“This is a yacht of extremes—127 meters, 200 million euros . . . a serious piece of kit,” counsels yacht broker Jamie Edmiston in a clipped English accent. (For those on this side of the pond, that translates to 416 feet and about $250 million.) Brits are renowned for keeping their emotions in check, but you can almost sense downright enthusiasm overcoming Edmiston’s stiff upper lip when the topic turns to the trilevel megayacht Sultan. A celebration of speed, bleeding-edge technology, and understated refinement, Sultan is now departing the drawing board and heading for the shipyard as one of the maritime world’s most anticipated builds. It is also attracting attention because it is back on the market after the original owner exited the deal last year.
Scheduled for launch in late 2006, Sultan will inevitably invite comparisons to Katana, Larry Ellison’s futuristic yacht. The megayachts share the same design provenance—London-based, high-performance yacht firm Francis Design—but if you peel away Sultan’s high-tensile steel hull, the newer model’s innovations are obvious. “People may look at the curved glass, short superstructure, and long profile and think Katana, but it’s a radical leap forward,” says the firm’s founder, Martin Francis. “Even with its size, Sultan is very much a greyhound, a sports car. Its whole purpose is to go very fast.”
Yachts of this stature typically top out at about 20 knots (23 mph). Sultan will more than double that, with a sprint speed of 45 knots, possible because of key innovations made over the past decade. Four identical high-speed water jets (in lieu of Katana’s two wing jets and one booster) propel the yacht at both high and low speeds, utilizing differing gear ratios. Since they are always on, the jets provide constant power with no downtime and resultant drag, unlike an unused booster.
The two-level penthouse allows the owner to remain undisturbed in his private domain while the 50-person crew attends to its duties. Other noteworthy amenities include 10 staterooms, an onboard cinema, a garage, a medical center, high-speed data communications, capabilities for real-time video conferencing, and a heli-deck. One design option even includes an aircraft hangar. At the stern, an ample transom creates a “beach” adjoined by a steam room and gym. Nice kit, indeed.
Jamie Edmiston, Edmiston & Co.