To be or not to be. Swimming pool on a yacht

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Realizing dreams and wishes, designers continue to innovate to create ever more luxurious, comfortable and impressive swimming pools on board superyachts. But is it so easy to put together this “all-inclusive” puzzle if you decide to include a “refreshing” feature in your list of things to do on your own boat?

The swimming pool on a yacht is basically a place where you can relax, chat with friends and guests, admire the ocean or the beautiful island lagoon around. But now you won’t surprise anyone with just swimming pools. Therefore, many now want waterfalls, water cascades and entire rides. All these are additional challenges for engineers and designers.

THE LAWS OF PHYSICS ON GUARD

Pools, waterfalls, fountains, aquariums and jacuzzis on yachts – it sounds and looks great. But if you delve into the technical features, then the process of installing any water object on a yacht is much more complicated than it seems at first glance, and is fraught with many problems. Since the yacht is designed to move on water, the ability to easily juggle the laws of physics is lost here. The movement of the boat itself creates wave impulses in the pools on board. And they are difficult to contain even in the calmest sea conditions.

To solve this age-old problem, engineer Martin Francis developed and pioneered a system for suppressing wave impulses. On board the 80-meter Golden Odyssey, built back in 1990 at the Blohm + Voss shipyard, he installed two water tanks that were interconnected. When the sea became turbulent, the water flowed from one reservoir to another and dampened the resulting roll. The wave, as it were, was “caught” at the edge of the pool in the collection tank and “released” back into the pool, stabilizing the yacht.

One cubic meter of water weighs a ton and significantly affects the overall stability of the yacht, so this figure should be taken into account at the planning stage of any significant “water” object on board. Often the pool is placed closer to the stern on the lower or main deck so that it does not shift the center of gravity. However, this is not an axiom.

In addition, there is always the question of energy consumption. The more “bells and whistles” at the pool, the more powerful the electrical equipment is needed. For a modest fountain with a dozen vertical jets that shoot water two meters high, you need about four times more power than an unheated pool measuring 6 x 4.5 meters.

 

YOUR OWN DESIGNER

Swimming pools and whirlpools can already be seen even on small yachts, but the infinity pool with panoramic views and a countercurrent system is actively gaining momentum. In 1994, engineer Jonathan Quinn Barnett created a 7m waterfall aboard a 73m boat. He had to use plexiglass screens and angled the waterfall to minimize splashing. Then the water entered the catchment area and returned to the top thanks to the circulation pump. The higher the water body, the more movement options for water droplets. This technology is very popular so far. For example, on board the Oceanco Dar you can see a waterfall that cascades down from the bridge and into the pool. The waterfall effect can also be seen on many Baglietto yachts.

In addition to cascading mechanisms, fountains and countercurrents, other types can be found on yachts: an inflatable pool or with a complex transformation system. With an inflatable pool, everything is more or less clear – this is a good budget option that unfolds in a matter of minutes and is suitable for small yachts, even cruisers.

And transforming pools are already a difficult decision. For example, Serbian designer Vuk Dragovic presented the Atreides yacht project with a folding structure hidden in the stern. The mechanism is designed in such a way that at the touch of a button, the pool appears directly in the water, visually becoming a harmonious continuation of the vessel.

TECHNOLOGICAL CLASSICS

A pool integrated into the deck or with glass sides is a more common solution. But even here there are a lot of unusual engineering solutions that cause delight.

Back in 2007, Oceanco were among the first to design and install an infinity pool aft of the 82m Alfa Nero. This allowed yacht owners and guests to feel connected to the ocean during their vacation. But the “highlight” was the engineering development of Nuvolari Lenard, which made it possible, if necessary, to raise the base of the pool to deck level, turning it into an entertainment area or even into a helipad. Now infinity pools can be found both on the stern and on the bow deck, and even on the bathing platform, as on board the Benetti Oasis 40M.

Another unusual development is found on CRN’s ‘Latona’. Here on the lower deck is an impressive swimming pool-garage! The built bowl is used as a kind of harbor for the tender, where you can moor with guests and comfortably board the ‘Latona’. And when the weather does not allow enjoying the outdoors, the tender comes out of the garage and the “backwater” is used as a pool. Not only does this innovation look very sophisticated thanks to the turquoise mosaic walls, but from a technical point of view, this solution saves a lot of space.

But the world’s largest pool with a length of 25 meters is located on the 156-meter yacht Dilbar. It is twice the size of the pool on Lürssen’s Flying Fox, considered by many to be the ultimate superyacht.

A key tenet of contemporary yacht interior design is that function must support aesthetics, which is why most designers almost always aim to include wow-inducing water features. But the installation of any water object on a yacht requires an integrated approach. Well, … friendship with the laws of physics.

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