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Starck’s exterior lines for Sailing Yacht A are like nothing else in the industry. Sloping upward from bow to stern, the three stepped tiers of its superstructure are elegant and uninterrupted. The German shipyard was able to completely hide all the superyacht’s machinery—like radar, communications towers, and tender cranes, which are external and unsightly on most yachts—within A’s hull and superstructure, which contain eight decks and a staggering interior volume of approximately 12,600 GT. With all that space, the yacht is able to accommodate 20 guests and 54 crew. Nearly invisible windows in the hull and superstructure further contribute to the visual mystique created by the yacht’s exterior lines. Sailing Yacht A’s carbon-fiber masts, the tallest of which stands 328 feet above the water line, are the tallest and most heavily loaded freestanding composite structures in the world, according to the shipyard. The massive sails, however, are not the ship’s primary means of propulsion. Nobiskrug says that Sailing Yacht A is a “sail-assisted motor yacht,” meaning that the sails serve to help improve the efficiency of the yacht’s diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system. Most other details of this ground-breaking design remain unknown, per the owner’s mandate for privacy, but the shipyard has released some of its highlight features. Those include several drop-down balconies, a touch-and-go helipad at the bow, multiple internal elevators and spiral staircases, and an underwater observation pod molded into the yacht’s keel.

Courtesy Nobiskrug/Josip Baresic. Opposite: Courtesy Nobiskrug/Peter Seyfferth


Black Pearl mong the shipyards making the biggest splash in the eco arena is Oceanco. Last March, the Dutch builder delivered what it touts as the world’s most advanced sailing yacht. The 350-foot Black Pearl (currently the world’s second-largest sailing yacht) is defined by its advanced DynaRig sailing system, developed nearly three decades ago for venture capitalist Tom Perkins’ iconic yacht Maltese Falcon. The system, developed by Dykstra Naval Architects and not widely used due to its high implementation cost, can set or furl more than 30,000 square feet of sails across


three carbon-fiber masts at the touch of a button. This automated process takes all of 7 minutes. Of course, a sailing yacht is inherently fuel-efficient, but Black Pearl takes it several steps further. Pitch propellers regenerate the ship’s high-capacity battery bank, which feeds electricity to onboard systems to completely eliminate the need for external power. Another system recovers would-be-wasted heat from the ship’s generators and converts it into electricity, and a hybrid propulsion system kicks in when diesel-generated power is required. While these hidden features are what make Black Pearl an eco-innovation, the yacht’s external characteristics make it memorable. The steel hull and aluminum

superstructure, with lines penned by design legends Ken Freivokh and Nuvolari Lenard, lend the tri-deck yacht an unmistakable look. The superstructure sweeps upward from the main deck aft to the raised pilothouse, creating space for large, unbroken banks of full-height windows. Expansive teak decks, with simple but elegant cushioned seating areas, a hot tub on the mid deck, and a large pool on the main deck, create an uncluttered bird’s-eye view—which is one of the only angles available of the ship. As with many Oceanco yachts, the owner of Black Pearl (reportedly the Russian natural-gas tycoon Oleg Burlakov) is exceedingly private and has not allowed any photography of the interiors. w

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Profile for Luxury Card

LM Summer 2019  

LM Summer 2019