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February 4, 2010

Why Boat — by Wally Hermès Yachts


Wrote Nick Vinson in a November 13, 2009 Financial Times story, "It is more of a 'floating island' or a 'house on the water' than a mere yacht. Why's extraordinary triangular hull looks like nothing seen before: the 3,400 sq. metres of guest space has the interior and exterior volumes of a villa, is stable even in full swell and has an optimum cruising speed of just 12 knots.


"The most unusual thing about Why is its low-lying, almost triangular structure, 58 metres long with a 38-metre-wide-beam, wider than that of a 300-metre long cruise ship. The accommodation is contained within the hull, with only the cockpit emerging.

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"The bow has a 25-metre U-shaped pool that follows the prow and a helipad. A 130-metre-long jogging track traces bow to stern and a 30-metre long 'beach' flanks its stern, as the boat’s design creates a totally flat sea behind it when anchored. The roof, made of photovoltaic cells, operates like a giant Venetian blind, following the sun or retracting completely to expose the terraces below.


"Unlike conventional yachts, the propulsion system is in the bow, as is the hold for the tender and 'toys' garage (it can take a 14-metre Wally 47 tender).

Screen vghjbkshot 2010-01-18 at 10.16.12 PM

"Accommodation is split over three levels, all primarily facing the stern, with further glazing on both sides. At the top is the owners’ deck, with a 200-sq-metre apartment opening on to a private terrace. Below this is the guest deck, offering five suites – two of 60 sq metres and three of 30 sq metres – plus a lounge/library and its own terrace. A wide, sweeping staircase leads down to the 720-metre main saloon deck, with living, dining, media and music rooms, a spa and gym, all leading to “the beach”. Below this is accommodation for the 20 or so crew (apart from the captain’s and first officer’s cabins, which are up top).


"Interiors, part inspired by prewar Nordic architecture (think Alvar Aalto) and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, are by long-term Hermès collaborators Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure. Materials include paper, wood and leather; textures are matt, colours are kept light and edges are softened for “total comfort, elegance and relaxation for the eyes and the body”, according to Denis Montel of RDAI. He has also attempted to soften the characteristic hard light you normally get afloat: three patios pierce through the boat, the largest housing a tree and possibly a kitchen garden. With their large picture windows, the patios enhance the relationship between the exterior and the interior and, with sliding screens, help break up the vast spaces into a human scale.

"Why’s hull, plus the fact that its ideal cruising speed is just 12 knots, means that it requires less power than a traditional boat of equal size (in volume terms that is a 100-metre conventional yacht). It uses a state-of-the-art diesel-electric propulsion system and the 900 sq metres of photovoltaic cells that cover the roof and sides provide about 20 per cent of the energy required to live on board. There are high-efficiency batteries to store energy, optimised thermal insulation, a system to recover lost energy and a smart consumption management system."

Though only a concept exists as a full-scale maquette in a boatyard in Ancona, Italy, they're ready to build one for you.


€90–€100 million ($130 –$140 million).

February 4, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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TY Flautist! I had forgotten how powerful and beautiful Jussi Björling was!

Also, I've always been mesmerized by "angry sea" paintings, the titanic clash of the sea and sky with mortals caught in the twain.

The painting at 1:05 in the video, bravo! I would love to see the original or a a larger view of it on the net!!!!

Milena, viewing it as a technology (guy thing), your statement brings me to my senses, TY!

Posted by: Joe Peach | Feb 5, 2010 4:49:49 PM

To be frank, its exterior looks heavy and ungraceful. I'm not sold.

Posted by: Milena | Feb 5, 2010 3:28:49 PM

It's gorgeous, a real gem, amazing, and all that, but...I've always enjoyed being on the ocean - I mean it's the OCEAN, for goodness sakes. The heaving snot-green sea! It seems strange to transplant the luxury environment. Why not just stay in a huge swanky hotel or something? Ah well, different strokes.

Me, I'll take this (in my imagination - I wouldn't want to get wet or anything):

Also a good excuse to hear the great Bjoerling sing a thrilling crowd-pleaser.

Posted by: Flautist | Feb 5, 2010 3:08:35 PM

Is it me or do you think there should be a rail on the backside???

"It is stable in a full swell" (the sea was angry that day my friends).... Yea, like me after the Superbowl party.

Where's Fred? I last spoke with him yesterday right before the rough waters on the back deck.

Posted by: Joe Peach | Feb 5, 2010 1:06:46 PM

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