I first met Luiz de Basto five years ago, aboard the Genesis 153 (now known as Argyll), a megayacht with handicapped-accessible spaces that he had a major hand in planning. I was struck by not just his design acumen but also by how intently he listened to feedback and quickly brainstormed ways to improve practical things.
So when he e-mailed me last week to tell me about his latest project, a proposal he designed for Blohm + Voss, I knew I’d be in for something special. And now you are, too. This is Striker, a 101-meter (331-footer) yacht that not only changes the way we think of a yacht’s profile but also the way a yacht is used.
Let’s examine that profile. As de Basto explains, “The exterior is an unprecedented proposal in yacht design, avoiding any decorative distractions in favor of a solution that incorporates the hull and superstructure in one continuous surface.” Now take a closer, and you’ll notice openings interrupt this continuity only sparingly, where de Basto says necessity (vs. fashion) dictated.
As for how the yacht’s used, the pilothouse is on the uppermost deck, not on the second or third deck, where most megagyachts place it. This change yields two big advantages: 360-degree views for navigation, and more space for the owner and guests on the decks that normally contain the skylounge and other relaxation/gathering areas.
Speaking of the skylounge, it’s forward one deck below the sundeck and has doors that open onto an alfresco space for big parties and dancing. Aft on this same deck are two VIP staterooms with balconies; six other guest staterooms are on the main deck, while the owners get the entire sundeck, complete with a private lounge and balcony, to themselves.
One thing you won’t find aboard Striker: a gym. De Basto says anyone wishing to keep fit can simply walk the stairs leading from the “beach platform” all the way up to the helicopter landing area (above the sundeck) and back down. I applaud this move. I’ve always found gyms aboard megayachts, especially mega-size megayachts, to be a bit silly; I can personally attest to the cardio workout (and strong calf muscles!) that result from walking up and down decks all day long.
While several designers and yards are putting forth innovative design packages these days to attract buyers, de Basto tells me much of Striker’s preliminary engineering is already done, so it has a realistic chance of going to contract. This is a big advantage, as I know of a few design proposals over the years that needed major revisions because there was no practical way to execute them. I’ll continue to follow developments.