Cruise

The mysterious case of Bill Gates and the $747 million hydrogen-powered superyacht

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

It’s a case that seemingly fooled the press, but did the world’s second-richest man really buy ‘Aqua’?

Conceptualised by Dutch firm Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design, Aqua is a 370-foot hydrogen-powered luxury superyacht currently in development, complete with an indoor spa and wellness centre, hydro massage room, gymnasium, a multitude of spacious lodgings fit for a squillionaire, along with a helipad and infinity pool, among other features.

With a price tag of £500 million ($747 million), the eco-conscious yacht, which happens to be the touted as the world’s first superyacht fully-powered by hydrogen, was earlier this week linked to Microsoft’s co-founder and co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates.

Adding to the murmurs of Gates’ interest in the vessel was that Aqua was revealed at last year’s Monaco yacht show, at the same time as the Microsoft founder attended the Global Champions Tour nearby with his daughter, according to The ObserverThe connection is slim, but still there.

Up for another travel ‘mystery’? Check out the weird case of Eroda

The designers of the superyacht, however, have denied Gates’ purchase of the concept for Aqua, with an adamant announcement by Sinot – beginning with a dramatic all caps headline (AQUA NOT SOLD!), no less – putting reports of its sale to bed:

“The hydrogen concept Aqua is not linked to Mr. Gates (or his representatives) in any form or matter,” Sinot said in a statement, adding it “has no business relationship” with Gates.

“Aqua is a concept under development and has not been sold to Mr. Gates. Unfortunately all ‘information’ in these recent articles is incorrect.”

Top deck view of 112m hydrogen-powered superyacht Aqua by Sinot (Sinot.com)

According to Sinot, Aqua will be the world’s first superyacht to be completely powered by liquid hydrogen, and can travel 3,750 nautical miles – roughly the distance between London to New York – before it needs to refuel, at a top speed of 17 knots.

“For the development of Aqua, we took inspiration from the lifestyle of a discerning, forward-looking owner, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology, to combine this in a superyacht with truly innovative features,” Sinot founder Sander Sinot said of the concept boat last year at the Monaco yacht show.

The yacht also features a bunch of other features befitting the ‘super’ prefix, with only a few of them as pretentious as this description:

“In the design and development of AQUA, our team derived inspiration from owners’ lifestyles, the fluid versatility of water and cutting-edge technology, combining all of this in a 112m superyacht with truly innovative features.”

Click here to check them out for yourself.

Featured image: Hydrogen-powered superyacht Aqua (Sinot.com)

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