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Concept Yachts Push the Boundaries of Possibilities

Bill Springer | December 30, 2022

I love concept yachts for the same reason I love art, sports cars, hydrofoiling boats of all shapes and power sources, and anything else that dares to be different. 

Sure, some say, all you need to design a concept yacht is a really powerful computer that’s capable of bringing a wild imagination to life with photo-realistic renderings. But, I disagree. A great concept yacht (or car, or work of art, or supercar, or electric-powered hydrofoiling boat) is way, way more than just a high-tech electronic doodle.

Feadship's stunning new concept Superyacht Slice.
Feadship’s stunning new concept Superyacht Slice.

The best concepts capture the essence of what’s possible. And being around that kind of energy is intoxicating, right?

Well, I think so. And after seeing the sexy new 280-foot-long concept yacht aptly named Slice that Feadship recently unveiled, I’m pretty sure the team responsible for creating such a cutting-edge design probably agrees.

Concept yachts are…cool.

The stunning interior of Feadship's new concept superyacht Slice.
The stunning interior of Feadship’s new concept superyacht Slice.

Especially when they are designed to achieve a specific goal (apart from just looking cool). In the case of Slice, Feadship’s design team tackled one of the biggest owner grievances in yacht design—too many long hallways, dark interiors, and stacked living spaces.

So, what did they do? Instead of offering a few new features or a new technology, Feadship set out to completely reimagine a yacht from the inside out. In simplest terms, the designers “sliced” their model right down the centerline and pushed the halves apart to make room for a strip of glass running from bow to stern. It is not glass alone, but glass overlaying a structural framework that lets natural light filter through multiple decks. It is a far more challenging plan than a series of skylights; it totally redefines the relationship between spaces throughout the interior of the yacht.

Slice–slices through the water and allows ample natural light below thanks to the slice down the middle!
Slice–slices through the water and allows ample natural light below thanks to the slice down the middle!

Another striking feature of Slice is the 30-foot-long pool designed using data science to define the pool’s shape and placement of hidden dampers to control such a large amount of water.

Slice’s propulsion system will be powered by four dual-fuel generators which have been modified to run on both methanol and non-fossil diesel (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil – HVO) and the generated power will be delivered to two Azimuth pods.

The pool onboard Slice.
The pool onboard Slice.

Meanwhile, Dutch designer Marco van Ham may have had the most fun conceptualizing Slice’s interior. With a design brief that called for him to avoid teak completely, van Ham and his team brought in a palette of backlit marbles and onyx, surfaces formed of liquid metals, silver leaf, shagreen, straw marquetry, and even pyrite with juxtapositions of shiny and matte surfaces.

Warm, neutral fabrics evoke a spirit of calm relaxation. Undulating lines inform the floors and most of the furniture reflects organic shapes and is kept low to avoid obscuring views. What you won’t find in the concept for Slice’s interior are squared-off doors and box-like rooms.

The owner's stateroom onboard Slice.
The owner’s stateroom onboard Slice.

With Slice, Feadship also wanted a yacht that specifically addressed a recurring owner request: an open and private aft pool and sundecks with sea views and out of sight of passers-by while moored in port. Slice delivers on this with a fully engineered passerelle and watertight forward entrance so it can be moored bow-in. At the touch of a button, a full-height section of the stem at the main deck level hinges open and a passerelle deploys; guests make a short walk from the quay, disappear into the privacy and security of the interior and arrive at a welcome area forward of the yacht’s tender bays.

One of several pools onboard Slice.
One of several pools onboard Slice.

The only question left is: when will Slice evolve from “concept” to “contract.” I bet it’ll be sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned.