Whatever floats your boat
Yacht design has continued to pursue the 'bigger and better' theme despite the economic downturn, with many new yachts offering a dizzying array of standard features that only a few years ago would have been considered unique add-on options. Despite all the new technology, there's been a clear shift towards nostalgia with some builders as they return to classic lines that remind us of earlier seafaring times.
Here are some of our favourite new yachts.
Ferretti represents the luxury and sleek design of Italian yachting, and the 620 stands out among the fleet of redesigned yachts recently introduced to the market. The Ferretti 620 combines sporty exterior lines with a comfortable interior design perfect for life at sea. It has space for socialising, with two guest cabins and a full-beam master cabin for weekend trips.
An electric wall, complete with sliding door, enhances the interior space by isolating the galley area, or opening it up when the chef is the focus of the party. The interior is finished in streaked bleached oak in the original biscuit colour, with lacquered inserts and plenty of portals and windows to create an airy, contemporary feel.
The Ferretti 620 can cruise at more than 30 knots and hit a top speed of 33 knots when fitted with the optional larger engines.
The Green Voyager is a 45-metre hybrid motor yacht that promises to deliver all the luxury you'd expect from a yacht of this size but with a lower environmental impact.
Kingship, the Chinese yard building the yacht, aims to reduce power demand by 20 per cent by using features such as heat reflecting glass, high efficiency insulation and ultra efficient props. The Green Voyager, which is currently under construction, gives a nod to retro styling with its plumb bow, but once you're inside the sleek hull it's fully focused on the future. The interior uses bamboo and exotic natural fabrics to extend the green theme of the mechanical design to the living spaces. Designed to combine indoor and outdoor living, with ample space for both sun lovers and those who want to hide in the shade, the yacht has sliding doors and retractable balconies to make space more versatile.
Grand Banks 76 Aleutian RP
Singapore-based Grand Banks has unveiled its largest yacht yet, the 76 Aleutian RP.
The new model sticks with the classic trawler design that has made Grand Banks an icon of the seas, but introduces a fresh new interior design that is more contemporary and European in flavour than any of its predecessors. The interior includes four staterooms and an expanded salon made possible by the longer deckhouse of the 76RP. The vessel's range, of nearly 2,000km, makes this a yacht for serious seafaring. The yacht also hits 30 knots, for those with a need for speed.
The new 76 Aleutian RP will be launched in mid-2011, with a planned debut along the Mediterranean coast prior to appearances in boat shows later this year.
Oyster yachts remain at the pinnacle of quality and luxury in the production boat market, and the new 88-foot member of the family should uphold that reputation.
The 885 sports a large, ergonomically designed split cockpit, which makes for attractive al fresco dining and relaxation at anchor or at sea. It also comes with a 'terrace on the sea' with its own direct access from the well-appointed owner's stateroom. This luxurious cabin features glazed panels across the upper section of the aft bulkhead, bringing in an abundance of light and adding to the sense of spaciousness. There are three comfortable en-suite guest cabins, one of which can be configured as a study or lower saloon area. Two cabins, with their own galley, ensure maximum privacy for the guests.
It's also built for speed, with a fine entry bow while the broad stern delivers stability and good off-wind speed. The first new Oyster 885 is expected to be in the water in late 2012.
Streets of Monaco
There are those yachts you can afford, those you hope to soon afford, and those you simply dream about. 'Streets of Monaco' promises to be the world's first US$1 billion super yacht. Although 25 feet shorter than Roman Abramovich's 'Eclipse', designers have set a new benchmark for a yacht's price tag.
British designers have drawn up plans for a floating 500-foot monster with scaled down features of various Monaco landmarks, including a Monte Carlo-inspired go-kart track and Monte Carlo Casino, Hotel de Paris, Cafe de Paris, La Rascasse, and Loews Hotel as well as swimming pools and tennis courts.
This four-deck super yacht includes a docking station for smaller yachts in case your friends sail over for a visit. There's also a mini waterfall and a cafe with underwater views.
The yacht, which has not yet found a buyer willing to pay for its construction, is designed to host 16 guests served by 70 crew, a ratio that promises plenty of attention to your every need.