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The world's quietest superyacht

Genesi , the first Wider 150, is rated the quietest yacht in its class.

You know that a superyacht runs quietly—almost silently—when you look out a window and are surprised to see that the boat is under way. Such was the case during a recent day cruise in the Mediterranean aboard Genesi, the appropriately named first example of the Wider 150, a 45.7-metre semicustom design from Italy's Wider Yachts. A group of passengers were chatting in the sky-deck lounge when one mentioned that Genesi had left the dock. None of us had heard any accelerating engines or felt any hull vibrations.

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As it continued to operate in zero-emissions mode, the 355-tonne yacht smoothly cut through the waves while its propulsion system registered only 37 decibels, which is three decibels quieter than a refrigerator hum. The wine in the glasses sitting on the sky deck's bar passed the yachter's vibration test: no ripples on the surface. The Registro Italiano Navale, the Italian organisation that classifies and certifies ships and yachts, measured the sound and vibration levels aboard Genesi during sea trials and was so impressed that it gave the vessel a rating of 100—the first time the organisation has awarded a perfect score to a superyacht.

The whisper-quiet ride is merely one of the alluring features of the Wider 150, which is priced at about $29 million ($38.5 million). Genesi woos guests with 344 square metre of exterior space spread across four decks, as well as an 88-square-metre beach club, a tender garage that converts into a 7-metre-long swimming pool filled with seawater, and a spacious master suite with a 5.6-square-metre fold-down balcony.

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The sophisticated diesel-electric propulsion system that can operate in near-silent zero-emissions mode is a first for a vessel this size and has established new fuel-burn and emissions standards for superyachts.

"I wanted to design a boat around a new type of propulsion system," says Wider CEO Tilli Antonelli, who conceived the 150 about five years ago. "I wanted to build something that had never been done in yachting."

Antonelli saw diesel-electric propulsion as the solution to multiple issues dogging superyachts, including space constraints, vibrations, noise, and emissions. Instead of having two monster diesel engines and large generators taking up room at the rear, Genesi has banks of batteries just forward of the tender garage and four generators near the front of the boat. "That gave us 28 per cent more interior volume," says Antonelli. The configuration created space for the swimming pool/tender garage and allowed for two supersized VIP staterooms below deck.

While running in zero-emissions mode, on battery power, Genesi can travel as fast as five knots for eight hours. At 10 knots, it consumes only 64 litres of diesel fuel per hour, giving it a range of 8700 kilometres. Our trip was much shorter: We departed from Cannes, cruised around the nearby Iles de Lérins, anchored for lunch, and then returned to Cannes. Guests enjoyed time on the open sky deck, which includes a spa and reclining lounges, and at the foredeck seating area. It's covered with a hard top on pillars that folds down when the space is not in use, maintaining the yacht's streamlined look. At the stern, the transom door lifts up and platforms fold down from the sides of the hull to create the beach club, a wide deck between the pool and the ocean. When the yacht is under way, the pool becomes a garage for the Wider 32 that serves as Genesi's tender.

The owner's suite encompasses 79 square metres, has a ceiling that is 2.2 metres high, and is divided into a bedroom, an office, and a bathroom with marble walls and an oak bath tub. The suite's terrace features a teak deck that slides out from the hull when the balcony folds down. "We could have built it the standard way, but that would've meant having a teak wall on the interior," says Antonelli. "Instead, we built a special sliding mechanism so that the space remains consistent with the rest of the wall."

The slide-out deck, the beach-club design, and the quiet and efficient propulsion system are all consistent with Antonelli's reason for establishing Wider, which he did in 2010 after running the Pershing yacht brand for 25 years: He wanted to create an entirely new type of yacht. "It was exciting to think about something that didn't exist in yachting," he says. "This was a new frontier."

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Love You, Tender

The Wider 32 can ferry or enthral passengers.

The Wider 32 was conceived as the tender for the Wider 150 Genesi, but company CEO Tilli Antonelli also envisioned it as a stand-alone day boat. He wasn't alone: Wider has sold a dozen examples of the vessel since launching it two years ago.

Skipping across half-a-metre waves in the Mediterranean, Genesi's Wider 32 was fast, nimble, and a lot of fun. It's powered by twin 193kW MerCruisers with Bravo 1 drives. They enable a top speed of 37 knots, and with power steering, trim tabs, and trim and tilt on the drives, the boat is easy to handle.

It's also easy on the eyes. The curved bow flows backward into a wide-open cockpit that drops into a tumblehome at the stern. The cockpit is furnished with a U-shaped lounge that converts to a sun pad. The decks—including the foredeck and swim platform—are covered with teak.

The 32 can accommodate 12 passengers, which is ideal for a tender that ferries guests to and from port, but it also has deep storage lockers for wakeboards and other water toys that you could use with a speedboat.

The cabin appears spartan, but the cabinets contain a microwave, a fridge, and a stove. The head in the bow is large enough for a shower, and the lounges along the sides of the cabin can serve as beds.

The 32's exterior can match the mothership's, as that of Genesi's tender does, or it can be ordered in a range of colours including white, blue, and orange.

Wider Yachts, wider-yachts.com

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