One of the most elegant water-going creations to cross our desk in recent times is the Foster and Partners designed YachtPlus 40 ‘Signature Series'. Designed by a 7-strong architectural team led by Lord Foster himself and being built at the Rodriquez Cantieri Navali shipyard in northern Italy, the ultra-contemporary 135 foot (41m) luxury superyacht offers 5737 square feet of useable living space with extensive outer deck area including a submergible beach deck, a grand staircase at transom and seperate jet ski storage space. The innovative interior layout has four decks accommodating up to 12 guests and 7 crew and the full beam owner’s cabin on the main deck includes forward-facing windows that lead to private balconies and the glass walled main saloon features 180 degree views.
In terms of performance, the yacht cruises at 16 knots thanks to 2 x 1044 kw Caterpillar C32 diesel engines and has a range of 2400 nm at 12 knots and 700 nm at 16 knots.
According to Lord Foster the design has been influenced by the firms' experience on terra firma: "We have given a new emphasis to such issues as quality and quantity of space, outdoor terraces, light and views. Our work on luxury hotels and residences has also informed a fresh approach to achieving privacy and comfort, here in the context of a nautical tradition."
YachtPlus plan to create a fleet of these unique craft (the first in 2008 with three are due by 2011) and market them under a fractional ownership scheme limited to eight people per vessel. The yachts will be permanently crewed and serviced in both the Mediterranean and Caribbean with each shareholder having guaranteed access for 34 days per year with sightseeing, shopping, golf, Formula 1, vineyard visits and all the trappings of a luxury yachting vacation catered for under the company's lifestyle program. And the cost? An 1/8th share slice of this magnificent pie will still set you back EUR 1,850,000 based on an 8 year contract after which it can be resold on the open market. If you happen to be elsewhere and cannot use the yacht, you can also charter your weeks and claim a share of the revenue.