Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a boat. Or, more specifically, the Tetrahedron -- the new creation from designer Jonathan Schwinge, who's hell-bent on reinventing the superyacht.
Floating pyramid —
Taking its name from the geometric shape, the Tetrahedron Super Yacht is a floating pyramid that appears to have landed from outer space, merging the aviation and maritime worlds.
Quantum leap —
"I felt it was time that the superyacht world could expand," Schwinge tells CNN. "It's a reinvention of the superyacht idea -- a superyacht that does not look like a superyacht in any form but which has had, however, a quantum leap aspect to it."
With its main body perched on a submerged torpedo-shaped hull via a vertical strut, the Tetrahedron offers an elevated mode of travel above the ocean's waterline -- giving the impression of a boat that can fly.
It is made possible by the HYSWAS (hydrofoil small waterplane area ship) hull, which enables the vessel to be lifted out of the water at speed on side-mounted adjustable hydrofoils. When traveling at a lower speed, meanwhile, the Tetrahedron sits gently onto three underbelly hulls.
"The result is a futuristic, exciting and totally unconventional flying superyacht which seems to have captured the imagination," Schwinge says.
"It's completely unrecognizable as a superyacht, with a mystical-looking pyramid form contributing to a very futuristic profile on the sea," Schwinge says. "From a distance it's not clear which direction it's traveling in, creating further illusion and mystery."
Made from carbon fiber and duplex stainless steel, the Tetrahedron is 25 meters long and can reach speeds of up to 38 knots (43.7 mph) over a range of 3,000 nautical miles. According to Schwinge, it has drawn influence from the America's Cup racing world and the Maritime Applied Physics Corporation's (MAPC) Quest boat (pictured).
Royal quest —
The Tetrahedron's HYSWAS hull is based upon an existing design which was used by MAPC's Quest in 1995 as a technology demonstrator.
Comfort second? —
Scwinge says the Tetrahedron will provide a surprisingly smooth ride at sea. "Once the yacht has reached take-off speed and has lifted above the waterline, a wave can pass underneath the hulls with virtually no pitch or heave," he explains. "The 'in-flight' mode would mean that your coffee would remain remarkably level and without spillages -- a smooth wave-flying experience at speed."
Unspillled coffee is not the only luxury guests on board will be able to enjoy. When docked, the Tetrahedron's three sides can fold down to become enlarged sun decks boasting an outdoor dining area and easy access to the water, while horizontal panels emerge overhead to provide shade.
"It's a private island with openable 'beaches' to the sea," Schwinge says, adding that the vessel will preserve the traditional luxury of yachts but possess a "super-lightweight special interior" similar to private jets.
Price tag —
Its cost and planned release date are strictly confidential but there is a "continuing interest" in the concept, according to Schwinge.
"The Tetrahedron is suitable for private, charter or corporate use," he says. "But a private owner would be a visionary and innovative individual who wants to experience new technological ways in elevated yachting, with 'wave-flying' capabilities and a radically unconventional design."