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Sea Change: The Sunreef 88 Ultima Yacht

The new model forms part of the Polish shipyard’s growing line of ‘hi-tech hybrid power catamarans.’

By Irenie Forshaw

When it comes to sustainability, it’s no secret the boating sector has been a little slow off the mark. While it seems almost every major car manufacturer is making strides in its electrification journey, high costs and complex challenges at sea have made shipyards a touch more hesitant to follow suit. There is, however, a growing handful of options for those seeking a luxury yachting experience — without the hefty carbon footprint. Enter the Sunreef 88 Ultima. The new model forms part of the Polish shipyard’s growing line of ‘hi-tech hybrid power catamarans.’

But what does this mean, exactly? Sunreef has combined custom-engineered batteries with hybrid propulsion and an innovative solar power system to craft a fleet of zero-emission, energy-efficient yachts. Spanning 88 ft, the glossy new vessel is the largest in the fleet and features, like her predecessors, a streamlined black-and-silver hull. This sleek profile ensures she can dock at even the narrowest marinas.

Perhaps most impressive is her optimized hull design, which reduces drag to enhance performance while minimizing emissions. The result is an exceptionally smooth cruising experience without the pesky fumes, vibrations and noise that come with traditional diesel-powered boats.

[See also: Twenty for 20: Innovative Yachts of the 21st Century]

sunreef 88 ultima yacht
The Sunreef 88 Ultima yacht can comfortably accommodate up to 10 guests / ©Sunreef Yachts

With over 4,100 sq ft of indoor living space, the 88 Ultima can comfortably accommodate up to 10 guests. There are several different interior layouts to choose from; our favorite configuration features a full-beam master stateroom with a spacious private sauna.

And while we’re yet to have a glimpse of the interiors, Sunreef promises light-filled spaces adorned with plenty of eco-friendly materials from sustainable woods to recycled plastics and reclaimed fabrics. The shipyard hasn’t forgotten the fun factor, either. Future owners will enjoy a walk-around Ocean Lounge, folding bulwark platforms and an aft garage for storing a fleet of electric water toys.

In October 2023, Sunreef revealed that it had sold its first 88 Ultima to Tim Ciasulli. The powerboat champion, whose racing career has spanned four decades, holds four world speed records and is an avid yachtsman. It seems the 88 Ultima ticked a lot of boxes. “Who else builds a yacht that has almost 4,200 sq ft of living area where you can cruise responsibly, economically and sustainably on solar-powered electric motors and go 35 mph on traditional engines when you need to?” Ciasulli commented, following his purchase. Scheduled for delivery in 2025, the 88 Ultima is certainly one to watch.

[See also: The Best Luxury Yacht Builders in the World]

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This article appears in the 04 Mar 2024 issue of the New Statesman, Spring 2024

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