Sailing Yacht A is a sharp, three-masted motor yacht with sailing potential, constructed mostly in steel incorporating composite and carbon fibre to keep weight down. In profile from her high bow, the sheerline climbs aft, before dropping down to an almost retroussé stern. The line is seamless, without interruption or sight of any deck equipment, anchors, balconies or openings of any kind, but they are all there, cleverly hidden away. Astonishingly, there are 24 shell doors in the hull.
The windows, which are all oval, look small from a distance, but all have a magnifying effect, making them seem huge from the inside. During our visit tests were under way on a special one-way film to cover the exterior of the glass for privacy and to blend them into the custom metallic paint finish by Alexseal.
Her scale is extraordinary: 142.81 metres LOA, with a maximum beam of 24.88 metres and a draught of eight metres. She has eight decks, connected by multiple elevators and free-floating spiral staircases, garages for four tenders and a submarine, as well as a touch-and-go helipad on the bow. Every part of her interior has been designed to be flowing and organic.
Although the yacht was still a building site when we visited, with Vedder, Deutsche Werkstätten and Sinnex busy with the fit-out, there was no mistaking the incredible living space available for the owners, their guests and up to 54 crew, who will run a professional galley large enough to serve a hotel and a powerplant and hotel services stretching uninterrupted across two decks. In contrast to the volume of the everyday living accommodation is arguably the most incredible feature on board, occupying the smallest space: an underwater viewing pod moulded into the keel, offering a view of the props.
To make sure it all worked, hydrodynamic research facility HSVA in Hamburg performed towing tests for the hull, and the Wolfson Unit at the University of Southampton carried out wind tunnel tests to determine aerodynamic loads. This phase of the project revealed the optimal combination of sailing characteristics, seakeeping behaviour and performance under power. MARIN, in the Netherlands, conducted final tests of the model with keel and rudders.
With simulated aerodynamic loads applied, results concluded that the yacht’s heeling angle when under full sail would be a maximum of 12 degrees at 20 knots true wind-speed upwind and 35 knots downwind.