Skip to main content

Russian yacht company builds boats with car-shaped top decks

Big name car brands commonly collaborate with yacht builders for stylized vessels. Moscow-based Baikal Yachts Group is taking a different tack, styling the top deck and the interior of its 14-meter (46-foot) Discovery Sport Catamarans after the buyer’s choice of car automotive brand.

Notable luxury automotive brands and yacht builder partnerships include Aston-Martin with Quintessence, AMG and Cigarette Racing, Bugatti with Palmer Johnson Yachts, Mercedes-Benz with Silver Arrows Marine, and Lexus with parent company Toyota’s Ponam yacht division.

Baikal first offered to build a 10-meter catamaran styled after a Porsche Cayenne in 2012, but there were no takers. The project didn’t go beyond the design concept phase, and the boat never hit the water. The Russian engineers are taking a different course with the Baikal Yachts Discovery Sport Catamaran.

A new aluminum and magnesium alloy developed by Rusal Company is a key factor in Baikal’s plan. Rusal is the second largest aluminum producer in the world. The alloy, which also contains scandium, is as strong as steel. Because it is 20 to 25 percent lighter than aluminum, the new alloy is also lighter than composites, according to Baikal.

Catamarans are built for speed. Optimal hull and structural materials are strong and light. The Discovery Sport model, for example, is rated for a maximum 52 knots. The new alloy from Rusal meets Baikal’s performance and durability requirements and also allows the one-off customization planned for potential auto brand-loving customers.

Baikal does not plan to build yachts on speculation. The boat builder’s business plan for this project is to start a new yacht build based on a preliminary order. The hull and other major exterior components are designed and constructed first. As the project goes forward, interior and exterior stylistic features will be designed. That way, if a buyer bails part way through the project, Baikal isn’t left with a custom boat with no customer.

Baikal suggests people who own Maseratis, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Range Rovers, Bentleys, BMWs, Jaguars, or Aston-Martins could be their best market. However, Baikal co-founder and owner Sergey Gmyra said in a press release, “It is feasible to engineer any styled variant and inside the original parts will be used for inner trim and control station.”

According to chief project designer Maxim Lodkin, “I think that the future owners will proudly show it to their friends and fill them with enthusiasm by its speed characteristics.

Pricing for car-styled Baikal Discovery Sport Catamarans is not disclosed. Depending on design complexities, the company estimates each yacht will take 6 to 12 months to build.

Digital Trends looks forward to seeing the first commissioned automobile-styled Baikal catamaran hit the water. We noted that Baikal didn’t mention licensing arrangements with car companies. Unlike collaborations between car companies and boat builders, licensing issues may be a factor if Baikal catamarans are marketed or promoted using specific auto company brand names.

Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Commerce teams. Bruce uses smart devices…
Digital Trends’ Tech For Change CES 2023 Awards
Digital Trends CES 2023 Tech For Change Award Winners Feature

CES is more than just a neon-drenched show-and-tell session for the world’s biggest tech manufacturers. More and more, it’s also a place where companies showcase innovations that could truly make the world a better place — and at CES 2023, this type of tech was on full display. We saw everything from accessibility-minded PS5 controllers to pedal-powered smart desks. But of all the amazing innovations on display this year, these three impressed us the most:

Samsung's Relumino Mode
Across the globe, roughly 300 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision loss, and generally speaking, most TVs don’t take that into account. So in an effort to make television more accessible and enjoyable for those millions of people suffering from impaired vision, Samsung is adding a new picture mode to many of its new TVs.
[CES 2023] Relumino Mode: Innovation for every need | Samsung
Relumino Mode, as it’s called, works by adding a bunch of different visual filters to the picture simultaneously. Outlines of people and objects on screen are highlighted, the contrast and brightness of the overall picture are cranked up, and extra sharpness is applied to everything. The resulting video would likely look strange to people with normal vision, but for folks with low vision, it should look clearer and closer to "normal" than it otherwise would.
Excitingly, since Relumino Mode is ultimately just a clever software trick, this technology could theoretically be pushed out via a software update and installed on millions of existing Samsung TVs -- not just new and recently purchased ones.

Read more
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more