AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI91 a s moody clouds drift across the ink- blue of the early evening sky, a ray of sun breaks through and falls on Ethereal. Her white hull shines against the dramatic backdrop of Lanzarote's ragged, lava- dark moonscape as she swings peacefully to anchor, a gentle breeze blowing across the deserted anchorage and ruffling the Moroccan tent that has been set up on the foredeck. Ethereal seems at ease here, an extraordinary 58m ( 190') yacht that nevertheless blends com-fortably with her natural surroundings. For her guests, she offers every convenience and luxury to make a stay on board an unforgettable experience. Her hull, designed by Ron Holland, rises gently to the bow and features balanced overhangs and a stern that conceals a drop- down bathing platform, while her Pieter Beeldsnijder- style exterior lines are broken only by the well-proportioned deck saloon, low coachroofs and subtle aft cockpit. But while she may appear on the surface to be a conventional - some might even say conservative - sailing superyacht, she is one of the most technologically complex of her kind yet launched. Ethereal is the vision of Bill and Shannon Joy, who sought to create a yacht that pushed the boundaries of energy efficiency while retaining as environmentally sound a profile as possible. Future- proofed to allow for the fitting of fuel cells when the technology is ready, she is the culmination of several years of planning, design and building by her owners, a phalanx of technical experts, and her build yard, Royal Huisman in the Netherlands. Her captain, Andrew Barry, was skippering Hyperion when he first met the Joys at the Monaco Yacht Show. Hyperion was on the market, and the Joys were viewing her as potential clients. " I started talking with Alan Prior, who was project manager for Hyperion and Athena," says Barry. " I decided to leave Hyperion for a break, and then Ethereal came up. It was an exciting prospect to be working at a yard on such a project, surrounded by great people, and with exceptional owners." Breaking the boundaries of energy efficiency and sound insulation, the 58m ( 190') Ethereal brings new levels of technology to the ocean By Tim Thomas Ethereal newbuild green goddess ?
92Isea& iIAUTUMN 2009 Bill Joy - Silicon Valley graduate, inventor of Java and founding engineer of SUN Microsystems - was perhaps uniquely qualified to tackle such a ground- breaking project. The original contract was for a yacht similar to, but bigger than, Juliet, a 43.5 metre ( 143') ketch launched from the Royal Huisman yard in 1993. Indeed, her exterior lines are hinted at in Ethereal's seaworthy looks, but it soon became apparent to all involved that Ethereal was going to be something special that would require thinking outside the box. At the heart of the Joys' plans was a series of innovative elements based around energy efficiency. Teams of engineers, architects and technical experts were drafted in to work in ' charrettes' ( a form of brainstorming session) at Royal Huisman, and what has emerged is at the cutting edge of technology. At the core is her innovative drivetrain, which takes the principle of diesel electric propulsion and gives it a new twist. A series of power profilescan be employed, meaning several elements of power delivery - engines, diesel generators and a large bank of batteries - can be intermingled to create a number of options for drive and power generation. Motoring propulsion can come either from the main engines, from the battery banks or from the generators, while power generation can be taken off the drive shafts or from the gensets. What this means in reality is that the yacht can be run on batteries alone overnight while anchored or moored, and what that implies for guests is noise- free, exhaust fume-free, unadulterated relaxation. This has also been helped by a determined approach to power conservation to lower the domestic load. Ethereal's insulation means that heating or cooling systems can be run at much lower levels, while LED lightingthroughout the yacht further reduces power demands - even at night, when her multiple deck and underwater lights cast a magical glow around her. For all the technical innovation behind the scenes, the sailing element has not been forgotten, and Ethereal is simply superb at sea. With main, mizzen and reacher set and a solid 18 to 22 knots of breeze blowing steadily on the beam, she cuts a fine figure surging through an Atlantic swell, while on board the motion - even below decks - is incredibly gentle. On the breeze, too, she remains comfortable, and shows a good turn of speed. Even with conservative sailing she clocks between 12 and 15 knots depending on the point of sail, and that is solid performance for a large, cruising superyacht. " We had Ron Holland on board for the trip from Falmouth to Vigo," says Barry, " and we were all very happy with her performance." Whether sailing, at anchor or alongside, the focus for guests is likely to be the deck saloon, which invites social gatherings. Carefully designed to be usable in all weathers, the aft doors and window panels can be stowed in a dedicated locker in the deck sole to create a bright, semi- open seating and dining area whose furniture and fabrics have been chosen to allow for informal relaxation, whether dressed for dinner or fresh from the sunpads. The large table to port caters for a good- sized dinnerparty, while a smaller table to starboard offers additional seating and somewhere to put your cocktail while enjoying the view. The forward end of the deck saloon is given to navigation, with the interior helm station set to starboard, while to port a large bench seat affords spectacular views - perfect when sailing. Heading down the steps from the deck saloon takes you into the main saloon and dining area, where large windows to the front and sides give good views to the outside world. An extendable table to starboard allows for a more formal dining experience, while comfortable sofas to port are perfect for watching the world go by or enjoying a book away from the sun. Further forward still, down the wide centreline steps, there is a media space ( with a settee that you may never want to leave) facing a giant screen for the ultimate movie experience. On the opposite side, a small library offers a further retreat, complete with piano and other musical instruments. Between the two, at the base of the stairs, a large display cabinet holds a model of a Pieter Beeldsnijder-designed explorer yacht - perhaps on show to inspire adventurous cruising in those fortunate enough to enjoy Ethereal's charms. The deck offers several alternatives to the saloons for relaxation. The aft cockpit sprayhood drops neatly into a recess, creating a generous sunpad for soaking up the rays, while on the foredeck, cushions and low tables can be set up in the tender well with a pyramidal awning to create a Moroccan tent. Whether for reclining in the shade during the heat of the day, or enjoying a glass of Champagne by candlelight on a balmy summer evening, this area is a real highlight. For the more active, Ethereal offers a variety of distractions and watersports. While there are no jet skis carried on board - that would, after all, be out of keeping with the yacht - there are windsurfers, dive gear, towed toys, sea kayaks and other bits of equipment to help while away the days. Moreover, if sailing Ethereal herself has not sated your desire for taming the wind, the lazarette contains two sailing dinghies for smaller- scale sailing fun. There is even a dive board that silently slides out from the aft coaming, conveniently close to the parasol- shaded bathing platform for a double pike and short swim. If you fancy getting active but don't want to get wet, the yacht also carries a suite of fitness equipment that can be set up on the aft deck for a little additional exercise. After a long day in the sun and a pleasant evening on board, finding a comfortable berth is important, and Ethereal doesn't disappoint. The master suite, aft, takes advantageof the full beam of the yacht, with a generous double to port and a seat-ing and office area to starboard. Forward to port, the en suite bathroom offers everything to complete a day of relaxation, Opposite, clockwise from top left: the sheltered dining area; acres of sunpads decorate the sun deck; dining inside offers great scope to view your destination; the full- beam master suite; the magical glow of the underwater lights Below: easy access to the ocean, guaranteed