on 7 Jul 2022
After producing some of the most talked-about – and awarded superyachts – in the industry, Hong Kong-based Central Yacht presents a new proposition: the Orchid 100
An elevator and spiral staircase from guest cabins to the sun deck, a 64.1sqm main saloon, an owner’s cabin with private office, and discrete, separate crew circulation: the Orchid 100 specification list reads as it might for a 60m motoryacht.
Captain Paul Brackley of Hong Kong-based Central Yacht – builder of this new project – explains: “In our region, many owners would like to upgrade to a yacht with more luxury, more space, more accessibility for older relatives and more safety features, but they are constrained by the size of marina berths available.
“Central Yacht has built three of the biggest custom yachts, each one over 56m, for Hong Kong owners. Now, with our accrued knowledge of local requirements, we have adopted all of the technical, luxury and safety features of a 60m superyacht into a 30m [100ft] package. The Orchid 100 has a staircase you wouldn’t find on any yacht under 60m, as well as a wheelchair-capable elevator.
“With a full-beam main-deck saloon, we have created extra space on the main deck without compromising seakeeping and stability, which is inevitable if you place a big, heavy saloon high up on the sun deck. Constructed throughout from aluminium with integral double-bottom tanks, the Orchid 100 will be able to cruise the entire South China Sea with ease, or even travel to Europe for a summer cruise.”
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Central Yacht supplies black-and-white renders for the Orchid 100 interiors so that clients can choose their own palette of colours and texture
Numerous yacht designers have tried to pull off the trick of ‘less is more’ – so what makes Central Yacht so special in this regard? Well, to begin with – some aspects that are the least visible are responsible for key essentials in producing an elevated yachting experience: the vessel has impressive noise and vibration targets, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) and safety features.
On the subject of aesthetics, however, the builder brings its established signature style, which sensitively balances form with function. “Great yacht design should be represented by three simple lines on paper.” Brackley explains.
“These lines have to reconcile the principles of the aesthetic, the technical and the practical. Central Yacht brings a unique and proven combination of experience in these three fundamental elements of superyacht design, having won prestigious international awards in aesthetics for the interior and exterior design of 56m Lady Candy (Best Custom Yacht, Asia Boating Awards 2014), in the technical arena for the management of 65m hybrid diesel-electric yacht Ambrosia (Most Innovative Motoryacht Award, Showboats International Awards 2007), and in practical operation for the 60m Xanadu (Robb Report Best of the Best Awards 2009 for Charter Yacht Over 60m).
“We can design a yacht that incorporates beautiful design and reliable and efficient technology, all in a package that’s easy to maintain and operate, where minimal crew staff can easily concentrate on your service and safety. Certain interior elements can be customised, such as soft furnishings, to allow for the client’s palette and textural preferences.”
Boarding is via a solid swim platform with wide, very shallow incline stairs on both sides to the main deck, where they continue up to the sun deck and onwards, uninterrupted, all the way to the convivial circular ‘infinity’ seating at the bow. While this solution is elegant and comfortable for guests, it also makes mooring operations for the crew one of the easiest of any yacht we have seen.
The main deck aft has flexible seating for 10 guests. Brackley always prefers standalone furniture to give the owner the option to change the purpose of a specific space. This deck can be a lounge area or, with sofas removed, have space for a dancefloor with optional lights and speakers. For the aft deck furniture, Hong Kong-based brand Slack Lifestyle teamed up with international designer Michael Young to create a pioneering beanbag lounger seating system specifically for use onboard luxury yachts.
“Great yacht design should be represented by three simple lines on paper, which are instantly recognisable: these lines have to reconcile the principles of the aesthetic, the technical and the practical” – Captain Paul Brackley, Central Yacht
The main saloon is open-plan and includes a formal dining area, bar, karaoke lounge, and a games zone – an owner might incorporate mahjong, pinball, Space Invaders, craps, or a grand piano area. The saloon also provides a ‘powder room’ with a separate lavatory. Most importantly, the central stairwell and glass elevator accesses all decks from guest cabins to sundeck, connecting with the saloon.
Forward of the saloon is the master suite, accessed via an owner’s office for privacy and security purposes. The lower deck standard set-up houses four double/twin suites for guests, as well as the galley, laundry and very comfortable crew area; and there are four cabin configurations from which to select. All cabins are separated by full-height, high-end Aluflam A60 partitions and doors as found on much larger yachts, not only for fire safety purposes, but also to enhance audio privacy.
One level up on the sundeck behind the wheelhouse, you will find a completely sheltered seating area for up to 10 people. Raised for protection from the inevitable breeze from the bow, this area’s elevation – as well as its tempered-glass protective surrounds – also enjoys a clear view of the surrounding ocean to each side and aft. It is separated from the adjacent Jacuzzi by a glass panel that is also able to serve as a double-sided movie screen.
The Orchid 100 navigation bridge is equipped and built to superyacht standards. Its vertical windscreen provides better visibility than a steeply raked profile and reduces internal heating. Its elevated visibility is particularly useful in the busy waters of Hong Kong and Southern China.
If the design sounds conventional so far, consider the following attention to detail. It is understood that an owner and guests require unobtrusive and efficient service. Crew traffic through public areas on the Orchid 100 is minimised by having an exterior door from the galley and crew areas to the aft main deck, and crew access is via an interior door to the bar and formal dining area. The laundry and service area also connects directly to guest accommodation on the lower deck. So you’ll never encounter a crew member passing through the main salon with an armful of wet guest towels, headed for the laundry aboard the Orchid 100.
The space immediately forward of the bridge also contains the air treatment systems – not just air-conditioning. The Orchid 100 extracts energy from ‘used’ air by passing it through a heat exchanger to cool and dehumidify intake air. Energy recovery means efficiency and substantially reduced running costs. This whole bow compartment of the Orchid 100 is a technical space. Within it is a second engine room for sensitive equipment: water-makers, hot water tanks, water pumps, power converters and other equipment, including the Marioff water-mist fire protection system – a safety feature usually found on much larger vessels.
Keeping such hardware here effectively moves some weight out of the aft area, resulting in the boat being far better balanced between fore and aft. Crucially, this reduces vertical acceleration (pitching) of the bow area and makes service and maintenance operations for the crew and technicians much easier.
Power comes from either the standard MAN V12 2000 twin engines or the option of a pair of MTU V12 2000 M96 ones, coupled to Reintjes Fortjes pod propulsion units. Top speed is over 25 knots and a range of up to 1,500 nautical miles is possible. The pods are fixed and not used for steering, and allow the advantages of podded propulsion (low noise and vibration and higher efficiency) without the major disadvantage of complex hydraulics and bearing systems that swing hundreds of kilos around to steer the yacht. This configuration allows the engines to be mounted further forward and lower in the engine room – enhancing stability and leaving more space for the 6m tender garage, where a single crew member can easily access and launch a stored tender.
“Certain interior elements can be customised, such as soft furnishings, to allow for client’s palette and textural preferences” – Captain Paul Brackley, Central Yacht
It would perhaps be surprising if the Orchid 100 did not include an element of hybrid technology. However, rather than using complex, expensive and often very limited hybrid propulsion, the team at Central Yacht chose to make this boat more efficient and simpler by using a 48-volt DC grid system to drive intermittent high-load-demand electrical functions, such as bow thruster, capstans, windlass and stabilisers. This system allows for smaller and more efficient generators and less shore power demand. The extreme fire risk of lithium battery packs is avoided by specifying non-flammable rechargeable NiMH (nickel metal hydride) batteries.
Brackley is keen to stress that “there’s no prototype machinery in the Orchid 100 – it is a package that brings together the best of well-proven, readily-available systems and tech that are both efficient and fit for the job, combined with smart design”.
With its unique all-aluminium high-performance, high-speed low-resistance, rounded-bilge hull construction by Dutch naval architects Van Oossanen, it is a yacht that is very much more than the sum of its parts.
“We have often wondered why the interior and the exterior of a yacht are assigned to different designers, but the Orchid 100 is a holistic design package,” Brackley adds. “What you see on the outside and inside have been created on the same drawing board, meaning that there is no conflict assimilating these, and that designing the yacht around the guest experience requires no compromise technically or structurally.”
Technical Specifications: Orchid 100
Engines: 2 x MAN V12 2000 / MTU V12 2000 M96
Drive: Reintjes FortjesMax speed: 25kts
Guest berths: 10
Crew berths: 6
More information available online at centralyacht.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Convenient purchase plans:
Such a radical-yet-rational yacht also comes with innovative purchase options. Existing yacht owners can finance their build using their existing yacht as collateral, while being able to use their vessel until close to delivery time, when Central Yacht’s well-established brokerage division can help sell it. Cautious buyers may be pleased to know that there will be a ‘market’ for build slots and owners wishing to buy a sooner slot or sell an existing slot can do so with only a small fee payable on the increased price.
Terms and conditions apply.
Custom aft deck furniture designed for Orchid 100:
Hong Kong-based brand Slack Lifestyle have teamed up with International designer Michael Young to create a pioneering bean bag lounger seating system specifically for use onboard luxury yachts.
The product has been developed to deal with all weather conditions combining Sunbrella Fabrics and Synthetic Hemp rope. The system consists of an oversized seat cushion and lounging style backrest held together by the ropes pegged by turned steel pegs. Handles positioned on all four sides of the design and allow the product to be dragged across the deck to cater for ease of movement for both deck cleaning and bad weather conditions.