While this constantly-evolving pandemic has caused huge disruption to our daily lives and behaviour, it hasn’t snuffed out our creative spark. Designers have had more space to think, and more time to commit ideas to the drawing board, resulting in the culmination of some inspired innovations. Here are just three concepts from the yachting world to have reached the media spotlight in 2020.
HIDE by Anna Borla Design
“Yachts are the most interesting things that a designer can draw,” says Anna on her company website. Based in Italy’s fashion capital, Milan, the talented designer graduated in product design, before completing a master’s in yacht design, and was soon shortlisted in the Young Designer of the Year awards. Anna’s affinity for yachts is clearly in her blood, with both her parents and grandparents passionate about the water.
Her latest creation, HIDE, is anti-ostentation. While most superyachts ache to show off their best features, Anna’s 50 metre concept wants to blend into the landscape around her. Heavy use of dark glass reflects the surrounding environment, to the extent that the yacht is almost camouflaged.
HIDE is for a yacht owner who loves sailing, has respect for nature, and is focussed on sustainability, but would rather shun the spotlight. Anna is mindful of the fact that the end-user is likely to want to live their private life in, er, private, so has designed a huge open bow with long slender pool and dining area that allows for relaxation and fun in complete privacy - even whilst moored stern-to in the marina.
Comfort, however, comes in abundance. Anna has implemented a large 72m² owner’s suite with a balcony either side, two VIP suites, and two further guest cabins. There is crew accommodation for eight. In keeping with the concealment theme, HIDE also benefits from a ‘secret’ electric door to the stern that takes you downstairs to the private gym-Spa area. On top, there is a huge array of photovoltaic panels to supply the electric drive and lithium batteries, which are cunningly stored beneath the pool structure. Inside, the décor shows strong commitment to eco-friendly materials and recycled textiles.
Although not designed with an ice-breaking hull, HIDE is suited to hot and cold climates, and would have a cruising speed of around 14 knots and a top speed of 18.
Kiwa by Isaac Burrough Design
Another relative youngster, Isaac Burrough has drawn on his New Zealand roots to create 110 metre giant Kiwa. Christened after one of several male divine guardians of the ocean in Māori tradition, Kiwa, like HIDE, is focussed on sustainable seafaring. And Isaac, like Anna, has a deep passion for yachting, a passion that led him from the southwest Pacific to Europe, where he worked with some of the finest designers and builders in the superyacht industry, before establishing his eponymous Amsterdam studio in 2018.
Kiwa has a narrow low-volume length to ensure motor efficiency, plus 200m² of solar panels which should power daily crew usage and the ‘hotel’ load (washing, chilling etc). She’s also fitted with a hybrid propulsion system, with electric-only mode the perfect choice for exploring remote zones pollution-free or enjoying al fresco dining sans generator. As solar and battery technology develops, Isaac hopes that Kiwa’s electric capacity will progressively extend from several hours to unlimited emission-free motoring.
The yacht has expansive deck areas, an elegantly-terraced swim platform evoking a beach sloping towards the sea, a glass-bottomed pool and upstairs sundeck with Jacuzzi and panoramic views. Speaking of views, the semi-submerged pools in the Spa allow guests to soak up the scenery whilst above and below the water’s surface.
Escalade by Baran Akalin
Baran Akalin is our final up-and-coming youthful designer. Born in Istanbul, Baran was keen on cars, boats and water throughout his childhood and, having qualified in architecture, went to work for one of the city’s best studios. Then, like Anna, he studied for a master’s in yacht design in Italy. Having completed an internship in Venice, he returned to Turkey to work as a freelance designer for various companies and boat brands. In 2015, he established his own business - Baran Akalin Design. Baran’s latest design is Escalade, the world’s first trimonoran power yacht based on a hull invention from Dutch engineering firm AnwigemA BV. In simplest terms, a trimonoran consists of three slim hulls and wings/hydrofoils which are designed to meet as little resistance as possible and offer even greater stability than conventional multihulls. Due to this low resistance it can reach high speeds, almost flying across the surface, while using 30% less fuel than its counterparts. The design also generates masses of deck space.
Also generates masses of deck space.
Baran has taken this game-changing trimonoran hull and elevated it to the stunning 25 metre Escalade. The head-turning yacht has four large en-suite cabins, crew accommodation for two, and a garage large enough for the tender and two jetskis. The transom opens up and retreats to the water surface to create a swim platform.
Outside, there is seating to the stern, sunbathing to port and starboard, and a larger sunbathing area at the bow. There’s also a giant cinema screen for cosy movie nights. Up on the flybridge, reached by a central staircase, there’s a glass-bottomed feature Jacuzzi, with antennas/domes positioned below eye level so as not to spoil the views.
Interior design comes courtesy of London-born Celia Sawyer, including an elegant ‘superstar’ saloon dominated by white, blended with brown and black tones, mirrored ceilings and large windows. In contrast, the master suite is more calm and comfortable thanks to darker heavier tones and a sophisticated art-deco-style headboard.
Escalade does not use a standard shaft and propeller, instead the engines are positioned longitudinally in the middle section powering propellers connected to the hydrofoils on the stern - essentially a highly efficient hydraulic propulsion system.
Baran said: “She is the design that meets the needs of the modern world.”