OK Fine, We’ll Take Your 59-Foot Elevated Glider Yacht for a Spin

It's basically a cockpit on water skis

August 9, 2016 9:00 am

If you’ve watched the America’s Cup over the last decade, you know that the world’s fastest yachts no longer even ride the water — they glide about 10 feet above atop massive, aerodynamically savvy carbon foils.

And now someone’s bringing a similar technology to the luxury speedboating game: Glider, a sleek, modern catamaran that’s literally taking yacht design to new heights.

Inspired by former yacht captain Rob McCall’s experience at the helm of a jet-propelled passenger vessel in the Caribbean, the Super Sports 18 (SS18) is a speedboat with a raised cockpit supported by a pair of hydrodynamic hulls.

Using a quartet of engines, the 1,080-horsepower boat’s wave-piercing hulls can cut through the water at a top speed of 56 knots while still providing stability, even in choppy conditions.

“The hull form, propulsion, and stability control system actually tune to the sea conditions, which allows the boat to glide over the waves,” McCall told Robb Report.

In addition to custom Corbeau leather and Alcantara seats, the color-coordinated interior of the S18’s 17-foot-wide cockpit is outfitted with a JL Audio sound system that’s been customized for the area’s unique dimensions as well as a touchscreen display for navigational control.

Built in the same bespoke manner as private jets and F1 racers, the SS18 costs a cool $1.3 million. If the standard model doesn’t float your boat, Glider also builds a 3,400-HP sport version that can do 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 96 knots.

The future of yacht design is looking up.

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