The Glider, a futuristic twin-hull yacht you can buy now

The 18-metre SS18 Glider yacht skates over big waves instead of through them and travels at speeds of up to 50 knots.

By Michael Verdon 15/06/2017

The beautiful thing about yachting is that dreams often do come true. Seven years ago, Captain Rob McCall had the idea of creating a yacht that nobody had ever seen before. It would ride over the water, perched 1.8 metres above long, narrow wave-piercing hulls that would glide over heavy seas.

It would need much smaller engines because of far less wetted surface. McCall envisioned a fast cruiser with a luxury cockpit, able to run in big seas from Miami to the Bahamas or Saint-Tropez to Monaco, with a silky-smooth ride.

On Thursday, McCall's dream, the 59-foot (18-metre) Glider SS18 from U.K.-based Glider Yachts, was presented to the world at the London On-Water show. With its sci-fi profile, the SS18's 5.2-metre-wide cockpit can carry four passengers and a "pilot," who flies the boat.

McCall, an engineer and former yacht captain, says the company used aerospace technology in the design and build processes. The boat's geometry, specifically how its 18-metre aluminium hulls interact with air and water, is key to its soft ride.

"The hull form, propulsion, and our Stability Control System actually tune to the sea conditions, which allows the boat to glide over the waves," says McCall. Its trim is controlled by moving the fuel fore and aft, or taking on water, which serve as ballast to match sea conditions. That's better than using conventional trim tabs that would add drag to the hull.

The SS18 will have a top end of 50 knots. The cockpit is more race boat than cruiser, with leather Corbeau bucket race seats, a powerful JL Audio sound system, and, yes, a Champagne cooler.

The helm features a drag-racer steering wheel, racing throttles for the four 225kW supercharged Yamaha engines, and high-tech, touchscreen Garmin helm consoles. Its Hyper Sports version will have triple the horsepower and should reach a top end of 96 knots.

McCall says only three Gliders will be built this year. The SS18 will sell for around $US1.3 million (about $A1.7 million). After its London show debut, it will be at the Cannes and Monaco yacht shows in September.

ADVERTISE WITH US

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Robb Report AU - Newsletter Robb Report AU - Motors Newsletter Robb Report AU - Property Newsletter Robb Report AU - Lifestyle Newsletter Robb Report AU - Style Newsletter Robb Report AU - Business Newsletter Robb Report AU - Travel Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

This Catamaran Crossed the Atlantic Ocean Using Only Renewable Power

The “Energy Observer” showed how hybrid systems could keep it operating at peak performance, when stopping in port was not an option.

By Michael Verdon

12/05/2020

Hybrid Water Taxi’s Are Being Designed To Preserve Venice’s Canals

During Covid-19 the whole city got a breather and went back to its former pristine glory. One local design studio is hellbent on keeping it that way.

By Rachel Cormack

06/05/2020

This 95-Metre Expedition Yacht Has An Underwater Viewing Lounge

The Rimor X is designed as a rugged explorer, but the interior is more like a luxurious, high-tech palace.

By Jemima Simmons

05/05/2020

Custom Line Yachts Unveil The Navetta 30

The exemplary Italian shipyard sets sail for a bold new future.

By Terry Christodoulou

29/04/2020

Australian Designer Pens New ‘Frontier’ For Superyachts

With its Australian design influences, the superyacht can move seamlessly between civilization and the polar regions.

By Michael Verdon

29/04/2020

Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected