To get a peek at the future of transportation, you could start by visiting a warehouse building in an industrial stretch of Mountain View, California. Above the door, which has its window papered over, a safety sign catalogues various health and fire hazards that lurk within. A red and black wetsuit hangs on a large tree found nearby.
It has been described by the industry as “extreme”, “insane” and “rule breaking”. Actually, the extraordinary-looking Adastra superyacht is profoundly practical – it’s the challenges it has to overcome that are unreasonable. Here’s the problem: the brief was to create a boat that could accommodate large, luxurious living quarters, yet also be able to traverse the globe, coping with all the meteorological challenges that might come its way, while travelling efficiently and at high speed.
The solution was this huge, aerodynamic trimaran with a low-friction skin that is itself part of the boat’s structure and a body that was built almost entirely in composites – carbon fibre, e-glass, Kevlar – even down to the interiors. The 42.5-metre diesel-engined vessel has a range of 10,000 nautical miles at 10 knots and comes with roomy quarters for nine guests and six crew, plus a spacious saloon and aft deck. Its designer, John Shuttleworth, believes it may just be the most fuel-efficient super yacht ever created. Now, it is going on the open market: yours for $13 million.