Yachts that make you look twice. That’s what our round-up of future-forward superyachts on the water today make us do. From aft decks dedicated to the ultimate helipad to silent hybrid cruisers, and even optical illusion design, it’s a rubbernecker’s paradise of top notch amenities and visionary thinking all rolled up into one dynamic yacht package. Whether you’re a salty sailor at heart or keen on speed machines, here we identify eight innovative vessels that will make you want to hop aboard without a second thought.
Feadship 312-foot ‘Bliss’
Launched in May 2021, Bliss has the Dutch shipyard’s all-new hybrid propulsion system. Designed and engineered in partnership with De Voogt Naval Architects, the diesel-electric hybrid system is paired with Polar Code compliance, meaning guests can cruise the more sensitive Polar regions with greater efficiency and as light a footprint as possible. Welcoming nine guests in an interior designed by Remi Tessier, the 312-foot world traveler packs true go-anywhere capabilities, along with a gym, wellness space, a pool and a convertible helideck.
Royal Huisman’s 184-Foot Sailing Yacht ‘Aquarius’
When design simplicity meets cutting-edge technology, the result is 184-foot ketch Aquarius. Built for an owner who likes to race and explore in equal measure, the Royal Huisman sailing yacht shows how performance and classic design do not have to be mutually exclusive. Fast yet easy to sail, Aquarius has a ketch rig developed in collaboration by the yard, its sister company Rondal, and Dykstra Naval Architects. She pairs 9,843-square-feet of sails with the latest in navigational aids to be a world explorer. Classic teak decking and good seakeeping qualities make her a true sailor’s yacht.
Heesen 262-foot ‘Galactica’
The 262-foot Galactica, built by Dutch shipyard Heesen in 2022, rewrites the rules of engineering. The owner’s brief requested fast and big, which led to an all-aluminum build to keep weight down and achieve speeds close to 30 knots, and a newly patented “backbone” for strength and rigidity. Developed in partnership with Dutch hydrodynamicists Van Oossanen, Galactica’s fast displacement platform is created using two long, flat metal plates that are joined together by a vertical plate in the middle. This prevents the hull from flexing in water. Four MTU engines deliver 19,000-hp, and the addition of a fully-certified helipad means no place is off limits.
Ulstein Verft’s 290-Foot Motor Yacht ‘Olivia O’
Olivia O is a yacht that means business. Robust in every way, she is owned by a commercial shipping magnate with a love for industrial boats. Built by Norwegian shipyard Ulstein Verft Olivia O’s rustic appeal is exemplified by the use of metal in the Espen Øino-designed interior, from windows with steel borders to corridors with painted metal ceilings. On water, she is defined by Ulstein’s trademarked X-Bow, which was originally designed for use on offshore vessels. Olivia O is the first yacht to ever feature it. Launched in 2020, she bridges the gap between luxury superyacht and authentic rugged explorer.
Oceanco’s 350-Foot Sailing Yacht ‘Black Pearl’
Scooping the top spot for largest DynaRig sailing yacht in the world, Black Pearl is designed by Nuvolari Lenard (assisted by Villate Design). A tri-deck sailing yacht, she boasts three revolutionary 70m DynaRig carbon masts and a sailing system designed by Dykstra Naval Architects. What’s more impressive is that all 2,900sqm of her black, highly distinctive sails can be set in a rapid seven minutes, and all at the push of a button. Her hybrid propulsion system, and other environmental onboard systems, such as waste heat recovery, propel her among a new generation of environmentally sustainable, and highly efficient vessels.
Benetti 351-foot ‘Lana’
One of the most exciting additions to the gigayacht club, Lana was built to discover the four corners of the globe. One of the largest yachts delivered by the Italian builder, Lana is powered by an unusual Rolls-Royce hybrid-electric propulsion, delivering fuel efficiency and long-range cruising. Delivered in 2020, she boasts a large pool on the sun deck that comes with its own heating system, meaning guests can enjoy a splash wherever she cruises. A waterside beach club with folding terraces creates a floating apartment at sea, equipped with a Hammam, massage room, and a dedicated professional therapist makes up one of the 33 full-time crew.
Bilgin 262-foot ‘Tatiana’
Launched in 2020, Tatiana the new flagship yacht from Bilgin Yachts heralded the arrival of cutting-edge, metal-hulled Turkish-built superyachts. With an internal volume of 1,689 gross tons—more than twice that of Bilgin’s previous flagship—Tatiana is defined by long overhangs and a sweeping sheer line penned by Unique Yacht Design. But it’s the 1,200-square-foot lower deck beach club with its two fold-down sea terraces that steal the limelight. The centerpiece is a 30-foot long, freshwater swimming pool. A second glass-bottomed pool on the main deck bathes the beach club below in dappled sunlight. When the shell doors are closed, guests can pamper themselves in the spa that enjoys a hammam, massage room and wet bar with a backlit floor.
Oceanco’s 360-Foot ‘Kaos’ (ex-‘Jubilee’)
The mighty motor yacht Kaos, formerly known as Jubilee, was built by Dutch shipyard Oceanco. For her Moscow-born exterior designer Igor Lobanov, she represents the need to always have faith in your own vision. Topping both length and volume records in the Netherlands at the time of her launch, Kaos’s layered double decks—the very thing that originally put so many people off the concept—are, for Lobanov, the key to the design’s success. “When you’re travelling on a small tender it gives the scale of a bigger yacht, but as you get closer to the yacht you realize her actual size. That’s what we wanted to achieve. We wanted it to be a design trick.” The illusion has been created with smoked glass panels between the decks that run the length of the superstructure and areas of teak decking inaccessible to guests, but which from a distance look like genuine deck spaces. Perfection.
Nobiskrug’s 262-Foot ‘Artefact’
Renowned for a truly striking exterior before she had even hit water, Artefact is the latest launch from German shipyard Nobiskrug. Designed by Gregory C Marshall, she boasts an extensive use of both structural and decorative glass, and includes a number of new technological and engineering features to minimise its environmental impact. These include a large battery storage system which allows the boat to operate without internal combustion engines for a limited time. The biggest-volume 262-foot superyacht in the world, she is also among the first superyachts to meet IMO Tier III emissions regulations and features an innovative diesel-electric propulsion system developed with electric motor manufacturer ABB.
Sanlorenzo 112-foot SX112
As the flagship of Sanlorenzo’s SX crossover line, the premise of the 111.5-foot SX112 is to introduce a new way of living at sea. Described by the Italian builder as a “floating building,” the innovative design enhances guests’ onboard connectivity to the outdoors. It’s achieved by reducing barriers to the outside and closer indoor-outdoor connection. Greater emphasis has been placed on the stern, which has a spacious internal beach area with easy access to the water and beyond, and elsewhere, retractable terraces maximize the outside connection. Exterior designed by Zucccon International, the SX112 gifts superyacht living space typically found on a much larger yacht aboard a compact platform.
Sunreef 78.7-foot 80 Eco
Is there anything more responsible than an electric sailing yacht that creates renewable energy? We don’t think so. The Sunreef 80 Eco is a sustainable transatlantic catamaran that combines electric propulsion with superyacht living and reliable sailing performance. Designed for long offshore navigation, it even generates its own electricity while under sail via a hydro generation system. A total of 1,765-square-feet of ultra-lightweight composite-integrated solar panels are spread across the mast, boom, superstructure, Bimini and hull sides generating up to 32kWp. Inside, the 78.7-foot multihull enjoys living quarters and accommodation for up to 10 guests, thanks in part to a 38-foot beam. It’s like a luxury pied-à-terre on water.
McConaghy Boats’ 140-Foot Trimaran ‘Adastra’
Costing over $20 million to build when launched in 2012, the owner of this custom-built transatlantic trimaran—shipping magnate Antony Marden—has cruised the seven seas for seven years turning heads everywhere he goes. Adastra’s space age design comes from the boards of British studio Shuttleworth Design and was built in China by McConaghy Boats. Her speedy and light-weight hull is made from a super-strong e-glass/Kevlar foam sandwich, while her superstructure is made up of carbon fiber with a lightweight Nomex honeycomb core. Currently for sale, she provides the rare opportunity to own a yacht with “amazing seaworthiness” and looks like nothing else out there right now.
This story was originally published on August 7, 2020. It has been updated to reflect the most innovative vessels on the water as of the current publishing date.