Tuhura, Oceanco’s Canoe Shaped Superyacht


Described by Dutch superyacht builder Oceanco as a technically challenging and intriguing project a new concept conceived in collaboration with the Lobanov Design studio, BMT Nigel Gee and interior designer Achille Salvagni has been unveiled

The model of Project Tuhura, looking more like a dug out canoe than a yacht, was unveiled at the Dubai International Boat Show which ran from 27th February to 3rd March.

Designed for an owner who has a true pioneering spirit and who desires to break the moulds of convention, the name Tuhura is a derivation of the Maori verb meaning to discover, to explore.

The exterior design works well with the interior and is inherently flexible so that the yacht can be designed in any size from 80 – 120 metres in length.

“Its a simple idea,” explains designer Igor Lobanov, “The thought was to take a natural shape similar to those seen in the earliest canoe-type craft and augment it multi-fold to a larger scale, using modern technology.”

The main inspiration for the interior design is East Asia and the Pacific islands. Achille Salvagni refers to the interior as a “brushed teak habitat” including thin reveals in gunmetal and natural bronze with tatami floors. 

Conceived for a dynamic owner, “Tuhura is nevertheless a timeless sense of peace and calmness are the main characteristics,” says Salvagni. “This softness and dynamicity are reflected in the humble elegance and sensuality of the primitive organic shapes echoed throughout.”

The concepts hull and propulsion system have been developed in collaboration with BMT. The pure simplicity of the canoe form leads to a naturally efficient hull with low overall resistance, good seakeeping and excellent manoeuvrability.

However integrating a modern propulsion system in the canoe form presents a challenge and the team opted for a hybrid Azipod CRP (contra-rotating) propulsion system from ABB initially trialled in 2003 and currently being applied with success on commercial vessels.

James Roy, Yacht Design Director at BMT, stated, “The hybrid CRP system is inherently efficient and perfectly suited to the canoe form, there is a synergy between the efficiency of the hull form, and that of the propulsion system, leading to a yacht which marries an evolutionary simple hull with an evolutionary advanced propulsion system”

Innovation and cutting-edge technology is evident throughout the design. The hull has been conceived with multiple horizontal windows, utilising an advanced glass technology that consists of a series of dots, allowing the view from within to be completely transparent, while from the exterior, the windows appear the same colour as the hull, disguising their appearance. Glass features further in the impressive black superstructure made up of flat glass panels.

Progressive and creative thinking extends to all the systems aboard. LuxLab, the custom design label from Van Berge Henegouwen (VBH) has joined the team to ensure that this is an extremely “smart boat.” Not only are there controls for HVAC, lighting, audio, video, curtains and such, but controls will also monitor behaviour aboard regarding preferences such as music and temperature. Furthermore, there are plans to create a 360 room, a multipurpose space for both interactive design and information.

Tuhura Specifications                                                                   

  • Length                                 115m
  • Draught                                 3.9m
  • Speed                                  18 knots
  • Propulsion System                 Hybrid Contra Rotating Propeller System (with ABB)
  • Exterior Designer                  Lobanov Design
  • Interior Designer                   Achille Salvagni
  • Naval Architecture                 BMT