Almost 900bhp, a £2m price tag and answering to the name of a Silver Arrow – it must be the F1-car-for-the-road Mercedes-Benz will be unveiling this September. But how many hypercars have an anchor, sunbeds and a ‘terrace by the sea’?
If Mercedes were to design a posh motor yacht it would be…exactly like this. Got an S-class? You’ll feel right at home here. Park your Mercedes-AMG S63 alongside the Arrow460-Granturismo and the only problem will be telling them apart (note, the boat floats beautifully, the car less so).
Yachts from car companies are nothing new…
And for good reason – brand extensions are rarely as fast, sexy and exciting after all. Even Mercedes, in the distant past, has made waves. The three points of its star do represent land, sea and air, after all. Bugatti, Aston offtheclothboff.com the-aston-martin-am37-powerboatLexusMercedes-Benz, Jaguar are a few more that have recently taken the plunge.
Often they are just dream boats, or marketing exercises with no more input from the car firm than colour and trim. The Merc is rather different. It was designed by Mercedes-Benz Style at its Como studios in Italy – under the direction of Daimler AG design supremo Gorden Wagener – at the behest of a UK registered start-up company called Silver Arrows Marine.
Silver Arrows Marine’s big idea was to reinvent the 14m motor yacht as something more innovative and usable than just a noisy and uncomfortable wave-crusher using design, features and processes from the motor industry. Top speed was to be less important than comfort and refinement, so more GT than GT3. Hence the first Arrow460’s billing as the ‘Granturismo of the seas’.
With a lot of never-before-done boaty stuff and, unusual in yacht terms, a prototype stage (usually with boats the first customer is the guinea pig), the R&D has been protracted – the idea first surfaced in 2008. It took a clean sheet of paper and a ‘brain’s trust’ of eminent yacht designers and partner firms like M-B Style, but the yacht is now in production.
You could buy a real Silver Arrows for that!
Supercharged 1930s Mercedes racing cars are notoriously tricky in the wet. Not so their 2017 namesake which I am in Cap Ferrat on the Med to put through its paces for CAR magazine.
Two million quid’s worth of luxury yacht is not my usual on-water experience, but, heck, I’ve got a dinghy and done my Powerboat Level 2. Believe me, you don’t need any of it.
This is one very easy and smooth boat to drive – literally child’s play. A lot of it is down to an Easy Docking joystick system that coordinates prop and bow thrusters with perfect precision. No more falling-about-laughing bystanders when you try to squeeze into that berth…
At speed it’s mechanically quiet and smooth with a pillowy ride through moderately choppy waters. There’s no crashing and banging, plus the real bonus that you don’t get wet. All very relaxed and civilised. Top whack is 38 knots but at a 24-knot cruise you certainly won’t spill your G&T plus you will have enough range for the 160 miles across the Med from the Cote d’Azur to Corsica. And if you live in Eastbourne rather than the Cote d’Azur? Bad luck.
Mercedes Silver Arrow Marine Yacht: what’s it like to live with?
You can moor up and try that ‘terrace by the sea’. It’s a hydraulically-extending swim platform that slides out of the stern, so you can plop straight into the water.
Then maybe some supper – there are kitchen facilities but mostly it’s a wine fridge – around a large glass table, with the fully retractable side windows down and the vast glass sunroof lifted up high on hydraulic struts. Think gentle sea breezes filling the cabin and harbour lights twinkling across the water…
Not romantic enough? Push another button and the table disappears and out slides a king-size double bed for a night under the stars.
The open-plan ‘loft-style’ below decks area is a revelation with its Mercedes concept car-style design and Alcantara and mesh fabric materials aplenty. There’s even a big shower room. And your millions buys lots of goodies: JBL and Bose entertainment systems, electronically dimming glass (like the Merc SL’s MagicSky) for UV protection and privacy, and of course full air-con – the eyeball air vents are in fact the only actual Merc component on board.
Who says cars and boats don’t mix? It’s bit of a stunner we reckon and a shiny silvery revelation among all those lookalike aggressive and very white sports cruisers. But who will buy it? These days the world’s oceans – sorry, glamour hot-spots – are full of superyachts and they all need tenders. (Sir) Philip Green is not going to get out to Lionheart in a rowing boat is he?
With all it has going for it, the Arrow460 is far more than just a tender, though, doubling up as a dayboat for partying (it can take 10 people) or an all-mod-cons overnighter for two people.
A true Mercedes? If it looks like one and swims like one…
Every once in a while, something radically different from the norm is introduced to the world which alters people’s perceptions. In the powerboat industry this game-changing moment has now arrived as earth meets water in the most spectacular way imaginable.
For many years, those who love driving on both land and water have wondered how it might feel to own a boat that would match the ‘Power, Beauty and Soul’ of their Aston Martin car. Their wish – your wish – has now been fulfilled.
Merging design, technology, style and comfort in a totally new way, The best of all worlds is encapsulated in the stunning AM37 powerboat.
The AM37S Aston Martin
Sometimes it’s what is missing that’s more important than what’s present in a yacht. The noise of the engine, the shouts of the person next to you trying to speak over the din, the feeling that you need to grip something to feel secure. It’s only when all these things, often commonplace in a high-performance boat blasting along, are suddenly not there that you take notice.
Such is the case on board the 11.1 metre Aston Martin AM37S from Quintessence Yachts. Speeding along the Monte Carlo coastline early in the morning, effortlessly cruising at 30 knots, the AM37S has a stillness unusual for a boat in her class. You can speak easily to someone on the other side of the cockpit without raising your voice, and the ride is smooth even when making a 360 degree turn and springing over our own wake.
The AM37S climbs nicely on to the plane in a light chop and sits there as stable as anything. The trim tabs notch down slightly for added comfort, ensuring a totally dry ride as she accelerates to a 50 knot maximum speed.
The founder of Quintessence Yachts is an Aston Martin owner who felt there wasn’t anything in the marine environment comparable with the feeling of being behind the wheel of his car. So the UK-based company was formed for the express purpose of bringing this project to life and approached Aston Martin with the idea. Within six months the two companies were working together and in two years the idea became a reality.
It’s more than just a branding exercise, according to Katia Bassi, managing director of AM Brands, Aston Martin’s luxury partnerships division. “This has always been about creating an experience, building a boat that could be comparable to the same level of an Aston Martin car in the quality of production,” she says. “We really wanted to achieve sports car-like performance, handling and comfort, but also luxury finishing and state-of-the-art technologies.”
The entire boat is a blend of modern cleverness and old world craftsmanship, the high-tech epoxy composite and carbon fibre hull and carbon cockpit details blending with hand-stitched leather and teak decks. Aston Martin and Quintessence teamed up on the exterior.
“Everything had to be checked from the nautical perspective, for what could be produced and what would be effective,” says Mariella Mengozzi, CEO of Quintessence Yachts. The biggest similarities between car and boat are the proportions, which Bassi notes are both inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. The result is sleek, elegant and curvy in all the right places.
The helm really is reminiscent of sitting behind the wheel of an Aston Martin. The dash is pure artistry, the screen one continuous piece of glass framed by carbon fibre. The wheel and seats are automotive-inspired and completely custom, with the ergonomic design of the seats providing an unmatched level of comfort as a curve supports the lumbar spine. And just like a car, the seats adjust easily at the touch of a button.
Owners can choose the colour scheme of their AM37 to match their car, with myriad paint and leather choices available, while the “Q programme” offers customisation options for someone who wants to specify further. The first hull will be delivered in early 2017 to an owner based in Miami while the second hull is already underway.
The pièce de résistance is the innovative sliding deck and swim platform. The entire cockpit can be closed off from the weather when not in use with a carbon panel, which slides completely out of the way upon boarding. The solid bimini is also secreted away under the engine hatch, which extends over the cockpit and can stay up even at full speed.
The sliding hardtop of the Aston Martin AM37S provides shelter from the sun
Finally, a teak-covered swim platform appears on demand from the transom for easy boarding and water access. The interior affords just enough room to escape from the elements, with a sofa, galley with Miele appliances and head. A skylight in the deckhead brightens the space and strip lighting runs across the ceiling.
Even the lighting design has been carefully considered, designed by Rogier van der Heide, whose previous work includes the Yas Marina hotel in Dubai and a number of large superyachts.
But as with an Aston Martin car, it all comes back to the performance. Naval architects Mulder Design created a deep-V, multi-stepped hull that gives a dry and comfortable ride.
The Aston Martin AM37S has a top speed of 50 knots
Engine options range from the standard 430hp engines to twin 520hp Mercurys, tested here in the “S” version, which take top speed to 50 knots and make the AM37S one of the world’s fastest superyacht tenders. Twin 370hp diesels are also available. The AM37 is priced from £1.2 to £1.6 million, option dependent.
Though capable of reaching high speeds, the AM37 was never meant to be an extreme performance boat, but to offer the owner-operator ease of control so they could feel like they are in their Aston Martin, confidently handling turns, only out at sea.
A medieval ship burial in England that is so impressive and mysterious that it’s been compared to the world of the Old English epic “Beowulf” But who is actually buried at the 1,400-year-old site known as Sutton Hoo? Here mysterious grassy mounds covered a number of ancient graves. In one particular grave, belonging to an important Anglo-Saxon warrior, some astonishing objects were buried, but there is little in the grave to make it clear who was buried there historical records dating to the period are limited, and the remains of those buried at the site are completely decayed, leaving no physical remains to analyze,
The royal burial site at Sutton Hoo, a few miles from the Suffolk coast, East England, is the most famous of all Anglo-Saxon sites. It is mainly known for its outstanding funerary discoveries and in Mound 1, sheds light on the war gear of early seventh-century Anglo-Saxon rulers.
In the summer of 1939, an amateur archaeologist, Basil Brown (1888 – 1977), made one of the most exciting discoveries in British archaeology; they found the tomb of an Anglo-Saxon who had been buried there in the early 600s. Beneath the mound was the imprint of a 27-metre-long ship. At its centre was a ruined burial chamber packed with treasures: Byzantine silverware, sumptuous gold jewelry, a lavish feasting set, and most famously, an ornate iron helmet. Dating to the early 600s, this outstanding burial clearly commemorated a leading figure of East Anglia, the local Anglo-Saxon kingdom. It may even have belonged to a king. Many thought that King Raedwald, who ruled a kingdom in East Anglia and died around A.D. 627, is the best candidate. But even that’s just a best guess.
Artist interpretation by Alan Sorrell of the moving of the burial ship over to the grave. Image credits: A.C. Evans, 1986 via Archaeology of Britain.
Who was Raedwald?
Archaeologists point to Raedwald because the date of the coins and other artifacts matches well with the time of his reign and because the burial does not seem to be fully Christian — something that jibes with what historical records say about him. Sutton Hoo’s location in East Anglia and the richness of its artifacts link it to the East Anglian royal dynasty.
Raedwald ruled a kingdom in East Anglia and struggled over whether he should be Christian or pagan. At one point, he built a temple that had a Christian altar and a pagan altar side by side, St. Bede (lived A.D. 672-735) wrote in his book the “Ecclesiastical History of the English People.”
Raedwald’s religious dilemma is important, as scholars have noted that there are few artifacts at Sutton Hoo that have Christian motifs. “He seemed at the same time to serve Christ and the gods whom he had served before,” wrote St. Bede (translation by J.A. Giles). “In the same temple, he had an altar to sacrifice to Christ and another small one to offer victims to devils,” Bede wrote, calling Raedwald “noble by birth, though ignoble in his actions.”
Moreover, Raedwald was a prominent king during his time, intervening in a dispute over who should be King of Northumbria by using his army to ensure that Edwin, one of the claimants, was crowned. The Sutton Hoo ship burial — with its ornate accessories made of gold and jewels — seems rich enough for such a ruler.
In this reconstruction drawing, the Sutton Hoo ship burial holds a wealth of Anglo-Saxon artifacts and the body of what is likely a king from East Anglia. (Image credit: English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
However, some archaeologists were more cautious in their assessments.
“I think the balance of evidence suggests the burial site is connected to the East Anglian royal dynasty, and I think this is as far as we can, and should, go with this question,” Howard Williams, an archaeology professor at the University of Chester in England, told OTCB He noted that although Raedwald, or perhaps another East Anglian king, could be buried at Sutton Hoo, we shouldn’t rule out the possibility that the burial could be from a king of a neighboring East Saxon kingdom.
Another possibility is a relative of Raedwald. “If you held a gun to my head, I would say Raedwald, but equally I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it turned out to be someone else,” said Alex Woolf, a senior lecturer in medieval history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. “Raedwald is probably the best bet, but far from certain. His son Eorpwald had a short reign after him, and there are other members of the family in the seventh century we know little about.”
In 1993, Woolf and two colleagues wrote a paper published in the journal Anglo-Saxon England suggesting that the burial could hold the remains of someone from the East Saxon kingdom. Ultimately, “I don’t think we can know for sure” who was buried in the boat grave, Woolf said.
However, Barbara Yorke, an emeritus professor of early medieval history at the University of Winchester in England, said other East Anglian kings from the time period seem unlikely for a variety of reasons. For example, these kings reigned for short periods, had strong ties to Christianity or died before the minting of the coins. Therefore, Raedwald is the most likely candidate, she said.
“Raedwald was the most powerful of the East Anglian kings, and the ship burial seems the richest and most impressive of the Sutton Hoo burials,” Yorke said.
Some of the researchers cautioned that we cannot be certain the boat burial even belongs to a king. “The Staffordshire hoard and other more recent finds show that finds of very high-quality gold and garnet work were more common than was thought at the time of the main publication of Sutton Hoo in the 1970s, and although there is no doubt that such items denoted very high status, they may not have been held exclusively by kings,” said Gareth Williams, a curator at The British Museum. (Discovered in 2009, the Staffordshire hoard is an Anglo-Saxon treasure holding some 3,500 items made from gold, silver and other metals that dates to the seventh century.)
Williams pointed out that there is also a debate over the age of the coins at Sutton Hoo. “Most recent commentators would prefer a broader date range, which would certainly include A.D. 625 but would extend by some years to either side. Raedwald is therefore a strong possibility, but not the only one,” Williams said.
Ongoing research at Sutton Hoo
Recently, archaeologists at Sutton Hoo have been using lidar, a technology that uses a laser to map out terrain, along with ground- penetrating radar to examine details of how the cemetery was constructed. Many researchers told Live Science that although it is unlikely that we will know for sure who was buried at the site, Sutton Hoo is still worth studying.
“I do not think we will ever be able to name the individual buried at Sutton Hoo with certainty, but this does not keep me awake at night,” said Sue Brunning, curator of early medieval and Sutton Hoo collections at The British Museum. “While a name would be the cherry on the cake, there is so much of value to learn from the archaeology of the burial, and I feel that it is more rewarding to direct our ideas and energy into the wider context.”
European timeline, AD 300–1100
Celtic Britain and Ireland
The people of Ireland and northern and Western Britain spoke Celtic languages and shared ancient traditions and beliefs.
The Roman Empire and beyond
At its height, the Roman Empire extended all around the Mediterranean and into continental Europe and Britain.
The Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire comprised the eastern part of the Roman Empire following its division in east and west in AD 395. Its capital was Constantinople.
As Roman control in Western Europe weakened, Germanic peoples from outside the Empire began to enter and settle on former Roman territories.
After the Roman army withdrew from Britain in AD 410, groups of Germanic peoples from Northwest Europe crossed the North Sea to settle in parts of southern and eastern Britain.
Originating from Scandinavia, the Vikings voyaged overseas to raid, trade and settle in new lands at this time.
Model of the Sutton Hoo ship-burial 1, England. The placement of the burial chamber is marked white.Image credit: Eebahgum – CC BY-SA 3.0
1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo burial ship. Image credit: Harold John Phillips – Public Domain
In “The Sutton Hoo Ship Burial,”The cap of the helmet was formed from a size piece of iron, and it is divided into ornamental zones, each with detailed engraved by the metalsmith who created it, due to the use of different metals.”
People wondered whether this could be a cenotaph, a symbolic burial, where the body had been lost.
The Sutton Hoo helmet is a remarkable example of the Saxon craft.
It’s estimated there are around three million undiscovered shipwrecks around the world. Some are being searched for right now – and a few of those might even contain riches.
For as long as humans have been traversing the seas, ships have been lost to the depths. And although most vessels that sink beneath the waves are eventually forgotten, some remain prized treasures sought for generations.
The 16th-century Portuguese vessel Flor de la Mar, for example, has been the centre of countless search expeditions eager to recover her priceless lost cargo of diamonds, gold and precious stones. Ships like Captain Cook’s Endeavour, on the other hand, remain sought after for their invaluable historical significance.
From a Cornish wreck known as ‘El Dorado of the Seas’ to some of the most iconic vessels in seafaring history, here are some of the most famous shipwrecks that are yet to be discovered.
Santa Maria (1492)
The notorious explorer Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World in 1492 with three ships: Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria. During the course of Columbus’ voyage, which took him to the Caribbean, Santa Maria sank.
According to legend, Columbus left a cabin boy at the helm while we went off to sleep. Shortly after, the inexperienced boy ran the ship aground. Santa Maria was stripped of any valuables, and it sank the following day.
The whereabouts of Santa Maria remain a mystery to this day. Some suspect it lies on the seabed near present-day Haiti. In 2014, the marine archaeologist Barry Clifford claimed he had found the famed wreckage, but UNESCO later dispelled his discovery as a different ship some two or three centuries younger than Santa Maria.
Early 20th-century painting of Christopher Columbus’ caravelle, Santa Maria.
Flor de la Mar, or Flor do Mar, is one of the most renowned undiscovered shipwrecks anywhere on Earth, thought to be filled with vast diamonds, gold and untold riches.
Despite being notorious for springing leaks and running into trouble, Flor de la Mar was called to assist in Portugal’s conquest of Malacca (in present-day Malaysia) in 1511. Upon its return voyage to Portugal, laden with riches, Flor de la Mar sank in a storm on 20 November 1511.
It’s thought Flor de la Mar was in or near the Strait of Malacca, which runs between modern Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, when she sank.
The wreck, and its reputed $2 billion of treasure and precious stones, have yet to be found, though not for lack of trying: treasure hunter Robert Marx has spent around $20 million searching for the ship, which he has described as “the richest vessel ever lost at sea”.
Artist’s Depiction Of The Flor De La Mar Shipwreck.
The Merchant Royal (1641)
The Merchant Royal is an English vessel that sank in 1641, off of Land’s End in Cornwall, England. A trade ship, The Merchant Royal was carrying a cargo of gold and silver believed to be worth tens, if not hundreds, of millions today.
Nicknamed ‘El Dorado of the Seas’, The Merchant Royal has attracted a great deal of interest over the years, with amateur treasure hunters and marine archaeologists alike looking for it.
A search operation by Odyssey Marine Exploration in 2007 uncovered a wreckage, but coins from the site suggested they’d discovered Spanish frigate rather than the much-prized Merchant Royal.
In 2019, the ship’s anchor was retrieved from the waters off of Cornwall, but the ship itself has yet to be located.
4. Le Griffon (1679)
Le Griffon, also referred to as simply Griffin, was a French vessel operating in America’s Great Lakes in the 1670s. She set sail into Lake Michigan from Green Bay in September 1679. But the ship, along with its crew of six men and cargo of fur, never reached its destination of Mackinac Island.
It’s unclear whether Le Griffon fell prey to a storm, navigational difficulties or even foul play. Now referred to as the ‘holy grail of Great Lakes shipwrecks’, Le Griffon has been the focus of many search expeditions in recent decades.
In 2014, two treasure hunters thought they’d uncovered the famed wreckage, but their discovery turned out to be a far younger ship. A book, titled The Wreck of the Griffon, outlined in 2015 the theory that a Lake Huron wreckage discovered in 1898 is actually Le Griffon.
Digitised image of Le Griffon from page 44 of “Annals of Fort Mackinac”
Image Credit: British Library via Flickr / Public Domain
HMS Endeavour (1778)
The English explorer ‘Captain’ James Cook is known for landing off Australia’s east coast aboard his ship, HMS Endeavour, in 1770. But the Endeavour had a long and illustrious career after Cook.
Sold off after Cook’s voyage of discovery, Endeavour was renamed the Lord Sandwich. She was then employed by Britain’s Royal Navy to transport troops during the American War of Independence.
In 1778, Lord Sandwich was sunk, intentionally, in or near Newport Harbour, Rhode Island, one of several sacrificed vessels used to form a blockade against approaching French ships.
In February 2022, marine researchers declared they’d discovered the wreck, a claim which was corroborated by the Australian National Maritime Museum. But some experts said it was premature to suggest the wreck was the Endeavour.
HMS Endeavour off the coast of New Holland after being repaired. Painted in 1794 by Samuel Atkins.
Las Cinque Chagas (1559)
In 1594, a Portuguese ship named for the five wounds of Christ sailed for Lisbon from Goa with a cargo of 3,500,000 Portuguese Cruzados, plus 22 treasure chests of diamonds, rubies and pearls estimated to be worth well over $1 billion in today’s dollars—hundreds of years of rumors and legends claim it to be the richest ship to ever sail from Asia.
Las Cinque Chagas was a 1200-ton Portuguese carrack that was 150 feet long and 45 feet wide—an utter monster for that era. In addition to treasure it carried more than 1000 people, of whom 400 were reported to be slaves. (Imagine that, in such a small space.) But between the islands of Pico and Faial, she was attacked by British privateers—the Mayflower, the Royal Exchange and the Sampson—who attacked for two full days before she caught fire and went down off the coast of the Azores on July 13, 1594. It’s suspected that the wreck could lie in water as deep as 2,500 feet.
And so The Five Wounds remains the stuff of legend. It’s found in virtually every dive book of sunken treasure, both those for serious salvage operators and armchair dreamers.
The San Jose (1698)
The San Jose was a Spanish galleon that reportedly carried two tons of platinum along with emeralds and other gems valued at estimates ranging from $2 billion to $17 billion. It is the richest wreck of the Western hemisphere. In 1708, she ran into the British Navy off of the coast of Colombia during the War of Spanish Succession—and while trying to outrun them, sank in more than 800 feet of water. Fast forward nearly 300 years. A private company named Sea Search Armada—whose founders included the late actor Michael Landon—claims to have located the wreck. And it probably has. But political intrigue keeps this wreck and its treasure concealed by the waters still.
S.S. Waratah (1911)
The S.S. Waratah was a British passenger ship often called Australia’s Titanic—but it launched in 1908, four years prior to the actual Titanic. It had capacity for 750 passengers and 150 crew and made one round-trip voyage from London to Sydney. But on its second voyage, the ship was reportedly overweighted and prone to small fires breaking out from an uninsulated boiler. It disappeared somewhere near Cape Town, South Africa, in a historic shipwreck graveyard known for rough waters, bad weather, and rocky outcrops.
Made more famous by its parallels to the Titanic—both ships were considered technologically advanced, geared toward the wealthy, and wholly unsinkable—efforts to find the Waratah picked up in the 1980s. Groups of researchers have made at least six expeditions around the presumed wreck site with no luck. “I‘ve spent 22 years of my life searching for the ship,” Emlyn Brown, the chief wreck hunter,told The Guardian when he finally gave up in 2004. “I’ve exhausted all the options. I now have no idea where to look.”
S.S. Arctic (1854)
The northwest Atlantic showing the position of the collision between the Arctic and Vesta in 1854 / Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
Launched in 1850, the Arctic was luxurious and quick—able to cross the Atlantic in 10 days. The private ship was built with a generous subsidy from the U.S. government to help the American-based Collins Line compete with the British Cunard Line. Four years into its transatlantic service, the Arctic collided one night in 1854 with a French steamer near Newfoundland (incidentally, not far from where the Titanic disappeared along the same route heading in the opposite direction). At the time of its sinking, the Arctic was a tragedy that killed almost 300 people. But it was made worse by the horrifying revelation that the crew had scrambled into the too-few lifeboats and all the women and children on board had died.
The Arctic tragedy undercut the longstanding belief—which a 2012 study found to be largely a myth—that women and children are traditionally rescued first. Usually they’re last, if they’re rescued at all. Despite this embarrassing and avoidable tragedy, no inquiry was ever held in the U.S. or UK, and neither the ship nor its doomed passengers have ever been found.
What happens if You find a sunken treasure?
Although you might think the rules surrounding ‘finders keepers’ apply to a sunken treasure ship, this is unfortunately not true. Under salvage law, you must at least try to return the treasures to their rightful owner. As a result, upon discovery, you’d need to notify the government which controlled those waters.
Before you consider just not telling anyone, the IMO states dishonest conduct could invalidate any claim to the treasures.
Although you may be entitled to a percentage of the find in this case, a brighter future awaits you in international waters. If no one claims ownership of the sunken vessel, you could be allowed to take as much treasure as you can carry!!
A lot of people think that the distress signal is an abbreviation for “save our souls” or “save our ship.” But in reality, “save our souls” and “save our ship” are backronyms, and the letters don’t actually stand for anything.
In fact, the signal isn’t even really supposed to be three individual letters. It’s just a continuous Morse code string of three dots, three dashes, and three dots all run together with no spaces or full stops (…—…). Since three dots form the letter “S” and three dashes form an “O” in International Morse code, though, the signal came to be called an “SOS” for the sake of convenience. That connection has led to the letters coming into their own as a visual distress signal divorced from Morse Code, and those in need of rescue sometimes spell them out on the ground to be seen from above.
You could also break down the string into IJS, SMB and VTB if you wanted to.
To understand how the term SOS came into common use, we have to go back in time and look at morse code.
The beginnings of wireless communication
In the late 19th century, there was a lot of interest in the idea of wireless telegraphy—the concept of transmitting signals without wires. Guglielmo Marconi, a young Italian aristocrat with an interest in science, was one of the most prominent researchers in this field.
A series of private tutors educated Marconi at home. He never formally attended any college of higher education. That didn’t stop him from experimenting with radio waves as a basis for a wireless telegraphy system.
The butler did it
Twenty years old, and with a thirst for knowledge, Marconi began building his own equipment and conducting experiments. An interesting factoid that gets less attention than Marconi himself is that his butler, a man called Mignani, helped to build the first wireless machines.
After some initial success, Marconi had a working device that could send and send messages for up to 2 miles. But, he needed funding and support to continue his work. With little encouragement from the Italian government, Marconi moved to London. After a series of ever greater demonstrations, the first wireless transmission systems were born.
People used these machines to messages using a system of dots and dashes to represent individual letters. This was known as Morse code.
The Logic Behind “SOS”
So why use that specific string of dots and dashes if there’s no meaning to it? Because it was the best way to get the job done.
When wireless radiotelegraph machines first made their way onto ships around the turn of the 20th century, seamen in danger needed a way to attract attention, signal distress, and ask for help — a unique signal that would transmit clearly and quickly and wouldn’t be confused for other communications. At first, different organizations and countries had their own “in-house” distress signals. The U.S. Navy used “NC,” which was the maritime flag signal for distress from the International Code of Signals. The Marconi Company, which leased its equipment and telegraph operators to various ships, used “CQD.” The “German Regulations for the Control of Spark Telegraphy” of 1905 mandated that all German operators use “…—…”.
Having these multiple distress signals was confusing and potentially dangerous. It meant that a ship in distress in foreign waters had a language barrier to overcome with would-be rescuers, even if using International Morse Code. Because of this and other issues, various countries decided to get together and discuss the idea of laying down some international regulations for radiotelegraph communications. In 1906, the International Wireless Telegraph Convention convened in Berlin, and delegates attempted to establish an international standard distress call. Marconi’s “-.-.–.–..”, and “………-..-..-..” (“SSSDDD”), which Italy had proposed at a previous conference, were deemed too cumbersome. Germany’s “…—…”, though, could be sent quickly and easily and was hard to misinterpret. It was chosen as the international distress signal for the nations who met at the conference, and went into effect on July 1, 1908.
Early distress signals
Shipping became one of the early adopters of Marconi’s wireless system. Suddenly, and for the first time, vessels at sea could stay in contact with the land and each other, even when out of sight.
By the early 20th century, many vessels had wireless communication. It quickly became apparent that a universal distress call was necessary. The UK used a call sign of CQ for land-based, wired communications to identify a general message. The Marconi company suggested a signal of CQD as the general distress call for wireless operators.
At the same time, Germany had begun to adopt a morse code sequence of three dots followed by three dashes followed by three dots as their distress code. Other nations and navies were using different call signs for their distress signals. This caused confusion on the high seas when different national vessels sent out calls for help.
At an international radiotelegraph convention held in Berlin in 1906, the world adopted the German morse code sequence as the standard global distress signal. The adopted international regulations described a series of dots and dashes with no reference to the alphabet. So, they did not officially call the original distress signal by the letters SOS.
SOS in its infancy
Since the international morse code representation of the letter S was three dots and the letter O three dashes, it wasn’t long before the distress signal became known as SOS. History records the first real SOS calls sent in 1909.
As with all things, it took a few years for previous practices to die out. During the Titanic disaster of 1912, telegraph operators used both the CQD and SOS distress signals. The initial confusion this caused may have been the deciding factor in the final phasing out of the CQD sign.
The Titanic, and in particular, the part that wireless transmissions played in saving lives, led to greater public recognition of Marconi and his invention.
SOS through the ages
SOS soon became the universal cry for help. People use it for more than simple wireless signals. Many stranded people have signaled for help with an SOS distress signal written in the sand, the snow, or with rocks. This has led to their rescue.
SOS is a palindrome and an ambigram. Meaning it is a word that reads the same both forward and backward and the right way up or upside down – a great help for spotters from the air looking down. This may have helped with the adoption of the SOS distress signal.
Developments in the use of distress messaging continued throughout the twentieth century. First, there were variations in the original SOS to specify the type of accident or emergency. Later, MAYDAY was added as a voice code signal.
During the Second World War, additional suffixes were added to the SOS distress call to communicate the type of attacking vessel. So, if under attack by a submarine the code SOS would have a following signal SSS, or an operator might use SOS RRR for a surface attack.
An early flaw with the distress signal was the reliance on the presence of radio operators at the telegraph machine when an SOS message was sent. If a distress signal was sent and the radio personnel were at lunch or asleep, no one would hear it.
Later versions of the telegraph machine included an automatic alarm that would sound to signal the receipt of an SOS message. Thus ensuring that someone would hear the SOS when the staff were not at their stations.
The alternative SOS
Interestingly, another well-known SOS doesn’t actually refer to the distress signal at all. The SOS in the name of the charity SOS Villages refers to the original name of the organization. Before it was known as SOS villages, the charity was a social club called Societas Socialis designed to raise funds for children in Austria. And so in this case, the SOS is actually an acronym.
Today, an SOS village is present in almost every country around the world.
The modern SOS
With the advent of modern communications equipment, the SOS signal has been in decline. These days, a single press of a button will broadcast a vessel’s emergency instantaneously to satellites orbiting overhead and emergency services will immediately know the vessel’s exact position.
Emergency beacons—EPIRBs and PLBs
An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a small electronic device that, when activated in an emergency, can help search and rescue authorities pinpoint your position.
Once activated, EPIRBs continuously send out a signal for at least 48 hours. Search and rescue authorities respond to all EPIRB activations—you must only activate the EPIRB in an emergency and you must tell them immediately if you no longer need help.
All boats operating beyond smooth and partially smooth waters or more than 2nm from land in open waters must carry a 406MHz digital EPIRB.
But it’s unlikely the good old SOS will die out completely as long as someone uses it as a visual distress signal in pebbles on the beach of a deserted island.
It’s no secret that beach clubs have become a popular addition to luxury yachts, but the one that adorns the new megayacht Indah is unlike anything currently on the seas. In fact, it’s more like an epic waterfront entertainment venue, offering enough space for you, your friends and even your friends’ friends to enjoy.
The oversized beach club is the centerpiece of the 394-foot concept, which was penned by Opalinski Design House. The vessel sports a sleek steel hull, an aluminum superstructure and a wave-piercing vertical bow. It also features some nifty, origami-like engineering to give it more space aft.
The patented design is equipped with rotating transom bulkheads that expand outwards to reveal additional decking. These extended decks are then raised to level with the swim platform to create a sprawling beach club. This space features sunpads for seaside chilling, along with a gym and sauna that are discreetly hidden behind tinted glass. Seafarers will also have direct access to tenders, which can pull up next to the openings in the bulkheads.
The vessel with the rotating transom bulkheads closed. Opalinski Design House
Beyond the beach club, Indah, which means “beautiful one” in Indonesian, features a massive 5,500 GT interior and a myriad of luxurious amenities. She can accommodate a total of 24 guests across 12 cabins and the generous owner’s suite comes complete with its own dedicated aft deck balcony. She can also sleep a total 32 crew.
Elsewhere, Indah offers a foredeck jacuzzi with sunbeds and a retractable sunshade, a sizable aft pool that overlooks the beach club, along with a haul of water toys. Owners can also choose to add a helicopter landing pad and hangar for further exploration at sea.
The vessel with the rotating transom bulkheads extended. Opalinski Design House
Billed as a “true ocean-going vessel,” Indah will be fitted with a diesel-electric propulsion package for cleaner and efficient cruising. She will be powered by four MTU16V engines that together deliver a top speed of 24 knots and a range of 7,000 nautical miles. She will also have solar generating surface coatings and vertical wind turbines onboard to produce green energy.
Although Indah is just a concept at this stage, the firm is currently offering to license the rotational transom bulkheads to selected manufacturers. That means we may be seeing many more ginormous beach clubs in the future.
The designers of the world’s first hydrogen-fueled super yacht have denied the $645million vessel is going to Microsoft boss Bill Gates.
The 370ft vessel, which only emits water, had been linked to Gates for his penchant for super yachts and his keen interest in technological solutions to climate change.
But Sinot, the designers of the concept ship, have since denied this is the case.
The yacht, unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show last year, comprises five decks complete with space for 14 guests, 31 crew members, a gym, yoga studio, beauty room, massage parlor and cascading pool on its rear deck.
But its most impressive feature is locked away in the hold – two 28-ton vacuum-sealed tanks that are cooled to -423F (-253C) and filled with liquid hydrogen which powers the ship.
The Aqua superyacht is a futuristic design that is 370ft-long, comprised of five decks, and runs off liquid hydrogen meaning it only emits water. Design studio Sinot said the exterior of the vessel was inspired by ocean swells, the movement of the tides, and weather out on the open ocean
The rear of the vessel has two entertaining areas – one lower lounge area for sunbathing or swimming – and an upper entertaining space with room for outdoor dining. Gel-fuelled fire bowls allow guests to stay warm on colder evenings without having to burn wood or coals
The rear deck features an infinity pool which cascades towards the ocean, while floor-to-ceiling glass windows lead through into a downstairs entertaining space with dining room for 14 people and a home cinema
Aqua was unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show, which runs from September 25-28 in Port Hercules. While the yacht is only a design concept at the moment, its architects hope it will inspire future designs based on its eco-friendly fuel system
A huge staircase at the centre of the vessel spirals around a water feature (centre) to the lower level, where the ship’s hydrogen fuel tanks can be viewed through a glass panel (rear). Each tank weighs 28 tons, is vacuum sealed and cooled to -423F (-253C) in order to hold the hydrogen fuel
The liquid hydrogen is pumped through special PEM fuel cells which convert it into electricity which runs the engines and electronics on board. The supply is moderated using two fuel cells to make sure it stays constant. The only emission from the system is water, which can be safely pumped into the ocean
Bill Gates orders world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht
The new vessel is not expected to be ready to take to the open seas until 2024.
In a statement, Sinot said today that claims the vessel’s concept had been bought by Gates were ‘factually incorrect.’
The hydrogen is pumped through a special type of fuel cell which converts it into electricity, while emitting only water which can be safety pumped into the ocean.
Despite its novel fuel source, the vessel is able to reach 17 knots and travel 3,750 miles before it needs to refuel, enough to cover an Atlantic crossing from New York to Southampton.
Designer Sander Sinot is hoping it will pave the way towards a more ecological future for the superyacht industry.
The boat will easily be able to cross the Atlantic but it will also have a backup diesel engine due to the scarcity of Hydrogen refueling points
The ship’s wheelhouse is located under a bubble hood-shaped roof on the bridge deck and has a 360 degree view of the surrounding ocean. It is from this spaceship-like room that the ship’s captain and his 32-strong crew operate the vessel
The master suite occupies the entire 50ft width of the Aqua under a central skylight, broken into separate ‘rooms’ using wooden dividers. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide plenty of light from both sides, while the interior can be decorated however the new owner wishes. A doorway at the read leads through to the bedroom and bathroom
The yacht contains enough space for 14 guests and 32 crew, including the huge owner’s pavilion (bedroom, pictured), two other VIP state rooms for their most valued guests and four regular state rooms
The master bathroom also features floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the ocean, a large central bathtub, his-and-hers vanity units off to either side, and his-and-hers shower units to the left and right
Gates, 64, is known to regularly take vacations onboard superyachts and would usually rent boats during summer trips to the Mediterranean. Here he is pictured along with Melinda in Turkey in 2005
Bill and Melinda Gates are spotted on vacation in Marmaris, Turkey travelling on a speedboat in October 2005
He said: ‘With every project, I challenge my team and myself to surpass ourselves. For development of AQUA we took inspiration from the lifestyle of a discerning, forward-looking owner, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology to combine this in a superyacht with truly innovative features.’
Working alongside Lateral Naval Architects, Sinot spent five months perfecting the details in the yacht in the hopes of one day being able to transform it into a real vessel.
Although this new yacht will be run on liquid hydrogen, there will also be an engine that runs on diesel as a back-up due to a current lack of hydrogen refueling stations.
The gym features a range of workout machines, a full set of dumbbells and a yoga studio. A window stretching the entire width of the gym at sea-level gives the impression of working out on the water itself
Located in a room to the side of the gym is the hydro massage room, where passengers are massage by soothing water jets that rain down on the central granite table
The upper-deck lounge area leads directly off the owner’s pavilion area and has floor-to-ceiling windows as well as views out over the outdoor entertaining space. It can be used either as a casual entertaining space, or for al-fresco dining
A lounge space within the lower-deck entertaining area can either be set up for casual conversation, or rotate to face a cinema screen. Behind the seating area is the formal dining space, with settings for 14 people
Aside from the fuel source, the yacht’s other features include a wheelhouse that looks like something out of a spaceship, a huge central staircase spiraling around a water feature, and a beauty and fitness suite.
The rear deck features two entertaining areas – one upper and one lower – along with a cascading pool, sun loungers, and outdoor dining space.
There is also storage space for two 32ft tenders – smaller boats used to get to and from the main yacht – three jet-skis and smaller ‘water toys’.
Computer-generated images of the yacht, along with a 10ft scale model, were unveiled by Sinot at the Monaco Yacht Show last year.
The yacht’s designers said they wanted it to combine ‘ground-breaking technology with cutting-edge design’ and provide a blueprint for future designs using eco-friendly fuel sources
This water feature – comprised of a jet falling from the ceiling into the pool below – sits at the centre of the gym complex, with doorways at either side leading to the workout room and the massage parlour
A top-down view of the vessel showing the two outdoor entertaining areas at the rear, the central bubble bridge containing the wheelhouse and a view down through the ceiling window in the owner’s pavilion
The boat was in a design concept when it was unveiled at the Monaco Boat Show
The Aqua also comes with space for two tenders – smaller boats used to get to the larger vessel – three jet-skis and a range of other ‘water toys’
HOW DO HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS WORK?
Hydrogen fuel cells create electricity to power a battery and motor by mixing hydrogen and oxygen in specially treated plates, which are combined to form the fuel cell stack.
Fuel cell stacks and batteries have allowed engineers to significantly shrink these components to even fit neatly inside a family car, although they are also commonly used to fuel buses and other larger vehicles.
Oxygen is collected from the air through intakes, usually in the grille, and hydrogen is stored in aluminium-lined fuel tanks, which automatically seal in an accident to prevent leaks.
These ingredients are fused, releasing usable electricity and water as byproducts and making the technology one of the quietest and most environmentally friendly available.
Reducing the amount of platinum used in the stack has made fuel cells less expensive, but the use of the rare metal has restricted the spread of their use.
Recent research has suggested hydrogen fuel cell cars could one day challenge electric cars in the race for pollution-free roads, however – but only if more stations are built to fuel them.
Fuel cell cars can be refueled as quickly as gasoline-powered cars and can also travel further between fill-ups.
Fuelling stations cost up to $2 million to build, so companies have been reluctant to build them unless more fuel cell cars are on the road.
The U.S. Department of Energy lists just 34 public hydrogen fuelling stations in the country; all but three are in California.
According to Information Trends, there were 6,475 FCV’s worldwide at the end of 2017.
More than half were registered in California, which puts the U.S. (53 per cent) at the forefront for FCV adoption.
Japan takes second place with 38 per cent, while Europe is at nine per cent.
More than a 100 years after the Titanic hit that fateful iceberg, we’re still fascinated with the legendary steamship—as much because of its glamour as its tragic ending. The pride of the White Star Line and the largest passenger ship in its day, it was modeled after the Ritz Hotel in London, with a gymnasium, Turkish baths, a squash court, four restaurants and 416 first-class staterooms.
The Titanic was 882.5 feet long, or about the length of four city blocks. At the time of its launch, it was the largest passenger ship in the world.GETTY
Now Titanic expert Veronica Hinke has gone back in time with The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining and Style. Part cookbook, part first-person narrative, part anthropolical study, ituses cuisine, cocktails, dress decor and other cultural threads to dive into our obsession with the ill-fated ship and the Edwardian era as a whole.
Bartenders in the dining car saloon would have been whipping up cocktails like the Rob Roy, the Robert Burns and the Bronx to tony travelers like John Jacob Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim. Some 850 bottles of spirits were brought onboard, and the ship’s wine cellar was stocked with 1,000 bottles—including a lot of Champagne and Bordeaux, apparently.
An original lunch menu saved by a passenger aboard the Titanic, just hours before it began to sink, will be up for auction on September 30, Lion Heart Autographs.LION HEART AUTOGRAPHS
Lavish 10-course meals were the norm for first-class passengers—chilled spring pea soup, chicken in cream sauce, Oysters à la Russe—and each dish was paired with a glass of wine.
“It’s absolutely incredible that we have menus that Titanic passengers and crew tucked away in their pockets and letters they wrote home describing their meals,” Hinke tells Newsweek. “These letters and menus provide rare and precious glimpses at life and food aboard the Titanic, and also throughout the world in the early 20th century.”
Her recipes, curated in narrative form, include dishes served on the ship as well as Hinke’s moden adaptations. She filled in the gaps by looking at menus from other steamships of the day, as well as from bars and restaurants that were au courant when the Titanic went down—like the Waldorf Astoria and Knickerbocker Hotels and Delmonico’s restaurant (where Hinke had her book launch this week).
“By seeing what someone like John Jacob Astor IV might have eaten while dining out in New York City, we can imagine what he likely would have eaten while on a steamship like the Titanic,” she says.
One drink we know for sure that was served on the Titanic is Punch à la Romaine, a shaved-ice concoction popularized by famed French chef (and spiked slushie fan) Georges Auguste Escoffier. Made with rum and Champagne, it was served as a palate cleanser between courses. Light, refreshing and citrusy, it can easily stand on it own.
1 egg white
1 oz. white rum
½ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. fresh orange juice
2 oz. Champagne or sparkling wine
Crushed ice—enough to fill the glass
Twist of orange peel, for garnish
Add the egg whites to an empty cocktail shaker and shake until frothy. To the cocktail shaker add rum, simple syrup, lemon juice, and orange juice and shake vigorously. Mound crushed ice in a coupe glass and pour mixture around it, being careful to leave enough room for the Champagne.
Top with Champagne and garnish with orange peel. The cocktail should be liquid and frothy enough to drink without a spoon.
In August of 1985, a US Navy-sponsored expedition lead by marine archeologist Robert Ballard was struggling to find the wreck of the Titanic. Ballard and his crew were given twelve days to sweep a potential resting place of more than 150 square miles using new technology that allowed for exploration below 10,000 feet. One week into the expedition, Ballard and his crew propitiously stumbled across the Titanic’s “debris field,” a large trail of debris left by the ship as it broke in half and sank to the ocean floor.
The debris field contained millions of objects: suitcases, clothes, bathtubs, jugs, bowls, hand mirrors and numerous other personal effects. One item that caught Ballard’s eye in particular were fully intact wine bottles, which appeared to still contain their corks.
The number of wine bottles scattered around the Titanic—an ocean liner whose main appeal was its luxury—isn’t a surprise. The ship’s first class passengers enjoyed extremely elaborate, 10-course dinners, with accompanying wine pairings for each dish. Corks retreived from the wreck indicate that Champagne from Moët and Heidsieck & Co. was popular on board.
A man holds a lunch menu recovered from the Titanic.
Champagne-style wines were favoured on the Titanic because they could be easily chilled after being brought onto the ship. Bordeaux wines were less favoured because the rumble from the enormous steam engines could dislodge sediment from inside the bottle. To slake the thirst of its first class passengers, the Titanic held more than 12,000 bottles of wine in its cellar.
This begs the question: if photographs indicate that the wreck of the Titanic holds thousands of sealed, unbroken bottles, could some of that wine still be drinkable?
It’s difficult to say, mainly because samples from the wreck are few and far between. Ballard himself refused to take bottles of wine from the wreck, claiming that doing so would be tantamount to grave robbing:
“Maritime collectors around the world would have paid thousands of dollars for a piece of the ship… How I would have loved a bottle of Titanic champagne for my own wine cellar. But from all our discussions it became clear that the Titanic has no true archaeological value… Recovering a chamber pot or a wine bottle or a copper cooking pan would really just be pure treasure-hunting.”
Bottles claiming to be from the wreck of the Titanic do occasionally appear at auctions, but the ship’s extensive wine collection remains mostly undisturbed on the ocean floor.
Experts taste wine from a 151-year-old US Civil War shipwreck at an event in Charleston, South Carolina. Attendees claimed the wine tasted like “crab water, gasoline, salt water, vinegar, with hints of citrus and alcohol.”
If other wrecks are any indication, however, there is some hope. A shipment of wines that lay buried in a wreck on the ocean floor for 138 years off the coast of Georgia was retrieved and tasted by divers in 1979, who described the wines as “incredibly good” (the collection contained 1839 red Bergundy of Cru quality, 1834 Port and 1830 Madeira).
In 2010, Finnish divers discovered several crates of champagne and beer from a sunken ship that had been at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for nearly 200 years. When changing pressures caused one of the champagne corks to pop out of its bottle, the divers tasted the wine and found that it was still drinkable.
“Bottles kept at the bottom of the sea are better kept than in the finest wine cellars,” Champagne expert Richard Juhlin explains. If experts like Juhlin are right, if there is anywhere wine could survive for 100 years, it’s the bottom of the ocean.
Perhaps the closest comparison we have to the Titanic is the RMS Republic, another massive White Star ocean liner which sunk in 1909 when it collided with the SS Florida. A key difference between the two wrecks is that the Republic experienced relatively little loss of life, making salvage efforts less prone to accusations of grave robbing.
Expeditions to the Republic have found a similarly large collection of wines: Moët & Chandon and Dom Ruinart champagnes; several Mosels, other white wines of uncertain origin, and some Bordeaux. When divers from a 1987 expedition opened a bottle of 1898 Moët & Chandon Champagne from the wreck, they found the wine to be “effervescent” and “wonderful.” When they sent some of the bottles to the New York office of Christie’s auction house, however, the wines were found to be malodorous and unpleasant.
“The bottles they brought us were debris,” Robert Maneker of Christie’s told The Wine Spectator in 1987. Experts at the auction house determined that the wine bottles were nothing more than a collection of “curiosities,” like “shrunken heads,” and said that newspaper reports estimating that the bottles could be worth up to $4,000 were “absolutely rubbish.”
If past shipwrecks are any indication then, the Titanic’s wine collection could have met a variety of fates. Fluctuations in temperature, bacteria and water pressure could have removed the seals of the bottles completely. Seepage might also have slowly replaced the original contents of the bottles with saltwater. Or perhaps some of the Titanic’s wine collection lies on the ocean floor still intact, after more than a century of deep sea cellaring, still waiting to be tasted. ♦
Plans for an ‘invisible’ superyacht which blends into the sea and makes those on board feel like they are ‘floating on air’ have been unveiled.
The 106-metre Mirage, which could cost as much as £200million, will be completely clad in specially mirrored glass which reflects the image of the sea back to onlookers.
This will make it look as if the 4,200-tonne vessel has ‘vanished’ to people from as little as 50 metres away – though any radar will still detect the yacht with plenty of time to manoeuvre. Meanwhile, the yacht’s own radar can also look out for smaller boats on a collision course, giving the captain time to take any evasive action.
‘Invisible’ superyacht: Mirage has been designed to ‘vanish’ into the sea and give its billionaire owner some privacy
Designed to be the ultimate purchase for privacy-hungry billionaires, Mirage comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema.
The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots.
It was developed by Italian boatbuilders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs to ‘disappear between water and sky’ and ‘blend into the horizon’.
Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct.
The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots
One of the 4,200-tonne vessel’s stunning decks with luxurious steps leading between levels and striking glass fittings
A dining area on one of the superyacht’s spacious decks with room to accommodate dozens of guests for parties
Mirage comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema. Pictured: The designers’ vision of one of the six decks
‘The longest part was researching the reflective glass and how it would be built,’ he said.
‘The main reason in designing this yacht was to make something that belonged to its environment.
‘Most yachts nowadays stand out and break the horizon or the landscape, in a way, we have tried to minimise this effect.
A luxurious swimming pool area on the ‘invisible’ superyacht surrounded by satellites of sun loungers inches from the ocean
The £200million vessel has steps leading down into the sea so its billionaire owner can take a dip from one of the lower decks
‘The colour variable mirrored glass is developed by a German glass manufacturer, which has never been used on yachts before.
‘All the vertical panels on the yacht will have this finish. If you were on the water it would probably be invisible from over 50 metres away.
‘If you are on the yacht itself the mirror will project the yacht’s surroundings, so in a way, it will give you a floating on air effect when onboard.’
The 106-metre vessel was developed by Italian boatbuilders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs to ‘disappear between water and sky’ and ‘blend into the horizon’
Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct
Mr Van Geest declined to put a price on the Mirage, but maritime experts suggested £200million would be reasonable for such a unique, luxury vessel.
If that was an accurate price tag it would place Mirage in the top 10 of the world’s most expensive yachts.
The list is currently topped by the £4billion History Supreme, which is made of solid gold and owned by Malaysia’s richest man, Robert Knok.