Lexus LY 650 yacht
Lexus LY 650
(Image credit: press)

The Cannes Yachting Festival (which runs from 11-16 September 2018) is smaller and less overtly ostentatious than the big quayside catwalks of Monaco, Miami or Dubai. As a result, it’s not all about football pitch-sized superyachts like those in our concept dream boat collection. This allows more modest vessels (all things being relative) to step into the limelight. Here you’ll find new releases and debuts, alongside the tenders, toys, yachts and speed boats that make up the vast majority of the yachting market.

Here’s our guide to this year’s best in show...

Lexus LY 650 yacht cabin

(Image credit: press)

Lexus LY 650
Not shown at Cannes, but making a splash in the yachting world is Lexus. As Toyota’s high-end brand with a focus on contemporary craft, design and technology, Lexus is increasingly invested in the rarefied world of yacht design. Following on from last year’s Sport Yacht Concept, a 42-foot speedboat powered by twin Lexus V8 engines, the company has decided it needs a bigger boat. The LY 650 is a 65-foot sport yacht built in collaboration with the American Marquis-Larson Boat Group, with a hull that takes the flowing spirit L-Finesse design language on board. The very first example is currently being built in the States, and with it Lexus hopes to extend its reach in the luxury market.

Princess R35 yacht

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Princess R35
Princess Yachts have teamed up with Pininfarina to create the R35, a high-performance sports yacht that also incorporates technology developed from the America’s Cup to improve speed and stability – the boat is capable of up to 50 knots. Portsmouth-based Ben Ainslie Racing Technologies consulted on the carbon-fibre hull structure, with ’active’ foils that minimize drag and help maneuverability. Below decks is a compact cabin that transforms into a double bed with separate wet room, while an audio system from Naim and a big screen linked to a bow camera bring the outside in.

Arcadia A105 yacht

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Arcadia A105
Arcadia’s new A105 is another muscular vessel from the Italian shipyard. With space for eight guests and five crew over three decks, the A105 has a modern, utilitarian feel, designed from the inside out to maximise the feeling of space and privacy within, without compromising the relationship between the cabins and decks and the sea. That slab sided appearance conceals a typically contemporary interior, starting with a substantial sun lounge. The deck is designed to be light and airy, with solar panels on every available roof surface. Down below dinner seating for up to 20 people makes this a floating party destination whenever it docks.

Sunseeker 74 yacht

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Sunseeker 74 Sport
The new Sunseeker 74 Sport Yacht is a typically dynamic design from the British manufacturer, with a hull punctuated by a run of dramatically angular windows. Inside, this feast of fenestration provides plenty of light and waterline views, while a flexible layout – depending on the whims of the owner – allows for layouts that favour entertaining over lounging. A new cockpit door mechanism adds to the versatility, allowing the yacht to open up to the elements in warmer climates.

Silent 55 yacht

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Silent 55
Billed as the first ocean-going full electric catamaran, the Silent 55 is the most technically advanced project to date from Austrian yacht designers Silent Yachts. The 55 joins the 64 and 79 models and will make its ocean-going debut at this year’s Festival. First announced in 2016, Heike and Michael Köhler’s vision of a whisper-quiet, eco-friendly superyacht uses a broad catamaran hull to maximise the area of solar panels. Silent Yachts suggest their four-cabin yacht has a theoretically unlimited range based on a daily cruise of 100 miles, as well as the ability to moor up and use all on-board facilities without recourse to noisy generators.

Astondoa 377 Coupe yacht

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Astondoa 377 Coupe
Astondoa’s 377 Coupe is a compact, sporty boat for day trips and short breaks. The 11.6m craft accommodates up to four people in two cabins, one of which doubles up as a comfortable saloon. There’s plenty of space on the generous deck for lounging, fishing or just watching the world go by, while the Volvo marine engines powers the unique hull design to a maximum speed of 36 knots if the mood takes you.

Iguana Commuter yacht

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Iguana Commuter
Iguana continues to be an outlier in the world of naval design. The Commuter is the latest variant of the company’s tried and tested hybrid technology, which uses retractable caterpillar tracks in the hull to allow the sleek tender to crawl up upon sandy and stony beaches. If you’re at the mercy of the tides or simply want to make a grand entrance (or have an absolute horror of getting your feet wet), the Commuter will solve your problems like no other boat.


For more information, visit the Cannes Yachting Festival website

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.