Polynesian canoes and Maori explorers provided the inspiration for Oceanco’s latest concept, the 115 metre Tuhara, which was revealed on February 27 at the Dubai International Boat Show.
This radical design comes from the drawing boards of Lobanov Design — the studio behind Oceanco’s 110 metre flagship yacht Jubilee — while the interior is courtesy of Achille Salvagni and the hybrid propulsion system was developed in collaboration with BMT Nigel Gee Naval Architects.
“Tuhara is a simple idea,” explains Igor Lobanov. “The thought was to take a natural shape similar to those seen in the earliest canoe-type craft and augment it on a larger scale, using modern technology.” The name Tuhura reflects this inspiration, as it is derived from the Maori word for ‘discover’.
The reverse angle bow and transom continue the use of symmetry in Lobanov’s conceptual work, previously seen in the 132 meter Star. Oceanco adds that the concept could be adapted to suit any length from 80 meters to 120 meters.
This ancient canoe shape conceals a multitude of modern technology — for example the horizontal hull windows are made up of a series of dots that stop prying eyes from looking in, but still allow guests on board to enjoy a seamless view out to sea, as if through a normal pane of glass.
The Salvagni interior is every bit as impressive as the exterior, with the Pacific islands and East Asia providing the influence for the décor, which features brushed teak, tatami floors and bronze metalwork.
“Tuhura was conceived for a dynamic owner — nevertheless the timeless sense of peace and calmness are the main characteristics,” adds Salvagni. “This is reflected in the humble elegance and sensuality of the primitive organic shapes echoed throughout.”
The skylounge is a great example of these themes with teak stalactites and stalagmites dividing the central fireplace from the intimate dining area.
The task of designing the propulsion system for such an avante-garde yacht fell to British naval architects BMT Nigel Gee, who chose a hybrid, contra-rotating Azipod system from ABB that should achieve a top speed of 18 knots.
The studio’s yacht design director James Roy says that this drivetrain has proven its efficiency in the commercial sector. “There is a synergy between the efficiency of the hull form, and that of the propulsion system,” he adds.
The technical infrastructure of Tuhura was developed by Dutch firm Van Berge Henegouwen’s custom division LuxLab, who explain that the system would be able to monitor on-board behaviour and automatically adjust the music and temperature accordingly. Other highlights on board include a 360-degree cinema room, a foredeck hammock and a superyacht spa pool on the sundeck.
“This is a technically challenging and intriguing project,” concludes Oceanco’s commercial director, Dirk de Jong. “It is 180-degrees different from our previous two yacht collaborations with Lobanov Design studio, yet Tuhura is still 100 per cent Oceanco DNA.”