Yachts

Fast And Furious: Royal Huisman’s Radical Ngoni

“Build me a beast. Don’t build me a sheep in wolf’s clothing. This has to be an edgy and innovative weapon; fast and furious.”

From the very beginning, before Ngoni came into existence, her new owner knew exactly how he wanted his dream yacht to be. As an experienced sailor and active participant in prestigious regattas, he knew that only an ambitious boat builder and a designer with a reputation for excellence could make it happen. The natural choices were the Royal Huisman shipyard and the late British yacht designer Ed Dubois whose boundless talent and imagination was critical in bringing this radical idea to life.

Launched in 2017, the 190 foot/58 metre Ngoni harmoniously combines fantastic performance and clean, sporty lines with a comfortable, beautifully-designed interior. The breathtaking minimalist exterior houses a variety of innovative engineering solutions which had to be developed to accommodate the towering sloop rig and nimble, lightweight hull.

Ed Dubois’ initial design had in fact offered a more conventional sloop hull, but Ngoni’s visionary owner insisted that they try pushing the boundaries of the design even further. The result of this leap of faith is a truly groundbreaking sailing yacht with a distinctive reverse sheer that is essential to the yacht’s structural integrity.

The interior spaces have been designed by Rick Baker and Paul Morgan using gorgeous marble and onyx from Italy, restful artworks and soothing neutral-hued soft furnishings and bespoke furniture by Francis Sultana. The pair choose to do things a little differently as a nod to Ngoni’s unique design, selecting artisan resin panels, sculpted metal surfaces and lacquered textured finishes instead of using conventional high-sheen lacquer and hardwoods throughout the interior.

Since Ngoni’s owner prioritises comfort alongside high performance, the yacht offers plenty of leisure facilities like the carbon fibre spa pool set into the expansive teak deck, the pop-up 75-inch TV in the cockpit, fully-equipped gym and an Olympic diving board.

The spacious interior layout offers an owner’s suite which includes a private study, a double cabin and a twin cabin which allows Ngoni to host up to six overnight guests. There is also the possibility to convert the gym into another double cabin to bring the total to eight guests.

Rather than simply replicating a standard design theme across the guest cabins, Rick and Paul have chosen to give each room its own character through distinctive wall panels and furnishings. The double guest cabin even has a characterful wooden Japanese bath. The crew accommodation has also been carefully thought out, with six ensuite cabins able to sleep up to 9.

Although first revealed back in 2014 at the Monaco Yacht Show, Ngoni has recently completed a packed summer season in the Mediterranean where she wowed onlookers in every port of call. Nicknamed “The Beast” after her radical, challenging design, Ngoni currently ranks as one of the largest sailing yachts in the world. More poignantly, she is also the last yacht to be designed by Ed Dubois who lost his fight with cancer in 2016.

Alice Longhurst

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