Sometimes when we view a superyacht design proposal, we find ourselves asking “Why?” A better question, however, might be, “Why not?”
This is the case with the concept Project Magnitude, jointly presented by Oceanco and industrial designer Lukasz Opalinski. She’s far more dramatic-looking than most megayachts, whether they’re solely on paper or on the water. But that’s the point: Opalinski wanted to challenge conventional thinking, while still respecting operational needs. As for Oceanco, it began promoting Project Magnitude at the last Monaco Yacht Show and showcased her again at the recent Abu Dhabi Yacht Show. It’s part of an ongoing effort to encourage creativity among designers and even challenge its own team.
While the 295-foot (90-meter) Project Magnitude is based on Oceanco’s Y700 engineering platform (think Alfa Nero, Sunrays, Vibrant Curiosity, etc.), she certainly challenges traditional exterior styling. One of the most striking elements is the abundance of glass. The illustrations at top and above highlight this. In an interview exclusive to Megayacht News, Opalinski says the large swaths were designed to be in harmony with the rest of the lines, yet also to underscore their literal purpose. “The idea behind unified large windows is to maximize the amount of daylight into the interiors, this way creating this extra-spacious visual effect inside as well as making the most of the views throughout the journey,” he explains.
Speaking of journeys, Opalinski also wanted Project Magnitude to embrace the overall experience of yachting. Sound strange? Not really: Look at any number of megayachts, and there’s a real (and unfortunate) disconnect with the water. The yachts are more like second homes that happen to have hulls. Opalinski wanted Project Magnitude to provide “direct access to the surrounding environment and eventually be in tune with the elements.” One of the strongest examples of this is the detachable beach transom. Further fitted with a pool, it floats away from the yacht but remains attached via an underwater arm.
John Henson, a longtime yacht captain and consultant who is Opalinski’s mentor and design partner, knew Opalinski was onto something smart when he shared the idea. He recalls buying a blow-up island years ago for a yachting family he worked for, and they loved sunbathing on it. Henson says that Opalinski’s detachable beach proves a simple yet smart point: “these novel additions interestingly provide extra enjoyment to those aboard.”
The list of novel additions goes on as well. Note the helipad. It’s actually a series of extensions that retract back into the superstructure. Then there’s the three-partition beach area, formed when transom panels fold down aft and to each side. Now, while the resulting, 270-degree beach area looks terrific (see above), it may pose a problem if the anchorage isn’t flat calm. Oceanco’s CEO, Marcel Onkenhout, says the yard’s engineering department researches and tests designs like this when owners express interest in bringing them to fruition. “We are always up for a challenge, finding solutions with alternate materials such as carbon fiber or aluminum in the hull door scenario,” he says. He adds that the yard would also obviously obtain classification-society approval and make adjustments if needed.
Which brings us to some interesting technological concepts incorporated into Project Magnitude. Opalinski wants the yacht to emphasize eco-friendly performance, so he researched hydrogen injectors. Still being tested in commercial trucks, the technology, in which hydrogen is injected into the diesel-burning chamber, does indeed boost performance. Opalinski further learned that there’s the possibility of no emissions, other than steam. Another environmentally minded feature: a solar film covering the glass surfaces.
There are so many interesting aspects to Project Magnitude. From the ideas outlined above to the split-level owner’s apartment and emphasis on comfort throughout, she’s a concept whose time has come. As Henson puts it, “With many new yacht designs showing much innovation, it is incumbent on designers to ensure that the basic principles of safety, comfort, livability, ease of operation, hospitality, and pride of ownership are foremost in their thoughts. These are all apparent in Project Magnitude.”