This series of 41-metre, ocean-going yachts for the YachtPlus fractionally owned luxury fleet is the most recent of a number of naval commissions that began with the design of the motor yacht Izanami in 1993 and continued with the sailing yacht Dark Shadow in 2002. Three boats - Ocean Emerald, Ocean Pearl and Ocean Sapphire - have been completed for YachtPlus and a fourth is planned. In exchange for a one-eighth share in a specific yacht, owners enjoy access to a crewed and serviced fleet in the Mediterranean in summer and the Caribbean in winter, with a total of thirty nights annually onboard. A cruising speed of 16 knots allows a range of 950 nautical miles - a voyage, say, from Monte Carlo to Capri.
The boats were built and fitted out in the yards of Rodriquez Cantieri Navali's high-tech yacht division near La Spezia in Italy. Like Izanami, the hulls are constructed from aluminium alloy, with lightweight composite used for the superstructure. While the yachts have a conventional semi-displacement hull and diesel-electric propulsion systems, their overall form represents a striking departure from precedent. The superstructure is placed forward to maximise the provision of outdoor terrace space, and the interiors are opened up to daylight and views. In contrast to many yachts of this size, the living accommodation is generously scaled, comprising some 533 square metres, and each yacht can sleep twelve guests, together with a crew of seven, including a chef.
The owner's suite is located at the prow, arranged so that it points the course of the yacht, articulating the thrill of living on the water. Glazed bulkheads and wide window openings serve to dissolve divisions between inside and outside, and the teak planking of the main deck runs the length of the main saloon, creating a sense of continuity from the decks to the living spaces. The different deck levels are linked by a glass spiral staircase, designed to draw daylight down through the guest accommodation, while reflective wall finishes maximise the spread of light. After dark, state-of-the-art lighting systems can change the mood and atmosphere of every space, adding a further dramatic dimension to life at sea.