The WIDER 150: A New Breed Of Yacht

By Ben Roberts

The WIDER 150 is the first of its kind. A rare example of radical thinking in marine engineering which brings owners closer to the water through cutting-edge design. In the second of a three-part series, we look at exactly why this yacht is changing the market for potential owners looking for something different and how the WIDER 150 reflects the WIDER way of thinking.

In what ways is the WIDER 150 a flagship for WIDER’s progressive ethos?
I would say that this stems from our choice of propulsion system, Diesel electric (which is common on large yachts but we are, according to my records, the first yard to incorporate it on a 46-metre), combined with azimuthal pods (again, more common on large vessels). This system, combined with the large battery banks on board is controlled by the Wider Power management system to optimise efficiency of the generators and to ensure that the user – i.e. the owner of the boat – gets the maximum benefit.

We recently had an external surveyor, specialising in Diesel Electric installations, visit the yard for a prospective client. He was here to pick holes in the system to make sure it was robust and would perform as planned. He left saying that he was certain that this system was the future and that all yachts would go this way sooner or later.

Does the 150 project reflect the passion of WIDER?
Undoubtedly! The man hours involved from all the team is proof of this. But additionally, the concept of enhancing the experience of life at sea for owners is at the heart of what we are doing. Ultimately, satisfied customers who appreciate and value the concept is what drives us to deliver a truly game changing yacht.

Is this a game-changing yacht in terms of both design and engineering?
In terms of the design of the beach club and interior layout, I would say undoubtedly yes, certainly in our size category. There is just nothing else out there offering the sizes we are able to offer on a 46-metre. On top of that, our ability to house a rigid 32’ tender is completely unique. You would normally have to buy a 65+metre in order to have a tender of that size and level of comfort. On the engineering side, see my comments above about Diesel Electric.

What unique elements of the WIDER 150 might act as a deal-breaker for potential owners on the fence?
In my opinion, none, but I am bound to say that! The history behind our name is often considered to stem from the fact that our first yacht, the Wider42, opened in the middle, offering more space to users In other words, it got a bit wider, so they named the company WIDER.

In fact, the name stems from a desire to open up the mind to wider thinking, to look at existing solutions with a new eye and to consider new solutions to old problems. To broaden your mind to a new approach, which will be the approach that all adopt in the future. Ultimately, the customer for the 150 will need to buy into our philosophy, but this is the case with all shipyards. In any case, the feedback over last few months has been exceptionally good and I believe there are plenty of people receptive to doing something a little different, using proven technology in a way that others have not considered doing in the past.

How does the space on board create a different world compared to yachts of a similar size?
We looked at long list of competitors to understand exactly how we faired in terms of space compared to others. The answer is simple: no one comes close to the spaces on offer in the beach club or the owner’s area. The beach club area is truly special as this is a common area for all to enjoy and reflects our philosophy of making space available for people to use close to the sea. We have seen over the last 6-8 years a real change in yacht design to offer these beach clubs and ours has taken the concept to a completely new level, with the opening doors on port and starboard to give huge additional space compared to any yacht of similar size. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, and I now see elements of our design being copied by others.

Wider will be showcasing their latest designs and concepts at the forthcoming Monaco Yacht Show from 23 - 26 September. Their stand will be located at Quai de l'Hirondelle QH9.

By Ben Roberts
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