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Approaching 'Zion'

Ship & Boat International eNews: July/August 2022

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Over the past 75 years on Ship & Boat International, we’ve profiled more than a few innovative and off-the-wall yacht concepts, ranging from superyachts based on the aircraft from TV show Thunderbirds to floating tennis courts (see the March/April 2022 issue, page 54, for an example of the latter). However, a yacht design based literally based on a black hole is a new one for us – and, we suspect, most of the industry.

 

The Zion concept has been developed by Bhushan Powar Design, which bills itself as “India’s first yacht design studio”. Founder and creative director Bhushan Powar tells Ship & Boat International: “We see a lot of shipyards building mostly catamarans in the south of India, while the north is mostly focused on warship and patrol boat construction.” Established in 2019, the Goa-based company currently comprises Powar working alongside a small team of three. “All of our team are from India, though we have worked with a Spanish intern,” Powar says.

 

Previous contracts have seen the studio collaborate with a Turkish yard on a 27m trawler yacht, as well as developing a series of family cruisers ranging from 8-17m in length. Unfortunately, the group’s progress was side-tracked by the global eruption of COVID-19, delaying a few projects. Powar adds: “It is difficult for us to find projects as we hail from India, whereas most of the yachting industry is from Europe.” Still, he believes India has the potential to become a major international yachtbuilding and design hub; in fact, given the country's vast and scenic coastlines, it would be a squandered opportunity if it did not. “It’s just that we Indians need to get a break in the market and get some great designs out there,” Powar says. “At the moment, the Indian government isn’t keen on helping and prioritising the yachting sector. We are eagerly awaiting our big break!”

 

It would be a major coup were Bhushan Powar Design’s big break to come in the form of Zion. Measuring 110m x 16m, the megayacht was designed completely in-house, inspired by “the most mysterious yet beautiful phenomenon of the universe – the ‘black hole’, which attracts energy,” the studio says (as a side note, your humble editor thought he could also detect a touch of ‘colossal squid’ in the design detail, though Powar assures Ship & Boat International that this wasn’t a consideration). This ‘black hole’ is in fact a massive glass dome that has been designed to wow guests with unrestricted 180° views.

 

The master’s suite is located on the main deck, and flanked by electrically operated sky lounge balconies on each side. The main deck also contains an open dining space, which is connected to a glass-bottom infinity swimming pool via a hanging bride. Ten luxury state rooms are also provided for up to 20 guests, and the yacht can also accommodate more than 20 crew members.

 

The lower deck features a large garage for tenders, jet skis and other toys, plus a beach club (with a gym) and an open garden space. The studio explains: “The beach club converts into an expandable sunbathing space via fold-out bulwark terraces.” Ascend to the upper deck, and one finds a flybridge specially designed for maximum visibility, plus a 12m helipad that can be accessed via glass column elevator from all of the decks.

 

Selection of engines and propulsive machinery will be determined by the customer – although, considering that many of the younger owners joining the superyacht/megayacht sectors tend to rank eco-friendliness above elitism, Bhushan Powar Design has developed Zion to run on hybrid engines. Powar says: “As we are just designers, we don’t know much about the technical aspects regarding the mechanical field.” However, the studio hopes to build up this knowledge by sourcing new recruits to expand its team. He adds: “As yet, Zion is just in the concept phase. It would take us a few years to do more research and see how we can achieve the build.”

 

TECHNICAL PARTICULARS

 

Zion

 

Length, oa 110m
Breadth 16m
Draught 4.4m
Crew 20+
Guests 20 + owner