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The new issue is born

 

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The words ‘glass’ and ‘design’ are increasingly cropping up in the same sentences in the nautical world these days. Many surfaces that once would have been made of steel or fibreglass have now been replaced with clean, clear, gleaming glass as market demand for boats with more contact with the outside world booms. Hence glass is taking on a pivotal role alongside beach clubs and side balconies in allowing occupants to enjoy panoramic views even from the comfort of a sofa. All made possible by incredible technical advances in the glass industry. Today it can be curved, thermochromic which means it can be tinted or lightened at will, heat-insulating to protect the interior against both heat and cold, or even filter out harmful UV rays. While once upon a time, structural constraints meant that sections of the superstructure, and indeed hull itself, could not be replaced by glass, it can now be toughened to such a standard that entire domes can be made from it. Good examples are Luiz De Basto’s new Cosmos concept which has an actual Glass Dome (see page 126) and Gemma, a sailing yacht with a coachhouse in thermochromic glass (page 44). But these future-forward, perfectly engineered designs aside, in recent years, all new boats coming onto the market, production craft included, have boasted much more glass than their predecessors. The yachts featured in this issue, such as the Monte Carlo Yachts 96, the Dominator Illumen 28M and the new Santa Maria Magnolfi-designed 55-metre from Baglietto, illustrate that perfectly. While all-glass superstructures may be a while away, we can take comfort in the meantime from the work and visions of Paolo Buroni (page 104), a visual artist that can transform any space, afloat or otherwise, into a container of emotions that turns spectators into protagonists.