SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Yachts are supposed to be white, so when a dark, angular, $33 million stealth ship pulls up at a local marina next to a bunch of fiberglass pleasure boats that haven’t changed basic designs in 50 years, heads turn, cameraphones are raised, and questions are asked. Answers, however, are not given.
This week, what is believed to be the “Galeocerdo” was anchored off Sausalito. The Cayman Islands flagged super yacht is described by Super Yacht Times as a 118-foot, 17,000+ horsepower, 70 mile per hour jetboat tested in the Ferrari wind tunnel and built to do unbelievable things on the water by boat builder WallyPower.
It’s a class called the Wally 118, and the builder calls it the most distinctive and fastest motor yacht in the world. If you didn’t know any better, you might think it’s the villain’s vessel in James Bond’s “Tomorrow Never Dies.” http://www.jamesbondmm.co.uk/vehicles/stealth-ship
While it’s hard to find out much more about this ship, what anyone watching the water will tell you is more and more innovative ships like this are going to start pulling up next to white chunky Grand Banks cabin cruisers.
Part of it is military design, with builders expecting spinoff sales to private customers.
Juliet Marine Systems GHOST ship is being tested for the military, but the company proudly announces commercial models will be available, built to your specs. At this market level, it better be built to users specs!
Juliet Marine won’t say exactly how fast it goes, just “extremely fast,” and if looks are any indication of speed potential, we’re inclined to take them on their word.
The designs have a few things in common: Angular hulls, which both deflect radar for the military, and deflect waves for a smooth ride.
Some of these vessels–unfortunately, not the Galeocerdo–are even more advanced, riding ABOVE the water, instead of pushing their way through it. The GHOST ship, and many other military concept ships are hydrofoils, designed to rise up out of the water.
The Bay Area is getting used to things like this. The America’s Cup showed the world the power of a hydrofoil. While we witnessed nautical history firsthand with the futuristic sailing vessels, we just haven’t seen the powerboat versions yet. Get ready, more will be coming in the next decade.
One advantage to these besides the speed of “flying” above the water is their stability. As the waves don’t pound the hull, the ships don’t bounce around, creating an incredibly stable ride for wealthy, seasickness-prone landlubbers, or for firing weapons at the enemy.
Another navy concept ship is the Stiletto, designed to fly above the waves as well.
Other radar-invisible ships of far larger size are being seen around the world. Here’s a “Stealth Ship” in San Diego Harbor captured on Twitter, but again, this ship is traditional in that it has no hydrofoils to lift it out of the seas.
Stealth ship docked at San Diego harbor pic.twitter.com/lCVzGMUH1C
— Tom Kerby (@tker9) January 7, 2015