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The Seataci Luxury Yacht Swims Like a Whale, Even in Shallow Water
No one said thinking outside the box means having to come up with something new. In order to create a revolutionary piece of marine architecture, one engineer is looking at something that’s been around for thousands of years and it’s a good exercise of the imagination.

The Seataci Luxury Yacht Swims Like a Whale, Even in Shallow Water

The Seataci concept megayacht can swim like a whale, at least in theoryThe Seataci concept megayacht can swim like a whale, at least in theoryThe Seataci concept megayacht can swim like a whale, at least in theoryThe Seataci concept megayacht can swim like a whale, at least in theory
Meet Seataci, the concept yacht that aims to replicate the movement of whales and incorporate it into a naval design for minimal intrusion, less noise and the ability to sail even in shallow water.

Seataci was officially unveiled in 2016 but, to this day, it is still considered a ground-breaking design with excellent potential. Created by Montreal-based engineer Charles Bombardier, it proposes a minimally-intrusive propulsion system with satellite engine pods and a submerged hull, and a structure that could be customized either for a luxury or an exploration vessel.

Bombardier got the idea for Seataci when scuba-diving in Bora Bora: if only there was a yacht that could sail in shallow waters without a negative impact on the environment. The first iteration of the concept looked at the way whales swim to find balance between a clean, non-intrusive movement, stability and the ability to offer luxury amenities.

In theory, the Seataci would come with a hull submerged in water by at least 10 feet (3 meters) and two side pods. The pods would stabilize the hull and would link to a hydraulic system acting as dynamic suspension. More importantly, the pods would house the ship’s engines. The ship would have biomimetic propulsion system: an oscillating foil that would push water much like a whale’s tail, generating movement.

“It might prove more efficient than propellers, would probably generate less noise under water, and it would allow the ship to sail in shallower waters without breaking its propellers or rudders,” Bombardier explains on the official page of the concept.

In addition, it would make the ship look unbelievably cool.

“Each pod would feature enclosed water propeller that would siphon water from side intake grills and push it forward when the vehicle needs to back up, like reverse bow thrusters. Another option would be to integrate a pivot around the pods vertical axis to reverse the ship’s course,” the engineer adds.

Because the volume of the hull would be massive, it would be hard to sink. So, the Seataci would come with a ballast system that would sink the hull at the push of a button. In addition to offering a more environmentally-friendly means of propulsion, the submerged hull would also offer the unique chance for guests to have unparalleled underwater experiences: Bombardier imagines guests and crew would have permanent access both throughout the hull and to the two pods.

Guests’ suites could also be situated on the lower deck, for minimal roll and the best views in the house. On top of that would be plenty of space to create the layout for a luxury megayacht or an explorer. There would be “two dozen villas,” an observatory and a dining hall, two landing pads, and two pools surrounded by actual vegetation, a tropical garden to go.

Because the Seataci is built for the future, Bombardier believes the landing pads could be used for flying drones in and out, carrying guests to “small motu or atolls nearby,” without having to resort to powerboats that would destroy those unique habitats.

“It would be interesting to use it to explore channels or islands located in shallow waters and witness the fascinating underwater life during each cruise. When personal drones become widely available and safe, the Seataci could serve as a landing platform to explore inhabited islands without using boats,” the engineer says. He adds that the technology for the oscillating foil would have to evolve to be suitable for this particular context.

The Seataci could be made to accommodate up to 50 passengers in total, but then again, since it’s only a concept, it could also be customized to a hypothetical owner’s liking and be made larger or smaller, depending on functionality and budget. Speaking of, Bombardier says the vessel would be in the $100-million budget region, but that too is dependent on the owner’s preferences.

While the Seataci never went past the concept stage, it is a beautiful theoretical study in environmentally-friendly propulsion.


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