Inspired by hyper cars, Mayla Yacht’s ultra-light, high-performing and versatile yacht, Fortyfour, is built for sheer enjoyment
The sleek, minimalist design would make the four-berth Mayla Fortyfour stand out on any waterway. The distinctive look of the craft is not the only thing that is different about it, however; alongside its traditional high-performance racing engines, Fortyfour is also available both fully electric and hybrid.
“Anyone who has been in a powerful electric car knows that the acceleration is amazing,” say Mayla Yacht co-founders Christopher Gelsdorf and Olivier Arnault. “This boat is going to be the water version of that: faster and with better acceleration than anything out there.”
While electric vehicles of any kind clearly have environmental credentials, the boat is designed just as much for the performance that electrification can bring. “Mayla uses state- of-the-art technology,” say the founders. “Electric-hybrid is the best option because it is environmentally friendly, but the hybrid mode means there is no danger of running out of charge in the middle of the ocean.”
Christopher and Olivier run a consultancy that helps automotive manufacturers and blue-chip companies improve their processes, but decided to take on the challenge to launch their own product. “As we share a passion for boats, that seemed like the best place to start,” they say. “We are proud of having completed the development and build of the boat in less than 18 months.”
The Fortyfour hybrid officially launches in early 2024. The boat can run for more than 70 nautical miles on electricity and has a generator that is designed to run on biofuels or synthetic fuels, to remain carbon neutral. It can also use diesel if necessary. Running on the generator, its range is 270 nautical miles. Categorised as CE B, it can comfortably go on all but the stormiest seas. “It is very sturdy, so it could be easily used as a rescue boat for superyachts or mega yachts,” says Christopher. Made of carbon fibre, from the hull to the cup holders, the boat “is extremely solid and stiff, but it is also very light at 1.3 metric tonnes. The trick has been to combine different technologies together, so they work in harmony.” The lightness of the craft (boats made from traditional materials can be three to five times heavier) enables it to carry the additional battery mass. To further bring down the overall weight, the team opted for the latest generation of batteries, while seeking a balance between speed, performance, handling, fuel efficiency, safety and liveability.
The V-shaped hull creates an air cushion beneath the boat. This technology has been patented, along with a propeller system that is designed to be up to 10 per cent more efficient than a standard propeller. The two electric engines produce “enormous” torque. “We have applied some of what the automotive industry is doing with cars to boating.”
The striking design is a nod to classic boats of the 1970s and 1980s, while the minimal look is resolutely modern. “The touch and feel are very simple, but the whole yacht is designed and executed to the standard of superyachts.” Piano maker Steinway & Sons has produced the Fortyfour’s sound system, and there is a large beach club area and a toy garage that fits a jet ski. The deck layout and finish can be entirely adapted to the client’s wishes, taste and functional requirements.
A small number of the models will be on sale to begin with to an exclusive clientele, say the founders. “We are happy to bring a really fun and well-built yacht to market.”