OPINION: Green goals supplant the need for speed


Philippe Briand’s new 60-metre sailing superyacht SY200 concept is designed to appeal to Millennials.

It used to be all about speed. Superyachts under sail were often designed to win regattas while delivering a good deal of luxury. Luxurious interiors remain essential, but younger superyacht owners are not particularly motivated by gratifying the need for speed or winning a shelf-load of regatta trophy silverware.

Evidence of this sea change is supplied by London-design house Philippe Briand. It describes the market for regatta-winning advanced sailing yachts as being dramatically down. It cites a growing interest among wealthy younger buyers for sailing vessels that meet sustainability targets.

This motivation is now the main reason to push the boundaries of technology and efficiency in superyachting, the design house claims. If true, Philippe Briand’s new 60-metre sailing superyacht concept SY200 is destined for success. Fully sail-powered, the vessel would be capable of more than 20 knots and equipped with underwater turbines generating electricity to power a 20-tonne battery. The zero-emissions vessel supplies all its power needs and the power system is silent when at anchor.

While this is not the first zero-emissions superyacht under sail – let’s not forget the eponymous Black Pearl – there’s no doubting the design’s sleek lines and commitment to sustainability goals.

Nor are meeting sustainability targets shaping solely the design of sailing yachts. Sustainability goals are prized elsewhere in the industry – from the solar-powered Silent 55 luxury yachts to the newly launched electric tender eLimo from Q-Yachts, which appeared at the Dusseldorf Boat Show last week.

So, while white is likely to remain the colour of choice for superyachts – increasingly their designs – if not their hulls – are likely to be tinged green.

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