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Supervillain superyacht

A $15 million superyacht worthy of Bruce Wayne or a Bondian supervillain launched for the first time recently when the "Adastra" took a test drive on the Pearl River in Zhuhai, China.

Designed for a shipping magnate in Hong Kong who owns and cruises to a couple of islands near Indonesia, the craft is based on the design of speedy, record-breaking, and Batboat-conjuring "power trimaran" vessels like the Earthrace and the Cable and Wireless Adventurer. But unlike those boats, the Adastra was meant to be a luxury yacht, which, according to design firm John Shuttleworth, called for some new thinking. The craft is almost entirely custom-built, from its high-tech superstructure right down to its hinges.

Take a sail through our gallery to find out more.

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First launch

Among other things, to make for smooth and stable cruising (we all know Bondian supervillains hate shaken martinis), the Shuttleworth team developed a new shape for the boat's outriggers -- the flying-buttress-like supports on either side of the main hull. It also increased their height.

The craft is what's called a "trimaran," with its main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls. As futuristic as the Adastra looks, the trimaran approach very probably dates back to ancient times and the "proa" built by Pacific islanders.

Here we see the Adastra on China's Pearl River, where it was launched last week.

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And here we see it being constructed by yacht builders McConaghy Boats.

The Adastra is almost entirely custom-built, from its superstructure of carbon fiber and Nomex honeycomb to its hull made of a glass-and-kevlar foam-sandwich material to hatches, ladders, and even hinges. The project has been in the works for five years.

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Structural analysis

The idea was to keep the yacht as light (and thus fuel efficient) as possible while maintaining its strength. The Shuttleworth design team worked with a company called Applied Structural Analysis to conduct extensive testing of the boat's components to achieve this. Here we see a computer-generated "failure index" meant to aid in ensuring structural integrity.

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Testing with a small model

The Shuttleworth team also conducted tank testing and tests in waves with radio-controlled models to further analyze stability and performance. As far as we can tell, Legos were not involved.

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Based on 'Batboat' designs

Though adapted extensively for the purposes of luxury cruising, the Adastra's design draws from that of speedy craft like the Ady Gil (aka the Earthrace), pictured above. No, this wasn't a prop in a Batman film, (and it isn't Nissan's DeltaWing race car after an ill-advised turn). The Earthrace circumnavigated the globe in just under 61 days back in 2008. Another such svelte craft is the Brigitte Bardot (aka the Cable and Wireless Adventurer).

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Top render

The Adastra does a maximum speed of 22.5 knots (close to 26 mph) and can cover a distance of up to 4,000 miles while cruising at 17 knots (about 19.5 mph). At that speed, it uses about 31.2 gallons of fuel per hour.

In addition to being streamlined, the bow was specially designed for harpooning great white sharks. Just kidding.

The yacht is powered by a Caterpillar C18 engine of 1,150 horsepower at 2,300rpm in the main hull and, in each outrigger, a Yanmar engine of 110 horsepower at 3,200rpm.

It also features integrated systems for monitoring fuel, security, pump sensors, electrical, lights, and so on.

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Side render

Just over 46 yards long, the Adastra has plenty of room for plush accommodations, as you'll soon see. In the back, beneath the aft deck, the boat also features a garage for a raft. And the garage door folds out to create a dive platform. (We actually have a theory that all the luxury trappings fly away in an emergency to reveal the Batboat, which screams off to deliver justice to the baddies. We've not yet confirmed this hypothesis though, so don't quote us on it.)

The exterior styling was done by John Shuttleworth Yacht Designs and Orion Shuttleworth Design.

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Main deck

Did we hear someone say "plush accommodations"? This is the saloon area on the main deck -- where you plot world domination while nibbling on a caviared cracker and stroking the fur of your white feline.

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Swanky main cabin

And this is the main cabin, where Bond cavorts with your double-agent mistress after you've fled in your minirocket.

With its two additional guest cabins, the Adastra can accommodate nine passengers. It also has room for as many as six crew members.

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Ginormous bathroom

Oh yeah, and the main bathroom is bigger that the apartments of some tech bloggers we know.

The interior design was by Jepsen Designs.

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An evil job well done

As the sun sets on another day of luxurious villainy, you dream of further schemes on the aft deck.

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Not sinking on the Pearl River

A final look at the Adastra on launch day in China. For $15 million, you too can have a yacht like this.

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