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Concept Superyacht Could ‘Fly’ at Unprecedented Speeds

The Plectrum takes the racing sailboat to a brand new scale.

When you’re living through a global pandemic, it’s only natural to reflect on the fragility of life — and perhaps make an impulse purchase or two that might have been on the back burner pre-2020.

For those with the means, that has meant a boom in orders for yachts during the COVID era and its immediate aftermath. Well, if you’re willing to wait a couple of years and have some $90 million lying around, you might be able to get your hands on something to really turn heads in the local marina.

Lazzarini Design Studio, the Italian shop behind an electric super-limo, a UFO-shaped houseboat, and a massive, floating city in the shape of a turtle, recently unveiled its latest concept: a 240-foot superyacht dubbed the Plectrum.

Designers, according to CNN, say they were inspired by the vessels from the famed America’s Cup sailing race, whose designs date back to the mid-’60s. The Plectrum, however, would more than triple the size of those ultra-fast sailboats.

Renderings show a sleek, orange vessel, complete with helipad and room to stow a smaller boat and a vehicle, but this isn’t a leisurely voyage up the coast.

The vessel, made of carbon fiber composite materials, features a foil system that can expand from resting width of 50 feet to more than 65 feet — and effectively lift the main structure out of water at high speeds. Its trio of hydrogen-powered engines, each able to reach up to 5,000 horsepower, can reach a top speed of 75 knots, or 86 miles per hour — much faster than any yacht of similar size.

Building the largest hydrofoil of its kind, in theory, could take two years, the studio said. If a buyer is found, it’ll reportedly be priced at about $87 million.

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