In 2012, designer and naval architect Frank Neubelt founded NC2 German Yacht Project Cooperations, a new Germany-based studio in partnership with commercial shipbroker Broder Hansen. Neubelt can now reveal the studio's first design, a sleek 105m project that attempts to combine the luxury of a superyacht with the benefits of a shadow vessel.
The idea behind the P-300 concept came after speaking with a number of owners who told me the same thing: they love having a superyacht, but sometimes they feel lost in it. It costs a lot to maintain and manage a big vessel, so building a yacht bigger than you need it to be is not always a sensible option. However, a large yacht is needed if you have a big family, which is often the case with clients from Asia and Russia. So the challenge was to create a low-volume yacht that would still provide the space needed for the owner and guests as well as their toys.
The result is a design with a slender-looking hull with a very low waterline and clean lines, especially towards the bow. This is nothing new, but it is a high-performing and efficient hull form. I combined this with the interior volume of a 55m yacht, as this will comfortably accommodate 10 people in spacious cabins. The aft deck becomes an attractive area for socialising with the addition of a beach club, leaving a clean foredeck that houses below deck all the tenders and toys, equipment and storage. This space includes a long pool with a lifting floor to increase usability.
Some owners decide to build a 70m yacht and then search for a suitable shadow vessel, which is good for clients planning to travel with lots of guests. However, for owners who wish to explore the world with a large family but still want the enjoyment of having a submarine or helicopter on board, a standard design is able to provide this.
I have also spoken to owners who are hesitant to invest in a yacht because their wives or children are afraid of swimming in the sea. This leads to the desire for an aft swimming pool, fitted with jet-stream technology. But this is not a real swimming experience in my opinion, so we thought why not use the forward section of the vessel and fit a 3m by 25m pool that two people can swim in next to each other? It is only 1.2m deep, as anything deeper will make it too heavy when filled with water. When not in use, the space can be used as storage by simply raising the floor of the pool.
Another benefit of having the superstructure aft is that when in rough seas, the spray created at the bow only falls on the foredeck. Guests are also in the right section of the yacht in terms of the centre of buoyancy and will experience less of the vertical motion that causes seasickness.
The forward section is fitted with hatches that open to launch the tenders, and also provides a space where the crew can maintain and repair the boats and other toys. The 50m-long forward section also makes it possible to have real workhorse tenders of 13m or 15m, which become extremely beneficial in bad weather as a mothership will rise and fall quite considerably in a swell, making it difficult for even a 9m tender to land its guests safely.
The finished result is a yacht that is one-third storage, spread over four decks, but still with room for social spaces such as a spa and beach club in the aft section. The owner’s suite and lounge are on the upper deck, with crew quarters situated forward of amidships.