why create a floating island? Why not?

In a market where luxury is already pushed to the extreme, a new yacht design featuring a "floating island" has taken the concept to a whole new level. Wally Hermes Yachts, a joint venture between yacht designer Wally and fashion house Hermes, showcased the designs for its WHY craft at the Abu Dhabi Yachts Show this week.

The 58x38 metre design defies traditional long, narrow yacht shapes, making it unsuitable for typical berthing spaces. This should be of little concern to potential owners since the yacht is designed to be a floating private island.

The owner's section on the top floor is taken up by a single suite, a whopping 200 square metres in size, with a 25 metre-wide private terrace.

Underneath this on the second floor are five guest suites. The lower deck is a common area featuring a 30-metre "beach" that spans the entire width of the stern. The obligatory swimming is on the ship's bow.

Inside, the living spaces offer a salon with a screening room, a music room and dining room that opens on to the sea. Hermes artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas cites fiction writer Jules Verne as one of the inspirations behind the design.

Dumas says the design is also aimed at reducing the environmental impact of mega-yachts driven by engines, not sails.

“Our aim is to reduce diesel consumption per year and per yacht: 20 to 30 per cent for propulsion and 40 to 50 per cent for generation,” he says. WHY does not say how much the yacht would cost, but estimates put it at $A160 million.

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