Boat of the Week: Oceanco’s Curvy 450-Foot Idea Is Designed to Get Extra Eco-Pleasant With Time
Oceanco’s 350-foot Black Pearl sailing yacht is one of the best examples of sustainability in the gigayacht class. But for owners who can’t be pried from the motoryacht life, Oceanco’s 450-foot Aeolus concept—the second offering in its NXT initiative—builds a case for a new type of yachting that employs biomaterials, an Energy Transition Platform, and “hosting pods” to readdress both the onboard lifestyle and the much wider environmental footprint.
Aeolus, which was unveiled earlier this month at the Dubai boat show, gives owners a way to respect the oceans and plan for the future, says Oceanco’s marketing director Paris Baloumis. “Any yacht built today would need to plan for the upcoming energy transition, but there’s a degree of uncertainty about which direction this evolution is going to take,” he tells Robb Report. “The smartest way to futureproof a yacht is to create an adaptable platform that can work with multiple configurations, layouts, and fuel types.”
Developed in collaboration with Lateral Naval Architects—the same firm behind Black Pearl and Oceanco’s hybrid yacht Bravo Eugenia—the Energy Transition Platform means that a yacht fitted with a hybrid diesel-electric system today could eventually transition away from diesel completely and run with full-range and same-speed capabilities on fuel cells and electricity. Because alternative fuels are less energy dense than fossil fuels, the platform also accommodates wide-ranging changes to the interior layout, including creating larger guest and owner areas.
The first NXT concept, Kairos, launched in 2020. Aeolus pushes the concept even farther into the future, moving beyond just propulsion and looking at the design and lifestyle possibilities as well. British automotive designer Giles Taylor approached the design with tomorrow’s owners in mind, designing around their wish lists with sustainability as a top priority.
“The next generation of client looking for a net-zero yacht doesn’t see sustainability as an add-on. It’s their primary reason for buying that yacht, so they need a design philosophy that goes with it,” Taylor told Robb Report. “That means a platform where they can have privacy, solitude, and dedicated hosting spaces.”
The most unusual hosting space is a cutaway forward section of the hull, which Taylor describes as a “walkthrough area.” It’s surrounded by glass balustrades and a dip pool.
“The philosophy for the boat is to open the vistas and circulation to drive a connection to the ocean. Sometimes bulkheads prevent that,” says Taylor. “I wanted the flow and usability of space to be less defined.”
The exterior resembles wind-sculpted, curved rock formations (Aeolus is the Greek god of the winds), with rounded, floating decks and a sloping hull and superstructure, which Taylor says was inspired by the billowing sails of a J-Class yacht.
“What I love about sailing yachts, particularly the J Class, is the immersive experience you get as a guest,” says Taylor. “You have sea spray on your face, you can see the wind creating shapes in the sails and you appreciate the yacht’s naval architecture even when you’re sailing on board. I tried to capture that with Aeolus.”
The interior by Njord by Bergman introduces fully sustainable, traceable, and recyclable materials, including biomaterials, such as Desserto, a vegan-leather made from climate-positive cactus plants as well as more textured materials made from eggshells.
Guest accommodations aboard the 430-foot yacht are limited to five suites that favors family quality over guest quantity. The full-beam master cabin on the dedicated owner’s deck enjoys full height windows, a central sunken bathtub, curved walls that mimic the inside of an oyster shell, and a Jacuzzi forward on the private deck.
“The master suite is a private escape pod that occupies the highest point of the yacht with views all around. You almost feel like you are floating above the ocean,” Marie Soliman of Njord told Robb Report.
In the main salon is a grand piano, a circular marble veneer cocktail bar, and patterned carpets that replicate a sandy seabed. A large glass elevator serves all decks, wrapped by a winding staircase that echoes the interior of a seashell.
The concept literally flips a conventional layout on its head, moving the four double guest cabins from the lower deck to the upper deck. That frees space in the lower part of the hull for a wellness hub.
That area is equipped with a cryotherapy area, treatment rooms, an infrared sauna, and a lymphatic drainage suit. Other amenities include a swimming pool on the main deck aft, a large beach club, and a helipad on the foredeck. “It’s more than a fully equipped spa,” says Soliman. “It’s a sunken sanctuary where athletes can train, recover, and enjoy quality of life.”
Click here to see more images of Aeolus.
Source: Robb Report