The term “freshwater yacht” was an oxymoron until J. David Weiss conceived Invictus, a futuristic 80-footer that redefines large barges. After writing dozens of ocean-going superyachts for major European builders, Weiss was given carte blanche from Arizona-based Bravada Yachts to create a new freshwater category. âThe designs were generally square, bloated RVs,â he says. âThe good news is that their scale can deliver a personalized yacht experience.â
The nearly $ 2 million Invictus has 3200 square feet of space on two decks. The sprawling interior, with nine-foot ceilings, features five cabins, two full kitchens, custom daybeds and, true to its lake-boat DNA, a 15-foot slide, while the ubiquitous glass provides exceptional views on the water. Since even large lakes experience minimal wave action – at least compared to ocean swell – Weiss was able to push some aspects of the design. âBringing glass so low to the waterline is unheard of on a superyacht,â he says. âThese kinds of differences allow us to explore what was possibleâ in the new category.
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Companies in Australia and Germany are also launching new glass-centric freshwater designs. Status’s 60 feet, three decks Nonsense, while being more boxing and less maneuverable than Invictus, has a sprawling, upscale interior, while a 90-foot single-deck model from Berlin-based HouseBoatYacht looks like a floating glass studio.
Weiss expects the segment to evolve rapidly, with ever larger and more elaborate designs. âThis is a great opportunity to go beyond the best-in-class designation and instead design a whole new class,â he said. âWe’re really trying to do justice to what these ships should look like in the 21st century.â
Bravada is in the process of receiving a proposal for a 120 foot helicopter landing pad. âWe’re also designing one for a music label with a recording studio on board,â he says. âThe owner wanted some unusual features and colors, and we’ll deliver it.â
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