Super yacht that protects super-rich against kidnapping
The 106-metre Mirage will be totally clad in specially mirrored glass and will reflect the image of the sea back to onlookers, making it look as if the 4,200 tonne vessel has 'vanished
A boat designer has unveiled plans for the ultimate purchase for privacy-hungry billionaires - an 'invisible' superyacht which he says will appear to completely vanish into the sea.
The 106-metre Mirage, which could cost an estimated £200 million, will be totally clad in specially mirrored glass.
The panels, the yacht's designers say, will reflect the image of the sea back to onlookers, making it look as if the 4,200 tonne vessel has 'vanished' to people from as little as 50 metres distance.
As well as the ability to blend into its maritime surroundings, the craft comes fully equipped with a helipad, spa, outdoor theatre and cinema, and would be suitable for members of the world's super rich who value discretion.
The six-decked craft can sleep 14 guests and 29 crew members, and can cruise at a comfortable speed of 19 knots.
The yacht - which has been developed by Italian boat builders Fincantieri and Dutch firm Van Geest Designs - will "disappear between water and sky" and "blend into the horizon", its makers say.
Designer Pieter Van Geest said it had taken a year to develop the blueprints and would take another three and a half years to construct.
He said: "The whole design process took about one year. The longest part was researching the reflective glass and how it would be built.
"From our side, it was developed with just a team of two, however, there was a whole team to support us from Fincantieri boat builders.
"They dealt with the shipyard development side of it, which is the structural and naval architecture of the vessel.
"The main reason in designing this yacht was to make something that belonged to its environment.
"Most yachts nowadays stand out and break the horizon or the landscape, in a way, we have tried to minimize this effect.
"The colour variable mirrored glass is developed by a German glass manufacturer, which has never been used on yachts before.
"All the vertical panels on the yacht will have this finish.
"If you were on the water it would probably be invisible from over 50 metres away.
"If you are on the yacht itself the mirror will project the yacht's surroundings, so in a way, it will give you a floating on air effect when onboard."
Mr Van Geest declined to put a price on the Mirage, but maritime experts suggested £200 million would be reasonable for such a luxury vessel.
If that was an accurate price tag it would place Mirage in the top 10 of the world's most expensive yachts, currently topped by the £4 billion History Supreme, which is owned by Malaysia's richest man, Robert Knok, and is made of solid gold.