Inside the Radical New Hydrogen-Powered Yacht Concept That Could Change the Marine Industry As We Know It

‘Aqua’ pushes the envelope in every possible way.

By Rachel Cormack 25/09/2019

Aqua may not the most inventive name for a boat, but Dutch design studio Sinot’s newest yacht concept more than makes up for its humdrum moniker with a radical dose of innovation and future-forward design.

Developed over the past five months—and unveiled just days before the Monaco Yacht Show—the behemoth 360-foot-plus superyacht prototype marks an exciting step forward in the marine industry: Aqua will be fully powered by liquid hydrogen. The handiwork of Lateral Naval Architects, the hydrogen propulsion system promises smooth and silent sailing at longer range with zero emissions—a major selling point for eco-conscious seafarers.

So, how does it actually work? The liquified hydrogen—which will be stored at -253°C in two 28-ton vacuum isolated tanks—is converted into electrical energy by proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM) and used to provide power for propulsion, as well as the auxiliary system and hotel services. Batteries buffer the generated electricity to ensure power demands are always met. The result is a near noise-free sustainable sailer that boasts a top speed of 17 knots, a cruising speed of 10 to 12 knots and a range of 3750 nautical miles.

“Our challenge was to implement fully operational liquid hydrogen and fuel cells in a true superyacht that is not only groundbreaking in technology, but also in design and aesthetics,” designer Sander Sinot said.

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua

Courtesy of Sinot

 

Indeed, Aqua pushes the envelope when it comes to aesthetics, too. The exterior—inspired by “ocean swell”—sees curved lines flow across a five-deck set-up which has been designed to get guests as close as possible to the water: The aft deck features a water-covered staircase that cascades down the deck towards the ocean, while a generous-sized pool blends into the surrounding sea.

Meanwhile, the expansive interior has ample space for 14 guests and 31 crew, with a luxurious 50-foot VIP suite occupying the front half of the upper deck. Standout features include a unique 360-degree observatory where guests can soak in the seascape, and an indoor health and wellness centre with a hydro-massage room, yoga space and workout floor.

You’ll have to wait for the yachtmaker to build the full-size boat to see it up close, but Sinot will present a 10-foot scale model at the Monaco Yacht Show this week. Otherwise, you can check out more images of Aqua below.

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua

Courtesy of Sinot

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua

Courtesy of Sinot

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua

Courtesy of Sinot

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua

Courtesy of Sinot

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua

Courtesy of Sinot

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua

Courtesy of Sinot

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua

Courtesy of Sinot

Sinot's new superyacht Aqua
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