Home The Current The Current – July 2021

The Current – July 2021

by Kate Calamusa

Floating the Ideas

When news leaked this spring that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was rumored to have commissioned a 417-foot-long luxury superyacht that comes with a helipad equipped “support yacht” (that’s a new one!), we couldn’t help but wonder what groundbreaking features will end up on board the local billionaire’s boat. Well, the world’s top yacht designers and engineers sure have a few ideas on that front, including these three recently released innovative conceptstake note of this tech, Mr. Bezos.

Down, Please

Descend into the depths, without ever getting wet, with the Hydrosphere underwater glass elevator. Designed by London-based firm Gresham Yacht Design (greshamyachtdesign.com), this ingenious structure extends out from the hull of the vessel in mere minutes to offer 360-degree views of the marine creatures and wondrous topography below. Seating up to seven guests with onboard lighting to help illuminate the waters, the luxe lounge can even be deployed while underway (up to a max speed of 2 knots); when not in use, the pressure shell retracts back into the hull, protected by an external hatch and parked above the waterline.

Pollutant Pick-Up

Saving the planet many, many, many plastic bottles at a time, this new 185-foot hybrid sailboat is the world’s first sea-cleaning vessel designed to collect, treat, and repurpose large volumes of floating plastic debris from the ocean waters. The Manta is the creation of The SeaCleaners (theseacleaners.org) consortium, which was founded by world-renowned Franco-Swiss sailor Yvan Bourgnon after witnessing the rise of ocean pollutants firsthand. Shecan snap up to three tons of refuse per hour and operates autonomously 75% of the time, thanks to the energy created by on-board solar panels, wind turbines, and two hydro generators. This particular vessel will patrol some of the world’s most polluted waterways starting in 2024 as part of the The SeaCleaners core mission.

The Sphere

Featuring a “science sphere” on the aft deck that is very reminiscent to certain spherical landmarks now in downtown Seattle (wink, wink), the Earth300 gigayacht concept announced by Iddes Yachts (iddesyachts.com) in April is designed to be 100% emission free, powered by nuclear tech known as molten salt reactors (MSRs). The vessel is equipped with 22 scientific laboratories with the capacity to house 160 scientists, plus a cantilevered observation deck, and that aforementioned sphere? It’s a whopping 13 stories tall. The concept has the support of such international partners as IBM, RINA, Triton Submarines, and EYOS Expeditions, with a projected launch date sometime in 2025.

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