When the designers at Redman Whiteley Dixon were approached to draw up plans for the new ICON 95, the request came with an unusual twist: Plan specifically to attract buyers from the Middle Eastern market.
Thus, when the conceptual drawings for the new 80-meter (that's 262 feet) motoryacht were unveiled at the recent yacht show in Abu Dhabi-the second most-populous United Arab Emirates city, after Dubai-they included structural fabrics and tensile surfaces that Justin Redman himself described as "a modern interpretation of traditional Arabic shipbuilding and architecture."
One look at the exterior rendering, and you know something unusual is happening. Whereas most yachts this size from long-established European builders such as Feadship, Amels, and Lurssen can be shockingly tall with at least four or five decks, the Netherlands-based ICON team has produced a far sleeker-looking model with a low silhouette and assertive profile. One might argue that the lean look is younger and fresher in terms of exterior styling, perhaps a reflection of the fact that ICON itself has existed only since 2005.
The ICON 95 design is meant to serve as the basis for custom-built motoryachts up to 100 meters (328) feet long. Initial plans call for an MCA LY2-compliant helipad that lands just steps from a private arrival saloon on the owner's aft deck. That detail, along with the yacht's profile, can be adapted to suit whatever general arrangements owners require inside the boat, Redman says.
ICON Yachts CEO Wim Koersvelt promises owners "complete freedom to customize," which is a pretty big claim given that many Middle Eastern yacht owners typically travel with large groups that require more guest cabins than typical yacht designs allow. We'll have to wait and see, after Hull No. 1 gets sold and begins construction, whether the new ICON 95 actually lives up to the newly announced concept.