Cantu Design with DFD Design present a new contemporary 51-metre called Sinderella

Cantu Design together with DFD Design are proud to present a new contemporary 51-metre superyacht concept with a fast displacement hull form called Sinderella. The all-American creative team set out to produce a motoryacht that offers the best of European and American yacht design with an engineering package that can easily adapt to advances in battery and hydrogen cell technology.

Like the fairy tale, there is more than meets the eye with Sinderella. The project

features a number of design and engineering solutions that have been developed to

ensure the longevity of Sinderella with environmental concerns at the forefront of the design process. It also offers significant interior volume while remaining below the 500GT threshold — a goal achieved through tried and tested tonnage minimization methods adopted from the yachting and commercial shipping industries.

The inspiration behind the exterior design was to create a clean and contemporary

profile that would aid in moving American yacht design forward without losing the

essence of what American design is about, which is muscular and robust, much like

the modern automotive designs seen today. “I wanted to create something that

combines the best of American and European design philosophies,” explains John

Cantu, who founded his studio in 2015. “This is the sort of look I think we should be

producing in America. Sinderella has a sexy side to it but is also tough in its

appearance and it piques your interest — it is the grand and magical ball that is still

there when you wake up the next morning.”

This sexy look is achieved in part by the stylish plumb bow that evokes an instantly

recognisable stiletto heel detail which can be seen at the waterline. Cushioned

behind the bow on the main deck is a sunken seating area, concealed underneath

the foredeck. This space is unveiled when deployable awnings lift part of the deck

to reveal a cosy socialising area. Just aft of this location is additional seating and

sun pads, underneath of which is the tender garage with stylised gullwing door

openings for the safe launch and retrieval of a 6-metre and 5-metre tender.

Up on the sundeck is a touch-and-go helipad towards the aft, while a bar and a 10-

foot by 4-foot (3-metre by 1.2-metre) Jacuzzi is located forward offering stunning

panoramic views. The sundeck superstructure also includes a glass overhang that

acts as an awning that widens as you move aft of the superyacht. Underneath this

overhang, the supporting structure is angled allowing sunlight to penetrate into the

sky lounge, which includes a dining and lounging space and an al fresco dining area aft. When shade is desired, the glass can be made opaque with the flick of a switch providing a stylish yet practical design solution.

“It is one of the defining features of the concept,” explains Cantu. “This is one of a

few design and engineering solutions that allowed us to circumnavigate the issue of

achieving a strong and full looking exterior without adding to the tonnage. At the

same time, it provides a very practical purpose and is a simple yet effective


One of the core elements to this project is the application of colour to the exterior

via carefully integrated lighting technology in the structure and windows, bringing

the exterior to life at night. By working with firms that produce products such as

SEEN — sandwiched glass with reflective material at its core — alongside a pattern

finish on the structure of the boat, we are able to create a pattern across the yacht.

This idea can be upgraded to an interactive feature with the inclusion of lighting

products to create an active pattern and colour across the hull and windows.

Leading forward from the beach club on the starboard side is what Cantu has

coined as the Solemare room — a fully enclosed, watertight space with three large

windows that descend below the waterline offering breath-taking views of marine

life. It is the ideal space to retreat to and escape hot days after enjoying time on the

beach club, which is maximised thanks to fold-down platforms either side. For

improved crew operations and for the comfort and enjoyment of guests, storage of

all resort equipment and water toys is located adjacent with direct access to the

beach club.

The interior accommodates 10 guests across five en suite rooms with the owner’s

full beam suite on the upper deck and four suites on the lower deck.

In the engine room, DFD Design has taken a step back from the traditional set up

and looked at the broader market. The electric-powered azimuth drive solution is

almost entirely missing in the 40m – 60m market, with Volvo and Cummins systems

used on smaller boats and ABB, Kongsberg, Rolls-Royce and Siemens driving big

vessels. With this in mind, three power plant packages have been considered for

Sinderella to meet the needs of any client. The first two options are a diesel-electric

package utilising four 500 to 750 kW diesel gensets that power Kongsberg electric

azimuths for superior manoeuvrability and enable transatlantic voyages. This is

thanks to power plant management and fuel efficiency optimisation protocols similar to those found on modern cruise ships.

The use of a diesel-electric and auxiliary battery bank system provides Sinderella

with two hours of purely electric, zero-emission propulsion, allowing access to

restricted waters such as Raja Ampat in Indonesia where traditionally powered

vessels are banned from sailing. It is an aspect that is undoubtedly going to grow in

a bid to conserve fragile zones of the ocean.

“Current battery technology only allows for about two hours of operation of this size

vessel at a minimum speed of four to six knots,” says David Menna, partner and

director of naval architecture at the Fort Lauderdale-based DFD Design. “This is

true for all boats at this range due to the size and weight of the batteries needed. So

Sinderella is limited in terms of its battery-power capability, but a driveline which

moves the propulsion motors via electric instead of mechanical power is already

setup to accept any future battery technology input devices. Yachts can live for

several decades, so being plug-and-play ready for future power technologies is

responsible design.”

Azimuth pods provide additional benefits that impact positively on interior space as

they allow the engine room to be located almost anywhere within a yacht, as only

power cables need to run from the power generation plant to the propulsion pods.

There are also benefits in terms of maintenance and repair, which in turn ensure

less interrupted time at sea for an owner or for charter guests.

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