Superyacht Flying Dragon: Admiral's planing series returns with an all-new design
by Tim Thomas
The Italian Sea Group has had a busy summer, launching no less than five yachts between 23 metres and 47 metres in the space of a month. Among them is the Admiral Regale 45 Flying Dragon. Her name and the striking motif on her topsides might suggest that she has more than a passing link to the Far East, but in fact this planing thoroughbred, which draws on the heritage of the Admiral brand but presents it in an entirely new package, has a European owner who wanted an Asian-influenced interior.
Taking the classic lines and profile of the earlier Admiral planing yachts, Luca Dini and Admiral Centro Stile have given the Regale 45 a thoroughly modern makeover. The most evident example is the cutaway bulwark, which highlights the use of big glass on the main deck, affording good views from within. ‘The request from the market is really about big glass, big views,’ says Giulio Pennacchio of the Italian Sea Group. ‘When you are inside with the doors open it’s like being in a winter garden.’ In addition, the Regale 45 manages to squeeze a beach club into the stern – unusual for a 45 metre planing yacht.
‘This is a new Admiral with the classic style of Admiral,’ says Pennacchio. ‘It marks the relaunch of the Admiral brand. The overall line comes from the historical line of Admiral, but it’s a new, totally refreshed design.’ In addition to the external tweaks to the new Admiral line overall, the interior style of Flying Dragon – as her name suggests – takes its inspiration from a Middle European/Asian fusion.
A long, straight sheer reminiscent of Admirals of old is broken by the angular cutaway in the bulwarks, signifying a direct link to the styling of the new Admiral Tecnomar ranges. In addition, a tweaked superstructure profile recalls the past while hailing to the future, and the finite element analysis by the engineering office has meant that the overhangs on the aft deck are blissfully free of pillar supports. A radar arch up top provides shade for the sundeck dining table, while the underside of the arch is inlaid with a large yin-yang symbol in teak strip. This marries to the distinctive Dobroserdov-designed dragon logo on the topsides to enhance the Asian flavour.
The large, open-plan main saloon features a dining area forward that benefits from full-height windows to starboard and opening glass doors to port – enhanced, of course, by that bulwark cutaway. The aft area offers relaxed seating. Forward on the main deck, the master suite – which was reconfigured in layout several times by the owner – now features a small study area opposite a split en suite/head before opening out into the sleeping area proper. Here, the aft-facing bed looks into an infinity mirror while a starboard-side drop-down balcony gives a little living room on the sea. A Technogym station to port, forward his-and-hers walk-in wardrobes and a steam-room-cum-sauna complete the space. Two twin and two double guest cabins sit on the lower deck, with a large crew area forward. The design theme with its nod to Asian fusion works a treat.
A large sun deck, complete with spa pool, sunpads, dining table, loose seating, bar and teppanyaki grill, offers everything a guest could want. Such an array of amenities up top means that the main aft deck can be used as a social seating area with loose armchairs and a fixed sofa aft, while the forward coachroof provides a large expanse for sunbathing on giant sunpads. In the stern – unusually for a 45 metre planing yacht – a beach club offers a spot to relax before and after a dip in the sea off the bathing platform created by dropping the transom door.
Engineering and performance
The owner of Flying Dragon eschewed the more usual twin-shaft configuration in favour of a triple waterjet installation comprising two steering jets and a central booster. The aim was not to boost performance – which currently tops out at around 26 knots – but to facilitate manoeuvring while enhancing comfort and noise levels on board. It does, however, make for a slightly cramped engine room, although there is a separate control room. The tender garage has moved forward as a result of the beach club, with the tender being launched through a starboard hull port. Driving the yacht has been made even easier thanks to a full flybridge helm, which offers a great all-round view of the vessel for close-quarters manoeuvring.