Imara – Oil tanker becomes maxi yacht

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, someone comes along with an idea so ambitious and intriguing that you just have to sit up and take notice.

Austrian designers Motion Code: Blue has done just that, their new project Imāra, a luxury conversion of a 280-metre SuezMax tanker.

(This Albert Einstein quote appears on their website – “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – seems a perfect fit.)

For anyone unfamiliar with the term, SuezMax is naval architect code for the largest ship capable of transiting the Suez Canal in a laden condition.


This means Imāra can get out of the Med and into the Red Sea – just. It also means that the scale of Imāra – 280 metres long, a beam of 57 metres and a total of 11 decks – will make her feel more like a private island than a seagoing vessel.



In fact Imāra is so large that Motion Code: Blue decided they needed to create a brand new yacht category for her, so behold, not super-, not mega-, not giga- but the first, and maybe not the last, YachtMAX.

Motion Code: Blue makes no secret of aiming squarely for a Middle Eastern buyer.

In fact the name Imāra is based on the Arabic word for “emirate”. The hull has been redone in brilliant white with gold accents, 18 carat no doubt, while the superstructure has also been redesigned in black and gold with sleek curves to match the look of the rest of the hull.

As a final nod towards the East, the semi-transparent hull windows were inspired by ancient Arabic ornamental styles, and give Imāra a hint of Eastern promise.


To ensure that you can always receive guests, the raised foredeck features not one, or two, but three large helipads. In total, Imāra can house a fleet of up to five helicopters in addition to the three sitting on the helipads there is room for another two in the hangar below.

As a consequence of not being laden down with thousands of tons of cargo like other SuezMaxs, the ship rides high in the water and several metres of hull, previously needed to keep water on the outside, have now been fitted with plenty of floor-to-ceiling windows to let in a dazzling amount of light.

The light-filled corridors are broad enough to accommodate the ship’s fleet of electric BMW i3s, with every guest having a private garage outside their suite. (Yes, let’s repeat that, you get around the ship by car.) The cars move from deck to deck by way of several car-lifting platforms. The onboard concierge service – naturally – takes care of the cars when not in service.



The ship’s toys can be found in the massive wet garages, which have access to the outside via four 15-metre garage hatches. Tenders up to 90 foot can be docked inside, or even driven right through. The garages are overlooked by a four-storey-high atrium with waterfall cascading down the side.


The source of the waterfall is an enormous swimming pool on the upper deck, surrounded by palm trees. There is also an in-pool bar for those virgin cocktails.

The owner’s quarters span three decks above the ship’s garages and include private saloons, studies, a library, an art gallery, gymnasium, pool and Spa.


The guests don’t have too shabby a time of it either. The common areas include a tea-house, several shops, a shisha bar, a large seafront gymnasium, full-size indoor tennis court, four seafront beach clubs, a cinema, theatre and concert hall. Oh, and we’ve left the best till last, what YachtMax is complete without a four-storey ski slope complete with ski lift and Austrian après-ski lodge?


So, if you’ve been looking for that perfect home, where you can ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon, look no further, just commission Imāra. Then your perfect home can be absolutely anywhere in the world – just as long as it’s on the ocean.

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