The propulsion, steerage, stability systems, and associated
engineering that will enable the yacht’s unique capabilities were
developed specifically for the vessel. According to McCall, the
resulting comfort, efficiencies, and performance are unmatched.
These new systems are the most complex pieces of
engineering aboard the vessel; however, like with most projects,
the team didn’t start from scratch. The propulsion system, which
is waterjet propelled, uses existing technologies, but “in a slightly
more advanced way,” says McCall.
The propulsion system works in conjunction with the zero
drag steerage system (ZDSS), which, according to McCall was
the biggest engineering challenge. Both of these systems work
together with the Stability Control System, or SCS.
“This system actually tunes to the sea’s conditions,” explains
McCall. Essentially, the SCS adapts the boat to reduce its
response to wave motions, in direct proportion to wave height
and frequency, as well as wave direction. “It doesn’t matter what
way the waves are coming at you in relation to your course, the
vessel adapts to provide a stable ride,” adds McCall.
The vessel’s systems have also been designed to provide
the redundancy needed to make it suitable for the CE mark. To
receive this mark, a product must meet specific quality standards
set by the British Government.
“Craft as innovative as Gliders were not in the minds of the
various committees when they wrote the technical standards for
the boat-building industry,” explains Alasdair Reay, managing
director, HPi Verification Services, a Notified Body that issues
certificates on behalf of the European Commission according to
the Recreational Craft Directive. To make sure the yacht would
meet regulatory requirements, the company worked closely with
the verification company.
“Specifically, care has been given to ensure the continuity of
the various structural elements to share and dissipate the loads
and to provide subdivision,” adds Reay.
“The SS18 is a strategic stepping stone for us to
unequivocally prove to a discerning audience that something
radical in design will actually do what it says,” explains McCall.
“Once the naysayers have experienced that the vessel does
what it says it will, it allows us to go to our step two.”
Step two for the Glider yacht is twofold. First, the company will
offer two versions of its 24-meter Sports Limousines, the SL24,
which is powered by four high speed marine diesel engines, and
the SLX24, which will have two high speed marine diesels and
two RR turbines to reach up to 70 knots. These will be quickly
followed by the Sports Superyachts, which will range in size from
35 to 80 meters, and will reach max speeds of 43 knots (Grand
Touring Range) and 60 knots (SX-E range).
The Superyachts’ starting cost will be around $5.4 million. But,
with regard to cost, McCall says, “Asking the price of a yacht is
like asking a lady her age.”
With its radical design, and anticipated steep price, McCall
understands that the Glider Yacht won’t be met without its
critics. However, he is looking forward to unveiling the SS18 at
Monaco, with another event scheduled for later this year in Fort
“Glider Yachts are unlike any other yacht seen in the world to
date,” adds McCall. “We’re sure she is going to be a real game-changer in the superyacht market.”
A Burgess Marine employee
welding the SS18.
The SS18 gets a coat of paint.