Project Skyfall

John Staluppi has come a long way since his first boat – a 13m sport fishing boat. The American entrepreneur and serial yacht builder has announced that Turkish builder Sunrise Yachts will build his 19th and largest superyacht, the 68m ‘Skyfall’.

It comes as no surprise that the man who made a deal with Frans Heesen that he would only take a yacht (Octopussy) if it could go over 50 knots would ensure that his next project will be another showcase for the latest technology and push the boundaries of design.

‘Skyfall’ will include a Voith Linear Jet propulsion system and the lauded MME microturbine system, which is yet to be tested on a yacht of this scale. “For a man who seeks ‘firsts’ the MME microturbine system was the perfect fit,” Jean-Claude Carme, vice president of sales and marketing at Sunrise tells us.

M/Y Octopussy (image courtesy of Mulder)

Unsurprisingly for an owner who built the fastest yacht in the world (World Is Not Enough can reach 70 knots), speed was at the heart of why Sunrise beat off competition from yards in America, Northern Europe and Asia. ‘Skyfall’ will boast a top speed of 23 knots for a full displacement steel hull. “It can achieve a relatively high speed with a relatively low draft,” says Carme. “This is important because of the client’s preference for cruising grounds such as the Bahamas and Florida.”

The yard liaised with Frank Mulder, a connoisseur of ‘fast designs’, who had worked on previous Staluppi projects, and identified the key systems to be included on board. 
 “The combination of speed, draft and volume defines a rather complex equation”, Carme continues. 

The design itself came from Italy’s Valicelli Design, and although it has undergone the obvious tweaks and adaptations under Staluppi’s eye, Carme tells us that it was “the perfect fit”. “The originality of the style, playing with harmonious contrasts between soft and rigid formal elements is clearly noticeable in the sheer-line,” says principal designer, Andrea Valicelli. “Moreover, the low angle of the transom slope, reminiscent of a racing sailing yacht, and the long forward overhang help Project Skyfall to be a very slender yacht.”

Staluppi's most recent launch, Diamonds Are Forever

Another key player in the project is Peter Thompson of Worth Avenue, who has been working with Staluppi for many years and is also an associate of Carme. For Carme, the relationship between the owner, Thompson and himself was influential in the deal being signed.

Speaking of the design, Thompson says: “There are some yachts that become game changers, that alter the desires and aspirations of future designs simply becoming ‘the way of the future’; this is one of those yachts.”

 “The client has previously built the fastest yacht in the world and he is technically very exacting, as he should be”, Carme explains. “So for him to choose us to build his biggest yacht to date is recognition of what we’re trying to achieve.”

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