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The ancient Greeks had two words for time. “Chronos” meant chronological or sequential time, as the time displayed by a sundial. “Kairos,” on the other hand, meant a critical or opportune moment. It’s a time for the accomplishment of a crucial action. The Bible referred to Kairos as a time of transformation and change of life.

Three of the superyacht world’s most significant players are now collaborating on a maritime version of Kairos, with a focus on creating a new E-Hybrid propulsion system inside of a state-of-the-art hull that involves a very different way of looking at yacht design.

The first-time partnership between design studio Pininfarina—known for its Ferrari designs—and Dutch custom superyacht builder Oceanco, along with technical design by Lateral Naval Architects, promises to herald a breakthrough in sustainable design. The 295-foot Kairos will use batteries as its primary source of power, as part of the Oceanco NXT initiative on sustainability and innovation.

Pininfarina and Oceanco have partnered to create the Kairos project of electric superyachts

Released last summer, the 350-foot Black Pearl demonstrates Oceanco’s commitment to creative hybrid solutions for sustainable yachting. 

Courtesy Oceanco

“Our passion as designers is to imagine new concepts of space that are capable of bringing enchantment to every moment of the yachting experience,” said Paolo Pininfarina, chairman of the Pininfarina Group, in describing Kairos.

Marcel Onkenhout, CEO of Oceanco, praised the partnership between the three firms. “When owners see the Oceanco NXT endorsement on a yacht’s design, they know they can expect elevated standards of life onboard that are in tune with new perspectives on sustainability and lifestyle,” he said in a statement.

The builder of such famous superyachts as Dar, Bravo Eugenia, and Kaos revealed its NXT initiative in October 2020, announcing that different projects would be borne from a collaboration between multiple designers and Oceanco. During a panel discussion on what NXT might look like, Onkenhout said his shipyard would also be looking to partner with firms unrelated to yachting, but which could provide sustainable technology for new superyacht designs. “Tomorrow can start today,”  said Onkenhout during the presentation.

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