After receiving the prestigious Concept Award at the International Yacht & Aviation Awards 2017 less than a week ago, Shaun Carkeek has confirmed that plans to build the world’s largest composite sailing superyacht are already advancing.
At 300ft, the Carkeek C 300 will be easily the largest boat of its kind ever constructed. It seems destined to herald a new age in sailing superyachts. The glitter at the Design et al Awards at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice has barely settled, now the record-breaking begins.
“No one has ever built a composite boat this size - I’m looing forward to building it,” Carkeek said. “The genesis of the idea for the C 300 started with an owner who was considering a much larger, state-of-the-art sailing yacht. Now, I’m talking to one of the best builders in the world about how to build it and create a team around the project.”
The largest composite boat ever built is the Hetairos, which is just over 200ft and was launched in 2011. “We’re putting another 100ft onto that,” Carkeek said. “It’s a massive challenge, it’s completely reshaping the industry. The boat has a new edge to it, not only through the size, but the design, the way the living spaces interact, the performance of the yacht, the new systems and technology and how these aspects work together. We’re trying to make a 300ft yacht feel, perform and handle like a 100ft yacht".
“It’s a megayacht for a true sailing enthusiast and very special kind of owner. It’s the size of ship but it’s a high-performance global cruising yacht capable of incredible average speeds of over 30 knots. In terms of the style concept, there is a timeless quality, but it has to have that futuristic twist because a boat like this will take no less than four years to build. We have that vision of the future.”
Turning a dream into a reality will be possible only because of Carkeek Design Partners unique range skills. Carkeek is seamlessly bridging the worlds of revolutionary Grand Prix racing and the more conservative sailing superyacht market. More than two decades of astonishing cutting-edge success mean that the South African-born designer has the ability and authority to lead the industry into waters where others fear to sail.
“We understand the different demands for technology, performance and styling,” Carkeek said. “With our naval architectural expertise from the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and Grand Prix yachting we’re able to bring all of that experience and technology into the superyacht arena in a way that hasn’t been seen before. But it’s about the lifestyle aspect too, creating new ways of thinking about boats, how they’re used and how people feel on those boats. We have a diverse team with the unique ability and experience to create fully integrated advanced solutions blending naval architecture, systems, styling, interior and exterior design.”
That philosophy runs through all Carkeek’s many and varied projects as they introduce an innovative design language to the next generation of superlight superyachts. “We’ve recently completed a project for a foiling monohull racing yacht and we’re developing lighter superyachts with semi-foiling modes,” Carkeek said. “We’re designing a 115ft superlight sailing catamaran with many America’s Cup cat influences. It’s for cruising - very fast cruising. All the aerodynamic, hydrodynamic and foiling technology is coming directly from the America’s Cup.”
Carkeek knows because he is shaping the future.