Sailing Yacht A

THE SAILING SHIP THAT HAS THE COSTA SMERALDA SPELLBOUND

BY EMILIA FUGASSA

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Sailing Yacht A measures 142 metres by 24 metres and breaks all ties with the past. Its silhouette, now familiar on the Costa Smeralda, disorients those who try to form an opinion on it, because no adjective seems to fit, and not even “minimalist” works to describe a yacht with a gross tonnage of 12,600 tonnes.

When he entrusted the construction to German shipyard Nobiskrug and the interior design to Philippe Starck, the owner of A had in mind a real home, capable of moving around the world providing pleasure, safety and comfort in any situation, in any climate, at any latitude, in any weather.

 

It is one of the largest and most technologically advanced superyachts in the world. When under engine it uses a diesel-electric hybrid propulsion system, probably one of ABB’s new direct current systems, and state-of-the-art navigation systems. “Probably”, because four years after its launch, most of the equipment and technological innovations implemented on board have still not been revealed.

But the fact that ABB’s Azipod system is installed on board is a pretty safe bet. Imagine something completely different from the norm: a diesel engine that acts as a generator and sends the current to four electric motors housed in as many external and rotating feet attached under the hull. Each one can orient itself independently, allowing A to move in any direction, rotate on itself or ask the system to stand still in the same spot.

 

For the shipowner, having direct current on board means up to 20% better fuel efficiency, great dynamic response and manoeuvrability, freedom to position the engine where you want on board, and finally having an “open” system that can be powered by any renewable energy source in the future.

The three masts of Sailing Yacht A are the tallest self-supporting composite structures capable of bearing the highest load in the world: the main mast stands 100 metres above the waterline. Sleek, shiny, silver surfaces and almost invisible windows on the hull give A its futuristic look. The design is necessarily accompanied by high-tech construction technology: the hull is made of steel with the superstructure in steel and plates of high-tech composite material, a shimmering mantle that is now part of the summer panorama on the Costa Smeralda.