In Italian, “vela” means sail—a fitting moniker for this 262-foot sailing-yacht project that includes a massive 20,182-square-foot sail plan (complemented by a hybrid engine). The sails are mounted on two stately DynaRig masts (think the groundbreaking 2006 Maltese Falcon) positioned in a way that centers their weight in the middle of the yacht.
The craft’s steel hull is shaped by sleek, soft lines and is paired to an aluminum superstructure that offers up all kinds of outdoor spaces for maximizing onboard recreation and relaxation, such as a water-level beach club with bar and the main deck with another bar and a sunbed. A wellness center with a spa and a pool, as well as an indoor cinema lounge, reside on the upper deck, and the sundeck plays host to another, larger pool and requisite sunbeds where guests can lounge while watching movies projected on the sails of the front mast.
“When I designed the exterior, I [wanted] to make something simple,” says designer Gianmarco Cardia. “I imagined the body of Vela molded by the wind—without sharp edges—and characterized by flowing lines.”
Cardia created an indoor-outdoor experience via electrical glass doors that optimize the movement between exterior deck space and interior living space. The upper-deck lounge houses a piano bar and an additional cinema. Cardia sees this space as the place to party. Recovery from said festivities can be achieved via the fitness center just aft of the wheelhouse.
“I think that the terraces on the rear part of the upper deck are the best areas to spend time on board—you can enjoy a beautiful panorama while dining alfresco just near the upper-deck lounge,” enthuses Cardia.
Project Vela houses a main-deck master suite—with fold-down balconies and its own hot tub—as well as four guest staterooms belowdecks. Eight en-suite cabins for a crew of 16 reside on the lower deck. Also belowdecks are a beauty salon and, moving forward toward the bow, a wine cellar. It is here, in the lower-deck lobby, that the spiral staircase circling a glass elevator connects to the main-deck saloon with dining area and a private conference room.
“The spaces are linked to allow flowing movements on board, which is fundamental, especially for the crew,” says Cardia. “The finishings are classic but contemporary, and the colors are inspired by the villas on the coast of Sardinia, which is my land.”
Although the hull has not been engineered yet, Cardia believes his Project Vela will reach a top speed of 21 knots when using both sail and engine propulsion.