Over the summer, Vripack announced it was designing what it considered “the most innovative and original yacht of 2009,” code-named Penumbra. No specifics were released, except for the fact that she was being developed with Nakhimov Yachts, a Russia-based brokerage, charter, and project-management firm.
Well, the Vripack team unveiled details and the design late last month: She’s a shadow boat. Judging from the image here, Penumbra should make more than a few people look twice. Her wavepiercer form, in a 48-meter (158-foot) length, is certainly unlike anything currently on the water.
Why a wavepiercer? The long, narrow outboard hulls typically cut through rougher waves easily, much like those of traditional catamarans. The design has, as a result, been touted for long-range cruising. It’s also touted for allowing the accommodations and exterior deck space to be beamer.
Space was a priority for Vripack in conceiving Penumbra, which will be built at an undisclosed shipyard. The designers explain that owners tend to want to go everywhere with everything – meaning as many toys as possible. The problem is, they need something akin to an aircraft carrier to tote all those toys – not exactly a luxurious look. So, Penumbra strikes a balance between the two, filling what Vripack and Nakhimov believe is a gap in the marketplace.
The steel-hulled design encompasses 240 square meters (more than 2,580 square feet) of toy storage, not including the helipad. The 14-meter (46-foot) beam allows for 248 square meters (about 2,670 square feet) of interior accommodations as well. Those consist of two guest cabins between the wheelhouse and saloon and the owner’s suite spanning the middle hull. Crewmembers are housed in each of the outboard hulls. There’s also a “sky deck” observation area fully forward on the uppermost deck. As for cruising ability, the yacht should see a 6,000-mile range at cruise speed, slightly less than the anticipated 16-knot top speed.
The Nakhimov team believes “this concept carries an extremely high potential,” according to Sergei Dobroserdov, the company’s director. This will be the most unusual yacht the firm has been involved in since being established in 2001. Past projects include overseeing Celestial Hope at Heesen Yachts and representing yards such as Royal Huisman in Russia.