Thursday, 1 April 2010

WHY: 160 million dollars of island-yacht elegance.

Calling it a boat may seem blasphemous; it has been designed as a "moving island". Built by WHY, a collaboration between Monaco based yacht manufacturer Wally and the French fashion house Herm├Ęs, it was unveiled at the Abu Dhabi boat show and immediately caught everyone’s attention. Simply put, the WHY design is dedicated to a new lifestyle of living on the sea.

The ‘WHY 58x38’ boat is 58 metres long and 38 metres wide, covers a guest surface area of a whopping 3,900sq metres, weighs 2,400 tonnes, boasts of three huge open decks and cruises at 14 knots. The third floor, all 200sq metres of it, is the master area; five guest bedrooms lie on the second floor, while the common space at the bottom of the ship will have a 25-metre swimming pool, cinema, music room, dining room, and "a perfect 30m beach". When built, it will house up to 16 guests and 20 crew. The price? US $160 million.

“Everyone’s dream is to live on an island, in complete freedom, without constraint, with the independence that only self sufficiency can provide,” says Wally’s head Luca Antivari. "A piece of land with a beautiful villa partly fulfils this aspiration because it is static. A yacht offers the freedom to move, but does not have the space of a property. WHY has it all." Antivari says that the concept is “a new way to live on the sea while caring for it, protecting it and loving it.”

The WHY 58X38 is environmentally friendly. It will generate 500kw of solar energy a day through 900sq metres of photovoltaic panels covering its roof and hull; the design team says that its engines should use half the fuel of a yacht the same size, and will be able to cross the Atlantic four times without refuelling. A central computer on board will manage energy efficiency.

The yacht has a triangular ramform hull; there is no superstructure. It has been tank tested in Gotebourg, Sweden. When anchored, the boat creates an Olympic sized pool behind it, whereas up front there is a seawater pool that follows the curve of the bow. The designers have gone the extra mile to ensure that there is a feeling of open space everywhere; the WHY prides itself on maximum space, durability and cutting-edge technology.

Says artistic director of Hermes Pierre Dumas, “'From the invention of the compass to block capitals, from the rudder to the first steps on the moon, man discovers and pursues his dreams with its feet on the ground and its head in the stars. We hope to open a new path, to offer a new lifestyle that is different, serene, contemplative and respectful of the environment, combining the pleasure of sailing and absolute comfort.”

We are sold. Now where did I leave my wallet?


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