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Oct / Nov 2016
Raising Your Sights

WRITER: Karim Mounib IMAGE: Courtesy of Eyelevel Creative

A remarkable flying pyramid of a yacht is probably the most futuristic vehicle we have come across in years. And it’s not the stuff of fantasy, either. The Tetrahedron yacht is coming soon to a marina newar you.

The first time we ever saw a triangular yacht design was when Wally combined forces with Hermès to create the WHY (Wally Hermès Yacht) Floating Island. Unfortunately, it never developed beyond the concept stage and the two companies eventually parted ways. Thankfully, a new pretender has stepped up to the mark in the form of an emerging London-based architect and he has taken the triangular yacht concept well beyond the realms of our imagination with a boat that actually levitates.

Amazingly, this Tetrahedron yacht by Jonathan Schwinge is no pie in the sky. In fact, by ditching the notion of a floating palace and going with something more akin to a flying home, he’s basing his design on the tried and tested principles of a HYSWAS (Hydrofoil Small Waterplane Area Ship), which is something that was first tested in 1995 by MAPC USA (Maritime Applied Physics Corporation).

“The design is instigated by the re-thinking of the form, superstructure and propulsion of the modern superyacht into a radically simple enclosure and an elevated mode of travel above the water line,” explains the 47-year-old designer.



When at anchor, or at low speeds, the 21.6-metre long carbon fibre Tetrahedron yacht functions as a conventional trimaran, with all the amenities you’d expect of a luxury vessel that can accomodate six guests and four crew. But crank up the power and she’ll rise out of the water, with the entire superstructure resting on a single vertical steel strut that’s connected to submerged torpedo hull. “Early computer-based testing has shown that the reduction in drag would allow the yacht to achieve speeds of up to 38 knots and a maximum range of 3,000 nautical miles,” says Schwinge. But the beauty is that it would also eliminate heeling and slamming in rough weather conditions and this is an attribute that’s going to appeal enormously to those with seasickness.

So how far away are we from seeing such a yacht hit the water?
“It won’t be long,” says Schwinge. “We’re currently in the early engineering stages, and a joint collaboration with MAPC and a German shipyard has established simulated and workable operating modes for speed, power, propulsion and weight criteria.


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