on 12 Apr 2022
Leading boat design expert Luca Santella reflects on innovations in recent hulls and speculates on where the field is headed
Having worked with naval architects for over two decades, it must be said that the sheer scale of innovation and technological advancement that has taken place in the field is hard to fully describe.
My time with Sanlorenzo and Bluegame has given me a front-row seat to the tidal wave of creative developments in naval architecture, which have truly set new standards in the pleasure yachting business. Sanlorenzo and Bluegame have recently focused a lot on the internal spaces above the hull and have reached new heights in this regard.
Sanlorenzo’s SX line introduced a new way of living on board a yacht, with the introduction of a particularly large aft platform, a free-flowing main deck interior, and an enclosed flybridge hosting a helm station and living area. Moreover, each and every yacht in the series has been designed and tank-tested to bolster the displacement speed of the hull, to engineer a maximum speed that is as fast as possible and to achieve a low-consumption cruising speed. These are all part of real design revolutions in the yachting market.
Cutting-edge innovations are part and parcel of the green technological revolution that awaits us naval architects across the world
Bluegame’s BGX series took these concepts even further, merging the external aft salon and the internal salon to create a joint living space. Also, we have devoted immense amounts of energy to a new multihull project, which will be launched later this summer. It is truly an extraordinary project that will allow Bluegame to flourish going forward, and continue to be, what we call “the unexpected at sea”.
For naval architects generally, an emphasis on sustainability will be key in the years ahead. Making yachting more environmentally friendly will be a major area of development in the coming years. Consequently, any new technology that arises from this sphere must be tested and implemented in a design and engineering capacity.
In particular, there will be a lot of energy spent on researching more sustainable propulsion systems, together with the study of more efficient hulls. Reductions in weight, hull resistance, and emissions, alongside the use of alternative energy sources and recyclable materials, are also pressing priorities going forward.
We are setting the pace in decarbonisation at Sanlorenzo, where we are building the world’s first 50-metre superyacht with a hybrid hydrogen propulsion system. This will be a milestone, not only for us, but for the entire superyacht market. On the Bluegame side, we are currently developing hybrid propulsion systems for our multihull range.
These cutting-edge innovations are part and parcel of the green technological revolution that awaits us naval architects across the world. I must say, personally, that it is a revolution that I can’t wait to witness.
About the author
Luca Santella is an architect and former Olympic sailing champion. He founded Bluegame in 2004 and has been the vice president of Sanlorenzo and Bluegame’s style department since the beginning of this year.