American designer Luiz De Basto has long nurtured the idea of a futuristic yacht where the superstructure would be completely made of glass. De Basto first presented his all-glass concept more than eight years ago, and its implementation seemed impossible; the technology and production capabilities simply did not exist back then.
An ardent opponent of restrictions and standard frameworks, De Basto wanted to create a superstructure like no other and initially, he named the project ‘Shark’, as the wing stations when viewed from above resembled that of a hammerhead shark, while the mast, in profile, is shaped like the fin the that gave everyone nightmares in Jaws.
The colourway also resembles a reef shark, with a dark grey hull contrasting with the white superstructure and of course, the dark gloss glass. “The profile at the same time gives a unique sense of contrast and wholeness through black glazing and white balconies, creating an invisible relationship between the two elements,” comments De Basto. “My initial blueprints may have looked like a bold futuristic concept, but now you have a really embodied yacht design thanks to new technologies and Oceanco’s engineers.”
Although DAR is the Great White of superyachts, stretching 90-metres into the ocean, De Basto made sure that her profile remained long, sporty and smooth, without the super-heavy superstructure that is characteristic of a larger yachts. “Although you can already appreciate the greatness of DAR from afar, the scale of this yacht will not be truly understood until you get closer,” continues De Basto.
Without a doubt, it’s DAR’s glazing that proved to be the biggest challenge. Designed as one continuous surface, stretching from the main deck to the sun deck, the glass is glued to the structure, which requires a high level of precision. Almost 400 m2 of glass was used on DAR’s superstructure. “The strength of the glass has been calculated taking into account the motions in a seaway,” says Oceanco Project Manager Erwin de Looff. “The movement of the panels relative to the adjoining panels has been calculated for every single panel. The glue process has been developed by the supplier and approved by Lloyd’s to ensure the mounting of the glass was to the highest standards. Indeed, the whole superstructure has been approved by Lloyd’s, including the glass.”
The strength of the glass has been calculated taking into account the motions in a seaway, says Oceanco Project Manager Erwin de Looff.
Oceanco worked again with German company TILSE on the glazing, (large-scale glazing was used initially on Barbara)’, but on DAR they improved Formglas Spezial frameless glazing technology. Each block on DAR consists of two glass panels that are fastened together by a layer of a special 1.5mm resin, that is resistant to ultraviolet radiation and sea water.
Unlike standard triplex, these panels retain their “shape” even when destroyed. For example, if one layer of glass breaks, then the second, together with the resin, keeps the glass intact, which means there is no entry for water.
Most of the interior of remains a secret, but with the pictures released, you can get a general impression of the work of the Nuvolari Lenard studio. Boarding at the beach club you notice a small cosy bar, as well as a spa with a gym, a sauna, a hammam and a massage room.
Heading up to the main salon and where you would expect to see a chilled, gentleman’s club style interior with dim lights, chrome and black leather, there is in fact a wealth of warm, delicate materials. Turns out that the Owner initially stipulated the absence of dark wood. “The main theme is nature, from floral motifs to marine life and waves,” says Valentina Zannier, designer at Nuvolari Lenard. “All this is perfectly integrated into the space, which will enable each guest to feel very comfortable in any part of the yacht, both in the daytime and in the evening. There is no flashy luxury here, and a rich finish is expressed in the quality of details and an elegant combination of all materials and decor elements. ”
The interior uses a variety of wood including Brazilian Carballo oak and bleached maple as well as more than five types of natural stone, fabric unique engravings. Even drops of resin on the windowsill imitate randomly sprinkled sea water, creating a feeling of elegance.
Outdoor living is also a big part of DAR’s DNA. Freestanding furniture allows the Owner to create and adapt the deck for any situation. For example, the deck can be used as a helipad, so that the Owner can immediately access his apartment through a separate staircase. There are no external side passages on the sundeck, so complete privacy is assured.
One of the most social areas on board the DAR is the aft bridge deck lounge. Here we find a large oval pool, 1.6 metres deep, with a unique waterfall – the flow of which does not deviate from the superyacht’s course. This constant stream of water also has a hidden benefit: it can hide lounge guests from prying eyes and camera lenses. Therefore, the dining area, located deep in the deck behind the waterfall, can be actively used in superyacht-friendly marinas.
The entire upper deck is reserved for DAR’s Owners. Up here, courtesy of De Basto’s glazing design, balconies substitute for walkways, utilising these end-of beam spaces as entertainment/ relaxation areas.
Privacy is essential on board DAR, with the Owner’s deck in particular, keeping its guests far from prying eyes. At the bow, there is a very private terrace, featuring a Jacuzzi flanked by two sunbeds and sheltered by the superstructure, making it the ideal place to sunbath without the fear of being interrupted.
From the private terrace, the Owner’s apartments are just a step through the sliding terrace door. Here, specially processed glass hides the Owner from prying eyes (even in open areas) and at the same time, allows guests to enjoy incredible views.
|Oceanco DAR Specifications|
|Type:||Steel Hull and Aluminium Superstructure|
|Engines:||2 x MTU 4,828hp / 3,600kW MTU 20V 4000 M73L|
|Exterior Design:||DeBasto Designs|
|Interior Design:||Nuvolari Lenard|
|Naval Architecture:||Oceanco / Azure|
Interestingly, the word DAR is found in many languages, but it is Arabic where it has most relevance, as it translates as home. It’s easy to see how this groundbreaking superyacht can be seen as a second home, as it features every luxury you could ever wish for, with the ability to cruise at 20 knots courtesy of its MTU engines. DAR is without doubt a superstar upon the water and she will make the perfect floating residence for her Owner.