When the man who commissioned one of the most iconic and radically designed motor yachts afloat asks you to draw him a sailing boat, you need to do more than think outside the box. You’d better flatpack the box, fire it into space and forget that boxes ever existed.
‘The project started without a brief,’ says Peder Eidsgaard, creative director of Eidsgaard Design. ‘They said, “Create something crazy for us, just do something wild.” The length at that point was anything between 100 and 130 metres.’
Eidsgaard was invited to submit the design because of its work on the client’s Boeing business jet, ‘which they’re very happy with’.
While he did not choose to take Eidsgaard’s yacht design to a yard, the client’s unique influence on the artistic process led the designers to pen the extraordinary 144m Poseidon design. It is at an advanced stage of planning and the designers are awaiting another bold owner to take it to the build stage.
But_ Poseidon_ has changed a lot since its genesis. The first design Eidsgaard presented to the client took styling cues from classic ships, but was also extremely contemporary, with a dramatically raked-back rig and a hull reminiscent of the radical 119m motor yacht A.
‘They really liked this and the arrangement plan,’ says Eidsgaard, ‘but they felt maybe it’s gone a little bit too modern, so stepped back with all of the designers and had a rethink. We were then asked if we would be interested in doing the same concept with a more classical design.’
Eidsgaard began to emphasise the ‘galleon’ elements, such as an aft castle owner’s suite and a series of side windows reminiscent of gun ports (which fold down into verandas), as well as giving the yacht a classical bow.
‘Many owners like the romance of sailing, and this client also liked the old galleons with the romantic detailing and rigging,’ says Ben Harrison, a creative director at Eidsgaard Design.
While many of Poseidon’s features hark back to an earlier age, this second version is decidedly contemporary. For example, aft-raked masts and wishbone supports (for comfortable downwind sailing rather than racing) are modern, if not as radical as the original rig. The idea, says Harrison, was to create a boat that ‘from a distance you could think looks classical, but when you come up close is actually very contemporary’.
Space planning, based on the client’s preferences, is also in keeping with how many owners use yachts today. ‘I met with him and his wife on their motor yacht several times, and they told me how they live on board,’ says Eidsgaard. ‘He wanted the hugest possible space with the minimum number of people – that’s him and his wife.’
The bridge deck owner’s suite was therefore given a heavy priority in terms of space. The gargantuan, open-plan area takes full advantage of the 26m beam and features a lounge with a pool, floor-to-ceiling windows and a sliding helideck roof that opens to make it a winter garden-style deck area. Forward in this space is a huge circular bed, with nominal walls that demarcate it as a cabin, while forward again is another lounge and veranda.
‘On the owner’s current boat one can sit in the middle and look all the way from the front to the aft end. The owner likes that and this was the idea here too,’ says Eidsgaard. ‘From that bed you can look forward all the way to the front, and all the way to the back.’
Despite maximising views from the owner’s suite, the designers ensured that none would have a view into it. The suite’s unusually elevated position makes it naturally private, and even crew routes have been positioned half a deck below to keep it that way.
This dedication to privacy is evident throughout. In basic terms, guests live above the crew and owners above the guests. But different lifts and stairs also separate owners, guests and crew into zones throughout the interior, so that the owners can entertain on a grand scale, but retreat quietly when desired.
‘The guests, the owner and crew can always be separate if they want to be,’ says Eidsgaard, ‘So if the owner wants to be on board without actually seeing guests, they have their own staircases.’
If owners do choose to be social, the terrace of their suite can be transformed into a stage for concerts. A few steps down, the 1,150 square metre entertainment deck can accommodate 1,200 people. This features a lawn (originally created for the client’s dog) and another swimming pool with a waterfall, island and retractable glass roof.
Forward of the entertainment deck is the bridge, which crew access from the lowered side deck. Six guest cabins are located on the main deck of the four-deck boat, and indoor amenities include a large upper deck saloon and library, and a main deck cinema or beach lounge. Aft of here is a transom platform extended to measure 200 square metres by two detachable platforms.
‘They are actually catamarans with steering consoles,’ says Eidsgaard. ‘You would drive them out of the tender garage and moor them here. This means any wake or swell goes through and they just float with the boat.’
Guests stepping from a tender here would get perhaps the most impressive view on board. Arriving at the transom, they would ascend one of the 1.5m wide staircases on either side of the aft castle before strolling along the side decks. This route is designed to give guests a feeling of the grand scale of the boat.
And grand it is. Not just in terms of size, but in its palatial spaces, bold design features and the sheer imaginative force behind it. The only boxes within sight of_ Poseidon_ have been teak-decked and motorised.