Luxury below the sea


Migaloo M5 private submersible superyacht may well be the ultimate seacraft for the ultra-rich.

FOR the ultra-rich, a private yacht may well prove to be a major flex. But what happens when there’s an urge to sail away from the crowd of billionaires on board their own luxurious seafaring vessel?

Well, the answer to that according to Migaloo,a yacht design studio based in Graz, Austria, is simple — your very own luxury submarine.

Migaloo Private Submersible Yachts (PSY) was founded by professionals with years of experience in the yachting industry. Amassing a wealth of experience working for international shipyards and private yacht owners worldwide, the company is now setting its sights on disrupting the segment with an ultra-luxurious submersible superyacht, which it calls the M5.

The idea behind this concept is to serve the ever-increasing demand for personalisation and individualisation of super- and mega yachts, and the increasing focus on privacy for owner and guests. Both aspects are perfectly covered with private submarines, offering a not yet existing alternative to large privately owned surface vessels.

The future of yachting

Christian Gumpold, CEO and designer of Migaloo, opines that submersible superyachts will become an additional category of private vessels owners can choose from.

“Drawing on deep expertise within the yachting industry, yacht design, and the ever-increasing needs of owners — more privacy, more security, greater individuality, more experiences and adventures, more research — we have developed the M5,” explains the CEO.

“Thus far we have designed both production yachts and several superyachts in 100m plus in length. However, these new submersible superyachts are intended to provide an alternative to existing motor yachts and sailing yachts,” adds Gumpold, who has studied industrial design and has specialised in yacht design since 2008.

Migaloo PSY designs private yacht-sized submarines from design concept up to detail design, decoration and styling. The wished dimensions of the submarine-yacht hybrid, the exterior styling and the interior design are up to the owners’ preferences. Gumpold adds that the design and building will be according to the chosen rules of classification societies and flag states.

“Since our submarine superyacht hybrids combine existing submarine and superyacht technologies, general feasibility and safety is a given such as double hull construction with several pressure hulls. Additionally, we do not employ new or experimental technologies but rather industry-standard solutions for areas such as propulsion for instance.”

Gumpold opines that submersible superyachts can effectively address the rising and new needs of owners and that they represent the future of yachting.

“The needs of superyacht owners today are more complex than ever. These wishes do not just include performance, length or design.

“Owners are looking for privacy, security and protection for themselves, their guests and their valuables, or for the fulfilment of unique experiences up to scientific desires, as well as for the greatest possible exclusivity and limitation.”

For indulgent adventures

The M5 will include facilities and amenities of surface yachts of equal size, from spa-areas with jacuzzis and pools over helipads up to large beach terraces and tender bays for boats and mini-subs. Measuring 165m, the vessel can reportedly travel at a depth of 250m with speeds of up to 20 knots surfaced and 12 knots submerged.

As with all luxury yachts, the M5 will not be short on luxe appointments and facilities. According to a media statement, the vessel can be customised with a wide array of entertainment options along with space for equipment for waterborne adventures such as jet skis, kayaks and flyboards.

The M5 has both a helipad and space for a helicopter. It can also stow away a pair of mini submersibles and other autonomous vehicles.

Needless to say, with its long list of equipment, this state-of-the-art luxurious submarine-yacht comes with a reported price tag of US$2bil (RM9.38bil).

However, Gumpold points out that there is no specific project sum at the moment as each design is developed in close collaboration with the clients and their unique and individual desires.

“This design process is common in superyacht design, and only after a so-called concept design has been developed, key parties such as shipyards, interior designers and so on are able to estimate their costs, gradually forming the overall project price.

“In general, superyachts over 150m have a project volume of several hundred million euros. A submersible superyacht like the Migaloo M5 with 165m naturally falls into this category, and any prospective owner must be aware of this.”

Sailing into new territory

Gumpold believes that motor yachts and sailing yachts cannot fully satisfy the ever-rising demands of modern owners. As such, he opines that the yachting industry needs a (r)evolutionary innovation.

“Current yachting and ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) trends include privacy and security for owner and guests, exploration, expedition and R&D experiences,” he states.

“The M5 is not just high tech but also serves as a form of high-end entertainment. It is the first alternative to super- and mega yachts with the benefit of submerging the whole vessel.”

No doubt the M5 does seem to offer a number of things that current multi-million dollar floating vessels cannot offer. In addition to providing ultimate freedom and privacy during travelling or staying at anchor, while having all amenities of a common yacht of equal size, the vessel also promises calm and safe passages through rough seas as it is capable of travelling below the surface.

Adding to that is Migaloo’s intense owner-centric design process, which has been specially structured to involve key partners, such as shipyards, construction experts and classification societies, very early in the design process.

Key partners such as the shipyard are up to the owners’ preferences. The company is also able to supervise all partners during engineering, building, sea trials and outfitting up to hand over to the owner including after sales services and yacht management.

“This allows us to address all technical and legal parameters to be met in the concept design phase,” explains Gumpold. “We believe the vessel offers high business potentials for all parties including the owner, designer, builder, designer, supplier, broker, captain and crew.”

Migaloo can also manage the development of special knowledge trainings for captain and crew along with charter or non-private business models such as cruise lines’ submarines.

Gumpold reveals that the company is presently in negotiations with several interested parties worldwide who have a significant interest in the concept of a submersible superyacht.

“They aim to be the first individuals globally to own and utilise this innovative product. Unfortunately, I cannot disclose more information at this time.”

This article first appeared in Star Biz7 weekly edition.


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