Meet the 262-foot “artifact”, the first future-proof superyacht – Robb Report
Meet Artifact, a yacht ahead of its time. The whimsical curves of the exterior made this superyacht the toast of last week’s Monaco Yacht Show, but its universal appeal did not come by accident.
The world’s largest 262-foot (by volume) boat has been meticulously planned for years by its owner, engineer and construction captain to be a cutting-edge diesel-electric prodigy. The futuristic facade and green credentials grabbed the headlines, but ArtifactThe interior is what can eventually set the course for future yacht design.
“We did not rush ArtifactSaid Captain Aaron Clark Robb Report, during an in-depth tour of the yacht last week in Monaco. “This is the owner’s first boat, and it will be his last boat. He didn’t want a yacht that looked like everyone else’s. And he didn’t want such a capable yacht. He wanted a scalable boat.
In preparing for the future, the owner thought through every little detail that would still be relevant two decades from now. No door sills and minimum steps for wheelchair access are just a few of the practical design features. Then there is the Tai Chi room, with an additional ceiling height to be able to wield a sword above the head. Next is the placement of the owner’s cabin at the lowest acceleration point of the boat, so that the ride is comfortable. Finally, the owner decided to centralize all service operations in order to reduce the number of crews.
Clark and the owner spent 18 months developing Artifact before signing a contract together, and another year of tank testing and stabilization system investigations before looking for a shipyard.
“We spent eight months and $ 110,000 building the family patio level to scale, from lumber and Tyvek construction wrap,” Clark said. “It helped us determine how much room the owners need to live comfortably on board and how big the boat should be. “
The answer was bigger, a lot bigger. The initial volume of 500 gross tonnes has increased to 2990 gross seismic tonnes. “I went to seven shipyards with the blueprints,” says Clark, “But we ended up with Nobiskrug because they were the only shipyard that kept the pedigree and design we wanted from the start. “
All the detailed planning has paid off. During the build process, the change order was a paltry 1.1 percent – owner-requested changes during most builds are typically 30 percent. Artifact was delivered in March 2020 to its owner, who plans to live on board for up to three months at a time. During the pandemic, that rose to eight months, and the boat was not sitting idle in a marina. Artifact made a gigantic nine-month test trip of 13,000 nautical miles.
“My favorite technology is the dynamic boat positioning system,” says Clark, noting that it holds the boat in place without anchoring. “We used it for 650 hours in the first year, including two non-stop weeks. If the owner is sitting in direct sunlight, I turn the boat a bit. Other times, I change my view. In rough seas, the waves are defused. It really improves the overall customer experience.
Of the quay, Artifact stands out for its radical geometric shapes and massive windows. The exterior was designed by Gregory C. Marshall, with 8,073 square feet of glass weighing 70 tons. In contrast, Reymond Langton’s interior is an expanse of clean, zen space.
Dark walnut straight grain floors are paired with taupe ripple sycamore walls. There are gorgeous details throughout: hand-woven silk artwork hangs in the main living room, and Su embroidery defines the owner’s suite. Clean and uncluttered, the guest areas feel spacious, yet welcoming.
“The interior is not ostentatious and that’s because you can’t compete with the exterior architecture,” says Clark. “We didn’t try to fight him.”
The quantity of glass on board is a first for yachting and has not been done without difficulties. The main ones are weight, solar heat gain, optical properties and sound reflections.
Materials and space are used to absorb sound. In the owner’s suite, with a carpet that looks like crunchy snow underfoot, sound levels average just 36 dBA, somewhere between a whisper and a hushed bookcase along the way. All windows are made of two bronze glass panels and a mirror coating, which cuts the heat without distorting the view and “makes the greens pop,” according to Clark.
Much has been said about the owner’s request for Artifact be at the forefront of the environment. It was the first superyacht to meet IMO Tier-III emissions standards. It has 248 square feet of solar panels, creating enough electricity to run the lights at night. But the advanced DC bus digital power management system, the first to be installed on a yacht, allows the vessel to fully integrate multiple power sources from solar cells, variable speed generators and lithium batteries.
This means that the boat can run for a limited time without internal combustion engines. It also has the potential to take advantage of future technologies, such as fuel cells.
“Artifact is designed for the future. So if we want to change an engine for a new technology, the system is in place with the DC bus to allow that, ”says Clark.
For many owners of superyachts, being identifiable on the water is something to be avoided at all costs. But no Artifact. “You can’t do something different and stay hidden,” says Clark. “If you want to set trends, you have to be recognizable. Not only technically, but also with the experience of the owner.
Since ArtifactEco-accreditations have been widely discussed, the conversation has shifted in and out. “We thought the styling could overwhelm the real core of what the boat was about,” says Clark. “Now we are showcasing the design. I think it was a good strategy.
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