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Design and Technology

Applied Art: Bespoke Design Behind the 43m Sunreef Eco Yacht

Exclusively for Ocean Independence, expert yacht designer Michael Leach and Sunreef Yachts have opened their notebooks charting the evolution of the ground-breaking Sunreef 43-metre Eco catamaran.

Currently in build at Sunreef Yacht’s shipyard in Gdansk, Poland under the supervision of the Ocean Independence Management Team, and Sales Consultant Tim Quinlan, the 43m Eco—maybe the ultimate contemporary superyacht and certainly the apogee of green yachts—marks the beginning of a new chapter in luxury yachting.

 

We are perfectly positioned to improve yachting's place in the climate debate. With the 43m Eco we aim to show the cutting-edge of what is possible and set a new trajectory for the entire yachting community.

 - Tim Quinlan

"Sunreef 43m Eco Catamaran Aft Deck"

Capitalising on the advantages of a multihull design, a vast 75 square metre lounge and 150 square metre bridge deck offer class-leading living space amid a carbon and aluminium superstructure with integrated solar cells.

A yacht pitched unashamedly as the forefront of sustainable luxury yachting, this bespoke Sunreef design will deliver impressive sailing performance and true blue-water cruising capabilities.

Pairing a stable platform with immense interior volume, a regenerative hybrid propulsion system utilising the sailing rig, and a photovoltaic system generating enough energy to run the yachts energy requirements, the 43m Eco will boast a transatlantic range using little-to-no fuel, comfortably standing as the most luxurious and capable sustainability-focused superyacht ever built.

Featuring a set of solar panels with a total peak power of around 52 kWp, it is clear green yachting is the central tenet of the 43m Eco. However, disregarding the trend for eco yachts to compromise on comfort, range, and overall level of luxury, the 43m Eco’s interior and exterior spaces stand peerless in its category.

Presenting those on board with a wealth of transformative spaces, (namely the fold out transom) this masterpiece of nautical design champions the very spirit of sustainable luxury and strikes the perfect balance for an Owner with a keen eye for design, and a heart for the planet.

"Sunreef 43m Eco"

ON THE DRAWING BOARD

Working in close collaboration with Ocean Independence, Sunreef, and the Owner’s team, award-winning yacht designer Michael Leach drew these five sketches, in an effort to perfect the Owner's vision for the 43m Eco’s living spaces.

Intricate, beautiful, and instructive, they consider every aspect of the yacht. Whether it's the interior layout, the positioning of a Jacuzzi, wet bar, cockpit, and even crew mess, Tim offers his personal take on each individual sketch and its part in the yacht’s development.

Bridge Deck Helm Position

The bridge deck helm positions were initially represented on the General Arrangement (GA) in a flexible manner, leaving room for customisation. The shipyard asked the Owner to specify any individual requirements that were needed. Apart from them being able to sit two people, the controls needed to be easily reached even when the wheel is being moved under sail. We also need all the instruments to be visible at every angle as well as having uninterrupted views forward and to the side. Stern-to berthing is also a big consideration, so whether we opt for additional wing stations or a helm position in the cockpit is yet to be decided.

Bridge Deck Design

saloon layout

As is common with most catamaran layouts, the saloon is a vast, open plan space. The original GA had a fairly linear saloon arrangement. But the Owner was very keen to make sure the huge space provided enough seating for all guests, while avoiding the feeling of emptiness.

Leach designs were brought in at the suggestion of Ocean Independence (OI) to look at the GA in minute detail. Over some seven weeks of intensive discussions lots of modest changes have been made together with the shipyard. Among the changes, we reconfigured the centre of the saloon to provide an additional cosy bar space and additional day head which wasn’t on the original plan but gives the space far more purpose and style.

Saloon Layout

bridge deck layout

From the original plans, the bridge deck was an open area with much customisation potential. Leach design with assistance from OI were tasked with looking at the seating layout and considered a banquette as opposed to separate tables and seats. A very important area for the Owner was the Jacuzzi. Originally rectangular, we now have an integrated circular pool with sunbathing and seating areas with specific details taken from our experience with larger sailing and motor yachts.

Bridge Deck Layout

Jacuzzi Concept

The Jacuzzi is still in development. A stylistic cue that can make or break the aesthetics of a yacht’s deck space, a Jacuzzi must look as though it belongs and is not simply an afterthought. The Owner has recently chartered with us on a 60-metre motor yacht, so we are looking to incorporate some of the features he liked from that yacht to make improvements to the Jacuzzi on board the Sunreef.

A further consideration is water usage. At a premium on a sailing yacht, to reduce water consumption we are considering a centrifugal Jacuzzi which would allow us to keep water in the pool while at sea, depending on weather conditions of course.

Jacuzzi Concept

Jacuzzi integration

We have seen many iterations of the bridge deck and forward Jacuzzi. There are two on board the 43 metre Eco and we have looked at the best ways of integrating the pools within the spaces available. We have also looked at interior windows to make sure the pools don’t obscure views from the interior spaces. Benefitting from a composite construction, the shipyard is able to offer a much more integrated approach to this area of the yacht, allowing seamless transition from pool to sunbathing to deck, and bar areas.

Jacuzzi Integration

Anyone who has ever been involved in a new build project will appreciate how crucial it is to get these details perfect before the yacht enters the construction phase. Not only does it improve efficiency through the build, but ensures no compromises are made and each space available is used most effectively.

With charter and Owner use to consider, many challenges have been presented. We have successfully worked them all to the best advantage, providing a beautiful interior layout which works for both the Owner, his guests, and the crew.

As we eagerly await the 2025 launch of the 43m Eco we are filled with immense anticipation. Unique in so many ways, until she hits the water, it is hard to imagine the sheer scale, and level of innovation packed into this yacht.

It takes all kinds of masterful craftsmanship when building a vessel like this—some are crucial for performance, some for utility. But, for beauty and functionality, the design process is the most critical.

 

This project has been a monumental undertaking, and the remarkable progress is truly a testament to the skill and work ethic of everyone involved. From my own team's dedication to Sunreef's expertise, Tim's insights, and Michael’s visionary design, this collaboration has been pivotal in realising the 43m Eco's potential.

- Owner

 

To read more about how this project first came to life click here.

This behind-the-scenes look at this Sunreef project underscores the significance of our industry. It illuminates the meticulous skill, creativity, and passion invested into every project. As we witness the 43m Eco setting a new bar for green yachting, we are reassured of the resilient and progressive nature of the yachting industry.

Ocean Independence, having played a key role in bringing this project to fruition, is primed to take on more such revolutionary ventures.

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