitruvius “touch of design” assures the seamless integration of both “facets” of the project: an attractive superyacht and a powerful explorer.”  Shinkai yacht launchPhoto: FeadshipBriand confirms that sustainability was at the heart of her hull design too, and even with the yacht’s generous displacement of 974 gross tonnages, her hull resistance has been optimised to deliver reasonable fuel consumption of 19.5 litres per nautical mile at a cruising speed of 12 knots.

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