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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Toy Boats (for billionaires)

The Epiphany, said to be the most expensive private yacht in the world (a claim shared with at least half a dozen other floating palaces). Though still under construction the "guesstimated" price comes in at about 500,000,000. That's British pounds sterling, by the way, not dollars.
About once a month I like to write about architects and their art. Sometimes the emphasis is on the artist, sometimes on their art, which is often the case in other artistic endeavors as well, depending upon which is the more interesting or enlightening. However, one area of architecture I've never written about is that of marine architects. The last time I wrote about private yachts was about three years ago when I highlighted what I termed Yacht Ott,--paintings done of these millionaires' toys rather than the toys themselves. Here I'm not talking about recounting the history of, or evolution of, ship design. That form of marine architecture, in any case, is more science than art, though some of the mega-vessel cruise ships now being designed and built come very close to being works of art themselves, quite apart from their intended economic purpose of allowing passengers to eat, drink, and gamble 24-7.
The 425-foot-long Epiphany boasts an extravagant design and is estimated to require about five years for construction. The completion date is set for 2020.
There's an old saying my mother (and my wife) have long muttered in reference to me: "The only difference in men and boys is the price of their toys." That surely would apply to the boats boys and men like to play with. A boy's toy boat can be purchased for as little as a dollar (at the right marina gift shop), while a toy boat for the young boy's wealthy father can go for upwards to a billion dollars, literally with all the bells and whistles.Notwithstanding the fact that such exorbitant prices may be inflated somewhat for the sake of bragging rights, that's still a lot of green to grope just to float your boat.
Zaha Hadid's superyacht of the future. The 420-foot design is meant to evoke a “natural aesthetic” influenced by the sea’s underwater environment.
Big boys' boats (better known as motor yachts) have changed a lot over just the past fifty years. And inasmuch as such ships (most are too big to be accurately termed boats) tend to be built quite sturdily, it's not unusual to see in major marinas in the temperate belt around the earth, steel and wood motorized sailing yachts from the 1920s moored next to gleaming white yachts looking more like spacecraft than seagoing vessels. Today, in fact, we have numerous European car companies lending their names and design skills to the business of building such exotic crafts. Not surprisingly, some of their designs look very much like automobiles. Whereas there used to be a standard design formula for motor yachts harkening back to the days of wind power--a white hull, a teak promenade deck, topped with a varnished wood superstructure. Not today. In fact it would seem that there is no standard formula other than sleek and slippery.
Take your pick, small, medium, or large.
Not only do today's motor yachts come in dozens of shapes, they also come in a similar number of sizes, as seen in Oceanport's small, medium, and large models (above). And that's just the tip of the...(oops, we never use the "I" word in talking about ships). Actually, sizes range from less than fifty feet in length up to the neighborhood of five-hundred. After that you're in the range of renovated cruise ships.
The History Supreme also boasts as being the most expensive superyacht coming in at a cool billion, though in fact, that figure has more to do with the extravagant fittings and d├ęcor than the ship itself.
As an indication of just how far motor yacht design has come in just the last decade or two, take a look at the Dubai, built just over ten years ago (below). At 524 feet, the Dubai is the yachting equivalent of its namesake city. It's owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Emirate of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. It's the third largest private yacht in the world and comes with seven gorgeous decks, along with a small submarine to view the marine life below.

The Dubai dates from 2005.
Now compare the design of the Dubai with the MADPAC Star, (below). The design is so radical that the first question which comes to mind might be, "what is it?" The Star is 433 feet long and an amazing 200 feet high. The ship's name and shape were inspired directly from the stars, according to its designer, Ignor Lobanov: “The profile of the yacht makes a perfect star when reflected in the water.” The vessel was created in collaboration with BMT Group and Alex Malybaev. Their goal was to redefine luxury yachts. The Star has been developed as a private yacht, but could also be the world’s most exclusive floating hotel, as it can host up to 200 day guests and 36 overnight guests. The Star also has a helipad, an underwater viewing deck, and four elevators providing access to the boat's eight decks.

The MADPAC Star.
The incredible vessel has been designed with a maximum speed of 18 knots and over 37,600 square feet of luxury interior space. The top deck of the yacht will also have a range of visibility of over 20 kilometers offering incredible views. According to Lobanov, the Star’s innovative technical developments include a symmetrical fore and aft double ended hull form, with all electric architecture and fully azimuthing propulsion. The Star will have a feature allowing it to rotate easily without the constraints of traditional anchors.

The MADPAC Star, designed today for tomorrow.
The Star is a tangible view of a 21st-century interpretation of art and science, an era where technology makes the delivery of bolder designs possible for clients who are adventurous and innovators who deem virtually anything as truly possible. This remarkable concept will not come cheap. The lavish superyacht will cost around €400-million, or about $500-million.

Just when you thought you’d seen it all as to the world
of yachts, Yacht Island Design has introduced the
immaculate Streets of Monaco superyacht.


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