Project Thunderball: A 70M Smooth Operator

As its name suggests, Project Thunderball is a bold, 70-meter full-custom superyacht built for adventure.

Whether inspired by the cruising grounds of the eponymous Bahamian grotto or taking its Vripack-design lead from the sophisticated Bond film, there is no denying that Project Thunderball is a “smooth operator” with a svelte, low profile devised for efficient and comfortable cruising with convenient manoeuvring.

Project Thunderball unites the experience and know-how of three leaders in their fields for the first time. The elegant exterior and naval architecture is by Dutch design studio Vripack, which penned a highly optimised hull design, an elongated bow and a slick, refined profile with a classic edge. The yacht is also fitted with a peak shaving system to increase energy efficiency and slash fuel consumption. The interior, which takes its inspiration from the sea, hails from Nauta Design and enjoys geometric shapes and layers that echo the exterior. Italian shipyard CRN is carrying out the build.

The owner’s brief was clear and exact. He mandated a pleasurable yacht that is well-suited to long and comfortable cruises, yet with the capability to serve as the perfect support vessel for his sailing yacht during regattas. As such, the 1,100 GT steel and aluminium yacht will have five decks, an 11m beam and accommodation for 12 guests and 15 crew. It also has sharp entry lines akin to a sailing yacht, and curved bilges for a traditional flourish.

“We are delighted to put our distinctive Dutch mark on this exciting new build, for an owner who is a highly experienced yachtsman and knows exactly what he wants,” says Marnix Hoekstra, co-creative director of Vripack. “Our focus was on delivering a yacht that guarantees highly economical cruising and a soft and comfortable ride, all of which is made possible by our most efficient hull lines to date and our sailing experience.”

The yacht was sold by Y.CO in August 2022 and entered construction in early 2023 after starting life as preliminary sketches in 2018. Y.CO continues to play a key role as Owner’s representative and project management team.

In May, the yacht was transported by sea on a barge to the Ferretti Group Superyacht Yard in Ancona where a full hull 3D scan was carried out on arrival. The build now moves into the outfitting stage, including carpentry, fitting out of machinery and on-board systems, as well as the installation of furniture. The hull exterior will also be primed and painted.

Project Thunderball is scheduled to deliver in 2026.


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