Project X

SABDES Design
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Australian yacht design studio SABDES has created a 145m, seven-deck concept, which the studio has named megayacht ‘X’. Founder and designer of the studio Scott Blee explores the various features of the superyacht, which is the largest to come from the studio’s drawing board to date.

For this project, it was important that there was a real sense of purity in the design. I have a strong preference towards yachts this large, their size being somewhere in between a cruise ship and a superyacht, that show they have discovered their own identity. Not many megayachts display a great deal of individuality because their styling resists any temptation to move away from the forms seen in smaller superyachts. There is endless opportunity to put so much more innovation and elegance into these very large yacht designs, ideas that just couldn’t be tried on smaller yachts. With X, I hope to have performed a little less evolution and more revolution.

The profile of X was developed to be sleek with a cab-forward look. By purposely limiting the amount of surface detailing the scale of the yacht is not over-emphasised. When taken out of context from her surroundings and other vessels around her, it would be hard to determine what X’s actual length would be she would blend in well, not trying to dominate either larger or smaller vessels around her. The large rounded surfacing of the superstructure sets X apart from the current trend of edgy and complex surface styling. This gives X strong character and would make her style timeless. Her innovative styling also serves a purpose the lowest forward-facing superstructure deck has been formed to look and act as a wave breaker. X’s powerful stance makes her seem as though she is moving even when she’s not, similar to and as seen on a Destroyer. This is likely to be due to the fact that I had, until recently, a concurrent career in naval ship design having produced work for companies such as BAE Systems and Surface Ships. In a way, X has evolved and become the antipode of a stealth destroyer.

Giving away cues to emerging trends in large yacht design, I have done away with a traditional mast, preferring to not completely hide but to conceal the normally seen equipment inside a funnel-shaped, composite shield. Hiding the radars, domes and so on is already a standard practice in modern warship design, but in X’s case it was the inspiration to create very clean, uncluttered aesthetics. Additionally, X would have telescopic poles for any of the required lights, which would rise up at dusk.

The configuration of the version shown has features such as a float-in-dock for a 20m boat and twin helicopter landing areas fore and aft, with the aft having a hangar for storing two large helicopters out of the weather. Another version removes the 20m float-in-dock and substitutes it with an enormous beach club area with an indoor 20m pool and large glass areas built into the sloping transom directly above, filtering in sunlight.

Maximising the onboard experiences for guests and owners, hull doors abound that reveal over-the-sea balconies, tender storage and toy bays. X also has three large outdoor swimming pools and spa baths. The forward lower two decks of the superstructure are the owners’ decks. The lower features full-height forward inclined windows, facing towards a glass-backed 8m x 4m swimming pool. A forward helicopter landing deck allows private arrival directly on to the owners’ deck.

X’s hull is efficient, with wave piercing qualities due to fine tapering towards the bow and keeping the ends relatively light. Being aware that not all owners would place the enhanced sea motion attributes of a knife bow above their preferred bow aesthetics, we have explored three options: the knife bow, pictured, a conventional flared bow with a bulb below the waterline, and a combination flared bow/knife where the stem turns vertically down into a knife directly below the hull knuckle. One attribute of choosing the knife bow is being able to sit inside the top of it likely to become one of the greatest views you could encounter on any yacht – seated in the leather casual lounge area with large wraparound windows and enjoying the ride anywhere X can take you on her 10,000nm range. To keep the design in balance, choosing the options for the conventional flared bow look extends the vessel’s overall length to 152m. Each bow option looks equally natural with X’s overall styling.

X has been designed with three propulsion options available, which makes the concept flexible in meeting either specific client requests or a builder’s preferred technical configurations. X could have conventional diesel engines, duel fuel LNG and diesel, or diesel engines and a gas turbine, with two suggested propulsion systems being conventional props or pods. Speeds of around 30 knots could be achieved.

We have already held design discussions with a few well-known European builders, and positive interest for design collaboration has been received.

Project X

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