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Work begins at Raffles Shipyard on 90m superyacht Illusion

Raffles Shipyard in China has begun construction of the 90 metre motor yacht Illusion, which was inspired by the Rolls Royce marque.

British company Rainsford Mann Design were originally commissioned to design the interior and exterior of an 88 metre in 2007, but when the global financial crisis hit, the design process was put on hold. The project recommenced as a 90 metre in 2010 with the start of world economic recovery and the build began in December that year. Completion is expected in 2014.

‘The exterior style is pure, with fluid lines. It is a timeless design because it had to stand up six years ahead as being relevant and not out of vogue,’ states Rupert Rainsford Mann, founder of the design studio.

‘We therefore used the unique styling cues of the Rolls Royce, which in the automotive design world is revered as a timeless, classic style.’

The design team spend days at the Jack Barclay Showroom in London examining the latest Rolls Royce cars, as well as visiting museums and reading up on the history of the famous marque. The aim was to understand the ethos behind the design and ensure they captured its essence in the yacht’s exterior styling and interior details.

‘This is most prominently seen in the hull design – the sheer line, the surface change in the plum bow replicating the bonnet of a Rolls Royce and the transom design with lines influenced by the Rolls Royce's boot,’ Rainsford Mann states.

‘The sheer volume and beam of the boat and the generous interior ceiling heights also reflect the spatial and proportional luxury of the Rolls Royce in comparison to other cars on the road.’

Indeed, the designer is particularly proud of the use of the yacht’s interior spaces, which he describes as ‘opulent’ in their expansiveness. They are flexible and can be left open or partitioned depending on user requirement. Rainsford Mann has also used a mezzanine as a 'device' to unite spaces on different floors. The idea of connecting floors is seen elsewhere in the yacht.

‘The main saloon has a wonderful feature where it is cleverly opened up to the floor above,’ Rainsford Mann states, ‘but more than this we can't say.’

Illusion will accommodate 14 guests and 27 crew members. She will be propelled by two 3,000hp Rolls Royce diesel engines (naturally) with a predicted top speed of 18 to 20 knots.

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