An explorer yacht doesn't need to look like a commercial ship, says designer Ricky Smith.
The 80-metre Era 80, designed by Ricky Smith Designs, is an attempt to bring a sense of style to the traditional explorer yacht. “Brokers advised me to ignore convention and to stop trying to please naval architects by presenting conservative concepts. I was advised to show something progressive and innovative,” says Ricky Smith. The design is certainly that, with aerodynamic styling leading to that distinctive covered bow, which is designed to reduce drag. Working in collaboration with Stuart Friezer Marine naval architects, the hull shape has been tank tested at Shanghai University, and the results have been positive: with an aluminium hull and azipod propulsion, the Era 80 had a theoretical top speed of 25 knots.
“I wanted to develop a smooth, moulded, non-faceted superstructure, and also to shift the beach club to midships for additional stability, as well as taking advantage of the space and privacy when toys and sea craft are deployed,” says Ricky Smith. Other innovations include a deep pool on the main deck – deep enough for guests to dive in to, and that forward Vista lounge. The 13-metre beam means a Bell 427 or Eurocopter EC145 helicopter can land. “The primary focus in creating the design was maximising the on-board comfort and options of the owners and guests. This is illustrated by guests having facilities on all levels for dining, socialising and private relaxation,” adds Ricky Smith.
Initial renderings include a VIP and four guest suites on the lower deck, with the owner’s suite on the upper deck. The owner’s stateroom is open plan and full beam with a dedicated salon, theatre and dining areas, a private cocktail bar and a bistro-style café servicing the secluded aft deck. A private staircase from runs from the deck and helipad directly to the main salon. The Era 80 sleeps 20 guests looked after by 24 crew.