Surprisingly, There’s an App for That

Awards keep coming for the iPad-controllable, $15-million motoryacht Adastra.

139 trimaran Adastra
The 139-foot trimaran Adastra continues to win awards for her innovative and fuel-efficient design.Courtesy John Shuttleworth Yacht Design

Yes, yes, we know, she doesn’t exactly look like a yacht. She looks like a landing craft filled with aliens sent to attack Will Smith during a summer blockbuster movie.

But Adastra, a 139-foot trimaran from John Shuttleworth Yacht Designs, is winning award after award for naval architecture and innovation. The 2012 launch can be controlled by an iPad, she's lightweight and aerodynamic, and she burns less fuel than a lot of tenders.

Adastra, while cruising at 10.5 knots under light load, burns less than 5 gallons of fuel per hour. (Simple idling in some cars can burn a half gallon an hour.) At cruising load, with 20 tons of fuel and water aboard, Adastra burns less than 7 gallons per hour, giving her a range of 10,000 miles. Even if the throttles are pushed to 17 knots, her fuel-burn rate gives her a 4,000-mile range —meaning she can cross either the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean at high speed.

Her lightweight construction is achieved through the use of carbon-fiber with a Nomex honeycomb core for her deck and superstructure. Adastra's hull is a glass-kevlar foam sandwich. The interior is lightweight oak made with honeycomb panels. Further weight reduction was achieved through custom-built carbon-fiber hatches, toilets, port lights and ladders.

And then there is her shape — that aerodynamic, spacecraft-looking shape. Does it take some getting used to? Sure. But so did paddlewheels when they first replaced sails.

Learn more about Adastra and her most recent awards at