In collaboration with the renowned superyacht designer Malcolm McKeon, renowned Dutch shipyard Royal Huisman has unveiled the world’s largest sloop – the APEX 805. This is undoubtedly the most ambitious and inspiring concept yet to be developed in an exclusive relationship between the two parties.
The partnership has resulted in a fully-resolved concept for a mega yacht that is bold and ambitious enough to comprehensively redefine on-board lifestyle and sailing experiences. Just add the refinements that express the vision and creativity of an inspired owner and she will be ready to commence construction. Once on the water, the world will look on in awe.
The towering rig dominates everything in sight. There is no other show in town. At a distance, the long sleek hull with its subtle sheer and reverse bow seems just an elegant wisp above the water. But as you approach, you measure crew members against the 3.6m/12ft topsides and suddenly appreciate the full stunning scale, the presence and status of this vessel. Gliding towards the boarding platform you glance skywards again, where the 107m / 351ft air-draft rig now imposes its presence with almost infinite grandeur.
APEX 850 is fully resolved in terms of design, naval architecture and engineering. Technical challenges have been identified and addressed; potential for refinement explored and incorporated. The concept is therefore an unprecedented opportunity for an ambitious and creative owner to stamp their individuality while still viewing an unusually attractive delivery date for such a project.
You step aboard and into a beautifully appointed lobby. Stairs upwards connect to the saloon and its all-glass superstructure, radiant with suffused light. You follow steps down to the guest corridor and find the four magnificent 30 m2/320 ft2 guest suites that can accommodate up to twelve guests in incomparable luxury. Beautifully appointed, the staterooms are highly adaptable, offering twin or double formats and Pullman berths for families.
Light pours in from large windows. It is hard to anticipate the impact, on opening doors aft, to find yourself in a private beach club and cinema with floor-to-ceiling glass walls on either side connecting directly with the seascape. The effect is spell-binding. The owners’ beach club and cinema can also be accessed by guests from on deck. Further aft resides APEX’s stunning owners’ area, occupying some 250m2 / 2690ft2 of real estate including a private beach club/cinema. The full-beam bedroom is encompassed by a private lounge, giant TV screen, sauna, walk-in wardrobe and spacious, beautifully-designed bathroom facilities.
Fully aft, the transom and a section of deck swing silently out and over to reveal an expansive 50m2/540 ft2 swim platform, gym and social area with direct access from the owners’ beach club. Steps from the beach deck lead past seating on the stern quarters where guests can also relax – on both starboard and portside – in close connection with the sea – and then onto the main deck. The lifestyle aspects of APEX are truly in a class apart.
On first sight it is impossible not to be blown away by the sheer scale, style and minimalist chic of the deck space. Without winches, furlers, mooring cleats, anchor gear or other deck equipment in sight (all are sited or retracted below deck) your focus is seized first by the epic height of the rig and next by the shimmering hint of the all-glass superstructure. This superstructure houses a pivotal social area yet, from on deck, you would not know it. Nor are you meant to. Minimalism is the design ethos of the APEX 850 and her designers have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that this architectural element of the yacht not only supports that minimalism, but enhances it.
Continuous clear glass sides provide a virtually see-through exterior, while also acting as a principal, yet invisible, structural component. The ‘white glass’ employed is devoid of reflections. The overall effect is almost ethereal – a ‘there but not there’ trompe l’oeil that questions the presence of the superstructure and so adds emphasis to the lean, spare lines and reverse bow of the powerful hull.
Before heading inside, you can’t help but note the retro-style sculpted deck furniture and the impossibly minimal, achingly cool, helm stations.
Stepping down beneath the aft canopy of the superstructure, you enter the extensive main cockpit area, complete with loungers and an impressive alfresco dining space.
Going forward, through full-beam access, the saloon is focused on tranquil and sheltered relaxation. To starboard, stairs provide a direct connection to the guest accommodation and to port there is a nav. station. The entire 200 m2/2150 ft2 area is on a single level, enjoying dramatic 360 degree views and a stunning sense of connection with the sea.
Sliding glass windows allow the cockpit to be totally enclosed from the weather while retaining that omnipresent view to the world outside. At anchor, even the double glass doors drop out of sight into hidden cassettes, allowing the superstructure to become the social hub for a vast party setting that spreads out over uninterrupted deck spaces running from stem to stern. Just ahead of the mast, the forward guest cockpit is strategically sited to focus on the spectacle provided by the horizon and the yacht’s fast motion towards it. Instead of focusing on the yacht itself, this intensifies the viewer’s response to the surrounding sea and landscape. A snug and secure gathering space, it is sheltered by a Moroccan tent when the yacht is at anchor.
Immediately beneath the forward main deck are two large (8 m / 26 ft) tenders, a launching crane and other storage for equipment and below that (and on the same level as the guest quarters) are the crew quarters with mess, galley, storage and utilities. There is even space for relaxation and study. The brightly-lit, spacious area accommodates 14 crew in a flexible mix of double, twin and single cabins.
Is that everything? There’s also a wine cave, a humidor for cigars, a private kitchenette in the Owners’ suite and a guest lobby with its own utilities. There’s a 50 m2/540 ft2 full-beam midships lazarette housing a day head, a servery, storage for diving equipment and toys, and access to the boarding and swim platforms, and much much more.
The APEX 850’s aluminium hull is immensely strong and resilient – lighter than steel, quieter than carbon and virtually corrosion-free. The powerful hull sections are complemented by twin carbon rudders and an 8.5m – 5.0m / 28ft – 16ft retractable keel for balance and stability as well as access to shallower harbours. Submarine anchors retract to fit perfectly into the contours of the hull.
The immensely powerful rig features a carbon mast and furling boom with continuous carbon rigging to support 3200m²/34,444ft2 of upwind sail area (main and blade) and 4700m2/50,590ft2 downwind (main and code sail). The wind’s motive power is efficiently harnessed and managed by Rondal’s Integrated Sailing System, with captive winches pulling up to 48 tonnes and controlled by advanced push-button technologies. Royal Huisman and sister company Rondal have unrivalled expertise in sail management systems for mega sailing yachts.
Malcolm McKeon comments: “The sailing experience of APEX 850 will be sensational, with speeds in excess of wind speed in most conditions. Her retractable keel, optimised weight distribution and limited heel angle will provide stability, comfort and safety for all on board. Her twin high aspect rudders will provide a rapid response to her fly by wire helm.”
Royal Huisman CEO Jan Timmerman adds: “Two of the world’s ten largest sailing yachts, Athena and Sea Eagle II, are Royal Huisman builds and APEX 850 would make a fitting third, easily becoming the largest member of this elite circle. Every Royal Huisman yacht benefits from the research, innovations and challenges of our previous builds, ensuring this would be the finest yet.”
There is an amazing, stereoscopic Oculus 3D virtual tour exclusively available to prospective owners. The depth of field and quality of presentation offered by this technology provide the viewer with the most extraordinary, fully immersive experience of being aboard the world’s largest sloop.
A preview can be found via the online 360 VR tour at the APEX 850 website: click here.