Press Releases



When details were first released on Sunseeker’s new 161 Yacht in partnership with ICON, the British luxury yacht manufacturer confirmed that it will use a proven fast displacement hull design which, considering the relatively modest power fitted, will be capable of remarkable speeds in excess of 22 knots. But that only tells half the story.

Whilst the overall look will be unmistakably Sunseeker, the design, engineering and naval architecture has been optimised by both partners, drawing on their respective expertise. The 161 Yacht’s main distinctive feature however will be its sophisticated Fast Displacement Hull Form (FDHF) designed by world-renowned Van Oossanen Naval Architects (VONA).

Triggered by a desire to develop hull forms which are efficient over the entire speed range and not only at a chosen speed, the specialists at VONA pioneered the hybrid hull form. A truly innovative concept, the FDHF increases the overall performance of the yacht by generating less wake, thereby ensuring a longer cruising range with lower fuel consumption and emissions.

The main benefit of this hull form is the ‘performance’, in all its connotations. Performing better than conventional displacement and semi-displacement type hull forms, the FDHF concept improves the efficiency of the vessel by around 15 to 20 per cent resulting in a substantial impact on the yacht operating costs while also lowering its environmental impact in terms of engine emissions. Part of this success comes from the use of smaller engines than would typically be specified for a 50m project, made possible by the slenderness and special form of the hull resulting in a very low wave profile over the entire speed range. Some of those ‘other’ performance benefits are improved manoeuvrability, comfort and seakeeping aided by significant roll reduction.

The renowned Wolfson Unit based in the UK has carried out towing tank tests on nearly 1,200 hull forms since 1968. Its database contains the resistance and powering data for the majority of tested motor yacht hull forms.

It can calculate a performance coefficient for each resistance relating to the speed, length, displacement and effective power. This allows direct comparison of the FDHF with other tested hull forms.

Dickon Buckland from the Wolfson Unit recently said about the VONA Fast Displacement Hull; “When compared to other round bilge hull forms at speeds between the cruising speed of 15 knots and those approaching planing of 44 knots, the tested motor yacht’s ranking is typically around 100 – 140 per cent. This means that the design is currently ranked as the most efficient in the Wolfson Unit’s database.”

The option of including the award-winning Hull Vane® technology improves the picture still further; an exciting addition that is optimised to work in conjunction with the fast displacement hull. Positioned below the stern of the yacht, the patented fixed foil fuel-saving device influences the stern wave pattern, creating a forward-orientated lifting force which lowers the pitch motion and running trim.

The performance of the Hull Vane® is linked to four distinct effects. Firstly, the wing develops a forward thrust force out of the upward flow under the aft of the yacht.  Secondly, the Hull Vane has an upper surface on which a low-pressure region is created. This low pressure reduces the stern wave produced by the vessel and therefore the yacht has less wave-making resistance. The third effect resides in the vertical component of the lift, it lifts the stern and keeps the bow down at high speed aiding stability. The final effect is again unique for the Hull Vane – as it has an overall large surface, it dampens the pitching motion, reducing the added resistance and thereby improving seakeeping. The combined effect, when fitted to the fast displacement hull, reduces fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent in total.

Commenting on the technology, Sunseeker’s CEO, Andrea Frabetti said: From our very first project brief and the research that followed, it was very apparent that the highest levels of comfort on board needed to be a top priority, without sacrificing performance. The combination of the Fast Displacement Hull Form harmonised with the technology of the innovative Hull Vane® and fin stabilisation will offer owners incredibly smooth passage-making matched to reduced running costs – a truly remarkable result.

“The 161 Yacht will be a true game-changer for yachts in the 50m sector. With its class-beating efficiency, stability and comfort, she will deliver a significant performance advantage in open water that has been unachievable to date.”

Jen Wartena, CEO of ICON Yachts, added: “At ICON, we are immensely proud to invest in ground-breaking research and development to incorporate greener technologies wherever possible. Innovation has a vital part to play in driving efficiency, thereby delivering very real environmental benefits. Clients in the market for a 50m yacht offering incredible performance and comfort on the one hand combined with improved sustainability and running costs, can have that today with the Sunseeker 161 Yacht, no compromises necessary. It really is the dawn of a new era.”

The first hull in the Sunseeker 161 Yacht series is scheduled to launch in late 2021.


  • Abu Dhabi has been witnessing a growing number of passengers at its cruise terminal area over the last few years. The pioneering edition of the Abu International Boat Show, which is set to attract exhibitors and visitors from around the world, will contribute in the ongoing efforts to introduce the unique features offered by Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s marine tourism sector.

    Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi
    CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company

  • We are very pleased to be supporting ADIBS as the Official Healthcare Provider, we place great focus on best health care practices and quality services. Our partnership with ADNEC aims to endure the safety of all visitors and participants at the boat show through providing the required medical services on site or transfer cases that require further attention to one of our facilities in the city by well-equipped and staffed ambulances.

    Dr. Marwan Al Kaabi
    Group Readiness and Business Continuity Director of SEHA

  • We are proud to join hands with ADNEC for the first edition of the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show. The show is providing us with a valuable platform to share our tailored solutions and industry expertise with marine industry professionals and luxury yacht owners in Abu Dhabi. Our global market reach and specialist insurance expertise enables us to provide competitively-priced, customised programs to those with insurance requirements in the UAE.

    Carol Roberts
    Super Yacht Practice Leader at Integro

  • “As an award-winning Emirates-based shipyard, Gulf Craft is delighted to support the initiative of the Abu Dhabi government by exhibiting at the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show (ADIBS). Gulf Craft is excited to showcase a selection of yachts and boats from its world acclaimed brands Majesty Yachts, Nomad Yachts, Oryx and Silvercraft. Abu Dhabi is home to some of the largest superyacht owners in the world and is also a destination for all boaters in the region.”

    An Official Spokesperson
    from Gulf Craft

  • "We are really looking forward to the first ever ADIBS 2018 and believe it will be a real showcase event to exhibit the latest technology to the Middle East market.  We are proud to be part of this new venture right at the very start and look forward to creating new relationships through our cutting edge technology."

    James Tupper
    BGB spokesperson

  • "Bush & Noble Yacht Brokerage are very excited to participate in this highly anticipated show. I believe this event will provide the ideal platform for the entire marine industry and yachting enthusiasts to connect and discover everything this flourishing region has to offer. This year, Bush & Noble has been appointed as the official dealer for Gulf Crafts pre-owned yachts and boats, the leading luxury yacht and leisure boat builder in the Middle East. The ADIBS will offer an invaluable opportunity for yachting enthusiasts to view and experience the unique quality and luxury that Gulf Graft offers."

    John Bush

  • "Elboat is very excited and proud to be taking part in the very first Abu Dhabi Boat show. Elboat will be show casing two new boat designs to Abu Dhabi; the Elboat 29 and Elboat Skiff."


  • "Elcome International is very pleased to participate in the first Abu Dhabi International Boat Show. Abu Dhabi is an important emerging centre of boating activity, with a growing number of dealers, marinas and boat owners. The Abu Dhabi International Boat Show will provide an opportunity to form closer relationships with the growing number of boat owners in the UAE and to showcase Elcome’s range of products and services. The first edition of the Abu Dhabi International Boat Show, held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is an important event, marking the ‘coming of age’ of the region’s boating industry."

    Jimmy Grewal
    Executive Director of Elcome International

  • "The Abu Dhabi international boat show opens doors to a new world of yachting within the UAE. We already have a steady stream of yachts and loyal clientele in Abu Dhabi, and being a part of the show would assist in furthering the hallmark features of our brand and its products. the last couple of years has seen a large number of product launches at Sunseeker and as we bring in a new range of more beautiful designs, beamier and spacious hulls with latest features including beach clubs on most of our yachts, our presence at the show is bound to be a busy one. We wish the Abu Dhabi international Boat Show team best of success in this new chapter in Middle East yachting."

    Mohammed Al Jasmi
    General Manager

  • "Lumishore is delighted to attend and support the 1st Abu Dhabi International Boat Show. The UAE is critically important to the global Boating Industry and we all hope that this show is a great success for the boating public and Abu Dhabi. Lumishore has not exhibited at a UAE show with its own exhibition stand for many years and we are sure that the boating world will be excited by our latest innovative World-leading lighting products."

    Eifrion Evans
    CEO, Lumishore