As of press time, the environmentally sensitive 262-foot superyacht Artefact was undergoing sea trials before its scheduled, much-anticipated end-of-summer delivery. Silent operation and maximum stability are the goals for the vessel from German shipyard Nobiskrug, which unveiled the concept at last year’s Monaco Yacht Show. The yacht’s steel hull and composite superstructure, designed by Gregory C. Marshall, are noteworthy because of the 248 feet of sundeck-mounted solar panels and large battery storage system, both of which allow Artefact to operate silently for short bursts without any combustion engines. Its DC-bus diesel-electric variable-speed Azipod-propulsion and dynamic-positioning systems are almost equally noteworthy, eliminating the need to drop anchor onto the fragile seafloor. They also ensure efficiency and lower emissions. Custom six-bladed propellers minimize noise and vibration while maximizing performance, and a wastewater-recycling system filters and refreshes water for use in the technical systems. All of these green-centric designs have enabled the five-deck vessel to pass the International Maritime Organization’s Tier III emissions regulations, one of the first superyachts to do so.
Besides its friend-of-the-environment attributes, Artefact also caries 7,965 square feet of curved glasswork, which weighs close to 60 tons—not an unimpressive feat when one considers that most yacht designers strive to save weight wherever possible, using quarter-inch veneers of marble and fine wood over lighter materials to keep the vessel afloat. The lightweight composite superstructure makes the heft of the glass possible. And you can imagine the views, not to mention all that light, those on board will experience.
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