In issue 11 of The Superyacht Owner (out in early February), we talk to the proud owner of Ocean Paradise, a 65m built by Benetti Yachts and launched last year. The yacht has a number of memorable features, including a sundeck designed for more than sunbathing and socialising. During the design phase, it was important to the Singaporean owner to have multipurpose spaces on board. Depending on the occasion, the sundeck can be transformed from a sunbathing area into an outdoor gym and spa, cinema, disco or al fresco dining area thanks to foldable chairs and table that are stowed in a large pouf.

The sundeck on Ocean Paradise

This multipurpose approach is nothing new but studios continue to explore new ways to bridge the gap between the interior and exterior. For most owners and charterers, formal spaces such as the dining areas is not used as frequently as deck areas. It is this very aspect, along with the desire to create a space that fully utilises the layout through multipurpose solutions, which has lead to the growing popularity for indoor/outdoor concepts. An example of this can be seen in a new 80m-plus motoryacht under construction at Feadship.

Pool beach house, Feadship's Indoor/Outdoor concept

“A couple of years ago I spoke to a client who wanted a new Feadship…,” explains Feadship director Henk de Vries. “Our conversations led to the creation of a custom design, with the aft main deck superstructure being used as an exterior space that can be closed off to achieve a fully air-conditioned space.”

While this project will be the first to feature Feadship’s  ‘Indoor/Outdoor’ concept, the idea has appeared elsewhere. Stella Maris for instance, a 72m by VSY launched in 2012, has a similar structure on the upper aft deck. Large moveable glass walls enclose a dining area, which is directly connected to the sky lounge. This makes it possible for her owner and guests to enjoy the exterior deck area regardless of weather conditions.

Stella Maris sky lounge open

Once the glass walls are in place, the temperature can be controlled

“This area is climate controlled and can be used in any season,” explains VSY director Cristiana Longarini. “The walls can be opened to convert the space into an open dining or living room area, exposing it to the breeze and beauty of the surrounding environment. This considerably extends the enjoyment of yachting, both for the owner’s private use and with charter revenue in mind.”

The bow of 86m Royale concept

The outdoor/indoor concept is a feature that is likely to grow in popularity over the next few years, but are there other features designed to bridge the gap between the inside and outside? One suggestion comes from the Dutch shipyard once again in the form of a viewing platform at the bow of its 2013 Future Feadship Concept, Royale.

Within the bow is a triangular bench, with a cove shaped bench on the deck below

“The bow area is the most private part of the vessel,” says Tanno Weeda, a senior designer at Feadship. “It can be entered from the family lounge, which is just in front of this section. The owner could enjoy a glass of wine on the main deck and move down a deck and still enjoy an amazing view, especially when the vessel is sailing.”

The family lounge is situated behind the viewing platform at the bow

A similar idea was conceived by Australian design studio Sabdes with its 145m concept called Project X. While this feature would be breath taking when stationary, we are sceptical as to how comfortable it would be when underway due to the higher level of vertical movement compared to amidships. Whether or not we see this idea in the flesh is down to you, the owner.

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