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Khalilah, the Golden Superyacht at the Crossroads Between Opulence and Innovation
Generally speaking, it’s in very bad taste to go for too much gold. Whether we’re talking fashion, art, jewelry, interior design, or superyachts, it just doesn’t do to opt for too much gold.

Khalilah, the Golden Superyacht at the Crossroads Between Opulence and Innovation

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The only exception seems to be that of Russian oligarchs, for whom gold is a way of life when it comes to expressing themselves through their possessions. While Khalilah has been linked to one or two oligarchs (depending on which source you believe) and it is definitely gold, neither of these things is what sets it apart as a piece of outstanding naval design.

Khalilah is not among the world’s biggest or largest superyachts, and it is not among the most expensive either. At 49 meters (160 feet) in total length, it’s certainly dwarfed by the kind of superyachts Russian oligarchs seem to prefer: vessels the size of football fields, with more amenities onboard than a 5-star resort, and an entire army of crewmembers to tend to every whim.

What Khalilah lacks in size, it makes up with a very unusual blend of opulence and, to a certain extent, shamelessness, and naval innovation, with more than just a hefty dose of personality and fierceness. Delivered in 2014, Khalilah is the most daring project to come out of U.S.-based Palmer Johnson, after spending more than four years in development.

PJ founder and owner Timur Mohamed set out to create something that would break the mold in the “boring” landscape of superyacht design: something that would defy expectations by meeting all of them, something that would look good and perform even better, something that the world would talk about for years to come. Eight years later, here we are.

Khalilah stands out from afar: with a golden pearlescent finish in a special type of paint called Cordova Gold, and a certain abstract structural quality to its silhouette, it’s the kind of superyacht you get when you want people to look at you. Better said, it’s the kind of yacht you get when you want people to not be able to take their eyes away from it.

As strange as it might sound when talking about a gleaming, golden superyacht that would make even an ostentatious James Bond villain think “eh, maybe this is a bit of overkill,” it’s what inside that matters. Despite its size, Khalilah has a beam of 36 feet (11 meters), which gives it an interior volume comparable to that on a twice-as-large superyacht.

The second in the Supersport series from the shipyard, Khalilah is unique from all the other builds in that same series, in that it comes with a carbon composite hull and superstructure. At the time of its launch, it was the first privately-owned superyacht to be built from the material, which makes it very lightweight and more durable than aluminum hulls.

The choice of material was a necessity: in his quest to deliver something new, Mohamed had set his sight on delivering a racer in the body of a displacement yacht. He called it a new breed of a superyacht, one that would be able to easily top 30 knots (34.5 mph / 55.5 kph) with zero compromise on stability, comfort, fuel efficiency and, perhaps even more importantly to the owner, luxury features.

Power comes from twin 16V MTU diesel M94 engines that deliver a maximum output of 5,200 hp and a top speed of 32 knots (36.8 mph / 59.2 kph). At a cruising speed of 15 knots (17.2 mph / 27.8 kph), Khalilah is twice more fuel efficient than other vessels of its size and, with the addition of an extra tank, it offers transatlantic range. Regardless of speed or whether it’s an anchor, stability and comfort are a guarantee: the sharp, slender hull with the inverted bow (and the wave piercer) comes with one sponson on each side for enhanced stability, roll dampening, and more space onboard.

Performance aside, Khalilah is a luxury yacht. The interior design by Luxury Projects is described as playful and modern, a sort of contemporary spin on Art Deco, with surprising splashes of color and patterns, unexpected combinations of materials, and lavish elements. Gold, of course, is a prevailing theme, down to the custom finishes on the engine blocks in the engine room.

Accommodation onboard is for 11 guests in five staterooms, each finished in a different theme but sharing in common floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the spectacular views. Khalilah uses Glasshape’s DuraShield Marine Glass, and the panels needed to create the kind of glazing the owner had in mind were, at the time, second-largest only to those that were used on Venus, the superyacht that Steve Jobs commissioned.

Like most superyachts, Khalilah comes with the laundry list of superyacht features: a spa pool, two salons, entertaining room, the generous beach club, a sundeck, a bar, fancy artworks, and a tender that matches the mothership in both silhouette and golden paintjob. Unlike the other superyachts, Khalilah offers the chance of owning one of the most visually striking builds of modern times, paired with impressive performance and a gorgeous interior. James Bond villains may scoff at how shiny it is, but you’ll be laughing the last laugh in your $31 million superyacht.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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