With the multiple media outlets reporting that Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates has just pledged well over $600 million to build a 376-foot-long, hydrogen-powered superyacht concept designed by Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design and Lateral Naval Architects superyacht design and construction may never be quite the same again.
Of course, Sinot’s 376-foot-long liquid hydrogen-powered superyacht concept AQUA received lots of attention when it was unveiled at the most recent Monaco Yacht Show. But the requirements (boundless imagination and serious computing power) for designing a “skies-the-limit-concept-superyacht” are actually quite small compared to finding a pioneering mega-billionaire who has the vision, passion, experience, courage and oh yeah, over a hundred BILLION dollars to build a hydrogen-powered superyacht that has never been built before.
However, it looks like designer Sander Sinot may have caught lightning in a bottle. “With every project, I challenge my team and myself to surpass ourselves,” he explains. “For the development of AQUA we took inspiration from the lifestyle of a discerning, forward-looking owner, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology to combine this in a 376-foot) superyacht with a fully operational liquid hydrogen and fuel cell system that features groundbreaking in technology, as well as design and esthetics.”
That sounds like Bill Gates, right?
According to advanced reports, AQUA’s power is fueled by liquefied hydrogen, stored at extremely low temperatures, in vacuum isolated tanks. The liquefied hydrogen is converted into electrical energy by Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, with water being the only by-product.
The generated electrical energy is transmitted to AQUA’s switchboards, where it’s distributed to provide power for propulsion, auxiliary systems and hotel services. Large batteries buffer the generated electricity to ensure power demands are always met. And thanks to the electric propulsion, AQUA is designed to be extremely quiet underway.
“Imagine AQUA at open sea, moving water with water,” says Sander Sinot “At 17 knots with a range of 3,750 nautical miles, AQUA could be solidly at the forefront of its superyacht peers.”
It’s pretty easy to imagine Bill Gates being pretty excited by something like that, right?
And as you can see in these detailed renderings, the design innovations don’t stop in the engine room. The owner’s pavilion that occupies the front half of the upper deck, is arranged in an open-plan area of interlinked spaces, divided by finely crafted wooden screens providing intimacy and subdued lighting.
Floor-to-ceiling windows supply amazing views and ample natural light. The owner’s bedroom section is located at the yacht’s axis and offers an endless sightline all the way up to the AQUA room at the bow. The owner’s pavilion is completed with a large bathroom, dressing room and an intimate private spa section.
The AQUA room, located at the bow, at the far end of the owner’s pavilion, offers a top-of-the-world feeling and endless views from the best position on board.
Located on AQUA’s beach deck, close to the waterline, the expansive VIP state rooms stand out by virtue of their spacious design and highly elaborate furniture. All the guest cabins are designed for openness, luxury, and comfort, providing a maximum sense of freedom in a highly detailed minimalist Japanese beach-style setting.
The indoor health & wellness center is designed with a hydro massage room, a yoga space and workout floor and a massive, gym-wide door in the hull which opens to reveal the ocean’s surface at water level.
Situated at AQUA’s core, the circular staircase is one of the yacht’s defining features, winding down from the top deck to the lower deck where two large liquefied hydrogen tanks reveal their industrial-strength structure behind a giant façade of strengthened glass.
Meanwhile, the distinctive exterior look of the yacht was inspired by ocean swells. The hull is a sculpted, curved and intersected by the glass windows.
AQUA is configured with a five-deck set up while being able to provide those on board with the closest possible proximity to the water. The aft deck features a series of platforms all leading down towards the sea, while a large swim platform allows all AQUA passengers to enjoy the ocean.
Could Bill Gates new ultra-green hydrogen-powered superyacht represent the future of ultra-stylish superyachts?
And can you think of a more appropriate guy to push innovative superyacht design and construction into the stratosphere?
Stay tuned for much more.