he superyacht industry continues to strive for greater fuel efficiency, with recent examples sipping as few as 14 gallons of fuel per operation hour—which can hardly be considered eco-friendly but is nonetheless a massive reduction compared to what was possible just a decade ago. And while many leading builders and a new generation of yacht buyers are hyper-focused on reducing their carbon footprint, so-called “green” superyachts represent a fraction of the industry’s annual output. But many yachts in this elite and rarified class are also redefining yacht design far beyond green technologies. In addition to hybrid propulsion and other ecominded features, these harbingers of the sea deliver forward-thinking naval architecture, striking silhouettes, expansive onboard spaces, and tasteful interiors. Such design-driven elements, paired with efficient operation, are making current and prospective yacht owners green with envy—and helping to propel the industry toward a more ecoconscious horizon.
Sailing Yacht A hough it is the world’s largest private sailing yacht, the Nobiskrug-built vessel called simply Sailing Yacht A looks more like a gargantuan piece of floating modern art than a ship. At 469 feet, it is indeed superlative in terms of size, but it also breaks barriers for its design, helmed inside and out by the luminary Philippe Starck. Yachting fans may recognize this distinctive styling as well as the ship’s name: Both are apparent on the 2008-launched Motor Yacht A, also designed by Starck. (The Russian industrialist Andrey Melnichenko reportedly commissioned both vessels.)
122 Summer 2019
The carbon-fiber masts of the Sailing Yacht A house its massive sails, which serve to improve the efficiency of the diesel-electric hybrid. Opposite: Its ground-breaking design includes drop-down balconies and hidden machinery.