Sailing superyacht technology has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years - we take a closer look at nine of the most stunning examples...
The brief for Aquarius included that she should be, ‘an elegant, muscular sailing yacht with a classic profile for family enjoyment.’ But that barely scratches the surface of the main requirements for this giant ketch. The owners also wanted a yacht that would combine good seakeeping characteristics with performance, reliability and quality.
Essential features included relative simplicity, robustness of systems and a contemporary interpretation of elegant, classic lines, with a clean and uncomplicated appearance. Aquarius’s graceful lines and timeless shape belie a rugged world cruiser configured to be self-sufficient for extended periods when voyaging well beyond the popular Med and Caribbean circuits. In addition, the yacht is welcoming for family and friends, while providing sufficient performance to compete in superyacht regattas.
LOA: 56.18m (184ft 4in)
LWL: 41.17m (135ft 1in)
Beam: 9.51m (31ft 2in)
Draught: 4.80m (15ft 9in)
Displacement: 264 tonnes (591,360lbs)
Mainsail: 520m2 (5,597ft2)
Mizzen: 440m2 (4,736ft2)
Blade: 430m2 (4,628ft2)
Air draught: 58.50m (192ft 11in)
Spars: Rondal carbon with Rondal/Carbo-Link continuous standing rigging
Builder: Royal Huisman
2. Pink Gin VI
The Baltic 175 Pink Gin may have captured most of the headlines for her sheer size and cleverly engineered topside balconies, but below decks a collection of Cuban art and some phenomenal styling demand equal attention.
Mark Tucker’s team at Design Unlimited in the UK worked closely with the yacht’s owner, Professor Hans Georg Näder, with whom they had co-operated on his previous Pink Gin, to produce an unusual exercise in interior styling.
LOA: 53.90m (176ft 10in)
LWL: 45.27 m (148ft 6in)
Beam: 9.55 m (31ft 4in)
Draft: 4.50-7.00 m (14ft 9in – 22ft 12in)
Displacement: 250 tons (560,000lbs)
Ballast: 79 tons (176,960lbs)
Naval architect: Judel/Vrolijk & co
Interior: Design Unlimited
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Liara: The Baltic 112 superyacht designed to cruise the world in supreme comfort
Over the past decade we’ve been treated to the rise of the custom built cruiser-racer. Arguably inspired by the success…
Aquarius: Modern classic masterpiece makes for a surprisingly sensible superyacht
A demanding brief for Aquarius from experienced sailors has produced a masterpiece from some of the most experienced and talented…
The Baltic 142 Canova may not be using the hydrofoils popularised by the America’s Cup, but her 29ft 6in long (9m) horizontal sliding foil employs the same principle of lift to reduce heel and boost speed. The designers of the Dynamic Stability System (DSS) say it could improve the performance of this super-cruiser by 20 per cent, delivering a sustained 25 knots – not bad for a superyacht that displaces 146 tonnes. This is the first time the DSS has been used in superyachting, but its benefits will be used for comfortable, fast long-distance cruising rather than gaining an edge on the racecourse.
With styling and interior design by Lucio Micheletti as well as the in-house team, Canova sports a sleek, low deck saloon with a hard, fixed bimini extending over the forward cockpit area. Below, her vast deck saloon, providing panoramic views, forms the focal point of her luxury accommodation.
Unusually, the owner’s suite is located almost amidships, where motion is at its least, with further accommodation for six guests in three cabins. Other features include a Rondal rig with electric in-boom furling, a lifting keel and a propeller leg rotating through 180 degrees.
LOA: 43.3m (142ft 1in)
LWL: 41.6m (136ft 6in)
Beam: 9.m (29ft 6in)
Draft: 3.8-6.5m (12ft 6in-21ft 4in)
Displacement: 146.5 tons (328,160lbs)
Naval architect: Farr Yacht Design
Interior design: Baltic Yachts / Lucio Micheletti
Exterior design: Lucio Micheletti
Part of the world’s largest sailing yacht series by length, Seven is hull number 3 in Perini Navi’s 60m ketch series, after Seahawk and Perseus 3. Launched in 2017, she was feted for her groundbreaking interior lighting design throughout all five guest cabins. A powerful motor-sailer, her twin MTU engines and 47,000-litre fuel capacity mean a globe-trotting range of 3,600nm when motoring at 12 knots.
LOA: 60m (197ft)
LWL: 50.4m (165ft 4in)
Beam: 11.4m (37ft 4in)
Draft: 4.3m-12.3m (14ft 1in – 40ft 4in)
Mast height: 62.2m (204ft)
Total sail area: 2,097 m2 (22,572ft2)
Displacement: 575 tonnes (1,288,000 lbs)
Naval architect: Ron Holland / Perini Navi
Builder: Perini Navi
This may be the fourth 100ft yacht designed to the Wallycento box rule, but it’s one that raises the bar with regard to combining form and functionality with outrageously cool aesthetics. Considering that Wally is yachting’s deity of style, that’s saying something.
Tango is at the very forefront of modern fast monohull design and advanced technology. Its stealthy black livery and long, low lines combine with a bold reverse sheerline to create a potent, powerful look. The ruthlessly clean deck is signature Wally. The image of the single helmsman on deck, with all that power and beauty controlled simply by the touch of a network of buttons on the pedestals, has become an icon for the Italian brand.
LOA: 30.48m (100ft)
Beam: 7.20m (23ft 7in)
Draught: 4.4-6.2m (14ft 5in-20ft 4in)
Displacement (light): 47,500kg (104,720lb)
Upwind sail area: 640m2 (6,889ft2)
Downwind sail area: 1,398m2 (15,048ft2)
Naval architecture: Mills Design
Exterior design: Wally / Mills Design
Interior design: Pininfarina
Builder: Persico Marine
The owner’s brief for Ngoni would be challenging for any size of yacht: “Build me a beast. Don’t build me a sheep in wolf’s clothing. This has to be an edgy and innovative weapon; fast and furious.” When the boat in question is a giant 58m (190ft) sloop with a displacement of nearly 400 tonnes this project was always going to push hard against existing boundaries of design, deck hardware and materials technology.
“The owner wanted me to take a fresh look at large yacht design,” Dubois recalled before his untimely death four years ago. “He wanted me to go back to my roots in the late 1970s and ’80s when we were designing race boats, but he also knew we had designed a number of high-performance yachts that were nevertheless seaworthy and comfortable cruisers. So I had to reset my internal computer, if you like, and look hard at how we could save weight and add strength.
“That’s how the reverse sheer came about. I was worried he might not like it. The next time we met in London I showed him the design and he loved it – in fact he gave me a big bear hug!”
LOA: 58.15m 190ft 9in
LWL: 51.20m 167ft 12in
Beam: 9.54m 31ft 4in
Draught: 5.3m-81m (17ft 5in-26ft 7in)
Displacement: 353 tons (778,224lb)
Upwind sail area: 1,950m2 (20,989ft2)
Downwind sail area: 3,093m2 (33,293ft2)
Air draught: 75m (247ft)
Naval architect: Ed Dubois
Interior design: Paul Morgan / Rick Baker
Builder: Royal Huisman
Ahimsa is a 216ft sloop-rigged aluminum yacht, designed by the late Ed Dubois. Built with a combination of innovation and advanced technical craftsmanship, Ahimsa boasts a low superstructure and deck clean. Key features include the ability to hoist her mainsail in less than two minutes and tack the boat within 30 seconds.
The 83m carbonfibre mast is the largest ever produced by Southern Spars and had to be transported to The Netherlands in two pieces. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Ahimsa‘s Code 1 sail is the world’s largest artwork on canvas, designed by the Norwegian artist Magne Furuholmen.
LOA: 66m (216ft 6in)
Mast height: 83m (272ft 4in)
Naval architect: Ed Dubois
Svea, the newest addition to the now nine-strong J Class fleet, is one of the most outstanding new yachts of modern times – a harmonious meeting of historic and modern design; a blend of J Class lines and maxi grand prix yacht technology.
All Js dazzle on the water, but Svea simply stops you in your tracks. Her lines and deck are kept spectacularly clean, thanks to the compact wheelhouse, sunken wheel and wonderfully low boom.
Her dark metallic grey hull and black and red sail wardrobe lend her timeless lines a slightly menacing appearance – a purposeful racing look that belies the luxurious interior below decks. The aggressive aesthetics are in keeping with her name, a Viking word (it means Swede).
LOA: 43.6m (143ft 1in)
Interior design: Pieter Beeldsnijder / deVos deVries design
Not only is Liara a masterpiece of style, thanks to UK-based super designers Malcolm McKeon and Adam Lay combining to stunning effect, but she clearly represents a formidable amount of experience. And that all stems from the boss.
This is the fourth Liara for British serial yacht owner Tony Todd, who is now in his seventies. His initial brief was for a safe, comfortable family cruising yacht for circumnavigating the globe, hence the deep and well-protected cockpit. However, Todd has been racing yachts all his life, and once his competitive side kicked in and the odd regatta was mentioned, the speed, weight and deck layout to make this possible became critical features. The result is Liara, the definitive multi-role superyacht.
LOA: 112ft 0in (34.14m)
LWL: 105ft 0in (32.00m)
Beam: 25ft 11in (7.90m)
Draught: 13ft 0in-20ft 2in (3.95m-6.15m)
Displacement (light): 88 tonnes (194,000 lbs)
Design: Malcolm McKeon / Adam Lay