“There are a lot of stereotypes in yachting that are not actually true,” asserts Philippe Briand. “A sailing yacht is not only for performance and racing. It can be just as suitable as a motoryacht when it comes to exploration, even with a touch more elegance.” The naval architect, head of the eponymous design studio, therefore sees potential to bring the sailing explorer yacht shown here to fruition. He plans to do so through his Vitruvius Yachts explorer yacht brand. Simultaneously, he’s proposing six additional motoryacht explorers.
The sailing explorer yacht has her roots in a real customer’s request, in fact. A California-based client keen on Pacific Ocean travels approached Briand. Priorities included swift top speed, and significant-size tenders for shoreside excursions especially in isolated regions. Those tenders, by the way, measured 21 feet (6.5 meters). Furthermore, the client wanted indoor-outdoor relaxation spaces plus a lazarette convertible to a beach club or gym. Note that these wish-list items have far more in common with motoryachts. However, the owner was adamant about having a sailing yacht. In addition, for when powered propulsion was necessary, he wanted a reduced carbon footprint.
That brief gave rise to the 180-foot (55-meter) sailing explorer yacht in the new Vitruvius Yachts expedition range. Like her fully powered sisters, the foundation is long-range efficiency. So, too, is competency in rugged conditions. Briand has given her a hull that he says is less susceptible to roll, and capable of sailing up to 14 knots. That speed is akin to that of displacement explorer motoryachts in her size range. Then, a lifting keel makes her comparable to semi-displacement motoryachts in accessing shallower waters. Briand intends to explore new technologies for sail-handling efficiency as well.
With those forming the backbone of the design, the sailing explorer yacht then mixes in the creature comforts and space utilization today’s cruisers want. That, Briand states, makes the yacht equally adept at transiting the Pacific, visiting the Poles, and frequenting popular Med ports. One such creature comfort: abundant glass. Specifically, the sailing explorer yacht has a see-through superstructure.
All told, Briand says, the sailing explorer yacht would cost about the same as a same-size motoryacht.
Speaking of motoryachts, the six in the expedition series include the Expedition Beach Club shown above. Fitted with an ice-class hull, she measures 148 feet (45 meters). A Scientific Style Expedition is possible, too, for whale watching and more. Big toys, even a sailboat, are aboard.
“We understand that today’s owners want to use their yachts to host glamourous parties on the French Riviera or the Greek Islands as well as venture to remote Pacific islands or even the polar regions,” Briand sums up. “In response, we have created a collection of concepts that showcases the iterations transitioning from expedition to explorer to Mediterranean yacht.”