Glider Yachts SS18 breaks cover before London debut

Glider Yachts has released the first pictures of this radical power cat ahead of its London On-Water Yacht & Boat Show debut

These are the first official photos of the new Glider SS18 due to be launched at the London On-Water Show in May.

This dramatic power cat is the brainchild of Glider Yachts founder Rob McCall, who has spent eight years developing the 60ft (18m) design.

“The SS18 is unlike any other yacht seen in the market to date, with unparalleled design and technological capabilities – we’re sure she is going to be a real game- changer,” he told MBY.

Built in Southampton by Burgess Marine using a lightweight combination of aluminium and composites, the Glider SS18 features two wavepiercing hulls to give up to eight passengers a super-smooth ride, even at high speeds and in rough conditions.

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Propulsion comes from four 270hp Yamaha waterjet engines, resulting in a top speed in excess of 50 knots. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but will start at around £1 million for a fully customised model.

The SS18 has been awarded an RCD rating of B and Glider is claiming a cruising range of 130nm at 50 knots, or 340nm with the optional long-range fuel tank.

What’s more, the super- shallow draught of just under 1ft means that this radical power cat can explore the kind of remote bays that many larger craft would struggle to.

Glider Yachts SS18 - rear 3QGlider Yachts also plans to build a wide range of models, measuring from 30ft to 130ft. The firm has appointed Inwards Marine as its sole European dealer.

Managing director Richard Inwards said: “Gliders are unlike any other yacht in existence. With their unparalleled design and technological capabilities, they promise to be one of the most luxurious, high performance craft in the world.

“We are absolutely delighted to be part of this very exciting new British innovation that is set to revolutionise high speed luxury marine travel.”

Glider Yachts SS18 - aft viewConstruction of the first prototype began last April after Burgess Marine signed a £100 million deal to produce the range.

The Glider SS18 was CE type approved by HPi Verification Services last August, who admit that it was a challenge to assess such an unusual vessel.

Alasdair Reay, managing director of HPi Verification Services, said: “Craft as innovative as Gliders were not in the minds of the various committees when they wrote the technical standards for the boatbuilding industry.

“HPi has worked closely with Glider Yachts to ensure its boats not only meet the regulatory requirements but exceed industry standards.”

Glider Yachts SS18 - portside aspectHe added that special attention had been paid to how the various structural elements share and dissipate the loads, before praising the redundancy of the design and systems, which, “goes beyond the highest levels of excellence in the yachting industry”.

Further model testing and computational fluid dynamics assessment was provided by the Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics.

Principal research engineer Dickon Buckland concluded: “The concept of travelling at speed in a sea way with a reasonable degree of comfort is best addressed with this kind of hull-form.”

Glider had originally planned to launch the SS18 at last year’s Monaco Yacht Show, but the eight- month delay means that this British built and designed model will be launched in the UK.

To see the Glider SS18 for yourself, head along to the London On-Water Show at St Katharine Docks from May 4-7. The prototype vessel will be going on display alongside the likes of Princess, Sunseeker and Fairline.

Advance tickets cost £9 (£15 on the door) and combined tickets to see the London Yacht, Jet and Prestige Car Show as well start from £15 (£27 on the door).


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