The 145 ft / 44.2 m Custom catamaran ‘Hemisphere‘ is the world’s largest catamaran and was was built in 2011 by Pendennis. This piece of marine art came off the drawing boards of Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost (VPLP) and the yacht’s interior was designed by Michael Leach. The lines on this boat remind me of VPLP´s earlier performance catamaran designs – read our Lagoon 67 review to see what we mean.
Well, we are obviously talking top end luxury on this Supercat. She will sleep up to 12 guests in 5 comfortable en-suite cabins. Plus a crew of 10 crew onboard. The 2 VIP cabins on the main deck have access to the forward terrace lounge forward. It’s a yacht that not even the Sunreef Yachts luxury range can compete with.
Photo credit: Pendennis Shipyard
VPLP has a solid reputation for designing multihulls with projects ranging from ultra-light carbon racing cats to the 138-foot custom catamaran Douce France—previously the world’s largest luxury cat—built at Alumarine in 1999.
Michael Leach was responsible for the interior design – and he had a lot of space to work with. She’s very luxurious yet practical. Watersports include windsurfers, wakeboards, Seabobs, waterskis and so on. The port hull has a fully stocked dive centre that can handle both Air and NITROX tank fills. Just raise the lift-up steps aft to reveal the ultimate dive locker.
Let´s just say, there is a lot of it on Hemisphere!
One of the most popular areas of the boat is the flybridge with its lavish seating area surrounding a spa pool. This open plan dining area on the fly deck is a great “al fresco” spot with views to die for in good weather.
The oval dining table for 12 has a map of the world etched into its glass top. There´s also a huge dining area below.
The huge teak aft deck below is a real WOW factor and this space fits 2 seating areas, a large sunbed and a big oval table set in the shade for lunch when the sun is overhead. The entire area can be closed off with an ‘Eissen glass’ screen and cooled from A/C units located under the flybridge sun pad.
On the main deck, 2 curved sliding doors connect the aft deck with its dining and lounging areas to a 100 m2 saloon, with several zones including a seating area with fantastic views.
Forward of that is a small lobby that leads to the guest cabin in the port hull, a day head to starboard and 2 VIP cabins.
Signature Sugar Scoops
And those daybeds at the top of the sugar scoops- let´s not forget those. The whole yacht has been designed with an incredible attention to detail.
The two VIPs can be switched into a 16m wide master cabin and going aft in the port hull, and accessible from the main deck, there are 2 more guest cabins.
The crew quarters occupy much of the starboard hull. Forward is the mess and laundry area, and aft there are three well sized cabins. A happy crew means a happy cuise!
Hemisphere has a selection of tenders including a Castoldi jet tender stowed in the starboard hull and a RIB stowed between the two that is launched via bomber-like hatches.
5 Star Accomodation
The TV room is on the main deck, and puts most 5 star hotels to shame. There are Wi-Fi and socket connections, Satcom and Cellular communications, Satellite TV, iPod docking stations and MP3 connections throughout the boat. There’s also 61″ plasma TV in the lower saloon, 42″ plasmas in the VIP staterooms and 32″ LCD TVs in the guest staterooms.
It´s all a far cry from the world´s best selling catamaran! (Read our Lagoon 380 review if you want to compare notes on the 2 boats 😉 )
And she can sail, too. She’ll regularly see 10 knots, and downwind the mainsail and gennaker add up to a total sail area exceeding 12,000 feet: Hemisphere can top out at 20 knots. It’s all powered by that mouth-droppping 53m (174-foot) 5.8-ton carbon mast by Lorima, which flys 865 m2 (9,321 sq ft) to 1118 m2 (12,037 sq ft) of carbon and spectra sails. Incredibly, this amazing catamaran is her owner’s first yacht. It’s a good job he can afford the crew!
A Catamaran with a Garage? Yes.
One of the most famous Hemisphere catamaran design features is the “ailes de mouette” or seagull wings under the bridge deck which minimises bridge slam. On Hemisphere the wings serve a secondary purpose: there’s a watertight garage between the two hulls within the seagull wings.
For such a large vessel, she has a very low drag so only requires relatively small engines for her size : energy consumption and noise are kept to a minimum. Midships in each hull are 2 engine rooms with 2x Caterpillar C12s 490hp engines as the power source. There are 3 Caterpillar generators with a total output of 251kW, and there is a thruster fore and aft in both hulls to make life easier in the marina.
Other technical gizmos include a Radio Zeeland control and alarm system with 550 functions including monitoring standing rigging loads to fridge temperatures, plus programmable lighting; navigation, communication and the entertainment system that was supplied by HST with control units in each cabin.
Check out this list of toys. Well, if you have the space…..
This cat has been designed for maximising watersports fun. The owners are keen divers, and in fact the initial brief for the yacht came from this angle. A hydraulic swim platform means access to the water is easy, and a springboard, attached to the stern, is a favourite with guests.
All the Toys and More
The yacht carries dive scooters, two Seabobs, wakeboards, paddleboards and mountain bikes for onshore exploration. You name it, Hemisphere probably has it covered, including:
- Certified PADI dive centre
- 16.4m F&S Custom sports fishing boat with 2 x 1150hp engines,
- 8.2m Scorpion tender with 400hp engine,
- 4.5m Castoldi jet tender with 125hp,
- Full scuba diving facilities for 12 guests,
- 4 x SeaBobs,
- Kneeboards & tows,
- SUP (Stand up paddle board,
- 4m inflatable water trampoline,
- 1m high 2.4m professional diving board,
- Snorkelling gear,
- Sports tournament standard fishing equipment
If you like exploring the underwater world, then you´ll like this next bit.
Hemisphere has a PADI-certified, Nitrox-capable dive centre for up to 12. The ship’s captain is a qualified dive instructor. And then there is the 16.4m (53.8ft) sports fishing tender for getting to those secluded dive sites as well as being a tournament-standard fishing boat.
- State of the art audio visual systems, satellite television
- Wi-Fi and socket connections
- 61″ plasma in lower salon,
- 42″ plasma in VIPs and
- 32″ LCD’s in guest cabins,
- Ipod/MP3 connections throughout the yacht.
- Sat TV (Seatel)Kaleidescape system with a big movie library
If you enjoyed this review, take a look at our Azizam catamaran review which is another classic custom boat – that one’s a smaller package.
This next section (Pros and Cons) is a bit tongue in cheek for this particular custom cat. It’s a process we normally go through on our other multihull reviews. We thought it would be fun!
- All of that space! Come on, this is the largest catamaran around, you are not going to feel claustrophobic on her.
- The garage is a unique feature on this boat. When you have that many toys, you need somewhere for them to go.
- For such a large vessel, she moves. You should see double digits on a beam reach in a decent breeze.
- If you break out into a cold sweat coming into the marina on a windy day, just think of the poor skipper on Hemisphere. Mind you, he or she has bow thrusters and plenty of power in the engines. Oh and the skipper is getting paid to deal with the stress.
- She’s not the cheapest boat to run. Those marina fees are pretty eye watering, and don’t talk to me about filling up with diesel. If you go on the usual adage of 5-10% of the boat’s value on maintenance every year, you are into 7 figures. I can believe that when you think of the cost of the crew
- Most of the power for the service batteries comes from the generators. A more modern design would probably have focused more on green energy. Still, there’s always room for more customisation!
Hemisphere was launched in 2011 and she still sits at the top of the Supercats list. That gives you an idea of how ambitious this yacht build was to begin with. This is the catamaran that all other luxury multihulls aspire to, a work of art from the same team that designed the humble Lagoon 380.
FAQs: Hemisphere Catamaran
How Much Did Hemisphere Cost to Build?
Well, that´s not a number that is easy to get hold of, but we are looking at north of $50 million
Can you charter Hemisphere? How much is it for a week?
Yes you can, this boat is probably one of the most luxurious dive charters around, but it will cost you more than a Leopard from Sunsail. You are looking at around $250k a week. Everything is negotiable of course.