The new 42m Ilumen flagship under construction in search of a new yard

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]t the Cannes Yachting Festival, Dominator Yachts celebrated its 20 anniversary, with the motto #BeBold and Combine Extremes for Unique Results. Not coincidental words since the brand identity has been developed  combining two different worlds, as CEO Angela Pernsteiner says, the Austro and the Italian culture.

“Dominator Yachts was always a boutique family yard with a bespoke approach and an international outreach, but with the new Ilumen range we have carried the combination of contradictions to the extremes. Combining strong contradictions takes a lot of efforts but the result is unique, such as the Dominator Ilumen facing you with her aggressive, strong look that started as a design concept but the realization of the concept is the symbolization of our unique philosophy,” says Pernsteiner.


The Austro-Italian shipyard has launched 160 yachts in its 20-year history—it has transformed from being a respected motor yacht brand to one of the premier marques in the small-but-competitive custom mini-superyacht segment. Dominator’s 28M Ilumens have shown that its philosophy of creating bespoke interiors on a proven running surface is a novel way to approach the market. All the 28-meter yachts in the water share the same aggressive, angular superstructures and semi-displacement hulls, but each yacht reflects its owner’s design brief, down to the most exacting details.

Customized wood accents, ceramic-tile window shapes and even the designer hardware and appliances in the galley makes each 28M a one-off design. From a distance, the Ilumens are clearly Dominators. Up close, they are the owners’ unique fashion statements.


From left: Andrea Agrusta (NavalHEAD, the company responsible for the engineering), Angela Pernsteiner (CEO, Dominator Yachts), Luca Catino (architect responsible for the interior design)


At the recent Cannes Yachting Festival, Dominator Yachts announced the new 42M Ilumen, currently under construction with the input of a German client. Called PEPPERMINT, the first hull will be another significant advance for the marque. PEPPERMINT will have its debut at the Cannes boat show in three years.

The Ilumen 42M Tri-Deck is a revolutionary yacht, where space and light are the key features. The engineering design started with a full analysis of weights, optimized with enhanced prediction methods and a massive use of FEM analysis in order to ensure the correct strength and safety feeling onboard. The outcome of this is that the yard has developed a highly advanced structural layout, with an extensive use of carbon fiber, sandwich and vacuum infusion technology.

The hydrodynamics studies had been performed with an intensive and combined use of CFD simulation and mathematical algorithm. The outcome of this approach is a deep and full comprehension of hull behavior both in still and in rough sea. The wake has been controlled and optimized in order to reduce the power and, therefore, the fuel consumption. The HPH (High Performance Hull) of the Ilumen 42M Tri-Deck is a particularly hard-chine hull with a blade bulbous bow designed to have great resistance values for all the semi-displacement and semi-planing phases.

Excellent performances have been achieved in seakeeping, trim angle at all speeds and ship motions of roll and pitch in order to ensure a high level of safety and comfort on board, considering also an approach with oceanic head-waves over 8 metres height. The 42M Tri-Deck will be able to perform an oceanic transfer due to its extraordinary range of up to 4500nm in the semi-displacement with 19.5kn of maximum speed.

The new Ilumen 42 promises to be a category-buster in multiple ways. It’s the first sleek and sexy yacht of its size with the range to cross the Atlantic; and it will be offered in semi-displacement and displacement hulls, with each one being built around the personality and tastes of its owners.

PEPPERMINT will be a semi-displacement hull and promises to be a legitimate breakthrough in the 42-meter class. The German owner loves to travel the world as a free spirit, and his wanderlust has been stamped into every inch of this four-deck yacht.

“Beyond its ability to do transatlantic crossings, PEPPERMINT will be the only one in its class with a Touch-and-go helipad option on the bow—usually reserved for bigger megayachts,” says Pernsteiner. “We see the boat as a serious mini-explorer. And the owner will explore the world on her.”

With her 40.4-meter length at waterline and 8.8-meter beam, the new Ilumen Tri-Deck has serious internal volume for the design team to work with. The owner made use of the vast interior space—and the designers’ talents—by creating wildly different geographical themes on each deck.

“He wanted each area to represent different countries and continents,” says Pernsteiner. “For instance, the flybridge has a Middle Eastern theme, with subdued colors, a relaxing ambience and even a hookah lounge—as well as a traditional bar. Imagine a soothing café in Marrakech, and you get the idea and feel the vibe.”

Besides the challenges involved in designing a larger superyacht, Dominator is currently also exploring different facilities to expand its production to accommodate the more complicated outfitting of the build. “Like the 28M, we plan to incorporate the latest materials and construction techniques into this 42-meter hull,” says Pernsteiner. “We’ll also have exceptional craftsmen to complete what will no doubt be a demanding but breathtaking interior.”

Dominator is exploring three facilities with a wet dock and a travel lift, which will allow PEPPERMINT to be launched directly from the shipyard into the water after the outfitting is completed. This mission to find a new additional shipyard for assembly and outfitting marks a milestone for the Dominator brand as the company celebrates its 20-year anniversary of yacht-building.

The company is looking at yards that cater to metal megayachts. And while Ilumen yachts are made in high-tech epoxy construction, they are completed with megayacht paint processes and require the skill and resources for megayacht-size furniture, piping and more.

“We are on a quest for facilities suitable for this megayacht build, as our current shipyard is limited in height and not directly next to the water,” says Pernsteiner. “Furthermore, MY PEPPERMINT will also be done in an environment used to construct, outfit and finish the yachts to the highest megayacht standards,” she adds. This is absolutely fundamental for the development, construction and testing of a superyacht of this size.