In the evening of one of the hottest days in London ClaydonReeves launched Exo their 46m concept sailing yacht developed in partnership with Dykstra Naval Architects.
The event was hosted at the London offices of Fraser Yachtsin St James’ and the exhibition will be running there until the end of September and no appointment is needed to pop in and take a look.
The idea behind the radical looking sailing yacht was to add in a new design element to enhance the experience of performance cruising.
Instead of a hull providing a strong sense of enclosure this one instead allows unparalleled views of the external and underwater environments.
The design shows the influence of an organic and natural approach inspired by shapes and forms not usually found in traditional yacht design.
The interconnected root structures of large trees seemed like a good starting point as the basis for a yacht. Not only does the long vertical trunk represent the mast, but the root ball forms the hull, providing strength and the support for the vertical structure.
The skeletal structure of small but strong creatures has also been considered. In nature it is the exo-skeleton which provides the ‘chassis’ for these organisms. These exo-skeletons do not employ straight lines but instead have twisting and turning curves which imbue the creature with optimal strength – their forms defined by millions of years of evolution.
By setting aside some of the established thinking of past projects, a new aesthetic that is both attractive and buildable as been conceived.
All technical and structural elements are integrated into the design so that the typically engineered solutions such as boom, helm stations and spreader bars share a consistent organic aesthetic.
The main load bearing elements are constructed from a carbon monocoque space frame, much like that of a modern motorbike, whilst the hull skin are to be developed using lighter construction methods. Even the deck caulking is based upon the radiating growth rings of a tree trunk, which illuminate at night, forming intriguing patterns and effects. The twin helm positions grow out of the bulwarks like tree branches.
The huge glass windows wrap over into the deck and are framed by the carbon fibre ‘chassis’ that is further accentuated by the bold material breakup. The cockpit maintains the organic form language; the sofas providing undulating islands of soft expansive seating and the table forms appear eroded by the sea.
As one moves rearward the decks gently step down, firstly with a concave cut-out and then approaching the stern a convex wall of glass that defines the edge of the aft beach club and saloon.
The concept is perhaps best explored and understood from inside the yacht where one can fully appreciate the implications of the new design approach. The main objective with this yacht was to allow far greater amounts of light into the interior and to provide ground breaking views of the passing environments.
The carbon chassis is apparent internally and the organic mullions that separate the massive glass panels imbue the interior with the sensation of being contained within the ribcage of a large aquatic creature.
To further emphasise this feeling, the interior architecture of the main saloon suggests being partially separated from the hull structure, giving the impression of a soft cocoon floating within a rigid structure. The seating and furniture has been designed with an integrated philosophy of organic forms and subtle level changes delineate the different areas.
The material pallet is a combination of strong technical carbon fibre and the softness of natural woods, wools and silks bathed in subtle lighting that accentuates the key design elements.
- Length Overall 46.00m
- Length Waterline 42.73m
- Beam 8.88m
- Draught 6.50m
- Displacement 240t
- Mast construction Carbon spars & rigging
- Accommodation 8 Guests