...one giant splash for mankind. Whereas Wally Yachts have successfully cornered the market for Evil Bond Villain ocean-going vessels, Schopfer are now offering us the chance to circumnavigate the globe in a couple of mega-yachts that are more akin to spacecraft than super yachts.
Boston-based Schopfer have collaborated with naval architects Sparksman Stephens and visualisation team Tangram 3DS to bring two incredible yacht concepts to life – Infinitas and Oculus.
At 300ft, Infinitas is a vast flowing organic shape, based on the symbol for infinity, most evident at the stern, where the shape folds in on itself with the end result looking like a giant electric carving knife.
The central glass pod contains the cavernous leisure suite with a bridge spanning the pool, which in turn can be covered to create a useful party venue. The pool separates living and dining areas, whilst outside the pod’s glass roof punctuates the top deck, overlooking the helicopter pad at the bow.
The Oculus, at a mere 250ft, takes its inspiration from the skeletal structure of ocean mammals. This results in a series of sweeping curves housing vast glass areas, helping to illuminate the 12ft high main salon.
A highiight of the layout is the double-height circular dining room, complete with round table – ideal for a modern-day Arthurian court. This circular theme continues with the owner’s suite and cinema (best to avoid showings of The Poseidon Adventure, Titanic and episodes of Lost).
Following the sleek lines to the back of the vessel leads to the open party deck where champagne is guaranteed to flow, safe in the knowledge that the well-stocked galley has enough capacity for the fortunate guests.
As with the Wally super and giga-yachts, I love the two fingered salute these vessels give to the established gin-palace fraternity. Sailing yachts can be snobbish enough but for the super-rich, counting the number of executive cabins, weighing up the nouveau riche gold plating, polished dark wood and marble monstrosities is all that matters.
In much the same way as turning up to a golf club in a non-regulation pair of shoes, where members think they are all part of an exclusive uber-elite – they are in fact conforming to a (bad) dress code and set of rules that actually forbids individual expression.
If you want your arrival in Monaco to exude personality (albeit that of the slightly odd-looking, rather than attractive, kid in the corner) the Infinitas and Oculus tick all the boxes. Anyone with money can shout “look how much money I’ve got”. It takes a genuine individual to allow their purchasing power to work a bit harder, making a conscious decision rather than crossing another conquest off a list.
It is a shame then that these vessels haven’t been built yet, as Schopfer are waiting to see if they canvass enough interest to start the build process. Just don’t expect much change from £20million.