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Futura Is Powered by Biofuel And Wind, Still an Absolute Stunner
If you build it, they will come. “Design it, and they will want it built” would be a more suitable motto for Vripack, a luxury yacht design studio based out of Amsterdam, which set out to prove that sustainability doesn’t have to mean a compromise on aesthetics.

Futura Is Powered by Biofuel And Wind, Still an Absolute Stunner

The Futura concept, a hybrid megayacht powered by biofuels and windThe Futura concept, a hybrid megayacht powered by biofuels and windThe Futura concept, a hybrid megayacht powered by biofuels and windThe Futura concept, a hybrid megayacht powered by biofuels and windThe Futura concept, a hybrid megayacht powered by biofuels and windThe Futura concept, a hybrid megayacht powered by biofuels and windThe Futura concept, a hybrid megayacht powered by biofuels and wind
The need for more sustainable naval design is undeniable, but progress remains slow. At the same time, whatever eco-credentials are added to a new vessel seem to come with a toll on its overall aesthetics. Ideally, we’d all live in a bubble where function would trump form, but in real life, no respectable multi-millionaire would be caught dead in an ugly yacht.

Vripack wants to show the world that a fully-sustainable megayacht can still be a stunner, and even push the envelope on naval design, to boot. In penning Futura, creative directors Bart Bouwhuis and Marnix Hoekstra operated on the idea that, if you want people to become interested in fossil-free yachting, you have to present them with a concept they won’t be able to resist.

And the Futura is truly irresistible inside and out. Unlike other eco-friendly concepts, this 66 meter (216 feet) megayacht could be built tomorrow, because it uses technologies already available. It also represents a bold step in a different direction than traditional yacht design, through the use of biomimicry in creating flowing spaces and a new type of sailing experience.

First things first, the Futura is a hybrid powered by biofuels and wind. Its four Caterpillar C32 Acert engines would use biofuel made of food waste as the main means of propulsion, but would also have a kite and battery packs that would allow it to sail on wind-power alone. Even the batteries would be made of plants, sand and salt, so they would be 100 percent bio-degradable. Using biofuels reduces CO2 emissions by 90 percent and SOx and NOx by 30 percent.

“What Futura offers owners is choice,” Hoekstra says, adding that they don’t see sustainability as a downgrade or a compromise. “By approaching sustainability as a design challenge, we’re not waiting for owners to request this technology, we’re presenting them with a concept based on sustainable solutions that currently exist. The answers are out there, the supply is out there, owners just need to want it.”

“Futura is an electric / diesel hybrid with a difference – the batteries are charged by an enormous kite on an electric winch that can be released at the touch of a button,”
Hoekstra continues. “As the kite circulates in an infinite pattern, it turns the winch, which generates the power required to charge the batteries before returning back to the boat when the process is complete. It’s essentially a double win: one, because you’re using battery power instead of fuel; and two, because there are no fossil fuels involved in the charging process.”

Proving that sustainability doesn’t have to come at the price of good looks, the Futura is a true stunner. Using biomimicry, its hull resembles the shape of a whale, while the glass cocoon structure on the upper deck has rhombus-shaped framing resembling the scales of a fish.

Other than visual impact, the cocoon aims to create a sense of intimacy throughout, by allowing guests to see all the other guests at all times. This also has the potential of being a privacy nightmare, but the designers swear this radical concept is meant to show how you can be apart but still together, “doing your own thing but still have this consciousness of where your family and friends are.”

Speaking of guests, the Futura would accommodate 14 of them, including the owner, in six staterooms, and an additional 14 crew. There would be modular furniture scattered throughout the unique spaces that render the impression of a loft instead of an actual yacht. There would be a large 20-person dining area, a DJ booth and an observation area, a pool with whirlpool, a sun deck that doubles as a helipad, and a beach club with a generous swim platform.

The Futura would have a top speed of 16 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots. Range is not mentioned, but that is hardly surprising since it would be able to sail on wind-power across indeterminate distances, depending on conditions.

The target audience for the Futura would be the younger seafarer, the kind that is motivated by an adventurous spirit and the desire to not cause further harm to the environment in giving it free reins. In return, said adventurer / multi-millionaire would get a stunning megayacht with all the luxury amenities and a little something on the side in terms of novel design. Brawn and brains in a single package – because Vripack says you don’t have to choose one or the other.

 
 
 
 
 

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