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Stunning Belafonte Superyacht Concept Proves Some Things Never Go Out of Style
Not everything has to be outright “revolutionary” in order to stand out or to stand the test of time. There’s a reason why we always go back to the classics, and this also applies to naval design. You can never go wrong – or out of style – with a classic.

Stunning Belafonte Superyacht Concept Proves Some Things Never Go Out of Style

The Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of timeThe Belafonte superyacht concept is proof that yacht design doesn't have to be revolutionary to stand the test of time
July was autoevolution’s Italian Month, a month-long virtual celebration of Italian style, and excellence in design and performance in the automotive, two-wheel and naval industries. Let’s wrap this party with a final bow to a design that has stood the test of time, proving that, when it comes to classics, few do it better than the Italians: The Belafonte superyacht concept by Federico Fiorentino.

Introduced in late 2014, The Belafonte eschewed the superyacht concept slippery slope of “thinking outside the box.” Ironically, in doing so, Fiorentino did think outside the box, delivering a project that, to this day, is still seen as modern, futuristic, yet elegantly timeless. A classic, in other words.

As Fiorentino explained to Forbes that same year, “A yacht doesn’t have to be revolutionary.” That’s not to say that you have to blend in or put a damper on originality, but rather that disruption for disruption’s sake should not be a goal in and of itself. “There are a few designers who have strong personalities; they do not necessarily make revolutions, but their styles are very distinctive. I think The Belafonte (and all of our other designs) has this fundamental characteristic. It is not necessarily a revolutionary yacht but it has a strong personality and it is not possible to confuse it with another yacht.”

Indeed, The Belafonte is unmistakable. It is both modern and classic at the same time, with a striking bronze hull with automotive design elements that makes it instantly noticeable – and memorable. The design is inspired by small Dutch day boats, with the stainless steel detail on the bow paying homage to the Alfa Romeo radiator grill and, this way, anchoring this futuristic vessel into the ‘60s and ‘70s. The overall design is clean and simple, with strong contrasts and unexpected combinations like mahogany cap rails and polished steel for contrast.

At 164 feet (50 meters) long, it has three decks and an open back structure that recalls powerboats. Performance would be on par with powerboats as well, though the degree of comfort and luxury is, without a doubt, superyacht-worthy.

Fiorentino initially imagined The Belafonte with a top speed of 24 knots. One year after the project was unveiled, the designer conducted a study with Van Oossanen Naval Architects to further develop it. As such, it was established that The Belafonte could actually go up to 30 knots thanks to the fast displacement hull, which would also allow for significant fuel savings. At a cruising speed of 13 knots, the superyacht could have transatlantic range, and could even go for transpacific range when sailing at an even more leisurely speed of 9 knots.

Accommodation on board would be for 10 guests in five cabins: a VIP suite, two twin cabins, and a double cabin. The master suite would be huge, at 84 square meters (904 square feet) of living space, with its own private office, a folding balcony, two bathrooms and two walk-in closets, and access to the private sun deck and lounge situated forward on the main deck.

Amenities would include a formal saloon, a dining space, two pools, a sky lounge with its own bar and al fresco dining area, and a gorgeous but minimal beach club. For the project, Fiorentino focused mostly on the exterior, mentioning that interior layout would only be designed once a potential customer came along. This also allowed for customization of certain elements; after all, if you’re going to pay $26.4 million (Fiorentino’s estimate back in 2014) for a superyacht, you will want to have a final say in what goes where in terms of rooms and the stuff you put in them.

An owner for The Belafonte hasn’t shown up after all these years, but when one does, one can expect completion in 2.5 years. Fiorentino knows just the right kind of man or woman who would commission such a superyacht, which he compares to a Porsche or an Aston Martin. “Sports cars with an elegant touch, [and] modern lines mixed with classic elements. This yacht calls for the same type of person who would buy those cars.”

 
 
 
 
 

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