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Philippe Briand SY200 superyacht concept delivers a true zero emissions sailing experience

by Elisa Corti 16 Jan 14:50 UTC

Philippe Briand has unveiled the latest sailing yacht concept to come from his London-based design studio: the 60-metre (200-foot) SY200.

With a traditional sailing rig, the 490-gross-tonne sloop has been created to outperform the other sailing yachts under 499 gross tonnes that are on the water today, as well as to provide a head-turning aesthetic and ultimate comfort on board. The SY200 would be the ultimate prize possession for a passionate sailor who demands speed on the water as well as exceptional design and style.

A true leader in the new wave of "sustainable" superyachts

Unlike the growing number of sailing superyachts that are effectively motor yachts with sails, requiring engines to assist in propelling them through the water, the SY200 is an authentic sailing yacht in all aspects. It has been developed with a similar design approach to that used in smaller, high-performance racing yachts while boasting the hallmarks of Philippe Briand's award-winning design pedigree, including clean, dynamic lines and outstandingly efficient naval architecture.

Being fully wind propelled, the SY200 would be a true leader in the new wave of "green" superyachts; in particular, the hull form characteristics and predicted performance of the yacht would put it in pole position of this new category of yachts.

In optimum conditions, a maximum speed of over 20 knots could be reached and the yacht's remarkable hydrodynamic efficiency means more power could be harnessed through its underwater turbines to charge the batteries on board. Theoretically, if 50% of the energy is captured by the turbines, it would provide power equivalent to that of a 500kW generator, while maintaining a speed of around 15 knots.

Driven by the pursuit of efficiency rather than opting for a faddish design, Philippe Briand chose a sloop sailing rig to complement the contemporary hull with its slightly inverted bow, as this proves to be the most effective. With its foremast towering 83.5 metres above the waterline, the SY200's upwind sail area is 2,000m2, while its downwind sail area is more than 3,000m2.

The design of the carbon fibre masts and rigging is heavily informed by the experience Philippe Briand acquired during the development and construction of the landmark 67m S/Y Vertigo and 73m S/Y Sybaris, two of the most celebrated sailing yachts in recent history.

Spectacular deck

The sailing yacht's length at the waterline is 60m, with a maximum beam of 10.50m; although the design includes two spacious decks for ample guest space, Philippe Briand has been careful to ensure well-balanced proportions deliver a sleek overall aesthetic. This includes a spectacular glass coachroof on a completely flush deck. The star attraction of the exterior, the owner's aft steering station, will be a magnet for friends and family to come together, where up to 14 guests can experience the uniquely thrilling sensation of movement created by harnessing the natural power of the wind.

Of course, full enjoyment of the SY200's exterior can come at anchor or in port, as well as while cruising or racing. The uncluttered decks have a distinctly contemporary look and allow stunning vistas of the surroundings. An enormous 16-seat dining table in the cockpit, protected from the sun by the long hardtop, has superb panoramic views. The aft scope transom offers a large terrace over the sea and a private exterior space in direct communication with the owner's suite.

Inner space with revolutionary setting

Instead of the traditional setting of the engine room amidships below the main guest accommodations, the SY200's general arrangement presents a revolutionary setting: the engine room is located at a distance from the guest area, a third of the way back from the bow.

The advantages are clear and many: there is a noise reduction in guest areas; there is easy access to the engine room from the crew quarters; there is more volume freed up amidships for the four large guest cabins; and with more weight placed forwards, this allows the possibility to move the keel and consequently the rig further aft for greater efficiency. The aft portion of the yacht is entirely dedicated to guest privacy, with a full-beam owner's suite that leads onto a large terrace featuring a concealed Jacuzzi and direct access to the water.

Final interior layouts can be tailored to an owner's desires but initial drawings of the SY200 allow provision for a large full-beam owner's suite with his-and-hers bathrooms, an office and a private terrace on the main deck. A further four guest suites are located on the lower deck, as well as accommodation for up to 12 crew.

Philippe Briand commented on the announcement of the SY200 design: "I have always expressed my faith in technology and efficiency, as they are an integral part of the yacht design process. Previously we designed sailing yachts for the express purpose - or the hidden purpose - of winning regattas, and so passionate owners pushed our industry to develop more and more high-tech sailing yachts. But this competitiveness is no longer an appealing motivation for today's younger generation of yacht owners. As a result, the market for such advanced sailing yachts is dramatically down.

"I believe we need to embrace 'lateral thinking' when it comes to the future of sailing yacht design. We want to work alongside owners to create the perfect renewable energy machine, using only wind, water and solar energy to run the yacht and provide an exceptional experience of peace on board and exploration of the sea.

"Instead of using competition between owners as a motivator, environmental sustainability will become the reason to push the boundaries of technology and efficiency in superyachting. This is something we are very passionate about."

Brief specifications:

  • Hull length 62.84 m
  • Hull beam 10.50 m
  • Waterline length 59.73 m
  • Draft 4.50/8.10 m
  • Air draft 83.90 m
  • Displacement 490 t
  • Upwind sail area 2000 mq
  • Downwind sail area 3700 mq

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